1. Hockey develops great athletes. Physical development, coordination and agility – hockey builds athletic skills that are transferable and beneficial to a number of other sports.
2. Everybody plays. Teams exist for all skill levels. During most games a player sees action for at least 1/3 of the game on a consistently rotating basis.
3. Hockey is a great value. The hockey season is over five months long – an hour of ice time will average to be less than $10 a player. At lower age levels equipment rental programs are readily available. And ice arena concession stands are a real bargain!
4. The future is bright. Youth hockey players are 4 times more likely to go on to play in college than youth basketball players, and 2 times more likely than youth soccer and football players.* Plus, hockey players tend to stay close the game well into adulthood.
5. It’s safe. This is not the NHL – checking isn’t allowed until the upper levels and fighting is not allowed at all. High tech protective gear is used; head, knee and other joint injuries are rare.
6. Hockey is easy to integrate into your schedule. Hockey games and practices start and end on time, and the schedule is posted weeks in advance. Rarely does anything start before 8:00 a.m. or end after 9:00 p.m.
7. Fight the winter blues. Time flies when you’re having fun. Play hockey and summer will be here before you know it!
8. Fun for the whole family. Hockey is a great spectator sport, and there are many opportunities to meet new people and make new friends. The whole family will enjoy a new activity together.
9. Size doesn’t matter. No, really, for hockey it’s true. Skating ability, hustle and spirit matter most.
10. Hockey is the ultimate team sport. Youth hockey players learn life-long lessons of teamwork, trust, responsibility, sportsmanship and more. Nothing beats the esteem developed by being part of a team.
* Source: National Collegiate Athletic Association report on “Competing Beyond High School”
The “Top 10 Reasons to Play Youth Hockey” was written and produced by the Milwaukee Winter Club (Patti Brose, Rene Cranston and Alex Miller), 2008.