2023-2024 National Dates:
Nov 4th, 2023 and Feb 24th, 2024
Once your events are approved by USA Hockey Program Services staff, you will receive a login link to the Try Hockey For Free host site portal.
You are also able and encouraged to use the Try Hockey For Free portal for custom dates to ensure USAH Sanctioning and access to marketing resources, your participant list, and USAH Support.
Try Hockey For Free Days provide youth hockey associations with a national platform and opportunity to acquire new players locally. Associations will attract new players for this season as well as capture interested families for the following season. This initiative is a joint-effort between USA Hockey, the National Hockey League and NHL member clubs.
Host Site Requirements:
USA Hockey Provides:
September: Register your association to host try hockey. Once events are approved, you will have access to online resources and training materials.
Mid-October: Jerseys, giveaways, and grassroots promotional material arrive.
Nov 4th, 2023 : Celebrate Try Hockey For Free Day!
December/January: Register your association to host try hockey. Once events are approved, you will have access to online resources and training materials.
Early-February: Jerseys will be sent to host sites.
Hockey Week Across America: Feb 19th - Feb 25th
Feb 24th, 2024: Celebrate Try Hockey For Free Day!
Alternate Date Events
Youth hockey programs are welcome to host a Try Hockey event at any point of the year. When hosting an event on a non-national date, programs are still provided with on- and off-ice clinic guidelines, USA Hockey sanctioning, online registration platform, best practices on attracting new families and event marketing materials.
Please email email@example.com with any questions.
Q: How do I make sure that I am not liable if a child gets injured?
A: By registering your event through our Try Hockey Portal- your youth association is sanctioned through USA Hockey. All participants who register through the portal will be covered. If you have walk-up participants fill our the paper IMR/Waiver, be sure to enter them into the portal after the event for coverage.
Q: How many kids can I expect to attend?
A: Sites that follow our recommendations, and do at least three of our marketing programs, have averaged 32 new kids.
Q: Who is responsible for the ice?
A: The local association/rink host is responsible for securing ice and the associated cost.
Q: Who organizes the coaches and administrative help?
A: The host site is responsible for collecting volunteers to make sure the event is well-staffed and managed. For best practices on volunteer roles and responsibilities, you can view Try Hockey Host Site Webinars HERE.
Q: What about equipment?
A: To run a sanctioned USA Hockey growth event, every player must be wearing a minimum of skates, helmet, and winter gloves. You can do a used equipment drive or solicit association members to see if you can borrow helmets. Please ensure your rink has rental skates available for use. OneGoal youth equipment bundles can be purchased through Pure Hockey HERE.
Q: When will I receive my jerseys and pre-event marketing items?
A: They will be mailed to you prior to the event. In order to receive these items, you must be a USA Hockey registered association and register your try hockey event with USA Hockey. If you have questions, please contact program services staff.
Q: What if we have more participants than the amount of jerseys we receive for national dates?
A: Associations that succeed at attracting a large group will need to get creative; unfortunately, there are not enough jerseys to send additional items. Most groups use them as an incentive for early online registration, promoting that the first players to sign up will receive a jersey and other items if available.
Q: How do I get printable marketing pieces?
A: There are customizable templates for flyers, marketing cards, and posters located in the host site portal. If you need help customizing, please contact program services staff.
Q: Why is the event only being promoted to 4 to 9-year-olds?
A: Almost all kids begin playing youth hockey between the ages of 4 to 9. Your association will benefit most by focusing your recruitment efforts to kids in this age group. Maximizing the number of players that can easily transition into your existing programs will increase your chances for player retention. You are welcome to customize your event details if you are able to accommodate ages outside the recommended range.