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1111 Speers Road, Oakville, ON L6L 2X5905.842.2423info@oakvillehockeyacademy.com

FAQ

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Learn to Skate   •   
Intro to Hockey   •   
Rising Stars

Learn to Skate

What type of skates should my child wear?

Skaters should wear good fitting lace up hockey or figure skates. Skates generally fit one size smaller than shoe size. It is very difficult to skate in skates that are too big. Avoid any skates that have straps, buckles, clips, Velcro. Adjustable skates are also to be avoided as the positioning of the blade changes as the skates are adjusted which makes balancing difficult. Two-bladed, strap on skates are not permitted.

How to tighten skates properly?

It is important to proper fitting skates that are laced up correctly. When tightening skates, start with the laces at the bottom eyelet and work your way up, tightening as you go. It is not recommended to wrap the laces around the skates. Your child should be able to stand with their ankles up straight when their skates are tightened properly. If your child’s ankles tip inward or outward it is often because their skates are either too big or not tied tight enough.

Is a helmet with a cage mandatory?

Yes, a hockey helmet with a full cage is mandatory for all children/youth Learn to Skate participants. Adult skaters require a helmet and the cage is optional but recommended.

Do skates need to be sharpened? How often?

All skates need to be sharpened after purchase. Brand new skates still require sharpening. Most local sport stores sharpen skates. A general guideline is to sharpen skates after 10-15 hours of skating or at the start of each new session. Keep in mind that if your child is skating on outdoor natural ice surfaces their skates may need sharpening more often.

Does OHA offer equipment rentals?

No, OHA does not offer equipment rentals. All Learn to Skate participants are responsible for providing their own equipment.

What clothes should my child wear?

Most very young skaters wear a snow suit or splash pants and a jacket. Older skaters can wear a snow suit, or splash pants and jacket or fleece. Skaters must wear mittens or gloves. Mittens or gloves that fit well and allow the child to hold onto or pick up a toy are best. Please avoid chenille mittens as they stick to the ice and leave traces of wool behind.

Protective equipment is not necessary. Some skaters feel more confident with elbow or knee pads but most kids skate without. Some young children find the extra equipment too bulky and it makes it awkward for them to stand up/bend over etc.

Skaters are welcome to wear hockey equipment if they would like, but not necessary.

Are parents permitted on the ice?

No, parents do not join their children on the ice. Parents can view the lessons from the hallway or the heated viewing area upstairs.

What is the typical class size?

Oakville Hockey Academy prides itself on offering small classes where your child can receive the focused attention they need. For Kindertot classes (ages 2-3), the typical ratio is 3:1 and there is often a float coach available to assist as needed. For older children (ages 4-6, 7-12) the typical ratio is 6:1.

Skaters are assigned to a class and stay with the same coach for the entire class.

Are make-up classes offered?

Make up classes are not offered except in extreme circumstances. The classes generally fill up so in order to keep our ratios low, we do not allow extra children to jump into a class.

What can I expect on opening day?

Plan on arriving to the rink at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the class. Your child will receive a name tag for the front of their helmet. Your child will be directed to the appropriate change-room and then they should meet at the blue doors to the rinks when they are dressed. Please have your child use the bathroom before going on the ice.

If it becomes apparent that your child is registered in the wrong level, the coaching staff will do their best to address this situation on the first day. If that is not possible due to overcrowding or the correct level not being offered, you will be contacted during the week with possible options.

How do I know which changeroom to use?

There is a tv in the foyer that indicates the correct change rooms that are assigned for each hour. It is important that your child uses the correct change room as other groups will be expecting the change room assigned to them to be vacant.

Will my child receive a report card at the end of the session?

Yes, your child will receive a mid-session report card on week 5 (in the Fall and Winter sessions) indicating which level to register for in the next session. Registration for the following session will open soon after.

Each child will receive a personalized report card at the end of the session outlining the skills they have mastered and the skills that they are still working on as well as a recommendation for future programs.

How do I know which level to register for?

There are level descriptions on the website that should help you determine the appropriate age group and Level. Kindertot classes are for ages 2-3. KinderSTICKS is for ages 2-4 and children must be able to skate independently, Levels A-D are for children ages 4-6. Junior classes are for children ages 7-12.

