Youth League Frequently Asked Questions

<< This is a evolving document. Please send questions or comments to youthhockey@sbhockey.com with the subject "FAQ" >>

Q: Tell me about the Youth League?

The SBHA Youth League is a Recreational Hockey League for Youth from 4 to 16 years old. Our motto is Beginners Welcome, Everyone Plays! Like our parent organization, SBHA, we strive to foster camaraderie, friendship, physical fitness and fun while maintaining a safe, sportsmanlike environment. You will be hard pressed to find a more supportive, caring and enthusiastic group of organizers, coaches, parents and skaters anywhere. Many  players and familes that did not find other team sports to be a good fit have found us and excelled.  We have skaters that started with us at 6 or 7 years old and are now High School students skating in our 15&U leagues and SBHA High School programs. 

Q: Is this Hockey like I see on TV in the NHL, i.e. checking, fighting, off sides, intense competition, overtly biased fans (parents)?

No. While there are many differences, first and foremost we skate on inline skates (roller blades) on a concrete outdoor rink - not ice. The inline game does not permit checking, though incidental contact playing the puck is permitted. The rules of the game are less complex in that off sides & icing do not exist. You can find the USARS AAU rulebook we follow and our local modifications on our "Rules Page". We are a RECREATIONAL league. The intent is that all players skate equal time, regardless of skill level. We are not an NHL Farm team or Competitive Travel League. We all know each other, and you will find many parents (and coaches) cheering for both teams on the surface.

Q: When do you skate?

We run three seasons per calendar year. Our seasons are sensitive to the school calendar year and the needs of families. Winter Season runs from early January to Spring Break, typically mid/late March. Spring Season runs from just after Spring Break to the second week of June. Fall Season runs from start of school, typically late August/early September through the second week of December, releasing our players for the Holiday season. We do not run formal leagues in Summer as many families travel and it is pretty hot at our rink. We sometimes run Summer camps and clinics. We also participate in the Downtown Holiday Parade and other local events both for the tremendous amount of fun it is for our skaters, and to increase awareness of our program. 

Q: Who runs the Youth League?

A dedicated group of volunteer parents! The "About SBHA" page list the officers and positions in the Youth League and SBHA. Most of the communication comes from Kirk or Joan but rest assured everyone contributes from their heart for our kids. We hope that as you join us, you too will take a step or two to participate. It can be as simple as staffing the Snack Shop for 1 hour on a game day - you are there already right? 

Q: I am a new hockey parent! There is a alot of equipment and stuff to get! Help!

Yes, we know. We were all where you are. It is more complex than say soccer or tennis or baseball. We have a listing of the gear your player needs here --> Required Equipment List <-- and where you can find it here --> Where to buy Hockey Gear <--. Each season we also have donated, used gear available. Kids often outgrow it long before it is worn out. Take what you need, return it when you don't need it anymore. Our Learn to Skate / Intro to Hockey Clinics that precede each season are a great time to peruse our donated gear collection. 

The hardest item to buy online is skates, just because of the fitting challenge. Most online stores provide free shipping on skates, and free return shipping if it doesn't fit. All NEW Hockey Skates are sized using Canadian sizing. This means that the advertised skate size is 1 to 1.5 sizes larger than a US shoe size. So a size 8 hockey skate equals a size 9.5 US shoe. Roller Blade style inline skates size the same as US shoe sizes. Roller Blade style is fine for new skaters and can be bought at Big 5, Sports Authority, and Kmart. We do recommend that the heel brake is removed though (easily done). Please note older Mission Brand skates are sized approximately to US shoe size. 

Q: Why does my player need to join Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)? 

The AAU is our sanctioning body, provides the rules under which we skate and operate as a 501c(3) Non-Profit, certifies coaches and referees, endorses tournaments and promotes amateur sports - including Youth Hockey - across the nation. Membership is mandatory and provides several benefits to players including supplemental insurance coverage in the event of injury. This is an annual membership running Sept 1 to August 31 of each calendar year. As of Sept 1, 2011 it is $12 per youth player / per year, $14 for the Extended Coverage which provides coverage at other AAU sanctioned events and facilities. More info on our AAU Page