Welcome to Olean Arrows Youth Hockey!
The following are some guidelines to help new hockey families.
The Blue program is our IP or Introductory Program. Here your child is initially introduced to basic skating skills and some hockey skills. The kids in this age group “generally” range from 3 to 8 years of age- there are some exceptions as we expect players of all ages in the IP if this is his/her first year. The Blue Program will run two 10 week sessions. The first session ends at the Christmas/New Year break and the second session begins after the 1st of the year.
The White Program is for more advanced players. We expect your child to be able to skate the length of the ice without falling down and is able to perform a snowplow stop before we move him/her up to the White Program.
The Red Program is for the most advanced players. Before your child can move up to Red, we expect them to demonstrate forward and backward skating, the ability to turn from forward to backwards and hockey stops in both directions.
** Note there will be some movement during the season from one group to another at the Coaches and Coordinators discretion. Also, please understand that there is a huge learning curve with this sport. There is a large gap in ability from one player to another. We as parents and coaches must encourage your child to progress at their own pace and to have FUN. Some kids step on the ice and seem to have been born with skates on while others will skate several years before getting to that point. As the kids get older, this gap will close. This is understood by the coaches and they try to emphasize FUN at the younger ages.
HOCKEY EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES/TIPS
Hockey equipment can be challenging. We provide equipment for the IP program and most of the White and Red, if available! You will be expected to purchase your own equipment as your child progresses throughout the program. Here are some tips in regards to equipment.
Hockey skates are one of the most vital components to a successful and FUN hockey experience; if a child’s skates are dull OR improperly sharpened, their experience will be frustrating. Kids need to learn edge control and balance – a dull or improperly sharpened skate will prevent your child from learning that skill.
Skates need to be sharpened regularly- AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH. The rink Manager, John Andor does a good job with the. You can talk to him to make arrangements. The phone number to the rink is 373-RINK.
Do not let your child walk on hard surfaces with their skates on!! You will notice rubber mats around the rink to walk on. One step on the cement or a tile floor will ruin the edge and make it difficult to skate.
Check your child’s skates after EVERY practice! Depending on the drills performed during a practice, your child might step on hockey sticks or crash into the boards/nets which could dull the blades. Even simple blade contact such as these can ruin the edge of a hockey skate. If you notice a large nick or gorge, get them sharpened again.
Sticks are not supplied. Hockey sticks are sold with OR without curves. Eventually all players will play the game with the appropriate curve for their hand (left or right handed). A straight blade is used for beginners who don’t know whether their child will shoot left or right. If you know whether your child is left or right handed, purchase a stick with the appropriate curve. You may want to ask a coach or the sales associate for assistance. If you cannot determine which curve is needed, get a straight one to start. TIP: If your child plays baseball and swings right handed then he/she will most likely be a right handed player.
Under gear is the equipment players wear under their hockey equipment. It has a variety of purpose, such as: protecting skin from rubbing equipment (rash), providing comfort ability, keeping your child’s body cool during strenuous exercise, holds protective cup and holds us socks. This is a VERY important because your child needs to feel comfortable during practice and games. They should not be distracted and uncomfortable because equipment is falling down or causing them to itch. OLEAN YOUTH HOCKEY DOES NOT SUPPLY THIS EQUIPMENT, IT MUST BE PURCHASED SEPERATELY**
Hockey Jock Shorts- These are shorts that contain a protective cup and Velcro strips to attach the hockey socks to. Other options to keep socks up are garter belts (They make special ones for hockey). ***Tape does not work well and should not be used to hold socks up**
All the Olean Hockey Coaches would be more than willing to answer any questions regarding equipment.