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.