Handbook - Player / Coach / Parent

Updated Tuesday March 1, 2016 by Brian Boisson.

Lynn Youth Hockey Association
Parent / Player / Coach Hand Book

WELCOME TO LYNN YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
Welcome to Lynn Youth Hockey Association (LYH). The board of directors welcomes the participation of your family in the association and we look forward to a fun and exciting season of youth hockey.

The purpose of this handbook is to help make your experience with LYH more rewarding by offering information about our programs. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your board representative listed below. Board meetings periodically have sessions that are open to all LYH members. Dates and locations for these sessions are posted on the LYH website.

About LYH
The Lynn Youth Hockey Association is a non-profit hockey program, servicing Lynn & Nahant for over 30 Seasons. Instructional Hockey, House League and Travel Programs are offered to boys and girls of preschool through age 18. The coaches, managers, and board of directors consist of dedicated parent volunteers whose goal is to ensure that the kids have FUN in the sport of ICE HOCKEY.

What is USA Hockey?
USA Hockey Inc. is the national governing body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. As such, its mission is to promote growth of hockey and provide the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing and administering the sport.

For the player, USA Hockey annually conducts regional and national championship tournaments in various age classifications; sponsors regional and national player identification and development camps; studies and makes recommendations for protective equipment; distributes Hat Trick, Playmaker and Zero Club Awards; and provides and insurance program that includes excess accident, general liability and catastrophic coverage.
For coaches and officials, USA hockey conducts clinics and produces training manuals and videos through the Coaching Education Program and the Officiating Education Program. These programs enrich the knowledge of coaches and officials through careful study, training and examination. USA Hockey also promotes uniformity in playing rules and the interpretations of those rules.

For parents, USA Hockey provides valuable information so you can help your hockey player learn the most while having fun. There are explanations as to what to expect at each level as well as guidelines as to how to support your player in a positive way. For more information on USA Hockey, go to: www.usahockey.com.

USA Hockey Registration
LYH requires all players to be registered with USA Hockey. Registration is done online through the USA Hockey website. A registration year begins on September 1. Once you complete the registration information for your player, you will be given a registration number. Since it will take a couple of weeks for USA Hockey to send your player his registration card, it is a good idea to print this number out. It is proof that your player is registered and insured. As a USA Hockey member, USA Hockey magazine will be sent to your address. This is a fun and informative magazine that gives a look at hockey programs across the country.

What Level is My Player?

Program Descriptions
Termites - Boys and girls ages 3 to 6 who are just starting out. This level is developmental, getting the player used to being on skates with equipment on and learning new skills. The cross ice games are non-competitive in nature (no score keeping) keeping the emphasis on fun!

Mites – Boys and girls 8 years of age and under. Emphasis is still on sharpening skating skills while learning strategies thru practice and games. The games are full ice, timed with referees where off sides, icing and penalties are called. Players are encouraged to play different positions including goalie. Checking is not permitted.

Squirts – Boys and girls 9 & 10 years of age. Players build on the skills they have learned as Mites. More focus on positioning, puck control, and even greater skating control. Players are beginning to find a position they like and are comfortable in. Checking is not permitted.

Peewees – Boys and girls 11 & 12 years of age. Faster play, more complicated maneuvers and working as a team in a more competitive way is introduced. Checking is not permitted.

Bantams – Boys and girls 13 & 14 years of age. Fast, competitive play where they develop more sophisticated skills while honing the skills they have already learned. Checking is permitted so learning how and when to check are introduced. Checking is permitted.

Midget – This is high school level hockey range  from incoming freshman to seniors. Most players in this level have talent and desire. Independent development both on and off ice is common at this level. Checking is permitted.

What is Travel Hockey?
Travel hockey is competitive hockey where players have competed for positions on the team based on their level of skill and talent. Unlike house league, ice time during games for each player is based on performance and effort as well as strategy by the Coach. There are various levels of travel hockey that require different levels of skill and travel. All require dedication from both the player and his/her family. The LYH website lists the different travel hockey programs it supports: Learn to Skate, In-house, Mites, Squirts, Pee Wees, Bantams & Midgets. To become a member on one of these teams, the player must attend the try-out sessions for evaluation of his/her skills. These evaluations are done by independent, skilled instructors through various drill and game situations. After the evaluators have compiled their scores, invitations will be sent out to the players who qualify.

