Frequently asked questions

Equipment

Will my child need full hockey equipment as required in structured hockey?


Yes, attired in full equipment according to Hockey Canada playing rules is required to participate. See our Equipment List.




What equipment does my child need and how much does it cost?


Please download our Equipment List. Equipment will probably run around $300 but you can spend a lot more...or less if you buy used. There's a pretty good site here, but you don't need the skate guards, puck or practice ball.




Where can I get used equipment?


You can post what you are looking for on our Facebook page. See the link at the bottom of this page. Other places: Hinton Buy and Sell The Share Shop





Registration

What ages do you offer Pond Hockey to?


This is something we question every year and we make adjustments based on number of supervisors, ice time and our experience and comments from players and parents. In the past we have had 2 practice times, one junior and one senior. Because of operational needs, we have combined both groups into one and set age limits of 5-13. HPA reserves the right to allow players outside this limit, but it is a solid guideline meant to ensure a good experience for all the players.




I am not sure my child will like it, can I try it out first?


Because a waiver, parent agreement, consent etc. need to be agreed to, we make everyone register and pay the fee. If your child doesn’t like it after a few sessions, we will refund the registration fee. We won’t refund the processing fee (around $7) as this money goes to our registration service and HPA would be out-of-pocket $7. Please see the question below on our rfund policy.




What if I can’t afford the fee or hockey equipment (Jumpstart)?


The Canadian Tire Jumpstart program may be able to help you. You apply to Jumpstart and they will determine an amount they will support you with. They send us a cheque for registration fees. Once we get the cheque, we email you a discount code that you can use on the online registration form. If jumpstart covers the full registration fee, you won't even need a credit card and the Zone4 processing fee won't apply. Your participation in the Jumpstart program is confidential - only the HPA Executive will know. And if you're reading this and can afford it, please consider donating to the Jumpstart program.




What is your refund policy?


The player will have 2 scheduled practices (whether the player attends or not) after the player registers to try it out.
Full refund of the registration fee if the refund request is received at
hintonpondhockey@gmail.com before the start of the 3rd scheduled practice. Refunds do not include processing fees the parent paid to Zone4. After that, no refunds. Covid-19 developments or other events beyond the Board's control will not alter
this policy. Board reserves the right to change the policy at any time to ensure, in the
Board’s sole judgement, fairness to the player and family and/or the financial
health of Hinton Pond Hockey. For example, a refund on ice time fees by the
Town of Hinton may allow the Board to issue a pro-rated refund.





Volunteers


General

What is Pond Hockey?


POND HOCKEY is an innovative Hockey Alberta program that focuses on participation in a less structured and flexible environment by enabling young people and families to enjoy the game of hockey. Hinton Pond Hockey is a part of Hockey Alberta and you can read more about it on the Hockey Alberta Pond Hockey page.




When are practices?


Every Friday at the Steve Hotchkiss Arena. The dates and times are posted in the header at the top of this web page. With the new Covid-19 restrictions players and parents are only allowed in the building 20 minutes before the scheduled ice-time and all people must leave the facility 20 minutes after the scheduled ice time




How does a typical practice go?


We usually start with a couple of fun activities with all ages on the ice. This can be tag, duck hunt (shooting the puck at anothers’ skates to tag them - kids love it) , or protect the puck. These are fun activities, but they also promote skill development.

Then we usually break into 3 groups based on skill level with an on-ice supervisor working with each group on a skill or 2.
We finish with a scrimmage. We usually have 2 teams with 2 lines on each team. Each team will have a higher and a lower skilled line and we match lines to make it fair. We don’t keep score. We run each line for ~2 minutes and then we change. At this time we also adjust the nets... we move them to the blue lines for the lower skill/younger players so they have a much shorter playing surface and we go full length for the higher skill/older players. On-ice supervisors are known to “help” teams and players to make things even and ensure everyone gets some puck time.




Is it no-hit (non-contact) hockey


Absolutely




Is my child insured for a severe injury?


