Learn to Play (LTP) was designed to feed teams with players; once skaters have the skills to be on a team, they should leave LTP and go be with their teammates. For most, a House team is the right answer to get started. Once the 3rd session of LTP ends in March, skaters can register for Spring hockey on the team that is representative of their age group (see below). Registration for Spring hockey opens in February.
Registration for next Fall's season is in mid-June, and is pretty simple. Just use the same links to register your skater, enter the age group and the registration system will do the rest. There are no cuts in House; it's first come, first served. Teams fill up fast once registration opens. Stay tuned to the web site for registration dates.
House teams are set up in two-year age blocks: 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U, 16U, and 18U. Typically, you would see clubs combine 6U/8U, along with 16/18U, depending on numbers registered. USA Hockey is phasing out the old naming system of "Atom, Mite, Squirt, Peewee, Bantam, Midget," in deference to the "age and under" titles (12U means 12 yrs old and under). However, you will still see this names used a lot.
House practice schedules run weekends with an event each Saturday and Sunday (either a practice or a game) from Late August through early March. Most NOVA age levels carry at least two teams (sometimes three); so games will be against each other and other clubs within the Southern Division of the Capital Corridor Hockey League (CCHL): http://capitalcorridorhl.org/index.php. Games will both be home (Mt Vernon and Ft Dupont rinks) or away.
For female skaters, we have separate women's teams at the 10U, 12U, 14U, and 16U level. These are great teams and they are highly competitive. Girls also can play on the House teams. For younger skaters, I recommend the house teams. The mixed gender teams are a good experience for all concerned, there is no checking on the ice until 14U, and they'll be better prepared for the older women' teams when they age up and their skills improve. For more info on Women' teams, contact Pete Townsend through the web site (use the link to the Board)
Of course, if you still have doubts about your skater's abilities, you could repeat LTP next fall. I caution you not overestimate the skill requirements to be on a team; as long as the skater can move somewhat quickly on the ice and be able to handle a puck with some comfort, that's all they need; so even if you are in doubt, consider registering your skater for a team. Any questions, as always, don't hesitate to ask.
Don't forget summer hockey camps; they are a great way to keep skills improving. There are a couple at Mt Vernon, but they are ubiquitous in this area. Hope this helps. Good luck next season and thanks for your support of Learn to Play Hockey
Tag(s): LEARN TO PLAY (LTP)