Developmentally Appropriate Youth Hockey Modifications


  • Divide mites into a 5-7 year-old age group and an 8-9 year-old group at a minimum
  • Hold only one hourly practice per week
  • Limit season to 3 to 3 1/2 months
  • Set up 3-4 stations throughout the entire rink where all players can simultaneously be working on different skills
  • Scrimmage the width of the rink, not the length, and hold multiple scrimmages at once so everyone is involved
  • Do not give the mites the leftovers when it comes to practice time.
  • They may not understand why they have to wake up in the middle of the night to make it to a 5 am practice
  • Allow all players to play all positions (1)

The USA Hockey website offers material on skills progressions to help set up a developmentally appropriate program


(1) Bigelow, B., Moroney, T. & Hall, L. (2001). Just Let the Kids Play: How to Stop Other Adults from Ruining Your Child’s Fun and Success in Youth Sports. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.

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