Hockey in Columbus
Much like little league baseball or youth soccer there are youth programs for aspiring hockey players. Much like these other sports there is a national governing body for the sport.
The national governing body for hockey in the United States is USA Hockey, which divides the country into 11 districts. Ohio is part of the Mid-Am District, along with Indiana, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There are hundreds of youth organizations within each of the 11 districts which help make-up its membership. USA Hockey is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), the World governing body for ice hockey.
USA Hockey established all the rules and regulations to be followed by its members and sets forth the age classifications (listed below):
|Birth Date||Age||Age Division|
|7/1/94 to 12/31/94||Six months of 18||Midget (18 & under)|
|1995||17||Midget (18 & under)|
|1996||16||Midget (16 & under)|
|1997||15||Midget (16 & under)|
|1998||14||Bantam (14 & under)|
|1999||13||Bantam (14 & under)|
|2000||12||Pee Wee (12 and under)|
|2001||11||Pee Wee (12 and under)|
|2002||10||Squirt (10 and under)|
|2003||9||Squirt (10 and under)|
|2004||8 and under||Mite (8 and under)|
However, before getting involved with these organizations where practice is focused on team concepts and game play, it is important for new players to go through a beginner program which focuses on the fundamental skills of hockey.
These beginner programs are often independent of USA Hockey in the sense that there are no official games, teams, officials, etc. In many cases, these programs will use the guidelines set forth by USA Hockey to insure proper development of players. The largest beginner program offered in the Columbus area is Junior Jackets.