New Player FAQ

1. Are there separate programs for boys and girls? YES. We have separate programs for boys (Mites, Squirts, PeeWees, Bantams) and girls (8U, 10U, 12U & 15U), however girls can skate in the boys' programs as long as desired but as a minimum through the Mite level. The girl’s hockey is a collaboration between Hermantown and Proctor.

2. What age can kids start playing? Players must be 4 years old as of July 1. You will need to provide PAHA with a copy of your child’s birth certificate that will be kept on file with our Registrar.

3. When does the season start? Practices typically start around the beginning of October. 

4. How long is the hockey season for Mites? The season will run from October until mid-March.

5. How long are practices? Practices and games are typically 60 minutes in length. It is usually best to be at the rink 15-30 minutes before your stated ice time in order to be ready on time. Coaches will let parents know their expectations for arrival times. 

6. Where do we skate? Practices are held at the St. Luke's Sports and Event Center, either on the indoor rink or outdoor facilities next to the arena. The warming shack is located in the arena next to the concession stand. 

7. When are the practices/games? Practice and game times depend on the level of play. Mites will typically have regularly scheduled weeknight practices once outside ice is available, and often indoor practice on the weekend. Outside practices are cancelled when it is snowing too hard, or if it is too cold. A rule of thumb; below zero, practice will be canceled. Your coach or team manager will contact you if practice is cancelled. As the parent, you always have the ability to deem it is too cold.

8. Do I have to be at every practice/game? No. While it is beneficial and recommended to attend every possible training and scrimmage session, it is not mandatory and will not impact playing time at the Mite level. 

9. How are teams formed? Once coaches have had a chance to evaluate players, typically during the month of October, equal teams will be chosen (unless a higher level playing A/B hockey). If there are special requests for certain kids to play together, please contact the level coordinator or coaches.

10. How many kids are on each team? Team sizes are reliant on registration numbers and level. Typically there are 7-10 players per Mite 1 team and 9+ per Mite 2 team. Mite 1s are usually 1st graders and younger. Mite 2s are usually 2nd and 3rd graders.

11. What equipment do I need? Helmet with facemask, mouth guard (can not be clear), shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants (breezers), shin pads, hockey gloves, stick (it's ok to start with a straight blade if you don't know what hand your youngster shoots with), a garter belt is the old fashioned way, but a "Jack" or "Jill" is the most comfortable; some kids just use hockey tape), protective cup for boys, pelvic protector for girls, hockey socks, skates and a bag to put it all in. A hockey game jersey is provided by PAHA. During the outside skating season, you'll also want have thin gloves to wear inside hockey gloves, and consider a thin stocking cap, face mask or ear muffs for under the helmet.

12. Where do I buy hockey equipment and how do I know how it should fit? Play it Again, Duluth Hockey Company and Stewarts all carry hockey equipment. As a general rule of thumb, all equipment should fit comfortably without being too big. Do not buy skates that are too big with plans to grow in to them. Trying to skate with skates that are too big is similar with trying to sprint in shoes that are too big. It is very difficult. Play it Again offers both new and used skates and Duluth Hockey Company offers a lease program for skates.

12. Isn’t hockey equipment really expensive? Are there cheaper options? Hockey equipment can be costly, but new skaters do not need top of the line equipment. It is important to have a good quality helmet and properly fitting pair of skates. The most important component of the remaining equipment is proper fit. Some sporting good stores have used equipment for sale at reasonable prices (check Play it Again). At this age, kids typically grow out of equipment long before they wear it out.

14. My child would like to try to play hockey, but we are concerned about the cost. Are there any options for financial assistance? PAHA does have payment programs available for families. Please see and contact the PAHA treasurer for more information. Also, registration is free for first time Mite 1 or 2 hockey players. There still is the requirement to fund-raise and pay assessments for away tournaments (typically $30-90 per player).

15. When will I hear from a coach after I register? Coaches or managers will contact you when events become scheduled for your level.

16. How do I receive communications from the coach or PAHA? You will receive communications via phone and email. Please be sure to provide accurate information during registration to get appropriate information in a timely manner. Please check our website for the online schedule as well.

17. What should I do if I want to coach? We are always looking for more people to become involved with PAHA. Every team has a head coach and manager, and several assistant coaches. Coaches and managers need a background check, and coaches are required to have a certification card that they can get by taking a training class from USA Hockey. There are sessions within the area. Please contact the Player and Development Coordinator to express your interest.

18. My child is not a very good skater, can he/she still play hockey? Definitely. This is a development program serving kids of various ages and abilities. We do recommend attending public skating and open skate sessions before the season begins.

19. Is there a new parent orientation? An all level/association meeting is typically held at the arena in October. 

20. What do I need to do to register? You can register online starting in June at

21. Are parents expected to volunteer or do fund-raising? Yes. All families participate in fund-raising and volunteer for ice maintenance and concession stand duty. PAHA relies heavily on fund-raising and volunteerism to keep hockey affordable and provide a quality experience for everyone involved.

22. If my player does not like hockey can I get a refund? In regards to a refund for a player registered at a level without tryouts (Mites, Mite 2's): A player who leaves/quits will be refunded a prorated amount by month based on a five month season (will pay for each month they have been on the ice). If the skater skates one day of a month they will pay for that month. In regards to a refund for a player registered at a level with tryouts: A player who quits/leaves before tryouts will be refunded based on the prorated amount previously stated. If they quit after tryouts have started they will be refunded 50% of their registration or a prorated amount based on months played, whichever is less. Fundraising is separate and families can be reimbursed that money by selling their raffle tickets (ticket stubs must be turned in prior to the raffle whether sold or not). PAHA will not be able to refund the USA Hockey fee.

23. Where can I find more information if have more questions? Make sure that your current email address is on file with SportsEngine so that you receive all PAHA communication. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your level coordinator or one of the other board members listed on the website. 

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