Frequently Asked Questions
What program is right for my skater?
The right program will depend on your skater's age, skill level, and interest. Amherst Hockey Association (AHA) has many programs for interested skaters.
Learn to Skate and Learn to Play (beginner programs): These programs start the first weekend in November and end in March. Learn to Skate takes place on Saturday afternoons primarily at the Mullins Center practice facility at UMASS. Learn to Play takes place on Saturday afternoons with cross-ice games on Sunday mornings at Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, MA.
Youth Travel Teams: These teams compete in the Greater Springfield Junior Hockey League (GSL). Each team typically plays 50 games and has more than 90 hours of ice time during the September through April season. Additionally, teams play independent games that are scheduled throughout Massachusetts, North Central Connecticut, Vermont, western New Hampshire, and northeast New York.
Girls In-House Team: The girls in-house team is for older girls who are new to hockey and are not yet ready to play on a travel team.
When does hockey season start and end?
Our season runs from September through April.
What is the time commitment? How many times will each team skate each week?
You should plan on 2-3 practices per week and 1-2 games per week. In most cases, practices will take place during the week and games take place on the weekends.
What rinks does Amherst Hockey Association use?
Our programs are conducted primarily at Orr Rink at Amherst College and at the Mullins Center practice facility on the campus of the University of Massachusetts, as well as at other area rinks.
Do you have to live in Amherst to skate for Amherst Hockey Association?
No. Our program serves youth from a wide range of Massachusetts communities, including Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Hatfield, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, Hatfield, Ware, Northampton, plus additional surrounding towns.
What if my skater can not make it to every game or practice?
We understand that youth hockey might not be the only activity that your child is involved in. We do ask that players on youth travel teams communicate to their coaches any conflicts with a practice or game in advance to provide adequate time to make adjustments.
What equipment will my skater need?
Skaters playing on a team should have: a hockey athletic supporter with cup (the supporter will have velcro patches that serve to hold up the hockey socks), shin pads, hockey socks (socks are provided for players on our youth hockey teams), hockey pants, shoulder pads, elbow pads, jersey, helmet with mask, mouth guard, hockey gloves, stick, skates
For the Learn To Skate program, your skater will need a hockey stick, ice skates, shin pad, hockey socks, elbow pads, gloves, and an HECC approved helmet with cage/face mask.
The official AHA uniform is a white helmet, red pants, and red, white, or blue gloves. Socks are with with red and blue stripes. Socks are provided to our youth travel hockey teams.What color should my skater's equipment be?
Are there required fundraisers?
Yes, our fundraising efforts help us to control association fees and allow us to defer other organizational costs incurred throughout the course of a season.
Will I have to volunteer my time to the Association?
The AHA is a non-profit organization that relies on parent and community volunteers. Your help is a great way to get involved and meet other families in the Association. We operate a coffee table at Amherst College hockey games that we ask families to staff. Additional volunteers are needed throughout the season for tournaments and community events.
How can I be more involved with the Association?
Coach: We are always looking for coaches at all levels. All coaches are volunteers. Even if you cannot skate we can use your help on the bench during games.
Team Manager: This individual helps with team communications and ad hoc team/game preparation.
I have more questions that are not covered on this FAQ list. Where can I go for answers?
Visit our Board of Director web page to find additional contact information.