Initiation/Novice


Initiation and Novice hockey is for children aged aged 4-8. It was formerly called Hockey 1 to Hockey 4 (H1, H2, H3, H4 for short). It has now been divided into two groups: U7 and U9.

  • Initiation (U7) is for players aged 4-6 by December 31st.
  • Novice (U9) is for players aged 7-8 by December 31st.
  • U7 and U9 are further divided into major and minor teams in order to group like-skilled players together.

Registration for all new players begins May 15. The hockey season begins in September or October and runs until Spring Break. There is a Christmas break at the same time as the school break.

New players require some skating ability. CanSkate level 2 is recommended. Skating lessons are available at the West Van Arena or at the Vancouver Skating Club. We can make exceptions for 4-6 year olds at the discretion of the Hockey Director.

Full gear, including neck guards, is mandatory. All players are required to have black helmets. Download our equipment guide for more information.


Practices and Games

U7 teams practice 2x per week. Practices are after school (usually on Thursdays) and on weekends. An additional ice time for skills development may be added. Games begin in the second half of the season (January), with alternating home and away games each week. Away games are all on the North Shore.

U9 teams practice 2 – 3x per week. Practices are after school and on weekends. It is possible for there to be 7am practices during weekdays. Games begin in November, with alternating home and away games each week. Away games are mostly on the North Shore, but travel to Squamish, Whistler and the Sunshine Coast may occur.


Professional Coaches

We are proud to be the only minor hockey association in the Lower Mainland that uses professional coaches for every initiation and novice practice. Our professional coaches include our Director of Hockey, as well as outside skills providers such as Inside Edge and ProFormance.

WVMHA’s focus is on skills development and to provide children of all skills abilities to develop to their maximum potential. To learn more about our long-term skills development model, please click here.


Cross-Ice and Half-Ice Games

As per BC Hockey rules, all games for U7 are cross-ice and U9 games begin at half-ice and transition to full-ice over the course of the season. We own divider or cross-ice boards to split the ice in two, as well as age-appropriate Jr. sized nets U7. Volunteers are required to help set-up the cross-ice boards.

Cross-Ice Boards

Attendance

Regular attendance is strongly encouraged. The pace of learning and skills development is very rapid at young ages and hockey is a skills-intensive sport. Your child will have a more positive experience if they are able to participate and learn at the same rate as their peers.


Tournaments

We encourage all our teams to participate in at least one (preferably two) tournaments each season. When time and resources permit, we host a tournament called “Thunderstorm” for the U7 division. This tournament features teams from throughout the Lower Mainland and requires significant volunteer help. The parents of the “host” teams are expected to participate in a volunteer capacity.


Volunteers

We need the parents of our youngest players to be involved whenever/however they can. You can select a volunteer role during the on-line registration process. Some considerations are:

  • All teams will have specific volunteer roles for each player’s parent (ex: treasurer, scorekeep/timekeep, social coordinator, etc)
  • Each team will need coaches/ assistant coaches, managers and Hockey Canada Safety Person (HCSP) referred to as Team Officials.
  • There is always a role for everyone

We ask you to review our policies prior to the start of the season — especially our “around the rink” policies.