“I still don’t have a handle on the team level names and I am two years into my son playing hockey and I don’t get it!” – Hockey Mom
Yes, this classification system can be confusing due to the “strange” names. Let’s help clear this up!
The Spooner Area Youth Hockey Association uses the classification of Learn to Skate, Mites, Squirts, Peewees and Bantams. Other communities, states and countries may use slightly different naming for the classifications, so they are also noted here for your reference. SAYHA is open to boys and girls.
Learn to Skate – any age of skater who would like to learn the basics of skating. Aids, that look like chairs are pushed across the ice for stability and as the skater becomes more sure of their balance, they are transitioned to skating on their own. Many kids who participate in this level are 2-5 years old. Currently, SAYHA has over 60 skaters participating in the Learn to Skate Program! SAYHA would like to thank Tony’s Riverside Restaurant for sponsoring the Saturday ice time for this program at the Spooner Civic Center!
Mites – SAYHA classifies Mites as any child who has moved from Learn to Skate with the skill of skating on their own and a desire to play hockey. Mites runs through 3rd grade. Currently, there are about 26 skaters participating in the Mites Program. Mites focus on fun and getting to know the game of hockey. When they do “scrimmage” or play a game with another team, they play cross-ice, rotate positions and do not keep score. (Other communities may break this Mites group up into ages and may call it U6 or U8 or MiniMites).
Squirts – SAYHA classifies Squirts as 4th and 5th graders. This is the first level where players play the game on the full sheet of ice and they are starting to develop player positions. Squirts also do some traveling to play games and tournaments. Currently, SAYHA has about 12 Squirt players. (Other communities may use the age of the players as 9 and 10-year-olds and may have A and B teams subdivided under this class.).
Peewees – SAYHA classifies Squirts as 6th and 7th graders. Peewees do traveling for some games and tournaments. They work on position development and strategies along with puck handling and team development. Currently, SAYHA has about 13 Peewee players. (Other communities may use the age of the players as 11 and 12-year-olds and may have A and B teams subdivided under this class.)
Bantams – SAYHA classifies Bantams as 7th and 8th graders. Bantams do traveling for games and tournaments and do play at home. Bantam level is the first year that checking is introduced. Bantams continue to work on shooting, stick handling and passing. SAYHA currently has 7 Bantams (this is why SAYHA has a co-op with Cumberland). (Other communities may use the age of the players as 13 and 14-year-olds and may have A and B teams subdivided under this class.)
Bantams did win their playdown game - 10 to 2!!! Thank you to everyone who came out to support them at the Civic Center! They are off to the State Tournament in Sparta the first weekend in March.
Thank you also to all who came out to the Meat Raffle - it was a huge success. Mark your calendars for the next Meat Raffle on March 3rd at River Bend in Trego.
The Mite team recently traveled to Duluth for their first ever traveling tournament. They played two games on Saturday, had a pizza party, went to the Bull Dogs College Hockey Game Saturday night, played at the period break during the Bull Dog game, skated with the Bull Dogs after the game and played two more games on Sunday. Whew! What a weekend!