First of all, welcome to Lakes Area Hockey Association and congratulations on enrolling your child in the most exciting sport in the world! We have learned over the years that not only do the kids need coaching, but a guide for our parents has proven to be quite helpful too!
This guide will provide parents answer to most of the questions parents of youth hockey players have when first enrolling your child in youth hockey at Lakes Area Hockey Association, or understanding the needs for their players age division. It is intended to help understand how things work and where you need to go for more information. As always, our best resource is our website, please click here for more Lakes Area Hockey Association information, calendar, LAHA board and more!
The Mission of the Lakes Area Hockey Association is to create, nurture, and sustain ice-related sports and recreation programs that teach and improve skills; to foster sportsmanship, teamwork, and enjoyment; and improve fitness. These programs are financially accessible and meet the needs and interests of participants of all ages and skill levels throughout the community.
Lakes Area Hockey Association was formed in 2001. A tough bunch of kids and coaches played outdoors for 11 years while a dedicated group of volunteers worked to raise the funds and build the "Rink of Dreams" that is now the Lakes Ice Arena. Our hockey program has grown to over 100 players and has inspired the introduction of other sports to the facility including figure skating, curling, and lacrosse.
Lakes Area Hockey Association offers several different programs for its members and provides options for all levels of play for both boys and girls of all ages. You are not required to have skating lessons prior to joining the Lakes Area Hockey Association. We provide many "Try Hockey" sessions for free throughout the year for players interested in joining the game of hockey.
The Lakes Area Hockey Association has an automated online registration system overseen by our association Registrar. In order to play in your first practice or game, payment is required. The Lakes Area Hockey Associations offers and installment program for all age levels. Guidelines set by the Association for collection of these payments is through SportsEngine system. All monies are overseen by our Association Treasurer, and failure to play is reported to the MWHA governing board.
Our 8 & Under Program at Lakes Area is run differently than the other age groups. The primary focus in the 8 & Under Program is introducing the fundamentals and skill development while making it fun and developing a passion for the game. The 8 & Under Program at Lakes Area Hockey Association will continue to follow the USA Hockey ADM (American Development Model). Please visit the USA Hockey link for more information on the ADM at www.admkids.com/ .
The 8 & Under Program will set the foundation for the players' hockey development and prepare them to progress through the older age divisions (Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam, and High School) where opportunities exist at Lakes Area Hockey to play on competitive travel teams.
One of the first things parents notice about hockey is the expense. Every child that participates at LAHA is required to pay fees for their participation. The fees vary based on age, level of play, and additional team costs. Typically fees for mini-mites are lowest and travel team fees are the highest. Fees vary slightly year to year and by age division. All these fees are paid to LAHA and are used to pay for games, practices, and other per team costs associated with running the association. In addition to LAHA fees each team may collect an additional team fee for additional expenditures. These fees may be used to purchase team apparel, tournament fees, and other team expenses. These fees are typically at the discretion of the coach and/or team manager/treasurer.
LAHA does have a scholarship program where players families can receive financial help from the association to pay for fees. Scholarships require a detail application to be filled out regarding the families financial need. All scholarships are reviewed by the scholarship committee and are given out based solely on need.
Click here to apply for a scholarship!
Our D4 season typically runs from November to March, with season ending playoffs or jamboree. D4 at Lakes Area Hockey has one tournament hosted at Lakes Ice Arena , and often coaches will have the team attend three tournaments throughout the season.
Our IHSHA season typically runs from October to March. The team may qualify for playoffs and Nationals if a league championship is won. Travel can be within Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas.
See our tournaments page located at https://www.lakesareahockey.com/tournaments-home
Like any youth organization a successful season at LAHA depends heavily on its volunteers. Each team must staff several volunteer positions. All parents and guardians of LAHA players will be expected to volunteer throughout the season. There are several opportunities to volunteer throughout the season. Each team will appoint a team manager. The team manager is a key volunteer and each manager receives training from LAHA as well as a handbook to guide them through the duties they need to perform. Each coach will appoint a team manager at the beginning of the year and will work with the team manager closely throughout the season. The manager is responsible for much of the administrative duties for a team.
D4 Hockey - Minnesota District 4 Hockey League
D4 is the league that the travel teams participate in.
MWAHA - Mid-West Amateur Hockey Association
This is the body that USA Hockey recognizes at the state level. It is responsible for registering teams, providing background checks for coaches, running the state tournaments and state camps, etc.
IHSHA - Iowa High School Hockey Alliance
Is the league that the high school team participates in.
USA Hockey is the governing body for amateur hockey in the United States. It runs the national tournaments, and assembles national teams for participation in international competitions among many other things.
Each year Lakes Area hosts elections for the board of directors. Each year 3 director at large positions are elected. Each LAHA family can cast one vote per child registered for the board of directors. Once the board is elected they then elect a President, and the President will appoint a Vice President, Treasurer, Registrar, and Secretary. All board positions are volunteer positions and each director at large term is 3 years.
Parents of players should be aware of important dates leading up to the season and during the season to make sure that they don't miss out on an opportunity.
Skates, helmet, gloves, shin pads, elbow pads, pants, shoulder pads, stick
Skate sharpening. Equipment may be purchased online at local hockey retail stores, or local hockey swaps.
Equipment Information: Total Hockey Equipment Guide