Greetings and welcome to the 2017-2018 season for the Junior Fuel and Lil Nitro program. Please take a few moments and read through this important information pertaining to our Lil Nitro program. This will address some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and a few important player safety concerns. It is our desire to create the most positive player experience possible and to engender a lifelong love of this great game!
Is Your Child Ready to Play Youth Hockey?
Children must enter the program able to skate on their own without being held or holding onto anything. They do not need to be perfectly proficient, however they will need to be independent on skates. If they cannot skate, we recommend the “Learn to Play”or “Learn to Skate” programs noted below. Once your child is ready, they can roll into our league and start playing hockey anytime during the season, given space availability. The season runs from early October to end of February.
LEARN TO PLAY/LEARN TO SKATE:
Generally speaking, for the 2017-2018 season, Lil Nitro Minors are children of the birth years 2011-2012-2013. Respectively, Lil Nitro Majors are children of the birth years 2009-2010. We use birth years as a guideline and families are given the opportunity to register their players based on perceived skill level in either Minor or Major divisions at our facilities. After the first week of practice, players will be placed in their respective divisions based on the assessment of their current skill level. All decisions will be made by the Hockey Director in conjunction with the ADM Coordinator. Our desire is to maximize player development during the course of the year. All decisions relative to the age division for individual players are designed to ensure what is in the best interest of the player’s long term development and will be considered non-negotiable.
Practices are run according the principles of USA Hockey’s ADM. We utilize the latest tools and techniques in order to ensure that players having FUN and developing the skills necessary to play this sport competitively as they mature. For more information about the research that lead to the development of the ADM please visit http://www.admkids.com/. As a note, the Junior Fuel website links with the ADM Kids Network and you can join this network for free with one-click, linking your Junior Fuel membership with the ADM Kids Network.
The practice times will be as follows:
*Practice times may vary slightly once registration is complete, and are dependent on enrollment numbers. A rotation will likely be set up for the Fuel Tank location to allow for one early and one later practice per team each week.
Lil Nitro Minors will play cross-ice games and Lil Nitro Majors will play half-ice games. Lil Nitro Majors will eventually be assigned to a team and once this is accomplished will be given a schedule with game times for their respective team. Jamborees are TBD. Under no circumstances will individual teams “travel” unless this is for a prearranged Jamboree or within the Junior Fuel organization. Although Lil Nitros will practice out of the rink location they have registered for, they will also play Saturday games at any one of the rinks within the Junior Fuel organization per their team schedule. (Rink locations: Fuel Tank in Fishers, Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion at the State Fairgrounds, Perry Park Rink in Greenwood).
The game times will be Saturday mornings, as follows:
*Games times may vary slightly once registration is complete.
All Lil Nitro players must use the assigned locker rooms for dressing. In the past many families have dressed their players in the lobby or other common areas. In compliance with USA Hockey’s Safe Sport policy and to minimize the liability for the Club and the Rink, we must insist that the practice is discontinued. You have the option of dressing at home should you feel more comfortable. Dressing at home also allows you to help your player learn to confidently dress themselves. Players are expected to dress themselves by the 10U level.
Locker room facilities can become quite crowded and we would like to ask each of our families to limit the number of parents and/or family members to one if at all possible. Under no circumstances are phones or other electronic devices that record or take photos permitted in the locker rooms. The USA Hockey policy covers all such electronic devices for Players, Parents, and Coaches. We must insist that this policy is strictly adhered to and will be enforced by the Coaches. After the completion of practices and games it is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their player returns to the locker room.
Most of the coaches have Lil Nitro aged players and understand that there are times when players need to leave the ice in order to use the restroom. It is a good practice to ensure that your player has used the restroom prior to dressing, once dressed this becomes much more difficult. With the exception of a Coach’s own child, coaches are not permitted to accompany a player off the ice for this purpose. If a player must leave the ice, they will be permitted to do so and the coaches will attempt to get the attention of the players’ parent. However, we must ask that you remain alert for your player exiting the ice especially if they require more frequent restroom breaks. We will not under any circumstance accompany them to the restroom.
The benches and ice surface are for players and coaches only. Parents are not permitted to be in these areas for any reason. In the case of an emergency, the coach will direct the parent to the bench if necessary. Parents are not permitted to walk on to the surface of the ice for any reason with the exception of assisting the coaches in assembling the portable boards for games. If necessary, please get the attention of a coach should you need to deliver equipment or water to your player. Ensuring that our players are safe and our compliance with USA Hockey’s Safe Sport policy is our highest priority.
Parents are encouraged to avoid coaching from the stands or from behind the glass. Our coaches have years of experience and have taken the time to complete all of the required prerequisites in order to be on the ice with your player. Our current roster includes coaches with experience coaching travel, high school, and collegiate hockey. The combined experience of these fine coaches ensures that your player is getting quality instruction. Additional coaching from the stands or from behind the glass creates a distraction for our players and our coaches.
This year rental bags of equipment are not being offered. Should this create a hardship we will attempt to assist the players in finding equipment or facilitating loaner equipment. These will be taken on a case-by-case basis. You must contact your house commissioner should you need to explore this option (Lil Nitros only).
Neck guards: USA Hockey, our Hockey Director and the coaching staff recommend that players wear a neck guard. There is no rule for any level of play that stipulates the wearing of a neck guard. However, in our opinion a neck guard is a good idea and is highly recommended. Younger skaters have a tendency to fall more often and protecting them from accidental laceration in such a vital area is a good practice.
Please note: Mouthpieces are required for all players, with no exceptions.
Goalies: This year goalies are being incorporated much earlier in the season. If your player is interested in trying the position for a game or two, please make your Lil Nitro’s coach aware and a loaner goalie bag will be given for the trial, upon availability.
Skates: Hockey skates are required, skates that include a toe-pick or have a blade that is not rounded on both ends are not permitted on the ice. This creates a hazard for our players and coaches.
Helmets: Helmets must be designed for ice hockey. Bicycle helmets are not permitted and players must have a wire or plastic “cage”. Ice Hockey helmets will include a sticker from the Hockey Equipment Certification Council. For more information about HECC certification please visit their website at http://www.hecc.net/home.html.
Pucks: Our Lil Nitro players will use Blue pucks for the entirety of the season. Blue pucks are lighter weight and help our players develop a feel for the puck, help develop proper technique for passing, shooting, and stickhandling. Our Lil Nitro Major players will begin the season with Blue pucks and will have the heavier Black pucks incorporated into the practices and possibly games based solely on the discretion of the head coaches and the ADM Coordinator.
Parent Volunteers: We encourage all parents to get involved where they can. We are a non-profit organization that cannot function effectively without you. We have many formal and informal positions available for you to help. Please reach out to your house commissioner to see how you can help and offer coaches a lending hand.
Thank you for taking the time to read this important information. On behalf of the Coaches, Administrators, and Board Members of the Junior Fuel we want to welcome you again. It is our desire to see youth hockey grow in Central Indiana and will do everything we can to provide your player with a positive experience.
Your Junior Fuel House Commissioners,