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Registration Opens August 28th for 2018 Pond Hockey Nationals

By, 08/22/17, 10:00AM MDT


Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships Returns to Eagle River, Wis.

Registration for the 2018 Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey National Championships will open Monday, August 28th, at 11 am CT.

Cost for the 2018 tournament will be $600 per team and each player must be currently registered with USA Hockey prior to the start date of the tournament 

All registrants must have a SportsEngine account in order to register a team in the tournament. (Formerly called Sport NGIN, your existing account will work under the new name).

Click here to confirm your SportsEngine account

Registration will open promptly at 11:00 am CST on Monday, August 28th. At that time, you can find a registration link on the home page of and register your team(s).

Rosters are NOT required on the day of registration.

Full payment of $600.00 is required at the time of registration. Acceptable payment options are:

  • Valid Credit Card: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express
  • Paypal
  • Checking Account

Countdown to Registration


Important Event Notes and Guidelines:

As always, this event is filled on first come first serve basis (no priority is given to any team for any reason).

When a division is “Out of Stock” it is sold out. Please select the "Wait List" option for your desired division. "Wait List" teams will not be required to submit payment at the time of registration. If your desired division is “Out of Stock” do not try and select a division lower than your playing ability. You can only advance divisions.

Registration Tips

Use these tips to ensure your registration process goes as smoothly as possible.

  • Be ready: Right at 11 a.m. CST on Monday, August 28th. Many divisions sell out within minutes.
  • Finish your registration: If you get to the end of the registration process and you are not asked to submit payment but you selected a division at the beginning it means your chosen division was sold out before you could complete registration. FINISH YOUR REGISTRATION, DO NOT START OVER. Your registration will keep the timestamp for when you registered. You may notice the division is blank and a rep from USA Hockey’s adult department will contact you to ensure you are on the correct waitlist.

  • Designate a captain: If you plan to register multiple teams it is recommended that you designate a captain to create a SportsEngine account and register each team individually.

  • Know the rules: Players must fit the age requirements for each division, no exceptions. CLICK HERE for Division descriptions.

    • Players can only be on one roster for the entire pond hockey event, no exceptions.

  • Divisions Matter: If you won your division last year, you must play in a division above, where applicable (age specific and high level divisions may be an exception). USA Hockey’s staff reserves the right to move your team if you register in the division you previously won.

    • Division disclaimer: Knowingly entering your team into an inappropriate division will not improve your chances of getting into your preferred division that might be sold out. Registering into an inappropriate division and also going on a waitlist for an acceptable division will move you to the bottom of that waitlist. Please sign up for the appropriate division or, if it’s sold out, put yourself on the waitlist. The tournament director(s) reserves the right to move teams into appropriate divisions/waitlists as needed to ensure parity across the tournament.

Team name policy for 2018:

Because USA Hockey’s website and social media platforms are visible to hockey fans of all ages, Pond Hockey team names must not be offensive to any particular group or individual.

While we encourage and enjoy creativity, we can no longer post team names online that may be sexually suggestive, discriminatory or harassing in any way.

USA Hockey will review all team names, and reserves the right to reject your team name, or in USA Hockey’s sole discretion to modify any team name deemed offensive by either abbreviating or shortening a team name.

Thank you for your cooperation in being respectful to all hockey players and fans.

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Why Hockey is the Best Workout

By Michael Rand 05/12/2017, 9:30am MDT

If you think you’re in pretty good shape – or even if you know you’re not – it’s possible to step into, say, a touch football game or a casual softball game without completely embarrassing yourself or winding up on the couch for a week with myriad pulled muscles.

But if you want an honest assessment of your current fitness level, try jumping into a hockey game. You will get a splash of cold water – or better yet, ice shavings – on your face.

While it’s true that many adult hockey league players are perhaps primarily motivated by the camaraderie and enjoyment of the sport, the fitness benefit cannot be overlooked, says Kevin Universal, a member of USA Hockey’s Adult Hockey Council and the president of the Carolina Amateur Hockey Association.

Once you start, you don’t want to stop. But once you stop, you’ll feel it once you start again.

The beauty of hockey

A shift in hockey combines the controlled dash of a 400-meter race with the urgency of an even shorter race.

“There are perishable skills – the combination of having the short, sprinter-type lung capacity, then getting back for a quick rest and sprint up the ice over and over,” Universal said. “That’s challenging for a lot of people."

That’s why it’s important to keep playing, even if it’s just once a week. If you fall out of that routine, you will feel it.

“I think we have at least a handful of guys on my team who travel a lot and don’t have time to work out except for hockey,” Universal said. “That’s their one or two days of exercise a week, and it’s so beneficial. Aside from just hanging out and having fun, joking around with the guys, they’ll use that as a primary means of exercise.”

Other workouts don’t measure up

Unless you like to race the person next to you on the treadmill or try to beat yesterday’s distance on the bike or elliptical, there isn’t much true competition in gym exercises. That doesn’t mean you aren’t working, but you aren’t working the same way you are when you truly compete.

“Being a part of the game and having something on the line, it makes you dig a little deeper and makes you get into it more and get more benefit,” Universal said. “When you’re not doing that and just out recreationally exercising and trying to burn calories, you don’t get the benefit. I have friends that run or lift weights, but if they aren’t getting that type of hockey workout consistently, they feel it after games and you see it in their play.”

Universal notes a recent example to emphasize his point: a guy who had played on one of his teams a decade ago before moving away has just returned and started back in hockey a few weeks ago.

“He had regularly exercised at the gym, but he was so gassed the first four or five games,” Universal added. “He’s finally getting his legs back. It’s funny. He regularly works out, lifts weights competitively. It’s not the same when you have to go out and sprint.”

Never too late to start

That said, don’t let the conditioning learning curve associated with hockey be a deterrent. If you used to play and are trying to get back into it, it’s never too late. Same goes for adults who have never played before.

Universal falls into that latter category. He says he grew up playing street hockey, but he never played in an organized league on the ice until he was 34. He picked it up after his kids took up the sport and he “got the itch” when some other newbies convinced him to try a beginners camp.

“I regularly run into people as adults and I encourage them to pick up the game,” Universal said. “You don’t have to have grown up with it. You just have to have the desire, and you can have some fun out there and get fit.”

Now 48, Universal can’t imagine life without the sport in so many ways – with fitness being primary among them.

“I feel the difference. I feel the lung capacity and I’m able to work harder in other areas,” Universal said. “This past weekend I did a hike with a 1,700-foot elevation drop over 1.3 miles. That’s like doing 170 flights of stairs. My legs aren’t sore, and I attribute that so much to skating. I’ve tried lacrosse, football, track, swimming, baseball, and this is definitely by far the most beneficial workout.”

Thank you all for your past participation and we look forward to another great event on the pond! As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

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