2023-2024 Learn to Play Hockey

Learn to Play teaches kids (ages 4 and older) basic hockey skills in a fun, safe environment. Players are introduced to the fundamentals of hockey skating before progressing to stick handling, passing and shooting. Participants learn these skills through fun drills and games taught by certified USA Hockey coaches.

Each session is 45 minutes once a week for six or four weeks. We encourage players to participate in multiple sessions before joining our In-House program that starts in November or January.

No skating experience is necessary, but it is highly encouraged that players participate in public skating, outdoor skating, and/or Learn to Skate prior to joining Learn to Play. It is common for players who are 4-6 years old to do multiple sessions of Learn to Play before they are ready to enter the house league. Players who are ready for house league will be able to perform most of Learn to Skate’s Hockey 1 and 2 skills. If you have questions about which program your player should register for or if your player is ready for our house league, please reach out to Grace. Learn to Play coaches will also be available during the weekly practices to answer questions and make recommendations.

Registration updates for the 2023-2024 season:

In an effort to improve the experience for players and allow coaches to better prepare for each practice,  we have created a simple structure for parents and coaches to utilize:

Hockey 1

This level is for players who are brand new to skating. Players in this group will begin by learning to fall and stand up. Most players who are ages 4 through 6 should register for this program. Many players will remain in Hockey 1 for multiple Learn to Play Hockey sessions over the course of one season.

Hockey 2

This is for players who have completed multiple Learn to Play Hockey or Learn to Skate sessions previously or have experience playing pond hockey on their own. Players will be able to demonstrate forward strides, 1-foot glides, forward c-cuts, backward c-cuts, and snowplow stops.

Not sure which option to register for?

That’s okay! Reach out to Grace for advice. Hockey 1 and Hockey 2 levels occur congruently on the same sheet of ice. The hockey director and coaches will be able to quickly evaluate if a player should change levels and we can make the adjustment immediately.

How are players evaluated?

Players will be regularly evaluated at the beginning and end of each practice to determine if they are ready to move on to the next level. Players are given about 5 minutes of free play at the beginning or end of each practice and this is the ideal time for a player to be evaluated. Players and parents are encouraged to ask coaches for an evaluation to determine which skills their player needs to focus on in order to move onto the next level.

Watch the video below to see the specific skills necessary to move to house.


Schedule

Session 1: Tuesdays, September 19-October 24, 5:45 pm (six weeks)

Session 2: Saturdays, November 4-18 and December 2-16 (no class Thanksgiving weekend), 8:30 am or 9:30 am (six weeks)

Session 3: Saturdays, January 6, 20, 27 and February 3-17 (no class MLK weekend), 8:30 or 9:30 am (six weeks)

Learn to Play – 3v3 Transition League – Saturdays, February 24 and March 2, 9 am (two weeks)

  • This program is for players who are ready to move on from our Learn to Play program and will be entering our house leagues in the spring or fall of 2024. Players will compete in half-ice and cross-ice games with scorekeepers and refs each week. Players must have a coach or hockey director’s recommendation in order to participate in this session.

Session 4: March 18-21, 5:45 pm (four days) and March 25-28, 5:45 pm (four days)

Session 5: Tuesdays, April 2-May 7, 5:45 pm (6 weeks)


Cost and Registration

The cost for each 6-week session is $75 per player. The cost for each 4-week session is $50 per player. The cost for the Learn to Play 3v3 League is $40. The registration fee includes:

  • 4.5 hours of on-ice instruction for each six-week program; 3 hours for each four-week program; 2 hours/game for the 3v3 program
  • Hockey jersey for the player to keep (one per person)
  • Rental equipment for the session (requires a credit card on file)

See our Financial Policies for information on registration refunds.

Register online through our DaySmart Recreation System using the buttons below. You will need to create an account for yourself and your child and agree to the waiver. Registrations for all Glacier Ice Rink programs are handled through this site.

Equipment

Rental equipment provided for the session includes a helmet, protective gear (elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads and gloves), hockey pants, skates and a stick.

Gear fittings will be scheduled by appointment only! Use the link below to schedule your time:

Online Equipment Rental Scheduling

Fittings will take approximately 30 minutes. FAMILIES THAT HAVE MULTIPLE PLAYERS IN THE PROGRAM SHOULD MAKE ONE APPOINTMENT PER PLAYER. If you have multiple children in the program, please make at least TWO appointments to allow adequate time for the gear fittings.

You will need to provide undergarments (socks, underwear, cup and t-shirt), plus sweatpants. Check out this video for information on how to dress your player.


YOUTH HOCKEY CONTACT INFORMATION

Follow @Missoulayouthhockey on social media:


Thank you to our Learn to Play sponsors: