To provide an opportunity for youth in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District, Hadley, Sunderland, Belchertown and surrounding communities to play organized hockey.. To instill a sense of honesty, courage, and respect in our youth, as well as teach t

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AHA offers two programs for young or first time skaters.  Our Learn to Skate (LTS) and Learn to Play Programs (LTP) are designed to help new skaters learn skating and playing skills necessary to advance them into our Travel Program.

Intro To Hockey  Program

    Learn to Skate (First-time skaters, 8 years old and younger)
  • Learn to Play (Intro-level players, 8 years old and younger) 

What Is the Learn to Skate Program (LTS)?

The Amherst Hockey Association offers new skaters nine years old and younger a place to learn to skate and learn basic hockey skills. The LTS Program's primary objective is to help skaters have some fun while learning to skate safely. One goal is to develop hockey skills and enjoy an experience that could lead skaters and their families to participate in the AHA Travel Teams (available to all ages).Skaters are evaluated at the start of the year, and are placed in groups that best match their ability and age. The LTS Program has three divisions:
Red: 3rd year in the program, or 2nd year with improving skills; increased emphasis on hockey skills and introduction to team play (more advanced)
White: 2nd year in the program; emphasis on skating and basic hockey skills (intermediates) 
Blue: First-time or new skaters; emphasis on skating skills (beginners)


Each LTS skater must have a hockey stick, ice skates, shin pads, elbow pads, gloves (hockey gloves are not required; heavy winter gloves are OK), and an HECC approved helmet with cage/face mask.
For a printable pdf file with information on Equipment Click Here.


What Is the Learn to Play Program (LTP)?

Learn to Play Program
This is a hockey program offered by the Association. This program stresses skill development and hockey concepts. Its goal is to prepare skaters for Travel Teams. This program provides skaters an average of two on ice sessions per week, and is approximately eighteen (18) weeks long starting in November and ending in March.  Ice time will be at Orr Rink at Amherst College, or The Mullins Center practice rink at UMass. This program is available to any skater between the ages of 4-8 and is available for skaters with birth years 2007 and younger. Skaters with birth years 2006 and older are expected to participate in the co-ed Travel program or the all-girls house team. Players should spend no more than two (2) years at this level before moving on to a Travel Team and/or the all-girls house team. Skaters with equal skill levels will be placed together so that drills flow more effectively during practice time. Depending on the number of skaters in each group, creating additional groups of equal skill levels is an option. Inter-squad scrimmages will occur from time to time; teams will be created with team balance in mind. Girls have the option of being on an all-girls team or a co-ed team. Because of the age and or abilities of skaters in this group, it is mandatory that a parent or an adult responsible for that child remain in the rink at all times while their child is in the rink. 
GSL Novice Program
The Association will offer one or more novice teams in the second and third sessions of the GSL Novice Program if there are enough children who meet the USA Hockey and GSL requirements, an approved volunteer coach and adequate ice time. The Novice games are played at the Olympia Ice Areana in West Springfield MA.  The Novice teams will play one hour cross ice games against teams from other GSL associations.  These games will be 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 with reduced sized nets and no goalies.  The Association scheduler will publish any additional ice time associated with this program on the master schedule.


More Information on the Learn to Skate or Learn to Play Programs

Please contact Dan Feldman at 413-883-9258 or email him at