We have $5,000,000 per occurrence Commercial and General Liability Insurance through Hockey Alberta. You can read more about the insurance program here or, even better, Hockey Canada’s SAFETY REQUIRES TEAMWORK & SAFETY FOR ALL has even more detail on insurance.




What time commitment are you looking for from me as a parent?


The Hinton Pond Hockey Association is run by volunteers and any help is appreciated, from board members to on-ice supervisors and managers. Doesn’t matter if you can’t skate - be a manager and work the benches. Contact us if you are interested in helping out or just talk to us at practice. Hinton Pond Hockey has come close to dying a several times because almost no-one volunteered to sit on the board. There are board positions that do not require a lot of work and we've set up the positions so we've got some pretty good instructions on how to do the job - so pretty much anyone can do it. It's really a team effort and you'll have help. If you like the pond hockey program, please consider talking to us about a board member position so we can keep the kids on the ice.




Will my child be supervised while on the ice and by who?


All our on-ice supervisors are volunteers. As such we don't always get the same number and people from week to week. As required by the Hockey Alberta Pond Hockey program, our on-ice supervisors must complete the Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders Course. Our on-ice supervisor coordinator normally gets an indication of how many supervisors are coming each week. If there's none available, the practice will be cancelled. If there's only one or two, the practice may be cancelled or modified so we don't have too many players on the ice at the same time. Player safety is #1 priority.




How are discipline issues handled?


Since adequate adult supervision is required, discipline will be handled by the Hinton Pond Hockey Association. Typically an on-ice supervisor will deal with issues right away. Please feel free to point out issues to any on-ice supervisor if they don't see them. If you have an issue that needs to be addressed by the board, submit it by e-mail to the association within 3 days of the incident. Ongoing or serious discipline issues will be dealt with by the board which may include termination of the player's registration.




Will I have to fundraise for my child to play pond hockey?


NO! there is no fundraising required but each family must pay the yearly fee.




What about travel?


Hinton Pond Hockey has been approached by other towns to see if we would be interested in travelling to play a game. The executive has declined because there is no travel in Hinton Pond Hockey.




Is pond hockey actually played on an outside pond?


It can be, but Hinton Pond Hockey only practices inside at the Steve Hotchkiss Arena in the rec centre.




Do you have separate dressing rooms for boys and girls?


We normally do. There's no nudity or showering in our dressing rooms and with the age of the kids, some years parents have been comfortable with co-ed dressing rooms or their child gets changed at home. So we have 2 big dressing rooms. We also have 1 smaller dressing room for girls only.




How do you communicate with parents?


Our primary way of communicating with parents is through Team App. Team App s a platform that allows teams to improve communication by creating their own smartphone app. It allows us to post schedules, load documents, share photos and there is a members only chat feature that we use to communicate with parents and parents can communicate with us. If you don't wish to post in the chat, you can always e-mail us but you will get faster service in the chat. And you can always approach one of the board members at practice for an in person chat.





On-Ice Supervisors

How do I volunteer to be an On-Ice Supervisor?


Send us an e-mail to hintonpondhockey@gmail.com, let us know on our Facebook page, or simply talk to any board member at practice. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.




What do I need to be an On-Ice Supervisor?


Other than the ability to skate and play basic hockey, you are required to have the Respect In Sport for Activity Leaders Course (not the Respect in Sport for Parents) and the certificate needs to have your name on it. Since we are not coaches, no coaching certificate is needed. All on-ice supervisors get registered in the Hockey Canada Registry each year, so we also need to collect some personal information like your date of birth and address. Lastly, you need a way to communicate with the On-Ice Supervisor Coordinator (OISC). The OISC needs to know who is and who is not going to be there each week and typically sends out a group text to all the on-ice supervisors every Friday morning. If you can't text, we can do this by e-mail, also.




Why is the Respect in Sport for Activity Leaders required?


