INTRODUCTION TO HOCKEY
What programs are offered?
At NCYH we offer a wide variety of hockey programs trying to encompass all ages, skill levels, and genders. We have programs for players 4-18 years of age – beginner to advanced. We break our program down into basically three areas – 8 and Under, CRHL/Recreational, CCYHL/Travel. If the numbers warrant it we also create Girls only teams.
Learn to Skate
The Learn to Skate program is intended for a skater of any age to learn the basics of skating. This program offers classes on Saturday mornings. For more information visit the Learn to Skate page or contact Gordon Harrison, Learn to Skate Director.
Adult Hockey is open to anyone older than 18 years of age and has several leagues playing throughout the week depending on your skill level. Each level is a full gear, non-checking league that runs seasons in the winter and summer. All leagues are "bring your own team" but free agents can still sign up and be placed on teams that are short players. For more information visit the Adult Hockey page or contact Collin Floyd, Adult League Director.
What levels of youth hockey does NCYH offer?
8 and Under
8 and Under is our in house program where we work with players to develop their skills and prepare them for the next level.
CCYHL & CRHL
Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League (CCYHL) is our competitive/travel league and Colorado Recreational Hockey League (CRHL) is our house/recreational league. The difference between the two programs is level of commitment. It can be expected that if a player participates in the CCYHL, his/her team will practice three-four times a week on ice, have an optional off ice practice, and play in a maximum of two games per weekend. In addition, our CCYHL teams travel to either in or out of state tournaments throughout the course of the season. A CRHL player will practice one-two days a week (depends on the age level) and play in one game per weekend. NCYH hosts a tournament for CRHL teams over the MLK weekend in January of each year.
What are the acronyms used to describe the levels of youth hockey? For the 2023-2024 season...
8 and Under
(Birth Years 2015 and younger)
Red Teams – Beginner
Yellow Teams – Intermediate
Blue Teams – Advanced
U8 Travel – open to Blue U8 registered players
Squirts for players born in 2013-14
PeeWee for players born in 2011-12
Bantam for players born in 2009-2010
Midget for players born in 2005-2008
YOUTH HOCKEY -- ON ICE
What are the basic skills that will be taught at the U8 level?
At the 8 and Under level we are dedicated to and focused on fundamental skill development. The coaching staff at NCYH is very aware of the importance of skating and pays close attention to the development of each player’s skating ability. In addition to skating we focus on passing and shooting.
Does my child have to know how to ice skate to play hockey?
Your child should have a basic level of skating before entering into the 8 and Under program. We may take your son or daughter if they do not have any skating experience, but for the sake of his/her enjoyment of the game it is strongly encouraged they have a beginner level of skating.
What is "Cross Ice Hockey?"
NCYH follows the American Development Model (ADM) which places a large emphasis on skill development. One of the big components to the ADM is cross ice hockey or small area hockey. By making the ice smaller and playing cross ice we are able to give the kids an age appropriate surface upon which to play. Cross ice hockey is only played in the 8 and Under hockey program. To learn more about the American Development Model from USA Hockey click here.
At what age do players start body checking?
At the Pee Wee level (U-12) players are introduced to checking within practices but it is not allowed within an actual game. Checking is fully integrated into the game of hockey at the Bantam level (U-14). This decision was made by USA Hockey in June 2011 – more information can be found by visiting the USA Hockey website and clicking on Rule Proposals.
PRACTICES / GAMES
How long does the season run?
8 and Under
Our 8 and Under program begins around the first week of October and runs through early March. There is a two week break at Christmas as well as some other non-skating days due to holidays or tournaments (ie, Thanksgiving and MLK).
CCYHL & CRHL
CCYHL Players in the Midget levels (U-16 & U-18) begin tryouts in late August. CCYHL Players in the Bantam (U-14) and the PeeWee (U-12) levels begin tryouts in mid-September. The regular season begins right after tryouts for all three levels and runs through early-March.
CRHL players in PeeWee (U-12), Bantam (U-14), and Midget levels (U-16 & U-18) begin in mid- September and run through early-March.
CCYHL & CRHL Players in the Squirt level (U-10) begin tryouts in early October. The regular season begins immediately thereafter and runs through early-March.
Where are games/practices held?
Games and practices for the 8 and Under program are all be played at NoCo Ice Center.
All CCYHL and CRHL home games and practices are held at NoCo Ice Center and at EPIC in Fort Collins.
CCYHL away games are played throughout the entire front range of Colorado including Denver and surrounding areas and as far south as Colorado Springs. CRHL away games are played in Windsor, Greeley, Fort Collins, Boulder, Westminster, Arvada, and Summit County (a maximum of once a season at Summit).
How often does the team practice/have games?
8 and Under
8 and Under teams have 2 ice sessions per week with a 2 practice to 1 game ratio.
CCYHL teams have three to four practices during the weekdays and either one or two games on the weekend for almost each week of the season. In addition, CCYHL teams will have at least one optional off ice practice during the week. Teams have an average of 18 games in a season – half of which are held on home ice while the other half require travel to the opposing team’s home ice which may be throughout the entire front range of Colorado including Denver and surrounding areas and as far south as Colorado Springs.
CRHL teams have practice one to two times during the week (depends on the age level) and a game on the weekend for almost each week of the season. Teams have an average of 16 games in a season – half of which are held on home ice while the other half require travel to the opposing team’s home ice which may be in Windsor, Greeley, Fort Collins, Boulder, Westminster, Arvada and Summit County (a maximum of once a season at Summit).
YOUTH HOCKEY -- OFF ICE
Are there fundraising activities?
