WELCOME TO THE DRAGON’S DEN
For all children ages 4 to 6, we will teach your child to skate and play hockey, all while having FUN!
The Heartland “Jr. Dragons” Program offers an introduction to hockey for 4 – 6 year old boys and girls in a fun and supportive environment. Everyone is welcome!! The program is tailored to different skill levels and is open to beginners with no skating experience as well as children with prior skating experience.
Our Jr. Dragons program typically runs from mid-September through to the end of March. All practices and games will be at our home rink, The Paramount Centre. Your team will practice every Saturday rotating between 11am, 12pm, and 1pm, for one hour (except Christmas Week and March Break). Games are expected to be on Sundays between 12:30pm and 1:30pm. Initially, Saturdays and Sundays will be used for practices. Games will begin on Sundays after 3-5 weeks as our experience has shown that most kids are comfortable skating independently by this time.
At Heartland, we focus on fun and friendships! Our goal is to provide the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of the game while gaining confidence and developing their abilities at their own pace. Players are supervised and taught by dedicated, trained coaches (usually 3-4 volunteer coaches per team). All our coaches are police checked and trained volunteers. We provide play books with diagrams to our coaches that set out the planned drills for each practice. This program ensures that all players receive a consistent program of practices to develop their skills.
We hope you choose to come to the Dragons Den to be part of the FUN!!! Watch our website for updates about our program. We will be holding a meeting for parents following the evaluations that will give parents an opportunity to meet the coach and answer any questions you may have. To register, click on the “Registration” section of our website. If you have any immediate questions please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jr. Dragon Evaluations
Evaluations are the first process that we use to determine the skill level for all our players. Evaluations begin in September and last for 3 -5 weeks. All players are expected to attend the evaluations.
- Dragon evaluations are for registered HDHA players only and there is no participation fee
- Please arrive at least 40 minutes prior to scheduled start to allow time to check-in and get ready. Dressing room space may be limited; players are encouraged to put some of their equipment on at home.
- All players must have full hockey equipment, including CSA approved helmet/facemask and BNQ certified throat protector.
Players who do not attend the evaluations will be placed based on known history and input from the previous coaching.
Evaluations are only the beginning of team building. Players are assessed based on the skills and ability’s displayed during the evaluations. The placement on a team is based on this assessment and how they compared with the other players. After all the players have been evaluated, the teams will be assembled based on the overall assessed skill levels; all teams will have an equal amount of beginners, intermediate and advanced players. Once your son or daughter has been placed on a team, you will be contacted by your coach. During the next four weeks, further assessment of the teams will take place. The purpose of this review is to balance the teams. Player’s skills levels are monitored to attempt to organize playing levels as fairly as possible. Some final movement of players from one team to another team may occur at this time.
A key goal of our program is to try to ensure an environment where players have the opportunity to be on the ice, learning, playing and developing with other kids at a comparable skill level. This is particularly important in games. To achieve this we divide the players on each team into three lines; red, white and blue based on playing ability. These lines are adjusted throughout the season players develop their skills and are ready for greater challenges.
Structure of Game Play
- Games last 40 minutes. During the games, the buzzer will indicate a shift change every 2-3 minutes to ensure fair play
- We do not believe in keeping score at this age
- All players will have equivalent playing time.
- Penalties will only be called for a flagrant foul (i.e. slashing, cross-checking, high-sticking, etc.). The penalty will be the remainder of the shift.
- All players must wear full equipment, helmet, mask and hockey neck guard, etc.., and equipment must be CSA approved.
- Every player will have the chance to play goalie (equipment provided) at least once during the season.
- To build self-confidence they will play against children of an equal skill level.
- No scores or individual stats will be kept.
- The emphasis is on participation and skills development, not winning.
Full hockey equipment is a must. Reasonably priced new player equipment is available at Canadian Tire and Hockey Pro Life for about $100. Click here to view A Guide to Fitting Hockey Equipment.
As an introductory offer, “new” first year players that register to play with the Heartland Dragons will receive a starter hockey equipment kit as a bonus for becoming a Jr. Dragon (while supplies last!!)
The final weekend of the season is “Championship Weekend”. All players will also have the opportunity to attend a year end banquet where every player receives a trophy.
Six (6) years olds have the option to tryout for the “Select 6” in their final year of the Jr. Dragon program. This program will be offered to six (6) year olds based on a selection process that will take place after the regular House League Evaluations. There will be an additional cost for this program. The amount will be identified prior to you deciding to participate in this program.
The “Select 6” program provides kids the opportunity to play a more competitive game in addition to our regular IP program. The main purpose of this program is to prepare the players for the higher competitive levels of hockey in their Minor Novice year.
The “Select 6” team will be allocated an additional sheet of ice each week to learn the game of hockey Players will be taught the more formal rules of hockey including: where to be during a face off, icing, offside, penalties and playing a position. All games played with Select 6 are refereed with certified On-Ice Officials.