Try Hockey for Free Program

Detroit Red Wings Foundation / MAHA Try Hockey for Free Clinics

Program Goal:

Our goal is to hold 30 clinics throughout the 2013-14 season, which will give us a goal of putting 1.500 boys and girls on the ice for the first time. Our retention expectation is 25-30% or 12-15 players to join a local association for a future program. This would add at least 350 additional players to Michigan local associations.

The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association with a grant from the Detroit Red Wings Foundation has just completed the third year of providing  Learn to Play Hockey Clinics throughout the state of Michigan. These one-day clinics would be sponsored by local associations. The Grow the Game events would be free to participants who wish to try the sport of youth hockey.

These clinics will be sanctioned by USA Hockey for insurance purposes so non-registered particiapnts will covered by USA Hockey insurance. MAHA will purchase equipment and sticks from OneGoal to use at the events. OneGoal is a nonprofit organization comprised of the NHL, NHL Players Association, USA Hockey, Hockey Canada Easton-Bell, Reebok-CCM, retailers and many others across North America who are involved in hockey. They have created rental/lender sets for groups to buy with the idea of helping to get more kids into the game

Promotion for each clinic would be coordinated through MAHA, Detroit Red Wings Foundation, USA Hockey, the local association and host rink. Pre-registration would be facilitated through MAHA's website with links on the host rink's website, as well as the Come Play Youth Hockey Facebook page. Local association will need to take the lead to make local promotion happen. MAHA has created a list of marketing and public relations ideas you can use.

Once a child pre-registers, they will receive a confirmation email including a link to the How to Get Dressed Video and reminder email the week prior to the event.

The MAHA Skill Development Coordinator would be in charge of setting up these clinics and coordinating related elements, including volunteers, equipment and follow-up. MAHA will supply up to 100 sets of equipment for the players to use at each event. Each player will also receive a jersey to keep that is provided by the RedWings Foundation. MAHA wil provide on-ice assitance the day of the event to work with local volunteers to ensure the event is run properly.

The follow-up is vital to getting these participants to sign up for a program. Clinics will be hosted at rinks that have an active local association who will not only provide someone to man a table to promote their programs but get their older players (Bantam, Midget, High School & Adults) involved with the on and off-ice volunteer needs.

Following each clinic, an email will go out to each participant thanking them for participating no later than 2 days after the event. It will include pertinent information to sign up for a learn to skate/learn to play hockey clinic at the facility.

We will also encourage rinks/associations to follow up with a phone call to invite participants back to the rink prior to the start of their new session of hockey or skating.

Right now we are taking applications for associations and rink that wish to host events for the 2013-14 season. Here you can download the application to become a site for a 2013-14 event. Applications should be submitted by May 31, 2013 to get your preferred dates.We are targeing the first part of November for the first clinic. Clinics can be scheduled through April if need be.Targeting Saturdays but can do more than one clinic per day and offer Sundays as an option as well pending rink schedules. A tentative schedule for the 2013-14 season should be available by July 1, 2013.


Try Hockey for Free Manual – A step-by-step guide to running a free trial opportunity to get new players into the game. The manual shares recommendations on scheduling, equipment, sanctioning the event, volunteers, things to consider in the budget, marketing & promotions, follow-up and results. For the full Try Hockey for Free manual, click here.

How to Get Dressed Video - This video is a step-by-step instruction of how to get dressed to play hockey. This video can be utilized with current growth models to teach parents and new players how to get dressed. To download, right click on Click Here and choose the 'Save link as' option and save to your desktop. Click here. 

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