If your family is new to hockey, you are most likely starting at the 8U, Mite, or Mini-Mite level. These levels are for kids ages 8 and younger. Further information regarding age groupings can be found on the USA Hockey Website
The primary objective at the 8U, Mite, and Mini-Mite level is to have a lot fun while developing basic hockey skills.
Players that are four years of age as of October 15 are eligible for the 8U, Mite, and Mini Mite program.
The basic difference is the age and skill of each level (general guidelines):
This is a common question. All new BAHA players will participate in a FREE Learn To Skate program. The foundation of hockey is skating and having this ability ahead of time if possible will make skill development go even faster! Not everyone is able to skate before joining BAHA, and that's OK! The Learn To Skate Program will give them the basic tools needed to get them on their way. Vacationland Figure Skating Club (VFSC) also offers a Learn To Skate Program prior to the BAHA regular season (for a fee) for those that would like a jump start ahead of the BAHA season. This isn't geared towards figure skaters or hockey players, but is a great way to learn how to skate. VFSC will actually be running the BAHA Learn To Skate Program at the beginning of the hockey season for us!
Definitely!! This is a development program serving kids of various ages and abilities. All new players will attend the FREE BAHA Learn To Skate program at the beginning of the regular season!
Yes and No....Boys and girls can play together if by choice/convenience; however, BAHA offers a robust girls' program that includes 8U, 10U, 12U and 15U levels just for female skaters.
The hockey season will start later October, typically after the MEA school break. Specific start dates will be available well in advance before the season starts.
The season will run from late October until late February or early March.
Thanks to the generosity of the Brainerd & Baxter CUB Foods, all first year hockey players are FREE!
BAHA also offers financial assistance to families in need. An application can be filled out for such assistance. Information can be found on the website under Member Info / Forms, Policies, Docs.
BAHA will send out emails with all the information needed before the start of the season. We will also be having parent meetings prior to the season to help get everyone up to speed and answer any questions you may have.
You will receive communications via email. Please be sure to provide accurate information during registration to get appropriate information in a timely manner. The primary email address provided at registration will be used for initial contact. We will also try to utilize the Sports Engine App along the way if we feel it is a good communication option as well.
Visit the Regular Season Registration under Member Info on the website for complete information. Once registration is open, a link will be provided on the main page.
Please direct any further questions to Jim Brau BAHA Executive Director 218-851-2244 or: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practices are held at the Essentia Health Sports Center, 502 Jackson Street in Brainerd. There are two sheets of ice in the arena, Civic Center side and Gold Medal side.
BAHA works to establish a consistent schedule but it generally isn't possible to keep the same times from month to month. Each team will receive at least 2 practices per week. The schedule is put together several weeks in advance but changes are still possible as upper-level games and tournaments are scheduled. Families must stay current with the moving schedule by utilizing the Sports Engine online schedule, which is located on the website calendar.
Practices are typically 45 minutes in length for Mini-Mites and 8U & Mites practices will last 1 hour. Ice time is expensive, so players must be ready to go on the ice at the designated start time. It is usually best to be at the rink roughly 30 minutes before your stated ice time in order to be ready on time. Locker rooms will be assigned to the players to get ready in...some players prefer to get ready at home and then just put on their skates at the rink. This is very common.
No. While it is beneficial and recommended to attend every possible training and practice session, it is not mandatory and will not impact playing time. Opportunities to become a better hockey player are limited, so we recommend taking advantage of the ice times available.
Skates, shin pads, protective/pelvic cup, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, breezers, mouth guard, HECC certified helmet with full face shield, socks and hockey stick are all required for every level of hockey. Area hockey equipment stores, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Dunham's can help you determine the correct size equipment for your player. As a general rule of thumb, all equipment should fit comfortably without being too big. Do not buy skates that are too big with plans to grow in to them. Trying to skate with skates that are too big is similar with trying to sprint in shoes that are too big. It is very difficult.
Once teams are assigned, your player will receive a team jersey that is used for practice and/or games.
Hockey equipment can be costly, but new skaters do not need top of the line equipment. It is important to have a good quality helmet and properly fitting pair of skates. The most important component of the remaining equipment is proper fit. Some sporting goods stores have used equipment for sale at reasonable prices. At this age, kids typically grow out of equipment long before they wear it out. Hockey gear is available for rent through BAHA for a $20 fee and a $100 damage deposit. Whatever is rented must be returned at the end of the season.
New Players are FREE thanks to Brainerd/Baxter CUB Foods! For returning mini-mite, mite and 8U players the registration fee is only $170. Depending on your players age, you may also have to pay USA Hockey a membership fee of $56. This fee is not to BAHA and is paid directly to USA Hockey.
Yes. Unfortunately, hockey can be a little spendy, and ice rental costs BAHA around $200,000/year so fundraising is required. BAHA members currently sell pizzas and raffle tickets. Volunteering for various things such as the concession stand are also a requirement. It all sounds very complex, but it really is not hard at all and is a great way to meet other BAHA families!
Excellent Videos and tips/guides below!