Hockey age groups are divided by birthday (July 1 - June 30) rather than by grade level. The Hopkins Youth Hockey Association (HYHA) offers both youth and girls teams. The age classifcations for youth participation are Mites, Squirts, Peewees and Bantams. While girls age classifications are 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U. Mites (8U) are typically ages 5-8, Squirts (10U) are ages 9-10, Peewees (12U) are ages 11-12 and Bantams (14/15U) are ages 13-14.
Mites are divided in to 4 groups based on experience and ability.
Mite 1: Beginning players/skaters. 1st or 2nd year of hockey (ages 4-6; 1st grade or younger
Mite 2: Players with some hockey/skating experience (mostly 1st & 2nd graders) Mite 2 will also have learn to skate instruction for the older mite players new to hockey (mostly 2nd & 3rd graders)
Mite 3: Experienced skaters. Most will have played organized hockey for 3-4 years.
Mite 4: Tryout team. Coaches/evaluators will select team. (Only sign up for Mite 4 if you have 1 or 2 years of Mite eligibility left - usually 2nd through 4th graders)
Squirts, Peewees and Bantams are considered traveling hockey, with a tryout process for each level to place kids on teams with players of similar skill and experience. League games are played in the west metro area and the season includes out of town travel to weekend tournaments. At HYHA an A team designation would be the top team at the travel levels.
The girls program is in a partnership with St. Louis Park and offering teams that go by the name of HP (Hopkins/Park) Hockey. Teams are offered at the 8U, 10U, 12U, and 15U levels. Similar to the youth levels, 8U are in house teams for players of all abilities and the 10U, 12U, and 15U levels are traveling programs with a tryout process to be placed on a team.
USA Hockey, our national governing body, is a great resource for information about youth hockey. They have put together a comprehensive guide to get you started. Check out the online version by clicking here.
Do you know someone who is interested in playing hockey?
HYHA is offering the opportunity for first year Mite aged skaters to play hockey for free with our “New Mites Skate Free” program. All first year Mite aged players will have their HYHA registration fees waived, which include clinic fees. That means “Free Hockey” for all first year Mites. (Please note: You may have to pay the USA Hockey registration fee, depending on the age of your skater.)
Need equipment for your new Mite?
Hopkins can help you with free Mite sized equipment to help you get started. After you have completed you registration for the season, please contact HYHA Equipment Coordinator Mark Schenkelberg for details.