Ice hockey is a fast, fluid and exciting team sport. It originated in Canada in the early 19th century, based on several similar sports played in Europe. Around 1860, a puck was substituted for a ball, and in 1879 two McGill University students, Robertson and Smith, devised the first rules. There are a few youth hockey programs offered for a variety of ages and skill levels here in Des Moines.
Hockey is a great cardio workout and boosts strength, speed, balance and endurance. Since hockey is a team sport, kids who play learn the value of working with others. They figure out how to rely on teammates and understand that cooperation is key to success. In addition, hockey is a very fast paced sport and kids have to learn to think on their feet and make quick decisions, which improves their mental agility as well as physical agility.
If you do not live near an ice rink, it may be a bit of a drive to get your kids to practice. Ice hockey is also one of the most expensive youth sports to participate in, especially as kids get more serious with the sport. Kids that play hockey also need to be aware of safety issues, as minor and major injuries are common to the sport. Lastly, you may need to expand your storage area as hockey gear can take up a lot of room.
Hockey is great for kids who love the cold, are daring, gutsy and are comfortable with aggression. They also should enjoy moving at a fast pace.
Recreation League: Generally practice once or twice a week for an hour or so and have one game per weekend during the season, which typically is October through February.
Competitive League: May practice several times a week and sometimes have weekend games or tournaments you may need to travel to.
- Elbow Pads
- Helmet & Visor
- Shin Guards
- Shoulder Pad
- Goal Keeper’s Equipment
- Club Fees: $500+/year; includes ice fees
- USA Hockey Fees: $40+/year
- Elbow Pads: $10+
- Gloves: $25+
- Helmet & Visor: $50+
- Puck: $2+
- Shin Guards: $20+
- Shoulder Pad: $40+
- Skates: $50+
- Sticks: $20+
- Jersey/Uniform: $20+
- Tournament Entrance Fees: $500 per team
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity. Please keep in mind some registration fees are one time, others are monthly. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
What do you think, is hockey a fit for your kid?