IP Program FAQ (Centre Wellington Minor Hockey)

PrintIP Program FAQ

Initiation Program FAQ’s

Q.  My child and I are new to the game of hockey, what does my child need to play?

A.  Your kids will need a stick, an athletic supporter (jock or jill), garter belt, shin pads, jersey* and hockey socks*, pants, skates, elbow pads, shoulder pads, neck guard, helmet and mouth guard.  The neck guard is very important as your child will not be allowed on the ice without it. *Players will need a hockey jersey for the first few weeks until players are divided into their groups and Timbits Jerseys and socks are handed out. We do have some socks and jerseys left over from last year and they will be available at the first ice session at a first come first serve basis.

Q.  Does my child’s stick need hockey tape on it?

A.  A knob must be created on the top end of the stick large enough to not penetrate the holes of a hockey mask. Hockey tape is also recommended on the blade of the stick to provide players more ability to control the puck. Please consult Youtube for many great videos on how to tape a hockey stick.

Q.  How long should my child’s stick be?

A.  Stick length is something that is very important. Once players are no longer using it for balance support, sticks should be measured and cut to an area near your child’s chin. A stick that is far too short or far too long will inhibit your child from learning to control the puck properly. 

Q.  Will a Hockey Jersey and Hockey Socks be provided?

A.  Tim Horton’s is kind enough to provide jerseys and socks for the whole IP group that the kids are able to keep at the end of the season

Q.  What time should my child be at the arena before practice?

A.  Please be there with the child ready to go on the ice at least 5 minutes before practice.  Ice time is at a premium and the coaches will want to get the kids into skill development drills as soon as possible.

Q.  Do you need any volunteers to help on the ice?

A.  YES ABSOLUTELY!!!, the IP program as well as the whole minor hockey program is run solely by unpaid volunteers, parents and high school kids.  The success of the program is dependent on these people. Generally the groups will number between 30 to 40 kids on the ice at one time!!  As someone who has been involved in coaching young people for a few years now I have learned that the more helping hands on the ice, the easier it becomes for everyone.  Coaches are more willing to help out when they know there is a good group of parent volunteers that can keep the kids focused and occupied. The parents who cannot help out are happier because practices are organized  and operating in an efficient manner. For those who are concerned that they do not have enough hockey experience to be able to assist please put that worry to rest. One of the most important things to keep the kids focused on working hard and enjoying the drills or modified games they are involved in, and help players stick with their group as they move from station to station. For this reason we’ve had parents who have come out on the ice and just focused on keeping groups together and monitoring the kids to keep the “horse-play” to a minimum. 

Q.  What do I need to do to be able to help out?

A.  You will need a pair of skates, gloves, HELMET, stick and a smile on your face.  There will be a background check that will need to be completed and the identification required for the check are as follows: Photo ID - Driver’s License (including drivers licenses issued by another province, territory, or a foreign jurisdiction), BYID Card, Canadian or Foreign Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card, Possession and Acquisition License (or PAL Card), Permanent Residency Card, Certificate of Indian Status, Canadian National Institute of the Blind (CNIB) Identification Card, Canadian Military Employment Card or Canadian Military Family Identification Card, Ontario Photo Identification Card (new – available from the Ministry of Transportation)

Non Photo ID - Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, Hunting License, Outdoors Card, Canadian Blood Donor Card, Immigration Papers 

You will need two pieces of ID and I will be providing some photocopying services at the first couple of ice sessions. The last thing you will need to do is take the online Respect in Sport (Speak Out) training and here is the link


Q.  Is there anything else that can help as a coach?

A.  Of course there is!!  There is a coach’s course that is based on the IP program and the first few years of hockey after IP.  If you don't have a lot if experience working with athletes of this age it is an excellent learning tool to get you started on the ice.  It is also necessary to have when the kids start playing development games with other centers as the OMHA mandates that all coaches and trainers on the bench have a coaches or trainers designation.  


Please contact Scott at [email protected] if you are interested in taking the IP Coaches Course.

 Q.  Will we be playing full ice games this year?

A. Full ice games of 5 on 5 are no longer allowed by Hockey Canada for Hockey players 7 and under. 85% of all on ice time is to focus on skill development with the other 15% the focus being individual tactics. The IP6, 5 and 5/6 groups will have ice sessions dedicated to playing cross ice games starting in January.  These games are run by the coaches and not referees. The IP6, IP5 and “Introduction to Hockey Skills - IP5/6” groups will play cross ice games (3 v 3 or 4 v 4).

Q.  Will we be playing in a tournament this year?

The IP6 group will have the opportunity to take part in Jamborees (1 day tournament like festivals - where the focus is on fun, learning and participation rather than competition and winning). The Jamborees are optional and do incur an additional cost to any and all participants. If there is not enough interest we will make teams based on who wants to participate. 

Q.  My child has never skated before, cannot skate, or has only skated a few times, should I put him in IP or sign him up for skating lessons first?

