New to Hockey

New to Hockey

Are you new to hockey? 

First of all....welcome to one of the greatest sports available for both kids and adults alike!

Our Newark program is called "NIHA" which stands for Newark Ice Hockey Association". All of the current members of our association have been in your shoes at one point and know EXACTLY what you may be thinking right now.  


  1. It is so are we going to afford this? Also, how much will this cost?
  2. My son or daughter is are they going to get started?
  3. What equipment do we need?
  4. Okay, I'm in! What important dates should I mark on my calendar?

Answer to #1: It is more expensive than some of your regular school sports, however, our season lasts from September to late March so the overall cost divided out is extremely reasonable. And we have some other clever ways to offset the costs to ensure any child who is interested in this great sport has the opportunity to play it & love it like we do. :) These programs are all available to us because of the generosity of the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation, which is a fantastic partner of our league.

25% Off First Year: All first-year players receive 25% off their fees in their first season.

Scholarship Program: We do have a scholarship program available. We follow the YMCA's standard for financial assistance when granting scholarships. Interested? Go to our site .

Equipment Program: We also loan out sets of protective equipment for the season and have a yearly used 'swap' equipment and skates for anyone who needs them. If you have more questions please contact any member of our Board or one of our equipment managers (Ben Johnson, Bud Chase, or John Wieber) for more details.

Answer to #2: It is never too late to learn this sport. It can be played forever so learning the basics from Learn To Skate class and Learn to Play Hockey programs is a great step in the right direction. Hockey development is dependent on a player's ability to skate. Here are some options to get started, below.

Summer Camps - 


Drop-in Stick & Puck - Can't make a camp? LGRIA will have various drop-in stick & puck events over the next few months and continue throughout the season. They post these on their website calendar and update it regularly. These are great opportunities for kids to get used to their skates, handling the puck and wearing their equipment.


Learn to Play Hockey with The Columbus Blue Jackets - We are very proud to be close partners with The Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation. Without them, our 25% off programs, scholarship programs or Equipment programs would not be available to our families. And they have an awesome Learn to Play program that is very reasonably priced! This is only available to children between the ages of 5 - 8.Your child will get 6 weeks of on-ice coaching instruction and a full set of FREE hockey equipment they will get to keep after the program. We will be hosting several of their Learn to Play Hockey programs this year, but we encourage you to check out their site and sign up. 


Once the youth is confident on the ice, they will be placed on a team and begin to develop along with teammates. The levels that the kid's play are:

Bantam - 14U

  • 2010
  • 2011

Peewee - 12U

  • 2012
  • 2013

Squirt - 10U

  • 2014
  • 2015

Mite - 8U

  • 2016
  • 2017

  • For younger players please contact us for information about the Mini Mite Hockey Academy.

Every youth will be encouraged to work hard and continue to develop. In addition to the team practices and games, they will be encouraged to continue attending Fundamentals each week and to attend other camps in the area as well.


Answer to #3: What equipment do I need? - Hockey is a very physical sport and there is quite a bit of equipment needed to keep your child safe during all this fun. Equipment required: helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, pants, shin pads, socks, skates, jersey, stick, and equipment bag.


Week of Sept 19 - Practices begin

Sept 30 - Deadline for Scholarship Applications


WARNING!: Playing hockey gets in your blood!  

NIHA Mission Statement

The Mission of the Newark Ice Hockey Association is to teach the youth of central Ohio, sportsmanship, fair play, respect for coaches, referees, players and fans through the sport of ice hockey, so that they can continue to be good citizens and enjoy the sport of ice hockey forever.

The most important part of being involved with NIHA is the kids must have FUN! We encourage everyone to bring a smile when they enter the rink and take a smile home with them.

If you have any questions about our program, please don't hesitate to contact one of our Board members. Click the 'Contact Us' button on the left of this page. 

Additional Resources

USA Hockey New Parents links including Parent Handbook and videos on how to dress a hockey player

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