Charlotte youth hockey
Is your child interested in playing hockey for the first time? The new Mini Checkers program at Extreme Ice Center provides an easy and affordable way to get started!

The Mini Checkers programs outlined below are for kids aged 8 and younger.

If your child is older and has no previous experience, please check out the Hockey U program at Extreme Ice Center. If your child is older and does have experience, please find their appropriate age group in Extreme Ice Center’s Metro League or Rush Travel programs.

FOR TRUE BEGINNERS: FIRST GOAL PROGRAM

The Carolina Hurricanes’ First Goal program, held each summer, offers six full on-ice sessions and a full set of hockey gear to keep. Previous skating experience at one of Extreme Ice Center’s Learn to Skate programs is recommended but not required. This program is open to kids aged 5-9.

This season, the First Goal program will host two separate six-week sessions – one at Extreme Ice Center (July 11-Aug. 22) and another at Bojangles' Coliseum (Sept. 12-Oct. 24). Registrations are now open!

This initiative is for kids who have not already played in a house league or higher or have previously been registered to a USA Hockey or Hockey Canada sanctioned minor hockey program. This is an introduction to the great game of hockey for first-time players.

At the conclusion of the First Goal program, participants will receive a recommendation to continue with one of two programs listed below.

NEXT STEP: 5-STAR PROGRAM

Depending on the evaluations of coaches from the First Goal program, participants may receive a recommendation to continue playing in the 5-Star program at Extreme Ice Center.

The program consists of five different levels (Star 1 through Star 5), each of which focuses on different skating techniques and hockey skills. This is a year-round program open to ages 3-6 that consists of consecutive six-week sessions. The First Goal program is not a prerequisite for the 5-Star Program, but some previous skating experience (through Extreme Ice Center’s Learn to Skate program or by an in-person evaluation) is required. Certain pieces of equipment are included with each level.

For the latest 5-Star dates and registration info as well as a breakdown of skills covered in each level, please visit Extreme Ice Center’s website.

NEXT STEP: MINI CHECKERS U6 AND U8 PROGRAMS

For kids with playing experience from First Goal, 5 Star or another youth program, 6U and 8U Mini Checkers teams will begin playing in a fall session at Extreme Ice Center that will run from Sept. 5-Dec. 14.

Both divisions will meet twice each week – once for practice on Wednesdays and again for games on Fridays. Full dates, times and registration info will be posted here when they become available. To be notified via email, please join our mailing list.

All participants will receive their own Mini Checkers jersey to keep. Full hockey gear, including mouth guard, is required.
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