With an association of close to 500 members we are always organizing or hosting events that take many man hours to organize. We encourage our membership to volunteer when they can to help make NCYH the premier association in Northern Colorado.
NCYH holds an association wide annual fundraiser that requires all members to participate. The proceeds of the fundraiser go to the association to help keep costs down for each player to participate in the great game of hockey.
Teams at all programs and levels may also conduct various types of fundraising. These funds are intended to go towards team costs like team functions, tournaments, or other special events. The amount varies with each team and the activity they chose to participate.
Is there a need for volunteers?
Volunteers are a very important part of NCYH and are always welcome! Visit the NCYH Volunteers page to review the Volunteer form and learn of the various ways parents may help the association.
YOUTH HOCKEY -- OFF SEASON
Are there programs offered outside the regular hockey season?
The NCYH Hockey Office offers numerous spring and summer camps for all ages and abilities. Our offseason camp schedule is typically released each February and can be found on our website under the Camps page.
What kind of equipment is my child required to wear?
Required equipment for a hockey skater include: helmet with face guard, elbow pads, shin guards, breezers, shoulder pads, cup for boys/pelvic protector for girls, hockey gloves, hockey skates, hockey stick, mouth guard, and neck guard.
What about goalie equipment?
Required equipment for a hockey goalie include: goalie mask, chest protector, pads, blocker, catcher, and goalie stick. NCYH does have a few sets of goalie gear that can be lent out to players interested in trying out for goaltending. Most of the gear is for 8 and Under players but we do have a few larger sets that can be borrowed.
What about team jerseys and other apparel?
8 and Under players are given jerseys at the start of the session -- this is included in their registration fees.
The CRHL jersey packages cost approximately $100 and include both home and away jerseys. CRHL players may keep these jerseys at the end of the season and opt to reuse them for the following season if they still fit.
CCYHL players borrow jerseys from the association which currently owns sets of jerseys in their 2nd year of use. Each player must return them to NCYH at the end of the season. CCYHL players are also required to purchase an NCYH warm up suit. In addition, NCYH players can purchase other Junior Eagles apparel at The Stick Rack located in NoCo Ice center.
NCYH BOARD, STAFF AND COACHES
Who is on the NCYH Board?
NCYH is governed by the Board of Directors. Positions include President, Vice President, and Treasurer. The NCYH Board of Directors meets once a quarter.
NCYH also has an Advisory Committee that provides input to and decisions about the youth hockey program. Members of the Board of Directors are also members of the Advisory Committee. Positions include Age Level Representatives for Mite, Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam, Midget, and Recreational At Large Representatives. The Advisory Committee meets once a month from August to March.
Who runs the association? Who runs NoCo?
NCYH hockey programs are run by the Director of Hockey Operations with the four other Hockey Directors. The directors work in conjunction with the Board of Directors to keep them aware of and to approve any big changes. Day to day program operations are performed by the NCYH hockey office staff. The NoCo facility is owned and operated by the NCYH organization. All operations and programs are overseen by the Director of Rink Operations.
How are coaches selected by NCYH? How do I apply to be a coach?
Coaches for all leagues must complete a coaching application which can be found under the Coach's Corner page. Once applications are submitted, they are reviewed by hockey directors. A face-to-face meeting and interview is often conducted to get to know the candidate on a more personal level. Once a final decision has been made, the hockey directors will place a coach with a team they feel best fits with the candidate.
How does NCYH assist its coaches in enhancing their abilities?
NCYH holds USA Hockey coaching certification clinics in order to ensure all coaches are certified. We also hold coaching camps/clinics to work with coaches on practice techniques and preparation. In addition, NCYH has pre-season meetings with all coaching staffs to highlight season expectations.
GETTING STARTED AT NCYH
When is registration?
A player can register for each league starting mid- May. The 2023-2024 Registration will open mid May. However, it is strongly encouraged that players sign up prior to the beginning of the season. Players that register after a set deadline within the summer for the upcoming season (exception: 8 and Under program) will be charged an additional fee. Most age levels fill up by Mid June. We are limited to the number of teams we can have due to ice constraints.
How do I register?
For the 2023-2024 season, registration will be online through our website. For a registration to be considered complete, we require the USA hockey player registration receipt (register at www.usahockey.com) as well as registration fees and payment plan forms filled out and signed.
What materials need to be submitted to register?
Players must submit a full registration packet via Google Docs that include information requested from NCYH. In addition players need to visit www.usahockey.com to receive their player registration number for the upcoming season. Once your player has been assigned to a team additional hard copies of USA Code of Conduct and Medical Consent to Treat will be requested from the Team Manager to include in their Manager Book.
How do I determine what level my child should play at (house or travel)?
Determining what level your child should play in comes down to the level of commitment for both your child and family. At the CRHL level, players have one or two ice times per week and at the CCYHL level players could have up to six ice times per week. In addition, the CCYHL level offers three different teams for each age level allowing for competitive hockey to a wide variety of skill levels (i.e. AA, A and B).
What does it cost to play?
Costs for the season will change from year to year depending on operating costs. For the CRHL families can expect the season to cost in the range of $100 per player per season. For the CCYHL the season can cost in the range of $1800-2600 depending on the level. And lastly, the 8 and Under program costs $600 for the entire season and the 8 and Under Travel team costs $525.
INTRODUCTION TO HOCKEY
YOUTH HOCKEY – ON ICE
YOUTH HOCKEY – OFF ICE
YOUTH HOCKEY – OFF SEASON
NCYH BOARD, STAFF, AND COACHES
GETTING STARTED AT NCYH