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Helpful Hockey Info for Parents and Guardians

For parents and guardians who did not grow up playing ice hockey, when your child comes home from school and says, " I want to play ice hockey," your first response is "GREAT!" ... and you really do mean it. But, in your mind, you are thinking, "Oh, *expletive*, now what?" or "I don't even know where to start." 

Well, that is what Young Foxes Hockey is here for!

For more than 30 years, we have been guiding first-time skaters/hockey players (and their parents/guardians) through the mystifying world of ice hockey.  Since 1990, thousands of children have started their hockey careers in YFH. Today, we have players who have gone onto play high school, juniors and even college hockey!  Our players have also become referees and coaches ... giving back what they have learned to younger generations! It's the circle of life ... former YFH players are now even YFH coaches! 

It is important to remember that Young Foxes Hockey is not only a developmental ice hockey program for children, but for their parents and guardians, too!   Learning from their YFH experience, YFH parents and guardians, too, have volunteered as team coaches and managers for not only for YFH, but amateur and school teams.   YFH is the best way for a parent or guardian to learn how to coach others in a developmental setting ... start with the Level 1 coaching certification class when your child is a mite (under age 8) or a squirt (under age 10) before you know it, you will be hooked. By the time that your child is ready to spread his/her wings in amateur and/or school hockey, you will have your Level 4 coaching certification and lots-and-lots of valuable coaching experience under your belt!

Even if you cannot skate at all and/or feel that your talents are best suited off-ice, there are so many opportunities for parents and guardians to volunteer!  A team cannot exist without managers, penalty box attendants, scorekeepers and people to "run the clock" during a game.

Please check out the info on this page ... we hope it is helpful as you navigate the new world of being a hockey parent or guardian!

Have equipment questions? For a starting point, check out the articles below ... and, of course, please don't hesitate to ask!

In sum, get involved and be a part of all of the fun!!

Parent Involvement

Parents can play many roles in sport: current or former athlete, coach, fan, motivator, role model or critic. A few studies have shown that family members may influence an athlete’s involvement and achievement in sport more than coaches. Parents also are the first and most critical agents at socializing sports.

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Link to the Young Foxes Hockey page

FOR LOVE OF THE GAME ... Many of the kiddos above are now in college ... some are playing even playing junior hockey! (and some of these volunteer parent coaches are still coaching!)

Article: Surviving Hockey - A Parent's Guide

Article: My 13 Simple Rules for Hockey Parents Everywhere

Article: A Beginner's Guide to Hockey Positioning and Roles

All about ice hockey equipment!!

Basic Equipment needed to play ice hockey (for a skater)

~ Ice Hockey Helmet with Protective Face Mask
~ Mouth Guard
~ Ice Hockey Neck Guard
~ Ice Hockey Gloves
~ Ice Hockey Elbow Pads
~ Ice Hockey Shoulder/Chest Pads
~ Ice Hockey Shin/Knee Pads
~ Ice Hockey Pants

Ice Hockey Shell (optional unless the Ice Hockey Pants are "girdle-style"; see info below)
~ Protective Cup/Jock or Pelvic Protector/Jill (versions for both boys and girls; see info below)
~ Ice Hockey Skates
~ Ice Hockey Stick
~ Ice Hockey Socks (YFH will provide socks with season registration)
~ Ice Hockey Jersey (YFH will provide jersey with season registration)

~ Equipment Bag

Each season, we provide every registrant with YFH Socks and a personalized, custom YFH jersey that can be worn for practices and games!

The Beginner Hockey Player Checklist (for a Skater)

See this article for helpful information! For new hockey families, the equipment needed is not only expensive, but really confusing. We hope that this article helps to explain various terms. Although this article links directly to the Perani's Hockey World online store, there are many online and brick-and-mortar options in the Pittsburgh area for both new and used equipment. Don't hesitate to ask our YFH coaches if you have any questions at all!

A Primer On Basic Hockey Equipment for a Skater & Video

This helpful article is from Summit Hockey in Colorado and includes a USA Hockey video about ice hockey equipment and how to get dressed for hockey!

All About Jocks and Jills ...

Here’s What a Hockey Jock (boys) or Jill (girls) Is: A Hockey jock/jill is a piece of equipment designed to protect the groin area of a hockey player—composed of a jockstrap and a cup/pelvic protector. Modern hockey jocks/jills are typically built into shorts or pants to make it easy to get on and off (i.e. hockey shorts, compression shorts). ** Important tidbit -- The compression shorts have velcro to hold up your player's hockey socks!!**

Difference between hockey pants and girdles...

Hockey girdles, basically, are the inside of hockey pants, disconnected from the outside and reconnected to something much more form fitting. They’re what they sound like — tight-fitting, protective garments. A benefit of girdles is that one girdle can be worn under whatever shell you like.


Parents and athletes need to manage their SportsEngine accounts to ensure they get the most out of their Young Foxes Hockey experience during each sporting season. With their accounts properly configured, athletes and their families will receive communications according to their preferences and be able to complete registrations more efficiently.  SportsEngine has created a Team Management Guide for Parents and Athletes that will help our members with frequently asked questions about our website and mobile app.

New to SportsEngine?

Here is your quick start guide to creating an account and using the SportsEngine platform as an athlete or parent.


Keep connected to your team(s). Get schedules and team updates for every athlete in the house, plus a way to message other members on your team and a way to give coaches a heads up about practice. Enjoy unlimited access to scores & stats, photo/video sharing, and more.


Adding an additional guardian

In many instances, more than one parent or guardian needs to be in the loop with a child's sports life. Using the mobile app, you can add additional guardians to an account. Guardians can 1) View games and events 2) RSVP to games and events 3) Send and receive messages to coaches and team members 4) participate in team chat

Adding a Mobile Phone

Once you've created your account, add your mobile phone so you can receive text messages from your team manager or coach.

Enabling Text Messaging

Now that you have your mobile phone on your account, make sure you enable text messaging and any other notifications.

Following a Team on the SportsEngine Mobile App

Are you a family friend, grandparent or fan that wants to follow a specific team on the SportsEngine platform? Here is a quick guide to follow teams on the mobile app.

Forwarding Athlete Messages

Do you need a second parent, other family member or nanny to get messages about schedule changes or game times? Add a second email address to forward all communications.

Sending a Message

Do you need to send a question to your team manager or another parent about a ride? Follow these instructions on how to send messages using the mobile app.

RSVP to Game or Event

Coaches and team managers need to know if you are going to able to attend a game or practice. You can easily RSVP using the mobile application.

Team Management Guide for Parents & Athletes

Is your team using SportsEngine Team Management to manage RSVPs, schedules, and communication? This article will provide you with everything you need to know for a successful season!

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