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Mite/Termite/8U/6U Information Page

2022/23 Mite Season Format

Minnetonka Youth Hockey Association (MYHA), in consultation with the Hockey Development Committee, the MYHA Board, and Mite coaches, have worked to lay out a foundation for hockey development for the Minnetonka Mite program. It starts with good skating, and then builds to add in puck control, physical play, passing and shooting. All of this works to help build solid foundation of skills to help teach our kids about the game, to prepare them for Squirts, and to help them have fun.

 

The MYHA Mite goals are:

  • Have fun  - lots of smiles
  • Create a positive atmosphere
  • Foster a love of the game
  • Learn the fundamentals
  • Develop good sportsmnship
  • Make new friends
  • And most importantly, have fun!

 

The Mite program is divided into three levels.

  • Termites (Pre-k skaters)
  • Mite 1/Mite 2s for boys or 6Us for girls (mostly Kindergartners and 1st graders)
  • Mite 3/Mite 4s for boys or 8Us for girls (mostly 2nd and 3rd graders)

See the age classification page for specific breakouts.

 

Within the upper Mite levels (Mite 3/4s or 8Us), the teams will be differentiated by skill level. The kids will be evaluated together during skill/evaluation sessions in early October.  The evaluation will determine team placement in one of 3 levels.  The number of teams may be adjusted depending on registration. Once skill level is determined, we will make every effort to group kids by their school, but due to some limits there are no guarantees about playing with other kids.

Advanced Upper Mites (2 teams for both boys and girls): Primarily 3rd graders and likely some 2nd graders based on Evaluation results

Intermediate Upper Mites (4 boys teams and 3 girls teams): Near even combination of 2nd grade and 3rd grader players.  Teams balanced based on Evaluation results

Novice Upper Mites (2 boys teams): Primarily 2nd graders and 3rd graders new to hockey.  Heavy focus on further skating and stick handling development

Key Dates

  • Mite 1,2,3,4 coach meetingSep 29
  • 8U, 6U Parent Meeting: Sunday October 2 @ 8pm
    • 8U/6U Coaches meeting to follow
  • Mite1, 2, 3, 4 Parent Meeting: Tuesday, October 11 @7pm
  • Development/Eval Sessions: Upper Mites/8U, October 8, 9, 15 and 16
  • NO skating MEA weekend, October 22 and 23
  • Team Practices Begin:  October 29 and 30 for ALL Levels
  • MITE team practices every Saturday and Sunday through early March 
  • TERMITE practices every Sunday beginning early December through early March
  • End of season Mite Jamboree for all levels Mar 10-12, 2023

MYHA Boys Mite Director

Scott Zacharias

Scott Zacharias

Boys Mite Director

Minnetonka Girls Mite Director

Jerry Mitchell

Jerry Mitchell

Girls Mite Director

NEW TO MINNETONKA MITE HOCKEY?

Please read the FAQ about Minnetonka Mite Hockey, including how many days a week your player will skate and on what days, expectations of time commitment, what level to sign up for, and how you can volunteer to help.

Please note that USA Hockey verifies birth dates at all levels, including Mite and Termites. Please be prepared to provide confirmation of your players date of birth while registering. 

 

MITE EQUIPMENT

Minnetonka colors are Royal Blue and White.  We encourage families to purchase a Royal Blue helmet, gloves and pants (breezers) when  possible, but Royal Blue is not necessary for the Mite program

The link below is a list of the equipment required for Mite hockey.

We encourage you to purchase equipment through our sponsors: Hanus Sports in Deephaven .

Goalie equipment is provided by MYHA for those interested in trying the position.

QUESTIONS? START HERE!

Frequently Asked Questions about Mites (click here):

We have done our best to answer some of the most commonly asked questions on our FAQ page. Check it out!


HOW FULL ICE LOOKS TO MITE PLAYERS

To demonstrate how a full sheet of ice looks to a child, USA Hockey put adult players on an extra large rink with giant nets to simulate what a child sees. The players found the games tiring, difficult and said they would lose interest quickly in the sport if that was what they faced. See how adult players opened their eyes to what is being taught by the American Development Model of cross-ice hockey and small-area games.

Why play cross-ice hockey?

A message from Minnesota's Hal Tearse. 

STATISTICS ON CROSS ICE HOCKEY

A cutting-edge NHL analytics team puts the test to youth hockey for the first time ever. They track battles, puck touches, shift lengths, shots per player, passes attempted, passes received, shots on net and more. Hear results from the kids themselves.

Watch this video and see what you think.

Stickhandling for Mites and Squirts

 A video from Minnesota Hockey.  

