Frequenty Asked Questions
Q : Is Ice Hockey dangerous?
A : Ice Hockey is a high speed contact sport. However contact is very limited in junior teams and because of the protective clothing which is mandatory, and the fact that you can only train or play ice hockey in the presence of experienced qualified coaches who offer continuous supervision and guidance, injuries are actually a lot less likely than in sports such as football or rugby. In junior clubs a strong emphasis is placed on it being fun for children. Children don’t enjoy being hurt and would not enjoy playing if it were dangerous and painful! The health benefits that children get from being active (in any sport) far outweigh the slight risk that is always present when children undertake any activity away from a computer game or the internet. In the rare instances where an injury does occur, first aid is always just a few seconds away as it’s impossible to play the sport anywhere other than a well equipped facility.
Q : Is Ice Hockey expensive?
A : The costs involved are split in to two components; Kit/Equipment and Club/Training fees. The cost of equipment does not need to be high if you buy entry level but still good quality items. 2nd hand equipment is particularly good value and easy to pick up either through eBay or from the Oxford Stars ice hockey club where we often have a good range of used kit available. If you wish to buy brand new then you should allow approximately £250 upwards for an entire kit, and you can buy brand new kit through the club at competitive prices as one of our sponsors is a trade supplier of ice hockey equipment. If you do want to buy elsewhere it’s strongly recommended you speak to a club member to ensure you buy the right equipment first. If you buy the wrong things you will not only waste money, but what you get could be uncomfortable and/or dangerous. As part of the equipment costs, you will also need to allow £xx for a set of team shirts, and £xx for a set of team uniform black hockey socks. Please also note before buying kit that the colour requirements for shorts and helmet are also both black. Other colours may be worn for training, but not for matches. The fees cover all coaching and training, ice rink rental costs, insurance and mandatory registrations, and all costs associated with league matches and club administration. Oxford prides itself on being a not-for-profit organisation and we keep our charges as low as possible. We are one of, if not the, lowest cost ice hockey clubs in the UK.
Click here to see the current fees.
Q : Is Ice Hockey violent, and does it encourage / teach violence?
A : Ice Hockey encourages many things including discipline, focus, fair play, fitness, communication, interaction and social skills, respect, pride and team building skills. The Ice Hockey you may see on TV or in adult professional games is very different to the junior amateur sport. It is still very fast and exciting but with a vastly reduced violence factor. “Checking”, where one player intentionally collides with another, is no different to tackling in football or rugby. But with all the padding that players wear, it is much less painful than it may sometimes look! You very rarely see a hockey player get knocked over who doesn’t jump straight back on their skates and carry on playing. Fighting and violence are actively discouraged, and any such behaviour is dealt with promptly and effectively in the same way you would expect in any other sport.
Q : How good at skating do you need to be to play Ice Hockey?
A : You should be able to comfortably skate without having to hold on to the edge, but you do not need to be a “great skater”. There are players of all abilities in all of the teams. Nobody should be intimidated by the better skaters on the team, they all had to start somewhere and there is no better way to improve your skating than wearing lots of protective equipment so it doesn’t hurt when you fall, and by having a big stick that you can use to help with your balance!
Q : Is Ice Hockey for boys/men only?
A : No! All junior teams are mixed with boys and girls. Once you have your ice hockey kit on, this is one of the few sports where gender is unimportant. We have both boys and girls in all of our age ranges, and some actually have more girls than boys.
Q : Once I join the club, how do I get selected for the team? Will I just be sat on the bench?
A : We run a relaxed and friendly ice hockey club, there are no “entry requirements”, and by joining the club you are automatically on the team and will get to play. In the lower age groups, beginners will be allowed as much “ice time” as the experienced and best players. By investing equal time in to coaching our beginners and letting them gain match experience, we ensure we don’t exclude anybody, and allow everybody the opportunity to learn and excel. In the Under 16 and Under 18 teams, the sport is more competitive and the teams play to win. This means that players who need to improve their stamina, fitness and skill levels may get less ice time than others. But whatever the age group or skill level, new players will receive a warm welcome from existing players and will immediately make some great new friends, and everybody else on the team will do all they can to turn new players in to great players.
Q : I want to give it a try, where do I start?
A : Please come along to one of our “Stick & Puck” sessions where you can try your hand at the basics of the sport, held frequently. Details of upcoming sessions will always be listed on our website homepage. Team training is held every Wednesday evening starting at 4.30pm (the older you are, the later your session will start). Feel free to come along and watch, chat to the players, parents or staff, and if you like what you see we can lend you some kit so you can go out on the ice and give it a go. You can try four full team training sessions for free (it costs £5.00 to hire the kit for the last two sessions, the first two are completely free) with no pressure or obligation before deciding if it’s for you or not. Check out our full training calendar for more details.
Q : How can I help the club?
A : The club is run by volunteers, so apart from the coaches, everything is done by the Mums and Dads of the children in our club. We rely on everyone doing something. You may not wish to be involved in the decision making with the committee, but perhaps you can write our newsletter for us, get kit out for our Learn to Play or do our Facebook updates? Whatever your strength is, there is some small (or large) way for your to contribute.