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Initiation "Learn to Play"

IYHA Initiation Program "Learn to Play"

This is an association-sponsored, FREE "Learn to Play" Initiation program for players aged 4-8 years old. Register your player(s) today by clicking HERE

The main goals of the IYHA Initiation Program are to teach the fundamentals of skating, stick handling, good sportsmanship, and instill a love of the game. We strive to follow the USA Hockey America Development Model (ADM) for implementing age appropriate practices and skill drills. We encourage you to visit the USA Hockey ADM web site at or for more details.  By utilizing smaller ice surfaces during games and station-based drills for the younger age, players learn skills and build confidence with the increased repetitions and puck touches.

As a USA Hockey and New York State Amateur Hockey affiliated program, all of our volunteer coaches are screened and complete a USA Hockey Coaching Education Program Course. Anyone can become a coach and we encourage parents to contact IYHA about becoming one.  Coaches and on ice helpers are always needed!

The IYHA Initiation Program is a HOUSE program with all ice sessions occurring in Ithaca with no travel needed. The program is generally geared for players ages 4 through 6, but beginning skaters at 7 and 8 can start the year in the initiation program and are  encouraged to switch to the Mite program by mid season. (note on ages: USA hockey goes by birth year at the start of the season and not their age, a player can turn 6 in January or December and both would be considered 6). Players older than 8 cannot register for the initiation program, and must register for their age appropriate program. The Initiation Program runs 16 weeks, starting at the end of October and running through the end of February.

2023-2024 Season Specifics: The initiation Program will have 2 one hour ice sessions this year, with both sessions occurring at Cass Park in Ithaca. All participants are required to have a USA Hockey registration prior to registering with IYHA, (USA Hockey registration is free for players 6 and under, $43 for 7 and older). The IYHA program cost is FREE.

Please contact IYHA if you have any questions regarding the Initiation Program.