The Topeka Youth Hockey Association operates and manages the TYHA program. Please visit our contact page and email us with your questions about youth hockey, learn to skate classes, clinics, camps or figure skating. We will be happy to provide you with all the information you need to get your player on the ice!
How old do you have to be to play hockey in Topeka?
The TYHA program is open to all children ages 4 - 18. We have six divisions:
· Learn to Play Hockey – 4 - 14 year olds
· U8 (under 8) – This division is for all players under the age of 8. Within this group, there are three teams called Red, White and Blue which divides the players up by skill level. The U8 group practice at the same time. The coaches will recommend which team each player is best suited for.
· Squirts – 9 -10 year olds
· PeeWees – 11-12 year olds
· Bantam – 13 - 14 year olds
· High School – 15 - 18 year olds
TYHA is open to all youth in the NE Kansas area, and any child will be able to play regardless of ability. However, as a child gets older, it becomes more important that they be able to skate prior to participating in organized games. This is for their own enjoyment, as well as their protection. Children participating in the U8 Division will probably do just fine if they are just learning to skate at the beginning of the season, as the coaches will spend a considerable amount of practice time working on basic skating skills. A child who plans on playing at the Squirt level or above will find the game to be much more enjoyable if they have some basic ability to skate prior to playing hockey. This does NOT mean that they need to be experts on the ice, but having the ability to at least skate around the ice a little will be very beneficial.
If your child is old enough to be on Squirts or above and does not know how to skate yet, please contact us about more information on Learn to Play Hockey classes that are offered throughout the season.
Absolutely! Girls of any age are welcome to come out and be part of our program. We do not have any all-girls teams because as you will see stepping onto the ice immediately transforms all boys and all girls into one thing - hockey players.
When is the hockey season?
Registration for winter hockey usually starts in July with practice starting in late August or the first part of September. League games begin in October. The winter season ends the first part of March.
Basic equipment needed to play hockey:
- Hockey skates (not figure skates)
- Shin guards
- Hockey pants (breezers)
· Shoulder pads
· Elbow pads
· Hockey socks
· Jersey (provided by TYHA)
- Hockey gloves
In addition to this basic equipment, it is highly recommended that all players either wear a hockey jock or Jill shorts (for girls), a neck guard, and a mouthguard (required for all players ages 13 and up).
You have several options. TYHA has some used hockey equipment that is in very good condition. This equipment has been donated to the TYHA and we will gladly pass it along to any child who can use it. If you would like to donate any used equipment to the TYHA, please contact us and we will make arrangements to pick it up and make certain that it is passed along to other youth in the community.
Second, here are two stores in the Kansas City area that sell hockey equipment. Play It Again Sports, located at 135th and Metcalf, has both used and new hockey equipment at very good prices. Nill Bros., located at 119th and Metcalf, also sells new equipment and has a very good selection.
One word of caution when it comes to purchasing hockey skates online - with the exception of Mission brand, all hockey skates are sized differently that U.S. shoe sizes. You generally need to purchase your hockey skates 1.5-2 sizes smaller than your shoe size. So if you typically wear a size 3 shoe, you would need a size 1-2 hockey skate.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are three different groups of sizes for hockey equipment. "Youth" sizes are the smallest, followed by "Junior" sizes and then "Adult" sizes. If you accidently order a pair of "junior medium" shoulder pads for your 6 year old, instead of a pair of "youth medium" pads, it is going to be several years before he or she grows into them!
The TYHA has a limited number of sets of youth hockey equipment that can be used on a rental basis. This equipment was purchased through the OneGoal program and will be provided at greatly reduced rates on a first come, first serve basis. These sets of equipment have everything needed except a pair of skates, practice socks and a jock or jill shorts, and will generally fit most kids ages 8 and under.
My child says they want to play goalie. Do we need special equipment?
Yes. Goalies require special equipment that is more expensive than a normal player, including pads, gloves, helmet and stick. These can be located at the equipment retailers mentioned above.
I hear people talking about signing up or paying fees on NGIN. What is NGIN?
NGIN is the TYHA web host. Generally speaking, when someone refers to NGIN they mean to reference our website.
Where do we play hockey in Topeka?
TYHA plays at the Kansas Expocentre. Please enter through the doors located on the ground level at the southeast corner of the Expocenter.
When and where are the games?
Home games are at the Kansas Expo Center. Away games are in Kansas City or St. Joe. Game times are set based on ice schedules for the home teams and are generally on the weekends, but not always.
At what age do players start body checking?
Under USA Hockey rules, players at the Bantam level are permitted to body check during games. Coaches at this level teach the players how to check and how to take a check so as to prevent injury.
Why does hockey cost so much?
Simply put – ice time. On average, over 90% of the seasonal fees you pay for your player go towards the overhead involved with renting and maintaining the ice at the ExpoCenter. TYHA is an all volunteer organization with very little operating overhead otherwise. Our Board of Directors does everything possible to keep the cost to play at TYHA to a minimum, plus we offer several fundraising opportunities throughout the season. Our goal is to give any child who is interested an opportunity to play hockey in Topeka.
How do I register my child to play with TYHA?
Winter league registration usually opens up mid-July. First you must register your player online as a member with USA Hockey at www.usahockeyregistration.com. To register you will visit www.kcyouthhockey.com. If you are unsure of how to register or if the season is still open, please contact any one on the TYHA Board of Directors shown under the Contact button above.