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Try Hockey For Free

Nov. 9, 2019 and Feb. 22, 2020

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:

  • One hour of ice time.
  • Volunteers for on-ice, check-in, getting dressed, off-ice recruitment and marketing.
  • Required equipment includes a minimum of 40 helmets, skates and gloves (can be winter gloves). Full sets of equipment to be borrowed by participants is recommended if available.

USA Hockey Provides:

  • USA Hockey jerseys & giveaways
  • On- and off-ice clinic guidelines
  • USA Hockey sanctioning
  • Online registration platform
  • Grassroots promotional tools
  • Best practices on attracting new families
  • National marketing

Key Dates

November Events

September: Complete online training video (a representative from each organization is required to completely watch the training video in your Try Hockey portal).

Mid-October: Jerseys, giveaways, and grassroots promotional material arrive.

November 9th: Celebrate Try Hockey For Free Day!

Hockey Week Across America Events

January: Complete online training video (a representative from each organization is required to completely watch the training video in your Try Hockey portal).

Early-February: Jerseys, giveaways, and grassroots promotional material arrive.

February 22: 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 resources.

Please feel free to reach out to your Program Services point of contact with any questions.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q:   How do I make sure that I am not liable if a child gets injured? 
A:
    In order to be a host site, we will contact your Associate Registrar and sanction your event as a grow the game event. Then participants will need to register through TryHockeyForFree.com and they will be covered by USA Hockey insurance for your try hockey for free clinic. 

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. 
 
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.  
  
Q:   When will I receive my jerseys and pre-event marketing items? 
A:
   They arrive in two separate shipments prior to the event. In order to receive these items, a representative from the host site must completely watch the online training video in your Try Hockey portal. The earlier you watch the video, the earlier your materials will arrive. If you have questions, contact your Program Services point of contact.
 
Q:   What if more than 40 kids show up and we don't have enough for everyone? 
A:
   Associations that succeed at attracting a large group will need to get creative; unfortunately, there are not enough jerseys and goodie bags to send more. Most groups use them as an incentive for early online registration, promoting that the first 40 to sign up will receive a jersey and goodie bag. 
 
Q:   How do I get printable marketing pieces? 
A:
   There will be customizable templates for flyers, marketing cards, and posters. If you need help customizing, please communicate with your Program Services point of contact. A limited amount of Halloween cards will be shipped to you; these are to be distributed to your association's families for their trick or treaters. All other printing costs are left up to the host site. 
 
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.