If your player is interested in travel hockey or if you are wondering if your child is ready for this level of competitive hockey, talk to your child’s current coach, one of the travel coaches and some of the travel parents to get an idea of what it is like, the level of time, dedication and expense.

Program Fees
Program fees are established to cover actual team costs including ice time (practice, game and evaluation), referees, insurance, administration, jerseys/socks. Also, miscellaneous expenses such as pucks, score sheets, website administration, coaching tools and awards.

Registration
A minimum payment is required with registration. The amount depends on the level and type of play (LTS/In-house/Travel). This information is listed on the LYH website. Registration and payments can be made thru the website.

LYH Fundraising Policy
Each year LYH has fundraisers to raise funds that help defray some of the cost in funding the program. After the season begins, your team manager will be notified of the current years fundraising event and will distribute the information to each team member. Any funds collected or paperwork that needs to be submitted should be returned to your team manager who will make sure it is given to LYH administration. The LYH Fundraising committee welcomes any fundraising ideas you may have!

What is Zero Tolerance?
LYH Supports USA Hockey’s Zero Tolerance policy regarding sportsmanship and parent conduct during practice & games. Parents who yell at players, coaches, or referees over the glass from the stands will be removed. A parent is not allowed on the bench during any practice or game unless asked by the coach to serve as an acting coach if needed.

Parent Code of Conduct
As the parent of a hockey player, you set the example for good sportsman like conduct. Learning how to win and lose graciously and having respect for teammates, coaches, officials, opponents and the rinks where they play is just as important as the skills they are learning. LYH places a high value on good sportsmanship and respect. These are life skills that will carry throughout the hockey player’s life.

While players are taught to skate “heads-up”, parents should adopt a similar attitude when it comes to game behavior. Cheer strongly in a positive manner, congratulate the opposing team of a job well done regardless of outcome of the game, emphasize the good things your player did even if he/she didn’t score a goal or have a shut-out. Refrain from “ugly talk” or commenting negatively about the other team, coach or referee in front of your player. USA Hockey gives these points for parents:

1. Do not force your children to participate in sports, but support their desires to play their chosen sport.
2. Children are involved in organized sports for their enjoyment.
Make it fun.
3. Encourage your child to play by the rules. Remember children learn best by example, so applaud the good plays of both teams.
4. Do not embarrass your child by yelling at players, coaches or
officials. By showing a positive attitude toward the game and
all of its participants, your child will benefit.
5. Emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit
your young athlete. Deemphasize games and competition in the
lower age groups.
6. Know and study the rules of the game, support the officials on
and off the ice. This approach will help in the development and support of the game. Any criticism of the officials only hurts the game.
7. Applaud good effort in victory and defeat, and reinforce the
positive points of the game.
8. Recognize the importance of volunteer coaches. They are very
important to the program.

Player Code of Conduct
LYH’s Player Code of Conduct explains the type of conduct it expects from all levels of players. Good sportsmanship, respect for teammates, coaches, parents, opponents, officials and the rinks where they play are expected from all players. Players will not swear or use abusive language on the bench, in the rink or at any team function. There will be no lashing out or verbal abuse to officials. Fighting is not tolerated. There are severe penalties for any player caught fighting. Drinking, smoking, using chewing tobacco or illegal substances during any team function will not be tolerated. Any player who violates any of these rules of conduct is subject to disciplinary action. USA Hockey defines the Players’ Code of Conduct as follows:

1. Play for FUN!
2. Work to improve your skills.
3. Be a team player-get along with your teammates.
4. Learn teamwork, sportsmanship, and discipline.
5. Be on time for practices and games.
6. Learn the rules, and play by them. Always be a good sport
7. Respect your coach, your teammates, your parents, opponents and officials.
8. Never argue with officials’ decisions.

