If you child is starting to show an interest in hockey, it might be time to get him or her started in a local hockey team. The first step before signing your kids up for hockey is understanding the game. Make sure you both are familiar with the basic rules and structure of the game and take skating lessons if required. If you’re a parent looking to put your child in hockey or join a local hockey league yourself, know the cost of playing hockey before you start. The equipment, gear and registration for local teams can have significant costs so do your research before-hand. Give your local teams a call before buying equipment, they might be able to offer discounts or second-hand equipment for you to try.

Playing on a hockey team is a huge commitment. It requires you or your child to keep your weekends, mornings or evenings free for practices and games. You may also be required to go on long drives for games in another cities or municipalities. When getting your kids started in hockey, a great rule of thumb is to allow for one hour of preparation and travel for every one hour of ice time. Stick with it and learn at your own pace to avoid injury and keep safe on the ice.

When you’re ready to purchase your equipment, learn how to determine the right skate size and hockey stick height for you. A general rule of thumb is that the hockey stick, when held vertical with the tip of the blade touching the floor, the other end should come up to the chin of the player if they are in their skates. If the player is in his or her bare feet, it should come up to eye level.

Ice hockey also requires a safe helmet that fits properly. If the helmet is too loose or tight, it can be uncomfortable and unsafe for a player to use. Some hockey programs also require players to wear hockey masks attached to the helmet. Additional equipment that you would need to get before you start your kids in hockey are mouth guards, shoulder pads, elbow pads, jock strap or jill strap, shin pads, hockey pants, hockey socks, jersey and a big bag to carry all the gear.

When you are getting your child’s gear, remember to make safety a priority. It might be tempting to buy equipment that doesn’t fit quite right if it’s cheaper, but if the equipment doesn’t feel right then it might not be safe for your child or for yourself.

Be a positive role model by teaching your kids how to be respectful of the rules and the other players in the rink when they’re playing hockey. If they’re learning hockey for the first time, encourage them to be patient with themselves as they learn. If they keep sticking with it, they’ll get the hang of it in no time!

If you have any advice on how to get your kids started in hockey, leave a comment on our Facebook page below this post. We’d look forward to hearing your suggestions too!