FAQ - For Hockey Players (Waterloo Minor Hockey)


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Welcome to the exciting world of Minor Hockey!


As your child embarks on their hockey journey, you probably have many questions. Here’s a comprehensive FAQ to help you navigate this new adventure.

The questions below are primarily for those players at the U9 and Below age divisions but apply to any new hockey players.

Getting Started

Q: What equipment does my child need to start playing hockey?

A: Your child will need the following equipment:

  • Helmet with a face cage or shield
  • Neck guard
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Gloves
  • Hockey pants
  • Shin guards
  • Skates
  • Stick
  • Hockey socks and jersey
  • Athletic supporter with a cup (for boys) or pelvic protector (for girls)
  • Mouthguard (optional)


For a full list of equipment with a graphic for reference, can be found on our website, here: https://waterloominorhockey.com/Pages/30118/Equipment_Requirements/

Q: How do I ensure the equipment fits properly?

A: Proper fit is crucial for safety and performance. Visit a reputable hockey store where staff can help fit your child. Ensure there’s no significant room for movement in the helmet, gloves, or skates, as these need to be snug but comfortable.


Q: How much does hockey equipment cost?

A: Costs can vary widely, but new equipment for a young player typically ranges from $300 to $500. Consider buying second-hand gear or exploring equipment exchange programs to find high quality used equipment.

Q: Does my child have to be able to skate to start hockey?

A: WMHA programs are not “learn to skate” focused – although, there will be some skating instruction. We suggest that participants should be able to skate forward and get up, if they should fall, with no assistance. Skating aids are not permitted on the ice surface during practices or games. If you are looking for a Learn to Skate Program for your child, here are some resources to check out:

CanSkate: https://skatecanada.ca/learn-to-skate/canskate/

The Zone Waterloo: https://www.thezonetraining.ca/waterloo-learn-to-skate-ages-3-8.htm

Kitchener Waterloo Skating Club: https://www.kwsc.org/programs/learn-to-skate/?lang=en


Practices and Games


Q: When will my child start their hockey season?

A: In general, the season will begin in mid-September, through to the end of March. Information about the start up of the program, will be posted on our website in mid-August.

Q: How often will my child practice and play games?

A: For U9 and below, most teams practice 1-2 times a week and play one game per week. This can vary throughout the season.

Q: What days or the week and times will my children practice/play?

A: Although we can appreciate, that having a set schedule for your Family is important – particularly in a multi-sport, multi-child Family. Unfortunately, hockey schedules can change from time to time. We will post the tentative dates on our website, for each age group’s practices and games, in August of each season. August is when we receive our confirmed ice packages from the City and when we begin scheduling games for all age groups.

Q: What should I expect at practice?

A: Practices focus on skill development, including skating, stickhandling, passing, and shooting. Coaches also emphasize fun and teamwork.

Q: How long are the games?

A: U9 and below games are typically shorter than older age groups, often consisting of two or three 12–15-minute periods or 2 x 20 minutes run time periods.  The total time including warm-up and breaks is usually around one hour.

Safety and Well-being

Q: Is hockey safe for young children?

A: Hockey is generally safe when players wear the proper equipment and follow rules. Coaches are trained to teach safe play, and leagues have specific rules to protect young players.

Q: How can I help my child deal with the physical demands of hockey?

A: Ensure your child has a balanced diet, stays hydrated, and gets plenty of rest. Encourage off-ice activities that build strength, flexibility, and endurance.


Parental Involvement

Q: How can I support my child’s hockey experience?

A: Be encouraging and positive, focusing on effort and enjoyment rather than performance. Attend games and practices when possible and help with team activities and events.

Q: What is expected of me as a hockey parent?

A: Respect the coaches, referees, and other parents. Model good sportsmanship and encourage your child to do the same. Volunteer for team duties if you can, such as managing equipment or organizing events.

Q: How can I communicate with my child’s coach?

A: Most coaches are approachable and welcome questions. Communicate any concerns or important information about your child’s health or availability respectfully and promptly.

Q: How will I find information about my child’s schedule and team?

A: The Waterloo Minor Hockey website is the best place to find information about your schedule and team. The link to the website is: www.waterloominorhockey.com.  Once your child has been assigned to a team, you can subscribe to your team’s calendar to receive notifications of changes.



Q: What if my child doesn’t like hockey after trying it?

A: It’s important for children to try different activities to find what they enjoy. If hockey isn’t a good fit, please reach out to our Office for options regarding registration fee refunds.

Q: Are there additional costs beyond equipment?

A: Yes, there may be fees for league registration, ice time, team uniforms, tournaments/jamborees, and travel. Fundraising and sponsorship can help offset some of these costs.


We hope this FAQ helps you feel more confident as your child begins their hockey journey. Remember, the goal is for them to have fun, make friends, and learn new skills. Enjoy the experience!