The 2020-21 hockey season is a challenging one on multiple fronts. Health concerns are the top priority, and as such the maximum number of skaters that can share the ice has been reduced by the local Board of Health. Reducing the number of skaters on the ice creates an ice time shortage that ABYHA must deal with across the full program.
ABYHA’s Learn to Play and Learn to Skate programs have thrived based on a financial model where we are able to provide a great experience for our younger skaters at a low cost by maximizing ice time utilization. This is not possible in the current environment without making some adjustments to our beginner programs.
To ensure we can help usher in a new group of strong skaters into the game of hockey and hopefully our ABYHA program, we’ve decided to partner with our friends at the Nashoba Skating school for Learn to Skate lessons. For the past two seasons we’ve had great success with the skating school instructors teaching our ABYHA Learn to Skate.
While many of the Nashoba skating instructors come from a figure skating background, they have expertise in all the required hockey skating skills. The Nashoba LTS program follows the national “Learn to Skate USA” curriculum, which is endorsed by USA Hockey for those who want to eventually become hockey players.
This year we’ll increase this partnership and will be referring our “future hockey players” to them directly for their LTS program. Those interested in Learn to Skate are recommended to get more info and register via the Nashoba website, https://skatenashoba.com/pages/skatingclasses.learntoskate.
We are committed to offering an LTP program this year, but will need to delay the program’s start until December. We do appreciate your patience as we figure out what this program will look like this season and want to make sure we’re able to deliver a fantastic experience for kids who are interested in learning to play hockey.
More information to follow on our website, www.abyha.org as the details are worked out.
The ABYHA Learn to Skate and Learn to Play Hockey Program is open to Boys and Girls of all ages, and is designed for a child to learn how to skate and develop the basic fundamental skills of hockey. USA Hockey recommends the use of age and skill appropriate drills to teach the players how to skate and play hockey. Players will participate in various fun games and drills utilizing USA Hockey’s Learn to Skate Level 1 and 2 programs, and the Learn to Play Hockey program. Members of the ABYHA Board of Directors will evaluate your child during their first practice to assist in the appropriate initial placement of your child.
The ABYHA Learn to Play (formerly called Mosquito) Program is open to Boys and Girls born in 2015 or older, and is designed as the next step in development for players who have progressed through the Learn to Skate & Play Hockey program. As in the Learn to Skate & Play Hockey Program, USA Hockey recommends the use of age and skill appropriate drills to teach the players how to skate and play hockey. Players will participate in various fun games and drills on Saturday mornings utilizing USA Hockey’s 6U program, and will also play games on Sundays (starting in November).
All sessions will be at Nashoba Valley Olympia in Boxborough.
LTS / LTP coordinator
For many, this program is their first introduction to skating and hockey. As our program is geared toward teaching skating for hockey, we recommend skaters have full hockey equipment. This includes skates, a helmet, shin pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads, hockey pants, and hockey gloves. A stick will be needed as well. We recommend that you visit Hit the Net Sports in Acton to get all the gear.
All this gear is primarily to keep kids safe and protected. Even just falling down on the ice can be very uncomfortable, and we don't want anyone getting discouraged because of a fall. If you are just trying our program, skates and a helmet, shin pads and elbow pads are absolutely required as a minimum.