Coaches Code of Conduct
Coaches are expected to follow the rules of fair play as well as show good sportsmanlike behavior at all team functions. Coaches are expected to emphasis respect of fellow team members, opposing team members, parents, officials and places where the team practices and/or plays at. While it is easy to get caught up in the competition of the game, coaches are role models for their players and set the tone both on and off the ice of what type of behavior is acceptable. USA Hockey lists the following points for coaches:
1. Winning is a consideration, but not the only one, nor the most
important one. Care more about the child than winning the game. Remember players are involved in hockey for fun and enjoyment.
2. Be a positive role model to your players, display emotional
maturity and be alert to the physical safety of players.
3. Be generous with your praise when it is deserved, be consistent, honest, be fair and just do not criticize players
publicly, and study to learn to be a more effective communicator and coach and don’t yell at players.
4. Adjust personal needs and problems of players, be a good
listener, never verbally or physically abuse a player or official, give all players the opportunity to improve their skills, gain confidence and develop self-esteem, teach the basics.
5. Organize practices that are fun and challenging for your
players. Familiarize yourself with the rules, techniques and
strategies of hockey, encourage all your players to be team players.
6. Maintain an open line of communication with our players’
parents. Explain the goals and objectives of your association.
7. To win the game is great; to play the game is greater; to love
the game is the greatest of all.

Spectators Code of Conduct
All spectators, parental and non-parental, should conduct themselves in a sportsman like manner at all times. Be respectful of all players, spectators, coaches, officials and the rink itself. While it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game, this is a youth league event. Avoid negative criticism or conduct. Emphasis should be on the positive and make each player feel like a winner regardless of the scoreboard.

Role of the Team Manager
The role of Team Manager is an important one. The Team Manager is the person who is responsible for co-ordination and communication between the players, parents, coaches and LYH. The Team Manager is also responsible for have making sure the time clock, score sheet and penalty box responsibilities are covered.

Hockey 101
Each hockey player will need the following equipment. While this equipment does not have to be new, it does need to be in good condition as it is meant to protect and keep the player safe. Equipment should be HECC (Hockey Equipment Certification Council) certified. When buying equipment you don’t have to purchase the most expensive. Especially with new players, basic, solid equipment is fine until the player shows a desire to keep with the sport or determines a preference himself.

Skates – should fit snug with one pair of socks, 2 fingers should fit behind the heel with skates unlaced. If unsure, take the sole pad out and have your child stand on it to see how the foot fits the pad.

Helmet with protective face guard – should fit comfortably and not move around with the chinstrap untied. The front should reach within a finger’s width from the child’s eyebrow. The chin cup should rest comfortably with the mouth closed. The ears should be well covered.

Mouth guard – should fit comfortably in the mouth to protect teeth in case of a fall. The mouth guard attaches to the helmet cage. USA Hockey rules if the mouth guard is attached to the helmet it has to be in the player’s mouth during a game.

Chest protector – needs to fit properly and securely. Check fit often especially after a growth spurt.

Elbow pads – need to fit securely at the elbow. Pads should not move if the player falls on them.

Hockey gloves – should fit comfortably on the hands. The player should be able to bend their hands in them. They should also be able to hold and pick-up their stick with their gloves on, so have your player practice doing this in new gloves to break them in.

Pants – these should fit while giving the player room for movement. Pants that are too big do not protect as the player as well.

Shin pads – make sure the knee portion fits securely over the knee of the player while keeping the leg portion at the proper length.

Athletic support and cup – both male and female players should wear athletic support for games and practices.

Neck guard – helps to protect the neck in the event of a collision with a skate blade. The fabric neck guard should fit securely and comfortably and be used anytime the player is on the ice.

Stick – the rule of thumb for stick length should be (while holding with blade touching the ground) to the nose with skates off and to the chin with skates on. Stick length preferences may change with experience. Stick blades should be taped (heel to toe) as well as the handle area. Avoid black tape at the top as it tends to weaken the palms of the gloves. Putting a tape “knob” at the top end of the stick helps the player to pick the stick up from the ice. Beginning at the Mite level, calling penalties and the use of the penalty box is used during games.

Some of the more common penalties are:
Hooking – use of the stick to hold back an opponent
Tripping – use of stick or body to cause an opponent to fall
Holding – impeding an opponent’s progress by use of hand or stick (usually holding Jersey)
Slashing – hitting an opponent with a stick to hold or hurt him/her
Interference – impeding the progress of an opponent who does not have possession of puck
Roughing – striking another player but not fighting
Cross Checking – checking an opponent with a stick across the body