Our Pond Hockey programs are an excellent way for kids to have fun AND develop their hockey skills. We always remind parents that pond hockey is not the same as competitive league play. Children’s skill levels with vary broadly and the ‘goal’ is not about winning but about developing skills and enhancing each child’s love of the game!
Each year, when we introduce our new Pond Hockey ‘season’, we receive a number of questions from parents. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.
Pond Hockey FAQ
Q. I’m waiting to find out about my child’s minor hockey & other schedules. If I book them into Pond Hockey and there is a conflict with their schedule, can I withdraw and get a refund after I’ve already registered?
A. No. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate all the varying sport/family schedules. Our program is non-refundable once registration is submitted and paid for.
Q. Do I have to pay online or is there another way I can pay?
A. At this time we are only accepting online payments for our Pond Hockey program.
Q. I registered but haven’t received a receipt yet?
A. Receipts are issued from a program separate to the Registration software and may be delayed. You will receive a confirmation that your registration has been received and you may also check your credit card statement to verify it has been processed.
Q. If our child decides they want to withdraw, can they quit and get a partial refund?
A. While the first time out might be intimidating for a first-timer, we encourage children to keep coming as it is a fun environment for youth to meet new people, get exercise and improve their hockey skills. Our program is non-refundable.
Q. If I register for a specific day and one week we can’t make that day, can my child play on a different day that week?
A. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate this.
Q. Do you offer drop ins?
A. We do not accept drop-ins.
Q. Do you try to balance the teams?
A. Rosters are mixed for each session in order for everyone to get to play with and against each other during the season. Every effort is made to “balance” teams each week based on initial registration forms and the skill level parents check off. The Pond Hockey Supervisor may make adjustments if they see a glaring imbalance.
Q. Are there practices?
A. We don’t have practices as this is not a formal league. Children will be playing a 3on3 pond hockey game each session.
Q. What if my child doesn’t have a dark or light jersey?
A. Children will be required to bring a light and dark jersey to each game. Rosters will be posted on the dressing room door identifying which team your child is on for that day. We will have pinnies available to borrow if your child forgets or does not have a jersey. Dark and light practice jerseys may be available for purchase from the skate sharpening shop in the lobby.
Q. Does my child need to wear full equipment?
A. Yes! All players and goalies must wear full hockey equipment including a neck guard & CSA approved helmet.
Q. Do you offer a separate dressing room for females?
A. Yes, we have a separate dressing room available for females.
Q. Do you offer skate sharpening?
A. Yes! We have an on-site sharpening shop off our lobby. It is important for your child’s safety & their performance, that their skate blades are maintained.
Q. Can I help on the bench?
A. Yes, we love our parent volunteers! We could not run the program them. Parent helpers are needed on the bench as well as to run the timeclock. Parents will be required to complete an online waiver for themselves. Volunteers are encouraged to be supportive of ALL players and ensure fair play rule is adhered to.
Q. If my child isn’t registered as a goalie, can they still try a session or two out in net?
A. For the U7 age group, players not registered as goalies, are welcome to sign up to play in net in sessions where we may be short a goalie. We will have loaner goalie gear available for your child. The gear will have to be signed out by a parent and must be returned immediately following the session.
Q. If my child is registered as a goalie can he “play out” as a player?
A. Unfortunately not. Discounted fees are offered to players registering for a goalie position on the condition that they commit to that position for the duration of the season.
Q. What do you do if you don’t have enough goalies?
A. If there are not enough goalies, shooter-tutors will be used. For the U7 age group, players may sign up to fill in as goalies for sessions where a goalie spot is open (see above).
Q. My child just started hockey, is this too advanced for them?
A. This is a recreational hockey program with children of all different skill levels. A child just beginning in hockey may be fine depending on their skating ability, size and maturity level. Over the years, we’ve seen many ‘new’ young players dramatically improve their skills and confidence on the ice through our pond program. We recommend parents make a judgement based on their individual child.
Q. My child plays at a competitive level, is this program competitive?
A. While this is recreational hockey, it is a great program for elite players to further develop their skating and puck handling skills.
Q. My child cannot skate, can they participate in this program?
A. This program is intended for children who can already skate. You may wish to register in a Learn to Skate program through one of the Municipal rinks.
Q. My child will only play if they are on the same team as their friend, can we request that they play together?
A. There are no set teams. Rosters are mixed for each session in order for everyone to get to play with and against each other during the season. If you wish to have your child on the same day as their friend, we encourage both to register early to ensure both get a spot.
Q. My child is smaller than a lot of the kids he plays with in minor hockey, and has experienced bullying due to his size. How do you handle bullying in your pond program?
A. Simply put, we do not tolerate bullying of any kind at any time. If we are made aware of any issues involving a child or multiple children bullying another child, the offending child(ren) and their parents will be spoken to privately and a warning will be issued. If the bullying persists, the offending children will be removed from the program. We ask parents to bring any incident(s) of bullying to our attention right away.
Q. Can I watch my child play?
A. Yes, we have viewing areas in the lobby as well as on the balcony and mezzanine. There is a small set of bleachers upstairs. Unfortunately, due to fire regulations, chairs are not permitted.
Q. I have to work when my child will be playing and his younger sibling would like to come and watch. Can I drop them both off at the rink and pick them up when my child’s pond hockey game is over?
A. All children must be supervised and accompanied by an adult at all times while in our facility. We encourage family members to come out and cheer on the players!
The WKHC Spring Youth Pond Hockey program is privately operated by the West Kelowna Hockey Centre Ltd. We expect all those who participate in Pond Hockey, including parents, players and volunteers, to conduct themselves appropriately. Offensive, bullying or inappropriate behaviour of any kind directed at other parents, players, volunteers or WKHC staff will not be tolerated and may result in permanent suspension from our facility.