Your child will receive a mid-session report card indicating the appropriate level to register for in the following session. Registration for the next session will open online shortly after.

What if my child is registered in the wrong level?

The coaching staff will assess each child to ensure they are in the correct class. Any adjustments will be made as soon as possible. If a suitable class is not available at the same time, you will be contacted during the week to discuss possible options.

If you are not sure which level to register for, please email paige@oakvillehockeyacademy.com with a descriptor of your child’s abilities and if possible a short video and then she can assist you.

My child is on the waitlist, how will I know if a spot becomes available?

A pop-up occurs on the screen if you attempt to register in a class that is full. If you continue with the registration, you will not be billed while on the waitlist. You will be contacted via email if a spot becomes available at that time or another time that might suit.

It is possible to register for one class to guarantee a spot and remain on the waitlist for your preferred time slot. You will not be billed while on the waitlist.

When can my child move to a hockey program?

Children should have taken and preferably passed Level B in order to move to hockey programs. Oakville Hockey Academy requires a certain level of skating proficiency before joining any hockey programs.

I am registering a KINDERTOT, what should I know?

The kindertot classes are designed specifically for children ages 2-3. They are 30 minutes long and have a small skater to coach ratio. It is not uncommon for the very young skaters to take a few weeks to warm up to the idea of skating. Some kids do best to just watch or participate for just a few minutes during the first few weeks. The coaching staff will return children to their parents if they are not settling after a few minutes. They will typically be invited to return to the class to try again in a few minutes. Most children are comfortable on the ice after 3-4 weeks.

It can be a good idea to practice putting on skates and a helmet at home prior to the start of the lessons. For some children, the equipment itself takes some getting used to.

If after 3-4 weeks your child is still not participating in the lessons, you can reach out to paige@oakvillehockeyacademy.com to discuss options.

Am I expected to stay at the rink during the lessons?

Yes, parents/guardians are expected to stay at the rink during lessons. If a situation arises that causes you to have to leave for a few minutes, please inform your child’s coach prior to leaving.

I have a question about my child’s progress. Who should I talk to?

Your child’s coach is available to talk with you before or after the lesson regarding your child’s progress. If you have a question or concern that they can’t address, please contact paige@oakvillehockeyacademy.com.

How many Learn to Skate sessions are offered each year at OHA?

Headstart – a 4 week session in September

Fall – a 10 week session beginning after Thanksgiving

Christmas Camps – 3 or 4 day camps over the holidays

Winter – a 10 week session beginning in January

March Break Camps -4-5 day camp during the break

Spring – a 10 week session, beginning late March or early April

Summer – a 6-7 week session, limited timeslots available

Intro to Hockey

Does my child need to know how to skate before joining Intro to Hockey?

Yes, children must have taken and preferably passed Level B (or Canskate equivalent) before joining Intro to Hockey. Children must be able to skate forwards with confidence and speed using a push/glide motion, be able to stop and skate backwards.

What equipment is needed for Intro to Hockey?

All participants are required to wear full hockey equipment including a neck guard. Participants must bring their own stick. Mouthguards are not mandatory but are recommended.

Jersey and socks are not provided for Intro to Hockey.

What does an Intro to Hockey class involve?

Intro to Hockey is a basic Hockey 101 class for beginners or advanced beginners. The course will go everything that a hockey player needs to know pertaining to skills. Each player will learn how to have proper balance and using their balance to stand/skate and tips on how not to fall and how to hold a hockey stick. Players will also learn basic skating techniques that a hockey player would need to know such as skating forwards, backwards, edge work, crossovers, stops and starts and pivots. They will also be taught how to stickhandle stationary and while moving, passing, and shooting. Players will end each session with a fun game.

Rising Stars

Does my child need to know how to skate before joining Rising Stars?

Yes, children must have taken and preferably passed Level B (or Canskate equivalent) before joining Intro to Hockey. Children must be able to skate forwards with confidence and speed using a push/glide motion, be able to stop and skate backwards.

What equipment is needed for Rising Stars?

All participants are required to wear full hockey equipment including a neck guard. Participants must bring their own stick. Mouthguards are not mandatory but are recommended.

Players will receive a jersey and socks on the first weekend after the evaluation.


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Address
1111 Speers Road
Oakville, ON
L6L 2X5