The “Initiation Program” U7 program is a hockey program designed for up to 6 year olds. It is Hockey Canada’s premiere “Learn to Play” program and is the foundation of skills development for all hockey in the West Lorne Minor Hockey
The goal is to make a child’s first contact with hockey a fun, safe, and positive experience. The fun, non-competitive environment allows beginners to learn age appropriate skills and become contributing members of a team, develop confidence, and experience personal achievement.
The Initiation Program (U7) promotes the belief that if the introduction to hockey is a positive one, the players will develop a lifetime love of the game.
Cross-ice / half-ice hockey game play is part of the initiation program per Hockey Canada requirements.
Is there travel involved with U7 Hockey?
West Lorne U7 teams will play games in house with other U7 West Lorne Teams, as well as up to 10 exhibition games with other centres from October - April (approximately 25 weeks). It is our intent to have as many teams as possible to have as many in-house West Lorne only games as possible, however there is benefit to playing other centres as well. Having exhibition games against other centres prepares the kids for the next level of hockey (U8) and keeps their transitions to full play moving.
All games are exhibition games, scores are not kept. Usually a home and away game is set up with other centres. Home games are during West Lorne ice time. Away games may be additional times on the weekends to accommodate the away centre's ice schedule. For example, one weekend your child may have home ice in West Lorne on Saturday, and travel to Glencoe on Sunday. We typically set up exhibition games with Southwest (Glencoe/Bothwell), Port Stanley, and East Lambton (Alvinston).
The goals and objectives of Initiation Program (U7) hockey programming are to:
· Teach all of the basic skills of hockey so players can enjoy the game
· Assist in the development and enhancement of physical literacy and basic motor patterns
· Develop and encourage the concepts of being a team member through player participation in both on-ice and off-ice activities,
· Encourage the aspects of fitness, fair play and co-operation while having fun playing the game.
· Age-Appropriate - Designed practice and game play that is appropriate to the age, size and skill level of the participant
For information on funding for new/first year Initiation Program registrants, click here.
Does my child need to know how to Skate to be part of the Initiation Program (U7)?
At West Lorne Minor Hockey we are committed to all skill levels. The ability to skate is considered an asset for U7 and will ensure your child can get the most of out their first hockey experience.
The West Elgin Skating Club offers many options for Learn to Skate programs. As well, in 2023/2024, West Lorne Minor Hockey is offering an Intro to Hockey program that combines learn to skate with hockey skills for players U5 - U9.