Frequently Asked Questions
I didn't play hockey and don't know much about it. Where can I learn more?
That's what HYHA is here for! Feel free to reach out to anyone on the Board or a coach with questions. Also check out this great Hockey walkthrough that the Seattle Kraken did for their fans.
How do I get started?
Most kids start our Learn to Play program after they know how to skate or have skated a handful of times. Learn to Play is geared for kids 3 & up.
If my child cannot skate, is HYHA still for them?
While we recommend that kids joining our Learn to Play program have either had skating lessons or been on the ice a handful of times, we realize that is not always an option nowadays. HYHA will try to work with any family that has kids interested in hockey.
For Learn to Play, does my child have to take skating lessons first?
No, but we recommend that kids should be close to comfortable with skating with holding onto anything and with limited falling. We recommend 2-3 sessions of skating before starting.
For Learn to Play, what equipment is required?
All Learn to Play participants will need, at the minimum, skates and a helmet. We also recommend shin pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, and gloves. This is especially useful for younger kids that will fall and hit those sensitive areas.
Once a child starts progressing to the Learn to Play hockey model, full hockey equipment is required.
Where do we play?
Most of our home games and practices are at the legendary Louis Astorino Rink in Hamden. The rink is owned by the Town of Hamden & is managed by a third party via a management service agreement with the town. HYHA buys ice from that third party, we don't own or operate the rink itself. Employees of the rink are usually not associated with HYHA and may not be able to help you with specific questions about the HYHA program & ice times.
As players grow and join Travel teams they will travel to other rinks in Connecticut throughout the year & will usually start to participate in yearly tournaments out of the state.
Louis Astorino Ice Arena
595 Mix Ave
Hamden, CT 06514
How much does it cost to play hockey and how often will my child be on the ice?
Check out our individual program pages for more information on specific age levels & tuition.
Why is it so expensive to play hockey?
In any given year 85-90% of HYHA's expenses, which as a non-profit we try to match to our revenue, go to buying ice time. After that there are referee fees, equipment fees, tournament fees, & finally the cost of maintaining HYHA as business (usually less than 3%).
What is a USA Hockey number and why do I need it?
USA Hockey is National Governing Body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. USA Hockey’s mission is to promote the growth of hockey in America and to provide the best possible experience for all participants. For us at HYHA that translates into a handful of very important things, one of which is insurance for the association and our players. For these reasons we follow all USA Hockey guidelines & one of those is the required USA Hockey number.
Do you require players to get certain color helmets, gloves, pants, etc.?
Other than jerseys, hockey socks, & shells (for pants) HYHA does not require any specific colors or gear. We want your players to be as comfortable as possible as they enjoy hockey.
Do you have girls play hockey with boys?
Yes we do! We have girls at all levels at HYHA.
When does the season start and end?
HYHA's season starts in September and usually ends with playoffs in March of the next year. Like most programs in CT the league also holds tryouts right as the season is ending in March/April.
Can my player play up or down a year in age?
Players can rarely play down (usually reserved for the mite level), but you can play up an age level. HYHA considers each request for this individually & requests are are also based on number of kids trying out and ice allocations.
Once your child has been rostered for a team they then must abide by USA Hockey's Play Up Stay Up rule, which includes among other things the following: "Once a player is included on a roster in a higher age classification, he/she may not go back down to play at the lower age classification for the rest of that season. Such player must be added to the roster of the higher age group team prior to playing on."
At what age do players start body checking?
Under USA Hockey rules, players can start body checking at the Bantam (14U) level.
Where can I find information about what’s going on with HYHA?
Our site, which you already found, plus our social media sites all linked below. You can also reach out to our Board members or coaches!