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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we play games? Yes. Each Sunday session typically consists of drills and cross-ice games.

What equipment does my player need? To ensure the safest playing environment possible for NoVA Ice Dogs participants, skating members shall not participate in on-ice activities without all of the necessary and properly approved Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC)-approved ice hockey equipment: Hockey skates, HECC-approved helmet and face cage, neck protector/throat guard (optional), mouth piece, shoulder pads, hockey gloves, elbow pads, supporter with hard cup, hockey pants, shin guards, stick, hockey socks

Where can I get equipment? Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, the Reston SkateQuest in Reston, Capitol Clubhouse in Waldorf, MD, Prince William Ice Center in Dale City, Fairfax Ice Arena in Fairfax, and Pure Hockey in Sterling are all good local shops with knowledgeable sales people.

You can also purchase from Pure Hockey and Hockey Monkey online. However, we recommend strongly that you ask for assistance to ensure you are purchasing equipment that fits your child properly.

Should I buy New or Used equipment? Hockey equipment can be expensive, but when considering whether to purchase new equipment consider two issues: the right fit and sanitation. Hockey protective equipment needs to fit properly in order to protect the player. Helmets need to especially fit just right, so we recommend purchase of a new helmet for each player. Also, given the potentiality of staph and other type skin infections, new equipment has a very low risk of infection. However, used equipment should be acceptable if the equipment is cleaned well and sanitized. On the first day of initiation sessions, we will check all equipment on all our players for fit and function.

Do we get jerseys? Yes, players will receive a hockey jersey as part of the program.

What kind of skates should I get for my player? A player’s hockey skates must fit properly in order to minimize injury, blisters, and other problems. As such, we do not recommend the “buy it a little big so that they will grow into it” strategy, as it could well lead to problems. Especially for this age group, fit is critically important to supporting the development of proper technique. Again, used skates can work, but ensure that they are sharpened before use. The above skate shops have knowledgeable sales staff to assist you. .

Can I volunteer? Absolutely! The IP program is staffed by USA Hockey-certified coaches, but parent volunteers for both on and off ice needs are always welcome and encouraged. A volunteer needs only energy and enthusiasm, along with skates and a helmet (mandatory). One should never shy away from volunteering, regardless of your skill level. It is a great time and it allows you to participate in helping the kids in our community develop. Please discuss your interest in volunteering with the coaching staff.

How safe is Learn to Play hockey? The LTP program is a non-contact, no checking introductory program. However, even at the non-contact level incidental contact often occurs. But with certified, quality, and well-fitting equipment, the frequency and severity of injuries is significantly decreased. Players must wear the above protective equipment during all practices, games, and all on-ice activities sponsored by NoVA Ice Dogs unless otherwise specified by event coordinators.  We also closely follow the USAHockey Learn to Play guidelines to maximize the fun, learning, and safety!  All of our coaches and parents that wish tot help on the ice must register with USA Hockey, have passed a background check, and taken the USA Hockey's "Safe Sport" class which covers appropriate interactions with children and how to prevent and deal with abuses, as such.

Thank you for your interest in Northern Virginia Hockey, and welcome to the Ice Dog family! Any questions, please contact us at