Q: What's the age range & skill level required to join?
A: Girls 4-15 are invited to join us and no hockey experience is necessary. In fact, 95% of our players are new to the game! The ability to skate is a bonus but, don't worry, we'll have her zipping around the rink in no time. We provide the gear too. (Seriously, what's not to like???) If you want to get a better sense of what our club is all about, please watch this short video from the Oregonian.
Q: What if my daughter can’t skate?
A: No biggie! Even the most accomplished hockey players started with bendy ankles and wobbly knees. And they fell down. A lot. Your player will too. But don’t worry ... that’s all part of learning to skate (plus she’ll be well padded in her hockey gear). Our fantastic on ice volunteers will help as well.
Q: What should I bring to the rink on the day of the event?
A: If we gave you a smart looking' red jersey already, bring it! (If not, we'll provide it -- no worries!) Also bring a hairband if your skater has long hair and a water bottle marked with her name. For safety, mouth guards are required.
Q: What should my daughter wear under her hockey equipment?
A: Girls should wear comfortable clothing in which they can play and have fun! We recommend a loose fitting shirt on top. On the bottom, some girls like to wear tights with their shin guards over the tights, all covered by hockey socks which we loan players for free. Other girls like to wear sweat pants & pull their hockey gear and socks over them. Everyone is different and, as your player attends more practices, she'll figure out what works best. Remember, too, that the rink is cold. When not in her hockey gear, she (as well as Mom, Dad, and other spectators) should bring a coat, hat & warm stuff.
Q: What will the girls be doing on the ice?
A: Coach Caroline and Coach Rose will lead the girls through age specific hockey drills as outlined by USA Hockey. They’ll use a building block approach starting with the fundamentals of skating at the start of practice and finishing with both the stick and puck. In addition, different drills will take place at different stations on the ice. The rest of our practice plan is top secret!
Q: Will the players get a hockey jersey?
A: Heck yes! Every child in our Pilot Program and Spring Season received a sharp looking red Rose City Hockey Club jersey. These sell for $90 on eBay so hold on to yours. (Ok, just kidding about eBay, but keep the jersey because you’ll need it for future sessions.)
Q: What equipment will be in the "loaner" hockey bag?
A: We provide all participants hockey gear. Each hockey bag will contain a helmet, chest protector, elbow pads, hockey pants, and shin protectors. (By the way, mouth guards are required.)
Q: Will the girls scrimmage? Will there be checking?
A: Yes, we usually scrimmage at the end of practice. These cross-ice games allowed players to get more "touches" of the puck (compared to playing on a full sheet of ice). There's no checking in our program or in girl's or women's hockey at any level … including the Olympics!
Q: Love this program! What can I do to help? Thank you! Since our club's only a year old, we'd love your help spreading the word by "liking" our FB page and "sharing" it with your network. Another option is to donate to the club. Among other things, our money will go to our girls scholarship program for children who otherwise could not skate, as well as ice fees and gear. Even $10 helps! Thank you.
Q: My daughter tried hockey & loves it, but she doesn't have any equipment. If I were to buy a few pieces, what do you recommend?
A: Like you, our first concern is always safety. The first piece of equipment you should buy is a helmet sized perfectly for your daughter. (The helmets we provide meet USA Hockey specifications but they probably won't fit your player as well as her own.) The second item we recommend is hockey skates, so she can zip down the ice & score a goal!
Q: I'd love to buy my player some hockey gear but, let's face it, it's expensive. Are there any other options?
A: Yes, THREE come to mind! (1) You can pick up used gear at either the Play it Again Sports in Beaverton or the Play it Again Sports in Vancouver, WA. Both stores will give you 10% off if your player wears her red jersey. (2) We recommend buying equipment at Northwest Skate Authority, pro shops located at the Winterhawks Skate Center and Sherwood Ice Arena. If you buy gear during a RCHC event (i.e., camp, practice, skate mob), you'll receive a 10% discount if you spend over $100. (3) The Jr Winterhawks periodically hold a two-day "Gear Swap" at the Winterhawks Skate Center. This is an opportunity to buy used gear at a discount or swap equipment (ex: trading elbow pads that are too small for a bigger pair). Thank you Portland Jr Winterhawks for including our girls!
Q: What is a flash mob skate?
A: These spontaneous events are a chance for your player to practice her skating in an ultra fun setting. Coaches and volunteers show up at a public skate and play tag, follow the leader, and other games with the RCHC players. (They also work in a few skating tips!) Since these are public skate sessions, there is usually a small fee required (it ranges from $11 - $9). Players are urged to wear their RCHC jerseys. Full gear is optional and a helmet (even a bike helmet) is always a good idea. Sticks and pucks aren't allowed. When's the next one? Can't tell ya ... watch FB and our Twitter sites for the next announcement.
Q: I heard there are scholarships available. Is that true?
A: Heck yes! To make hockey accessible to all girls interested in playing, we've given out over $1,200 in scholarships thus far, based on financial need and other considerations. Scholarship applications may be found on the season for which a player is applying for. (Ex: For a spring scholarship, see the spring season page.) All of this has been made possible by generous supporters. If you'd like to donate to the RCHC Fund, which helps pay for scholarships, gear, and other items, pls click here!
Q: Are there online sources to buy gear?
A: Yes, among them are hockeymonkey.com and totalhockey.com. That said, we HIGHLY recommend buying some items of equipment -- like a helmet -- in person so your player can try it on & get sized properly. (In addition, the foam inside a helmet must be relatively new & meet specs to be safe.) Northwest Skate Authority (the pro shop at the Winterhawks Skate Center & Sherwood Ice Arena) is terrific. The guys there are friendly and knowledgable. They'll also give you a 10% discount on purchases over $100 if you buy it during camp, a practice, or skate mob.
Q: Should my daughter play boy’s or girl’s hockey?
A: There are pros and cons to each approach, as outlined in this article (click here). Doing both would be wonderful but, if not possible, we sure hope she decides to skate with us!
Q: My daughter loves your program. She is signed up, but wants even more ice time. Suggestions?
A: Check out the co-ed programs offered by the Vancouver Vipers and the Portland Jr Winterhawks. The more hockey, the better. If she's just learning to skate or brand new to the game, a "learn to skate" or "learn to play hockey" program might be a better fit. You'll find great, affordable programs at the Winterhawks Skate Center, Mountain View Ice Arena, and Sherwood Ice Arena.
Q: How can I learn more about the Rose City Hockey Club?
A: Sign up for regular updates on our website, “like” our Facebook page, and follow us on Twitter (@PDXGirlsHockey) to stay informed.
Q: Who can I contact if I have a question?
A: By all means, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question or suggestion. We are starting this program from scratch and know there’ll be bumps along the way. We welcome your thoughts on how to make it a great experience for the girls.