Minnesota Family Hockey

Hopkins Pavilion

11000 Excelsior Blvd
Hopkins, MN 55343

Description: Our focus has been on developing fundamental skills and then letting the kids have time for the all-important scrimmages. For skill development, we spend about 30 to 40 minutes working on skating and stickhandling skills. Lots of repetition. And lots of focus on good technique. We keep the kids moving. No long speeches, nor long lines. And then we divide up into scrimmages, usually 3 cross-ice scrimmages to ensure kids are matched against similarly-skilled kids, and to ensure everyone is moving. Occasionally we have a full-ice scrimmage to give the kids a feel for a game on a big rink. For families looking for a recreational hockey option, the program has been a huge blessing.

Since many of the hockey kids also play soccer, we decided to plan a spring soccer session as well. We've been doing this for a couple years and it has also been very popular. We do less instruction with soccer and more scrimmaging. It's primarily an opportunity to get some extra touches in a fun environment, before the Minnesota soccer “pitches” are ready for cleats…winter tends to stick around for a while in Minnesota! If you have an interest in leading a homeschool soccer program, please let us know.

Children's Ages: Must be school aged. With two groups, we anticipate a wide-range of school-aged players.

Two 7-week sessions for players in K–8th grades, fall and winter.

New for Fall 2015, there will be a 5-week session for older players, 7th-12th grades, that will allow for evaluation of the interest for this age group, with the hope of adding additional sessions in the future, perhaps one day even a HS team!

7th and 8th graders can stay with the older and younger group depending on ability/availability.

All the kids should have the ability to skate. If they can't skate, we recommend they take lessons or go to public skating sessions until they can comfortably stand up and get around on skates. The kids in the program range from relatively competitive hockey players (e.g. having played at different levels in local associations) to active recreational players to players who have just learned basic skating and hockey skills.

It is coed … we typically have lots of boys and a few girls.

When do you meet? Fridays, start times between approximately 1:40pm and 3:00pm depending on the age group. The 7-week fall session begins in October, and the winter session begins in January.

Costs: Cost for either age group is expected to be about $5 per hour of ice. We expect the first session will include about 8 hours of ice time for the younger group and 6 hours for the older groups. Payable to Hopkins Pavilion.

In 2007, a father began looking at his local hockey association website, and was struck by the cost to play. While there were introductory deals to introduce kids to the sport, it was the future costs that were alarming. And it wasn't just "A" (the top level) or "B" (the middle) hockey that was expensive. Even "C" (lowest association level) hockey was nearly the same cost (or perhaps subsidizing the higher level teams). Doing some quick math, he realized that just winter hockey, including equipment and travel, would be at least $1,200 and likely closer to $2,000 per child. And keeping up with the "A" or even "B" level kids would set a family back potentially an equivalent amount or more in the off-season. Several thousand dollars per year is not uncommon for the very committed families. Volunteer and fundraising requirements were another factor to consider. And the schedule. Attending Sunday worship on a regular basis? Hockey tournaments, practices and games regularly competed with Lord's day commitments.

Equipment: Must wear full equipment. Required Equipment: Helmet, mask, mouthguard, pants/breezers, elbow pads, shoulder pads, shin pads, hockey socks, jock/cup with garter, skates, gloves, hockey stick and jersey. Full goalie equipment is necessary for those interested in playing this position.

Minnesota Family Hockey Association has a limited number of equipment sets and/or individual equipment items that are available for those new to the program. We also have one set of goalie equipment that can be borrowed for those wishing to try this position (would fit most 9 to 12 year olds).

Volunteer discount: Parent volunteers can have one free player pass if volunteer commits to at least 5 of 7 sessions. Must be able to skate and oversee hockey players independently. Parent volunteers will lead players in drills and scrimmages. For the younger age group, we typically have drills for all the kids for about the first 1/3 of the ice time, with the remainder set aside for games. We do drills as one group, but then divide by age/ability and set up cross-ice scrimmages. For the older group, we will have warm-up and skating drills, but with likely more focus on games/scrimmages.

Religious Affiliation: We are a Christian organization, and we aim to promote Christian values in all we do, but we do not "teach" Christianity at our gatherings. We aim to live it and leave the teaching to capable Ministers in local churches. That said, we do believe the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) is the Word of God, and believe the Apostle's Creed faithfully summarizes what is necessary for a Christian to believe. We've likely had participation from Baptists, Calvinists, Catholics, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and more. And likely some that disagreed with the religious stance but liked the hockey! Our only prerequisite on the ice or field is that kids be safe and respectful of fellow players, volunteers, and parents.

Contact Information: Contact us at homeschoolhockey.weebly.com/contact-us.html. To join, you must complete a registration and sign a waiver and submit it to Hopkins Pavilion.

Location: Each winter, we find a local rink willing to host the homeschool hockey program. Hopkins Pavilion has been hosting us for the past three years, and they've been very supportive.

Information subject to change. Please check with Minnesota Family Hockey for the most current information. Last updated on Sun, Sep 13, 2015.