Women's Hockey FAQ

How do I know what skates I should get?
"There are so many different styles and price ranges out there. Before you make that investment, you should know just a couple of things about sizes.
 
Normally, you will be looking to get a skate size that is 1 to 1.5 sizes smaller than your current shoe size.  Another way to determine correct sizing is to open the skate up fully. Wear the same style socks that you will be wearing when you skate, if you plan to wear socks. Heavy athletic socks and wool socks are discouraged, as they prevent you from truly feeling your edges and may be uncomfortable.  Slip the skate on your foot and hit the heel of the skate on the (matted) floor to make sure your foot is securely in the boot. Your toes should just barely be touching the front.  Rule of thumb is that you should just barely fit a pencil between your heel and the back part of the boot.  Anything more is probably too big.
 
Skates are really a personal choice just like sticks, but having skates that are too big will really hamper your skating and also your enjoyment of this wonderful game.
 
Just something to consider when your out looking for skates." - Coach Mark
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My daughter is interested in learning to play hockey. How do we start?
First of all, congratulations! Your girl has been bit by the hockey bug. We recommend starting her off in a learn to skate or hockey 101 class held at your local rink. If your daughter is afraid to jump right into the fray of hockey 101 or learn to skate, I would recommend getting her involved in some private lessons first. Mark Cardillo at the Pond Ice Arena is an excellent teacher for both boys and girls, and he can recommend classes that may have other girls of the same age, level and experience in which she might feel comfortable. Donna Helgenberg is also an excellent choice for private lessons in the tri-state area (http://www.powerskatingcoach.com/index.html).

If you can get your girl skating during the winter, and maybe playing in some in-house leagues (the World League at the Pond in Spring is very laid back, co-ed, and a great learning environment), I think she'll have a better idea of what she's interested in pursuing before travel team evaluations in the late Spring.

Unfortunately, our club doesn't allow members under the age of 18. Since neither UD or the Pond have a true girls-only program, the closest programs you'll find for U18 girls would be the Quakers (http://www.quakergirls.com/aboutthequakers.html) out of Ice Line in West Chester, PA. They are a competitive club (but do have Tier I and Tier II teams) and do tryouts and evaluations in the late Spring/Summer. If you have questions about teams in other areas, please don't hesitate to contact us for further recommendations.
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I am over the age of 18 and interested in playing hockey. How do I start?
The best way to start skating is to skate! Grab a friend or family member and head on out to one of your rink's public skating sessions. Work on keeping your knees bent like you're sitting in a chair and focus on your balance. Skating is the most important component of this sport. Once you get a little more confident, start experimenting with cross-overs and different speeds. If you're really adventurous, try to practice a hockey stop (but be aware, you may want to be wearing protective equipment for your first couple tries.) 

If you're convinced you love skating, try to borrow a stick, skates, a pair of gloves, and a helmet from a friend and attend a "stick time" or "stick and puck" practice session at the rink. Here, you can practice your skating with a stick and puck.

When you're ready to buy equipment, the options may be overwhelming! Enlist the help of a friend who plays hockey to come with you on your first trip to the pro-shop. He or she might be able to give you some direction. Otherwise, the pro-shop guys will be ready to help you, but make sure they're selling you what you NEED and not what they want you to buy. They should be able to help you with any sizing needs you may have.

Our organization welcomes players of all ability levels! Once you're ready to take the plunge, let us know! We'll be happy to meet you and answer any questions you may have. We have an informal, inhouse Spring league for players of all levels to experience the game (and have a little team-oriented fun while doing so!) We have a developmental team that plays from September-March that will be right up your alley, and you'll learn the fundamentals of hockey to get you on your way to superstar status! We have had many players start with the developmental team and graduate to our advanced level team-- anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
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