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Tom Billeter

Head Coach, Mites

Frequently Asked Questions about the SRJHC Mites!

This is for parents with a child eligible for the 8U program.  For information on other programs in the club, please browse the website. 

How do I register my child?

  1. Your child must have an active USA Hockey registration to play at any level.  
  2. Complete an online registration (via SRJHC homepage) for Travel Hockey (the registration date has passed for the 2018-19 year. If you have any questions, please contact the head coach, Mike Patterson, using the email link above). Your child will be identified as a candidate for the Mites/ADM team when you enter date of birth. 

 What programs are available for my child?

SRJHC offers Intro to Hockey, Learn to Play Hockey, Mites/ADM (8U), Travel (10U - 14U), and High School (18U) programs.  Travel hockey teams range from Squirts (10U) to Midgets (16U and 18U).  Learn to Play offers an alternative for players 9 and older.  SRJHC has two programs geared for children no older than 8 (birth year 2008 and later):  Mites/ADM (8U) and Intro to Hockey.

What is the difference between Intro to Hockey and the Mites/ADM 8U program?

Intro is just that: an introduction to hockey. There are no pre-requisites for the Intro program. It is highly recommended that children enter Intro with at least the ability to skate without assistance. Ages typically vary from 4 to 8. 

SRJHC encourages use of Snoopy’s public skate sessions as well as paid skating programs for very young children (3-6).  Information on Snoopy’s Home Ice skating programs can be found here.

Mites/ADM 8U is an intermediate/advanced hockey program for children 8 and under.  It is designed around the ADM (American Development Model), adopted by USA Hockey in 2009.  Parents are encouraged to read about ADM through the USA Hockey website.  There are no players cut from the 8U program, but a skill assessment is necessary to ensure safety and fun. The focus of the program is on advanced skill development.  Teams will be formed and some travel may be expected, but it will be minimal.

What is the Mites/ADM 8U skills assessment?

Any player is welcome to participate in the 8U program, but safety and maturity are concerns. A skill assessment is used to determine if a player should be in Intro or the 8U program. Coaches look for the following: 

  • Good listening ability
  • Maturity
  • Focus
  • Skating fundamentals
  • Good hockey position (knees bent with stick on ice)
  • Inside/outside edges
  • Transitions from front/back
  • Stopping with 1 foot, 2 feet
  • Giving and receiving a pass

Coaches do not expect kids to be masters of these skills. In fact, the overriding goal is to teach these skills over the course of the season. The most important things that aspiring Mites must show at the skill assessment are skating fundamentals and the ability to be taught. 

What Does my Child Need?

Required Equipment

  • Certified Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Shin pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Breezers
  • Shoulder pads (optional for Basics)
  • Skates
  • Stick
  • Cup (optional for Basics)
  • Practice Jersey (comes with tryout fee)

Recommended Equipment

  • Hockey socks
  • Neck guard
  • Hockey bag
  • Mouth guard

How long does the program run?

The Intro program is session based. Each session is 8 weeks long.  Sessions run from August until the following spring.  Intro sessions are typically on Saturday or Sunday mornings. 

The Mites/ADM 8U program starts in September (following skill assessments) and ends in March. There will be roughly 2 practices per week.

How much travel is expected?

Intro is not a travel program. Every session is at Snoopy’s Home Ice. All practices are typically on the Saturday or Sunday. 

Mites/ADM 8U is not a travel program, but some travel between associations is expected. For example, a jamboree or exhibition game may take place in a different city. The club tries to limit travel for this age group and does not support kids missing school. The 8U program is designed to maximize player skill development, while reducing parental costs and player burnout.  There will be a team meeting at the beginning of the season to determine which jamborees/tournaments are of interest. 

What is a jamboree? What is a tournament?

A jamboree is a weekend filled with multiple games against other teams. There is no championship banner or trophy, just lots of cross ice games against other clubs.  Jamborees are common at the 8U level.  SRJHC typically hosts a jamboree around Halloween. 

Tournaments are similar, with the exception that teams play games leading up to a championship. Wine Country Face Off, which the SRJHC Mites/ADM team won in 2015, was a tournament. WCFO is also the club's biggest fundraiser of the year.

How are teams formed?

There are no teams in Intro.

The Mite/ADM 8U teams are formed at the beginning of the season and consist of 9-13 players each. SRJHC emphasizes camaraderie and relationships, which are important parts of team sports. The 8U program will form teams that best fit player ability and result in the best program possible.  Because of this flexibility, teams can change throughout the season. But every attempt will be made to keep kids of similar abilities on the same teams, both in practice and in games. 

What are Mighty Mites?

Depending on the number of kids in the 8U program, SRJHC may sponsor a 6U team, the Mighty Mites!

How much does it cost?

Each session of Intro is $150. More information can be found by clicking on the Intro to Hockey tab above. 

Season dues for Mites/ADM 8U in 2018-19 are $1200.00;  final announcements regarding dues will be made prior to team selection. 

What additional costs are there?

Season dues include ice time for practices and registration for the club’s Mite Jam. Additional tournaments are not covered, and typically involve registration and travel expenses. Travel can be the largest additional expense. SRJHC does not encourage travel hockey for the 8U program, but leaves it to each team to participate at its discretion.    

Can girls participate in the 8U?

Yes!  SRJHC has produced many talented female hockey players over the years. If you have any gender-related concerns about playing in the Mites/ADM 8U program, please contact the head coach. 

Is financial assistance available?

Yes. Click on the scholarship section of the “About Us” link on toolbar above.

How can I help?

There are many ways to help. The club exists only because of volunteers. It also needs coaches. In addition, SRJHC is always looking for well-organized and motivated team managers.  They are essential to a successful and fun season. 

What are cross ice, half ice, and full ice games?

Cross ice games are played from side wall to side wall, as opposed to the full length of the ice. On most rinks, up to 3 cross ice games can be played simultaneously. 

Half ice games are played along the vertical axis of the ice, except the ice is cut in half by the center red line. This allows for two games to be played at the same time.  Generally, half ice is bit larger than cross ice.

Full ice uses the whole ice surface.

Cross-ice and half-ice games were created under the ADM model to shrink the size of the rink to fit the size of the player. Goals are smaller and pucks are lighter, making it easier for 8U kids to shoot and pass. 

What is ADM and how can I learn more?

ADM stands for American Development Model and has been adopted by USA Hockey as the primary mechanism for the development of hockey players. It affects all levels of hockey, none more than the 8U program. For more information on USA Hockey's ADM, please consult the USA Hockey website.