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Ice Hockey Questions

Questions & Answers

What equipment do we need?

Each level of hockey has it’s a separate set of equipment requirements. Review your level description and parent letter for the needs of each level. 

The Park District of Oak Park proudly utilizes USA Hockey's One Goal Program. The One Goal organization provides starter sets of equipment (no stick) for players generally ages 4-8 new to the game or unable to participate due to the high cost of equipment. One Goal Equipment has limited availabilty and is distributed on a first come, first serve basis and all fittings must be done prior to your first day of class. Quantities are very limited through the summer months. For details, please contact Andy Gerow.

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Where does my child start?

Children with no or very little skating experience should register for Polar Cub or Jr. Bear 1. Children who can successfully navigate a public skate (starting, stopping, etc) without assistance from a walker or the wall can enter Polar Cub/Jr. Bear 2. Those with experience should compare their current skill work to our level descriptions. See the hockey progression chart.

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When should we arrive for class?

Participants need to be in equipment and ready to go by the time class starts. As it typically takes skaters 20 minutes to get ready, we suggest at least 20 minutes before class. 

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When is my skater ready for the Polar Bear Hockey League (PBHL)?

We highly recommend skaters successfully participate in one session of level 2 prior to entering the PBHL. The PBHL is designed to teach game theory and offer an opportunity to play cross ice games in a league format prior to beginning a travel program. 

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When is my skater ready for Travel Hockey

We highly recommend skaters complete a full season in the PBHL prior to moving into the travel hockey league. Without the experience of the PBHL, skaters will not be prepared for the game play and intensity of travel hockey. 

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What is an Ice Bear?

An Ice Bear is a ferocious creature who strives to perform at a peak level and always works hard. An Ice Bear works with a pack to take out the competition. The Ice Bear is the mascot for the Travel Hockey Program. 

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I want to advance my child, but the evaluation indicates otherwise: What do I do?

Skaters that skip levels or advance without our permission put themselves at risk of having a skill level well below their peers and pose a safety risk to themselves and others. We and it is highly discouraging for skaters to advance without the necessary skills as they will be unprepared for the new challenges. 

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Shouldn't hockey classes be longer?

Our class lengths are based on the recommendations provided by USA Hockey.Studies they have done show that classes beyond these lengths are counter productive to properly learning hockey. 

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What do I need to know about concussions?

In an effort to bring more awareness to concussions, please click here for an overview from the National Federation of State High School Associations on what concussions are, their signs and symptoms, and other valuable information related to head injuries. Click here for a free online concussion course!

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Hello-Is there a fall season for stick and puck or do we need to wait until April?

We are not able to offer stick and pucks in the fall due to a high demand of ice. We will offer Stick and Pucks during holiday breaks, as well as spring and summer.

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My son is 3 1/2 and just completed his first class in Snowball Sam 1 and passed to Sam 2. I switched him to hockey and put him in Polar Cubs 1 for the summer session but was wondering if I should put him in Polar Cubs 2? Thanks, Molly Snow



Polar Cub 1 should be the right class to transfer to after Snowplow Sam 1. If the coaches believe he is ready for 2, they will move him up. Please remember to contact our Hockey Coordinator, John Walsh, prior to the first day of class for a gear fitting!

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Hello,I have two boys (6 & 3) starting in the Mini/Mighty Cubs next Saturday. Is there any gear left to rent through the One Goal Program? If so, what's the best way to obtain it?Thanks,Dan Novellano

We generally have enough gear in stock to fit all beginners 3-8 years old. You can schedule an appointment by contacting 

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