The short answer is not having this certificate puts our Ponf Hockey Program at risk. Hockey Canada supports safe and respectful sport environments and considers the Respect in Sport Activity Leader program an important initiative to foster this. Bottom line is it is required by Hockey Alberta/Hockey Canada. Hinton Pond Hockey gets sanctioned by Hockey Alberta every year so we are covered by their insurance program. Without that insurance, we would not be allowed to use the arena and our players and supervisors would not be covered. All pond hockey players and on-ice supervisors are registered in the Hockey Canada Registry (HCR) which is tied into this insurance. Hockey Alberta goes into our HCR entries and approves on-ice supervisors. They check for the certificate and if they don't find one, they mark the on-ice supervisor as "not eligible". This also means that the on-ice supervisor is not covered by insurance.




I'm not sure what my certificate # is, or if it's the right one or if it's expired.


You can look it up here. For the expiry, you'll have to log in and look in the top right corner of the page or use the calculation method below. We've been in contact with the Respect in Sport people and they are revamping their system to include expiry dates. If you want to know how to calculate the expiry, Hockey Alberta has a cycle of 4 "seasons" rather than 4 years, with a roll-over date of May 1. For example if the individual certified November 2014, the cycle end dates would be:

  • Cycle 1 - May 1, 2015
  • Cycle 2 - May 1, 2016
  • Cycle 3 - May 1, 2017
  • Cycle 4 - May 1, 2018 After this date it would be expired.




I can only be there occassionally.  Is that OK?


Absolutely.




What equipment is required for an On-Ice Supervisor?


Skates, helmet and stick. Gloves are recommended as is a helmet visor (some of these kids swing sticks pretty wildly). Anyhting else is up to you.




How do you coordinate the On-Ice Supervisors?


It varies... Wev are going to try out TeamApp this year and it will have a special chat room for On-Ice Supervisors/Coaches. Please let the coordinator know in there, if possible. Please be specific, if you can. If you have all 5 people saying "I can be there if needed" puts it back on the supervisor to decide whois needed. It's easier for the supervisor if you say "yes" or "no". If there are not enough responses or not enough replies of "yes", the On-Ice Supervisor Coordinator will start making individual texts or messages. If we don't get enough yes's we may modify practice to have half the kids on the ice at a time or we may cancel practice. If you can't/don't want to text, that's OK. Phone On-Ice Supervisor Coordinator or send and e-mail to hintonpondhockey@gmail.com.




I only want to be a back-up?


That's OK. Just let the On-Ice Supervisor Coordinator know your wishes and if youwant to be included on the weekly group text asking for supervisors and/or how to get a hold of you if needed. Back-ups will usually get short notice and it's a good idea to bring skates, helmet and a stick even if you are just planning on sittin in the bleachers.




Who pays for the Respect in Sport For Activity Leaders course?


Initially you do. The cost is $30 plus GST. Hinton Pond Hockey will refund your fee if you request. Simply e-mail hintonpondhockey@gmail.com your certificate number with a request for a refund and once we verify completion we will cut you a cheque.





Team App

What is Team App?


Team App s a platform that allows teams to improve communication by creating their own smartphone app. It allows us to post schedules, load documents, share photos and there is a members only chat feature that we use to communicate with parents and parents can communicate with us.




Why did you switch to Team App for communicating with parents?


A number of reasons... The first was it was suggested by a number of parents as a better way to communicate. We listened. Not everone had Facebook and messages on Facebook were often buried and missed. It was designed for this. It keeps communications, files, photos, links, news and schedules all in a very easy to find system. It was easier for the board. As an example, rather than answering a bunch of "Is there pond hockey today?" emails and posts, we keep the schedule in Team App up to date and people can check for themselves. It allows for different groups to be set up. If you are a parent you see a chat room for everyone to use, but we also have a seperate chat room for coaches and even one just for board members to have discussions. You can't easily do that with Facebook.




Do I need a smartphone? What if I don't have one?


Do you need a smartphone? - not really, but it is easier. You can go to TeamApp, create an account (or log-in) and access all the stuff on the app right on your desktop computer. You can even sign up for e-mail alerts.




How do I get the App?


Go to https://www.teamapp.com/app Once you downlaod the app you'll need to register an account with Team App. You register your name, not the child's. You also have to activate the account wich is usually clicking an e-mail link they send you or enerting a confirmation code they send you by test.





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