Frequently Asked Questions
I know nothing about hockey. Where can I learn more?
We're here for you! Before the puck drops on your child's new favorite sport, take a look at this helpful Hockey 101. Know what all those circles on the ice are for. Understand off-sides and icing. Hope this helps!
How do I get started?
Most kids start with a Learn to Play program after they know how to skate, which is offered by the Wilmette Park District. With this, kids ages 4 to 12 (and sometimes older) can take part in the WHA program.
Where do we play?
Most of our home games and practices are at Centennial Ice Rink, which is owned by the Wilmette Park District. We buy ice from them. The people who work at the Rec-Plex are not WHA employees and often won’t be able to help you with specific questions about the WHA program. We may also use the Northshore Ice Arena in Northbrook. Travel teams typically travel to other rinks within the Chicagoland area for games. Teams may also travel out of town for tournaments.
How much does it cost to play hockey and how often will my child be on the ice?
Check out our individual pages for your level, located under our “Programs” tab.
If my child cannot skate, is this the right program for them?
Mini Mites is not a learn to skate program. If your child does not know how to skate, we recommend the Wilmette Park District skating classes.
For Learn to Play, does my child have to take skating lessons first?
No, but he or she needs to be able to skate without holding onto anything and with limited falling. We recommend 2-3 sessions of skating lessons before starting hockey.
Why is it so expensive to play hockey?
About 75 percent of your fees go to buy the ice. The rest goes to administrative costs, referee fees, equipment and the fees we pay to USA Hockey.
Why do I need a USA Hockey number?
As the 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. But in short, one of the most important things it does is provide insurance for the club and the players.
What equipment does the club provide?
You must provide your own basic equipment (skates, stick, shin guards, elbow pads, chest protector, helmet, gloves, breezer pants, mouthguard, neck guard). Additional costs for jerseys and socks is determined by your level. Check out the details on our Required Equipment page in the Parent Resources section.
Do you require players to get certain color helmets, gloves, pants, etc.?
We recommend white helmets for all levels, as this is required as part our travel uniform requirements. If your player ends up playing for our Central States team, they will be required to coordinate equipment.
Where can I buy warm-ups and other spirit gear?
Check back here for more on future announcements related to WHA gear.
Do girls play hockey with boys?
Yes! We have several girls in our program. We also have all-girls hockey teams starting at the U10 level. They play against the other teams in the area. Girls may ask the rink guards for a girl’s locker room, if one is not already provided.
When does the season run?
League play for the fall/winter runs from evaluations in mid-August to late February. The spring season starts with evaluations in early March and runs through May.
Can my player play up or down a year in age?
Players can never play down, but you can play up an age level. Otherwise, consideration is given based on number of kids trying out and ice allocations.
Do I need to register first before attending a jersey fitting?
No, you do not. But you will have to pay for your jerseys there.
Where can I find information about what’s going on with the club?
The website, the Facebook and Instagram pages, and emails usually have the information you will need. You can also reach out to a board member.
I registered but don’t remember something I put down. Is there a way to look that up?
Yes, go under “Dashboard” at the top left of the website. Hit “Players” and then “View Registrations.”
At what age do players start body checking?
Under USA Hockey rules, players can start body checking at the Bantam (14U) level.