The Rules Are Changing

The USTA has also recognized the value in sizing their court in relation to the size of their athletes. While there is not hockey mentioned in this short video, it is the same concept and very well done. It just makes sense and we are hearing great feedback about our dedication to the cross-ice format for all of our Mites!

Breaking (Up) the Ice - from USA Hockey

Playing hockey on a cross-ice or half-size “rink” seems to make sense for the 8 and under crowd.  All other youth sports—football, basketball, baseball, soccer—reduce the size of the playing area.  But since this spring, when USA Hockey announced it as the official new norm for all 8 and under players, you can’t go to a rink without overhearing plenty of chatter, questions and complaints on this topic.  We asked a USA Hockey representative for help with parents’ biggest concerns.

Benefits: Get in the Game

First, let’s take a quick look at the potential benefits of playing cross-ice of half-ice hockey as proscribed in USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM).

• Every player should get to touch the puck more.
• Every player should have the chance to score.
• Goalies should face more shots.
• Average players get in the game.
• Higher-level players face more of a challenge than just taking advantage of breakaways.

I’ve actually seen the benefits of playing cross-ice in action as I have one son who learned before the ADM was in place (and played on full ice from age 5), and one who is learning now. But I overhear tons of talk about the smaller playing area and realize that it’s a concern for other parents. So I jotted down some of the most common questions and brought them to Joe Doyle, a USA Hockey Manager for the American Development Model.

Q: What if my kid—who is extra special—is ready for full ice?
A: USA Hockey’s position is that no 8 and Under players are “ready” to play full ice games. “Ready” is in no way a knock on the players’ skill level or skating ability. It is merely the fact that the smaller surface is age appropriate, and it is in the best interest of any 7- or 8-year-old—developmentally and fun wise.

Think of it this way: Could an 8-year-old run 90 feet down the first base path? Yes, but what would his stride look like the last 30 feet? That is why Little League baseball diamonds have 60 foot base paths—not to mention a shorter distance from the mound to home plate, 210 foot fences instead of 400 feet fences, etc. Soccer, basketball and football all shrink their playing surface and ball because it’s in the KIDS best interest in learning that particular sport’s fundamental skills.

Q: Is my super star being held back to benefit the average kids?
A: The “super star” is, in fact, put in a more challenging environment due to having less time and space with the puck—an environment that will more readily put her on the path to super stardom! At cross-ice and half-ice, he is required to play around and through players, learning real puck protection skills.

For Mites, full-ice hockey is commonly called “breakaway hockey” for good reason. The better player picks up the puck in his end, makes maybe one move, and then skates three-quarters of the length of the ice on a breakaway. That is not real hockey. The number of pivots, shots on goal, saves and true hockey plays that occur increase exponentially in cross-ice and half-ice games.

Q: How will my player get fit enough to skate full ice when the time comes?
A: This is exactly why they NEED to play cross-ice/half-ice at ages 8 and under—their bodies aren’t ready muscularly, physically, etc., to skate 200 feet and then have the energy to make a play once they get there. As their bodies grow and develop, they will become more physically able to play on the same surface that 6’4” men play on.

Q: How will they learn off-sides for when they become Squirts?
A: They’ll learn off-sides at the time they need to learn off sides—when they are Squirts. And it will likely take less than one practice or game for most of them to learn, especially for the kids who watch hockey on TV or who have older siblings who play.

 

Arena Codes

 

PAC – Pagel Activity Center

PAC2 – Pagel Activity Center Rink 2

CCC – Chaska Community Center (Rinks 1 or 2)

EP – Eden Prairie Community Center (Rinks 1, 2 or 3)

MTKA A/B - Minnetonka Ice Arena (Rink A or B)

VEL – Velocity Hockey Center, Eden Prairie

 

 

 

Address can be found at www.rinkfinder.com

Sponsored by District 6 Website

District 6 Website

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District 6 rules for league registrations


VOLUNTEER HOUR INFO FOR MITE COACHES

The MYHA Board has approved the Volunteer Hours available for Mite Coaches and Team Managers.  For 2022-2023, the following hours are available:

Mite Head Coach - 24 hours

Mite Assistant Coach - 8 hours (up to three coaches per team*)
* Teams are allowed to have more rostered coaches.  All coaches must be rostered (which includes a background check) to be on the ice at any time during a practice or game.

Mite Team Managers - 4 hours**
**To receive credit, the Team Manager must also be involved with the Mite Mania and/or Mite Jamboree.

Coaches Volunteer Hours cannot be further divided, reassigned or gifted to another coach either on the same team or any other team in the association.

For full Volunteer Hour requirements and additional information, please go to the Volunteers Page.