skip navigation

5 Reasons to Try Hockey For Free

By USA Hockey, 10/28/15, 3:30PM MDT


Participate in this year's November 7th event at one of the hundreds of locations

In the five seasons since USA Hockey introduced its Try Hockey For Free Days, presented by Kraft Heinz, more than 90,000 participants have taken their first strides into the game, setting the foundation for a lifelong love of hockey.

The next chance to #TryHockey comes Nov. 7, 2015, as part of Come Play Hockey Month. Nearly 500 sites throughout the United States will host a Try Hockey For Free event. Neither experience nor equipment is necessary, as gear will be available to borrow at the rink.

There’s no easier way to discover youth hockey.

Reason 1: It’s fun.

Try Hockey For Free events are filled with engaging stations that teach new skills in a fun environment. Participants enjoy camaraderie and teamwork with new friends, most playing hockey for the very first time. It’s a festive, unique and inviting way to experience the game and feel the thrill of skating, shooting and scoring.

“Seeing all the smiles when kids play for the first time – that’s always a highlight and it’s part of why we host Try Hockey each year,” said Stephanie Dukesherer, communications director for the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association. “Our program, coaches and volunteers take pride in making sure kids have fun on the ice, whether it’s their first time or hundredth time.”

Reason 2: Certified coaches are there to help.

USA Hockey-certified coaches guide players during Try Hockey For Free Days, providing support and encouragement along the way.

Reason 3: It’s great exercise.

Hockey develops skills, endurance, balance and strength. The game is constant motion and constant action, with everyone contributing regardless of size or skill.

Reason 4: It’s free.

At Try Hockey For Free events, the ice time, instruction and equipment are all free-of-charge. It’s a great way to try the game.

Reason 5: Girls play hockey.

One out of every five Try Hockey participants is a girl and there are nearly 70,000 girls and women playing hockey in the U.S. today. Try Hockey For Free Days are great for introducing all kids to the game.

Bonus Reason: Adults can #TryHockey, too.

Mom and Dad: There’s an opportunity for you to play hockey, too. Some states are hosting adult Try Hockey events. Click here to learn more. Try hockey and find out why it’s one of the fastest-growing adult sports in America.

Popular Articles & Features

A Call To Arms

By Harry Thompson 10/14/2021, 12:00pm MDT

Mass Exodus Of Young Officials Threatens The Future Of The Game

New Season, New Rules for USA Hockey

By Greg Bates 09/24/2021, 11:45am MDT

USA Hockey board approved rule changes for 2021-22 this past June

2021-22 ATO | Week 12

By USA Hockey 10/22/2021, 6:15am MDT

This week’s features: Equipment entrepreneurship...First to intervene...Disabled Hockey officials...and more.

QUESTION: An attacking player takes a shot on goal, which deflects off of a teammate in the attacking end-zone, and is redirected into the netting above the goal. Where is the ensuing face-off located?

ANSWER: While the initial shot was "on goal" in this situation, the face-off must be located in the neutral zone due to the fact that the puck did not redirect out of play off of the goal frame, boards or protective glass.


QUESTION: An attacking player takes a shot towards the goal, which is deflected by a teammate, and is redirected off of the goal frame and out of play. Where is the ensuing face-off?

ANSWER: The "spirit and intent" of Rule 612.c is to reward a close scoring play with an attacking end-zone face-off. In this case, the face-off should be located in the attacking zone since the initial shot and deflection struck the goal frame and directly left the playing surface.


QUESTIONIs there an acceptable time to be a 3rd man in, in an effort for player safety? If one player is on the ground, defenseless, is it acceptable for a 3rd player to try to stop the player throwing punches?

ANSWER: There is never an acceptable time for an additional player to enter a 1 on 1 altercation. In almost all cases, the game officials will enter the altercation as soon as the players fall to the ice or when things become unfair for one player. Additionally, an additional player entering an altercation would turn it into a 2 on 1 altercation which would be regarded as very unfair and dangerous for the opponent.


QUESTIONHi, I’m looking for a business opportunity, and it is a foldable Hockey stick. Would this be legal in the rules or no?

ANSWER: Rule 301(a) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“The sticks shall be made of wood or other material approved by the Rules Committee, and must not have any projections.”

Since a “foldable” stick would likely have some type of hinge that would project from the natural shape of the stick shaft, this would unlikely be approved for use by the USAH Playing Rules Committee.


QUESTIONWhat penalty, if any, is called against a player who attacks his own teammate. The rule book deals with penalties against "an opponent or opposing player" but does not refer to infractions against one's own teammates. For arguments sake, the player slashes and injures a teammates with intent.

ANSWER: The USAH Playing Rules Casebook does have a situation under Rule 615 that deals with two teammates who fight during a game, but since the likelihood of a player slashing a teammate during a game is extremely rare this type of behavior would be left to the coach to deal with. Please note, the Playing Rules only apply to games. Any bad behavior in practice should be dealt with by the coach and team manager.


QUESTION: Helmets removed before during altercation/fight do players get the 5 minute penalty besides game/match? when don't 5 minute penalties accompany game misconduct/match penalties

ANSWER: If players remove their helmets prior to an altercation, they must be assessed a Match penalty in addition to any other penalties they earn during the altercation (Fighting, Roughing, etc.). In other words, the normal Fighting penalties would be assessed for the fight, but they must be assessed the additional Match for removing their helmets prior to the fight.


QUESTIONI have always wanted to be a Ice Hockey referee ever since I stopped playing sled hockey. I was wondering what the guidelines are in terms of someone who is disabled and can’t walk (I have a medical condition that does not allow me to walk and have any function from the waist down and have to use a wheelchair to move about) would this pose any challenges in terms of becoming a referee for able bodied Ice Hockey?

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Officiating Program and Risk Management Council would likely have some concerns about safety if an official were to use a sled in an Abled-Body game. That being said, it might be possible for you to pursue opportunities as a Sled Hockey Official (where everyone is in sleds). The obvious hurdles would be how you would maneuver around during play while signaling a “delayed penalty” (one arm straight in the air), how you would carry a whistle, and how you would blow a whistle with a full face-mask (we’re not certain you could wear a half-shield visor as an official during a sled game).

You could try reaching out to your USA Hockey District Risk Manager and see what they say. Contact information is listed in the USA Hockey Annual Guide which is available at

Download the USA Hockey Mobile Rulebook App to your mobile device from your app store today!