How old do you have to be to play youth hockey?
Children between the ages of 4 and 18 are welcome to play youth hockey!
My child wants to play hockey but can't skate. Do you have a learn to skate program?
Yes! Our Learn to Play sessions are 6 weeks long at a cost of $75 per session. We will hold 2 sessions per season and skaters will learn the following skills: how to get dressed for hockey; how to stand up on the ice; hockey stance; starting, turning, and stopping; backwards skating; and using the inside and outside edges of the skates. Skaters must master these skills and will receive a written evaluation before moving to their age level team. In addition to these required skills, skaters will also be introduced to: hockey stops; crossovers; stick and puck handling; hockey basics. Skaters are taught by simple progression at their own pace using drills, one on one coaching, and on-ice games to teach them how to skate with an emphasis on having fun! All skaters must use the following hockey equipment: a USA Hockey approved helmet with face cage; gloves; elbow pads; knee pads; ice hockey stick.
I'm new to hockey. Is there anywhere that I can find additional information about hockey?
The USA Hockey Parent's Community FAQ is a great place to start. http://www.usahockey.com/ParentsCommunity/PC_FAQ.aspx. Additionally, the USA Hockey website has a great deal of information about the different hockey programs. It also governs many of the policies and procedures that are followed in Northwest Florida Hockey League (NFHL). http://www.usahockey.com/USAHHome.aspx.
How much does it cost to play youth hockey with the Jr Ice Flyers?
It costs approximately $500 per skater to register with the league for house, and approximately $1000 for travel plus jersey fee. It is a requirement to also register with USA Hockey (www.usahockey.com/registration), which costs about $50. Required hockey equipment, (if purchased new) starts at about $200. Additionally, the league participates in 2-3 tournaments, which cost about $75 per skater per tournament. Participation in all travel and tournaments is completely voluntary.
Where can I get youth hockey equipment?
Because youth hockey is still growing in northwest Florida, no local stores carry equipment. We do equipment exchanges at the beginning of each season where used equipment may be available. Otherwise, there are various websites where the majority of families in this area get their equipment. Some of these sites are: www.hockeymonkey.com; www.icewarehouse.com; www.hockeygiant.com; and www.totalhockey.com.
What equipment is required to play?
- HECC Approved Helmet with approved full-face mask
- Mouth guard
- Throat protector (Neck Guard)
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
- Hockey gloves
- Supporter with cup & garter belt (to hold socks up)
- Breezers (aka hockey pants)
- Shin pads
- Hockey socks
- Hockey skates
- Hockey stick
What is the commitment involved?
The NFHL season runs late October through March. Each age division usually practices two evenings per week and an occasional weekend morning at the Pensacola Bay Center, but the schedule can vary depending on the Bay Center's events schedule as well as the Pensacola Ice Flyers' schedule. The Jr Ice Flyers is mostly made up of house players, but we do have a 12U travel team for the 2017-2018 season. The league participates in 2-3 tournaments in other cities each season, as well as occasional scrimmages. Participation in the tournaments and scrimmages is completely voluntary. In addition to the regular weekly practices in Pensacola, some travel teams practice and play games an additional weekend or two per month. Schedule and location varies depending on ice availability.
Is fundraising required?
Yes. We have not raised our registration fees in over 5 seasons, even though the cost of ice time has increased. In order to keep our fees low, each registered player is required to participate in 1 of the 3 available fundraising options per hockey season. The 3 options are: sign up a $250 sponsor for the league, volunteer a minimum of 10 hours, or buy yourself out for $100.
Why do only some teams get to travel?
The league's primary responsibility is to provide for the house league players. The league will only support travel initiative when the player numbers and demand supports it. The cost to play on the travel teams is $1200, plus travel, lodging, and other costs.
Are the Jr Ice Flyers affiliated with the Pensacola Ice Flyers?
Although the Jr Ice Flyers are not affiliated with the Ice Flyers, we share their desire to grow the game of hockey in Pensacola. Additionally, the Ice Flyers very generously offer a free season ticket for each adult season ticket for families registered with the NFHL. The Jr Ice Flyers also occasionally get to skate during Ice Flyer game intermissions. These intermission skates are sponsored by various businesses in the area, so it is free ice time for the Jr Ice Flyers and great entertainment for the Ice Flyer fans in attendance!
Where are the locker rooms?
The NFHL usually has the use of 2 locker rooms at the Pensacola Bay Center. Availability is subject to the Ice Flyers' game schedule. We are not allowed to use the locker rooms the day prior to a game. There is a changing area by the entrance to the ice, or players can use the restrooms for changing. Please visit the USA Hockey FAQ list for locker room etiquette.
What will the estimated cost (registration fees) to participate be per player for each tournament?
Tournament fees are split among the number of players that go. Normally each tournament cost is $75-$100 per skater.
Will each child be expected to attend every tournament?
No. Tournaments are optional. We recommend that you attend as many tournaments and games as possible, but we understand that schedules & other factors don't always line up. Sometimes we partner up with other families to make sure that all the kids are able to attend that want to.
Do Jr Ice Flyers get a discount with the Ice Flyers?
YES! Although the Jr Ice Flyers are not affiliated with the Ice Flyers, they share our desire to grow the game of hockey in Pensacola. The Ice Flyers are extremely supportive of the Jr Ice Flyers, so when a parent/guardian of a registered Jr Ice Flyer buys an Ice Flyer season ticket, the Jr Ice Flyer's season ticket is free. Contact the Pensacola Ice Flyers office at 850-466-3111 to take advantage of this awesome opportunity!
Will there be a parent meeting before the season sign up to go over the details and expectations of each family and the level of commitment they will bring to the team? I know we will want to be as supportive as possible, however, with my spouse working out of town most of the time, I am not sure I will be able to take enough time off from work to be out of town that often.
Absolutely. We will try to pass information and we highly recommend that coaches talk to the families through a beginning of the year meeting. We also like to see these happen throughout the season. The new website that we are using should greatly help in that area. Each division will have their own area on the website that will be controlled by the team parent/manager/mom.