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Youth Hockey F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the age groups for hockey?
  2. When is checking allowed?
  3. What is the Atom League?
  4. What programs do you offer for beginner skaters?
  5. What equipment do I need to participate?
  6. What is a House League and what is the commitment?
  7. How long is the season?
  8. How and when can I register?
  9. What are the requirements for playing in the house league?
  10. What is travel hockey?
  11. How far do your teams travel?
  12. What is the difference between Tier I and Tier II?
1. What are the age groups for hockey?
A. Pplayers are grouped as follows:

Youth Hockey Division
Division Age Group
Atoms 6 and under
Mite 8 and under
Squirt 10 and under
Peewee 12 and under
Bantam 14 and under
Midget 16 16 and under
Midget 18 18 and under
High School players currently in high school
2. When is checking allowed?
A. Checking is permitted at the peewee level and above. Although contact is inevitable at the younger levels intentional checking is not permitted until peewee.
3. What is the Atom League?
A. The Atom League is our “grass roots” program designed to foster a love for the game while developing basic skills. Games are played on half-ice with 3 to 5 five players competing from each team. The league promotes creativity and fosters the development of basic skills by letting the kids just play the game. Players should have some basic skating skills to enter the Atom League.
4. What programs do you offer for beginner skaters?
A. The first step in our program is Hockey Prep, which is an introduction to skating on hockey skates. Skaters learn the fundamentals of skating (stride, turning, stopping, backwards) through weekly classes. After graduating from Hockey Prep skaters can move on to Learn to Play Hockey. In this clinic skaters continue to work on their basic skills while also learning the fundamentals of hockey. Passing, stick handling, and shooting are introduced and practiced weekly. During the months of July and August the Ice House also offers 7 weeks of summer camp for the beginner to advanced youth hockey player. The curriculum covers basic skills as well as more advanced hockey skills if applicable.

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5. What equipment do I need to participate?
A. To participate in Hockey Prep you will only need to supply a hockey helmet with cage. Skates are provided for this clinic only. It is recommended that skaters wear knee pads and gloves as they will fall. Once players move on to a league or Power Skating and Stick Skills you will need to supply the following equipment:
Skates, Shin Guards, Jock, Shoulder Pads, Elbow Pads, Pants, Hockey Gloves, Stick, Helmet with cage
6. What is a House League and what is the commitment?
A. The Greater Bergen County Youth Ice Hockey League is designed as a recreational and developmental league for players of all ages. Each age classification is split into at least 2 tiers to ensure a competitive environment. Teams from many area towns consistently participate as well as individual teams, and independent organizations. All games are played at the Ice House. During the Fall/Winter season all games are played on the weekend, while in the spring games are played throughout the week. Individual teams will practice periodically throughout the year. The number of practices is outlined in each season’s brochure.
7. How long is the season?
A. The youth leagues are split into two separate seasons, Fall/Winter and Spring. The Fall/Winter season begins in late September and runs through March. Teams will play one game per week on the weekend. The Spring League runs from April to June. Games are played throughout the week.
8. How and when can I register?
A. Registration forms for the Greater Bergen County Youth Ice Hockey League are available on our website and around the rink. To be placed on our mailing list send your request to webmaster@icehousenj.com. Applications for the Fall/Winter League are usually available in August while the Spring application comes out in February. Applications can be mailed to 111 Midtown Bridge Approach, Hackensack, NJ 07601, faxed to 201-498-1250, phoned in to 201-487-8444 or dropped off at the rink.

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9. What are the requirements for playing in the house league?
A. Players should have a basic understanding of the game and fundamental skating skills before entering a league. It is recommended that players enter a clinic or participate in summer camp before entering a league so as to ensure an enjoyable experience.
10. What is travel hockey?
A. Travel hockey is designed for the more experienced hockey player to play at a higher level of competition. The Ice House Avalanche offer teams from Mite to Midget at the Tier I (AAA) and Tier II (AA, A, and B) levels. Players compete with and against the best players in the area during league play, non league games, and tournaments. Teams practice 2 to 3 times per week and play games on the weekends. Our teams compete in the Atlantic Youth Hockey League (AYHL), and the New Jersey Youth Hockey League (NJYHL). After teams are picked in April they will begin practices in September and conclude the season in March.
11. How far do your teams travel?
A. Teams that participate in the AYHL will travel from Washington, DC to Connecticut for league games. NJYHL teams play all of their league games in New Jersey with some non league games in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. All teams will travel to tournaments. In the past our teams have traveled to Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Canada, and other areas along the east coast.
12. What is the difference between Tier I and Tier II?
A. USA Hockey designates certain leagues throughout the country as Tier I and Tier II to create separate levels of play. Tier I or AAA leagues offer the highest level of competition available in the country. These leagues are designed for only the best players in an area and the commitment required is higher than that of Tier II teams. Tier I is subdivided into Major and Minor teams. Minor teams are comprised of first year players at that level and Major teams are comprised of second year players. Major teams at the Peewee level and above are eligible for the USA Hockey National Championships. Tier II leagues look more toward development of basic skills than toward winning. The travel and time commitment is less than that of Tier I teams. Tier II is split into three levels of play, AA, A, and B in order to provide more of an opportunity for young players to participate in travel hockey. AA teams at the Peewee level and above are eligible for the USA Hockey National Championships.

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