In my opinion, if you and your child wants to play hockey IP is a great first step. Every year we have A LOT of non-skaters in our Preschool (IP4) and Intro to Hockey - IP5/6 groups. We will teach them how to skate along with the other basic skills of hockey through progressive skating drills and fun games to work on balance. It is amazing how quickly their skating progresses if they are willing to try. If your child is a non-skater we do encourage you to have a person (parent or teenage brother/sister, friend) with him/her on the ice to help them until they get mobile but it is not compulsory.

Q.  I am not sure my child will be challenged at his/her age group, can we move him up to another age group?

There is always a large range of abilities in each age group within the Initiation Program. The OMHA and CWMHA prefers that children participate with players their own age and remain in their respective hockey categories. Please register your child in the appropriate hockey category and allow him/her to participate within that group. If after October 21st you do not feel your child is being challenged then you can make a request to CWMHA through your IP Coordinator that your child be moved up to a different hockey category. We will evaluate the situation and render a decision. If CWMHA is in favour of moving your child to a different age category, the OMHA will keep them rostered with their proper age category and your child will be ineligible to play any games against teams outside CWMHA including all jamborees.

Q.  Why should we choose the CWMHA Initiation Program over Girls Hockey, Ringette, etc.?

The Initiation Program in CWMHA is very progressive and always looking to improve. We revamped our program a few years ago to follow Hockey Canada’s recommendations that they have been encouraging for many years. We have redesigned our program to fall more inline with other major sports, like soccer, where they play more small area games and teach the game in a way that MORE of our young people can flourish from. We have boards to separate the ice surfaces during game play, we have smaller nets for kids to shoot at, we play all kinds of games from Tag, to Keep away, to Obstacle courses and 3 on 3, 2 on 2, and even 1 on 1 at times! All these games keep kids interest while working on the most important skills in hockey: skating, shooting, passing and puck control as well as agility, balance, and speed.

We have a very large Initiation Program with almost 150 hockey players spread over 4 different groups. The advantage to this is while your child is on the ice he/she is participating with children their own age. We also believe in matching children up with players of the same ability. Therefore not only will your child be playing, learning and developing with kids of the same learning stage but also with kids of the same ability as well. Your child will not be discouraged by the appearance other players on the ice being far more skilled when the fact is they are also 1 year older and  in some cases 2 years older.

We are very organized with quality lessons for each and every practice where your child’s skill development is a priority as well as incorporating fun activities to keep them wanting to come back for more. We run station based practices which have been shown to improve learning significantly. While we follow Hockey Canada’s curriculum we have design our program so each group flows into the next with respect to development. Thus IP5 is a progression from Preschool (Formerly IP4), and IP6 is a progression from IP5/“Introduction to Hockey Skills” (formerly IP3) . There is nothing random about our program. All our lessons have purpose with respect to improving kids hockey playing ability from the time they enter our Preschool or “Introduction to Hockey Skills”  programs (formerly IP4/IP3) to the time they leave in IP6. While our program is run solely by volunteers, we have a mentor-ship program with our coaches to ensure they start out on the right track, they are confident in the drills and skills they are teaching, we are all on the same page, and most importantly, making sure your children are getting the best grass-roots hockey experience possible.

Due to the fact we we revamped our program a few years ago and implemented these changes progressively throughout we feel we have a head start on other programs who have kept it status quo. While we continue to work on improving our program, we have worked out a lot of the kinks and operate very smoothly with respect to all of Hockey Canada’s mandates. Further to that, we have not been forced to implement these changes, we made them willingly a few years ago because we knew it was best for all kids involved. We embrace the changes, we teach them passionately and have made them one of the pillars of our program. We strive to make our Initiation Program the best in Canada. Far more of our kids have taken leaps and bounds in this program and yours will too. 

Q.  What are the most important things that make a good IP program?

A.  Glad you asked that!!  The following items are FUNdamental for a good program

  1. HAVING FUN: we need to instill an interest and enjoyment in the game of hockey, and a desire for kids to want to continue participating in this great sport

  2. SKILL DEVELOPMENT: we need to provide a positive learning environment for the kids to learn, develop and understand the basic fundamental skills of the game

  3. SELF-ESTEEM: we need to develop positive self-esteem in the kids through a sense of achievement and recognition of performance improvement – big or small

  4. TEAM CONCEPT: we need to teach the foundation of a “Team” and what being a good team-mate means

  5. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: we need to develop a sense of pride and ownership in the local community to help build strong citizens and future leaders

I hope this helps out all of the parents understand what we are trying to achieve in this program and if anybody has any questions that are not covered in this FAQ please don’t hesitate to ask.

I have also provided some links below for parents to review to get a better understanding of the changes Hockey Canada made to the initiation program to allow more players to develop their essential skills, be more engaged and have a lot more fun!

Initiation Program:


Cross Ice Hockey: Take time to watch and listen to the videos here


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Printed from cwminorhockey.ca on Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 3:41 AM