skip navigation

Programs

What options do the Polar Caps offer?

The Polar Caps offer a wide range of hockey programs suited to the needs of each individual player. Our coaches closely monitor skill level and aptitude of each player to make sure the hockey experience is positive and rewarding.

2020-2021 Season:
Please note that our hockey programs for this season are dependent on COVID-19 regulations from government and public health, including Public Health Madison & Dane County, along with guidance for Return to Play from hockey governing bodies, including USA Hockey and WAHA. All of our hockey programs may or may not be available for the entire season and are subject to change.

Initiation - Learn to Skate (NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY)

The Initiation program focuses on children (age 3-4 and above) that have never been on skates or are just getting started. The program is designed to build self-confidence on the ice and emphasizes skating skills along with basic hockey and team concepts. The Initiation players skate 2 times per week for 45 minutes each, and the season is divided into Session 1 (November and December) and Session 2 (January and February).  Skaters can enroll in either session or both sessions.

Current Plans:
We are not opening registration at this time for our Initiation - Learn to Skate program held at Madison Ice Arena. We will reassess the options for Initiation later this month.

Cross Ice - Hockey Intro (October - March)

The Cross Ice (X-Ice) program teaches advanced initiated skaters up to age 6 the basic strategies of competitive hockey and introduces team and competitive play. X-Ice teams practice 1-2 times per week and play scrimmage games against other X-Ice teams on 1/3 of a sheet of ice with no goalies.

Current Plans:
We are planning to start our in-house programs, including X-Ice, back on the ice in mid-October. We will have some changes this season due to Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. We will be limiting the number of people in the rink and skaters on the ice. For X-Ice this means that multiple ice times will be scheduled during the week to accommodate the smaller groups of skaters. Parents should understand that they will not staying during ice sessions and that skaters should be dressed prior to entering the rink for ice sessions. When allowed, we will be starting with in-house games and then moving to games with other local clubs.

Red, White & Blue - Recreational/Travel Hockey Intro (October - March)

Formerly known as U8 Rink Rats and Mites, the Red, White & Blue (RWB) program has combined these two groups and created a program for skaters up to age 8 that stresses continued development of skating skills, hockey strategies, and fundamentals. RWB skaters practice 2-3 times a week, and recreational games are played on the weekend against other teams in the Dane County area on 1/2 of a sheet of ice with a suited up goalie in the net.

Current Plans:
We are planning to start our in-house programs, including RWB, back on the ice in mid-October. We will have some changes this season due to Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. We will be limiting the number of people in the rink and skaters on the ice. For RWB this means that multiple ice times will be scheduled during the week to accommodate the smaller groups of skaters. Parents should understand that they will not staying during ice sessions and that skaters should be dressed prior to entering the rink for ice sessions. When allowed, we will be starting with in-house games and then moving to games with other local clubs.

House Rink Rat - Recreational Hockey (October - March)

The House hockey program, also known as Rink Rats, stresses continued development of skating skills, hockey strategies, and fundamentals. We offer House Rink Rat teams at the 10U (9-10 year olds), 12U (11-12 year olds), and 14U (13-14 year olds) levels.  Recreational games are played in-house or against other teams in the Dane County area with a suited up goalie in the net. No checking is allowed.

All House Rink Rat teams welcome new skaters as well as those that have played several years. Our coaches are flexible and very supportive of taking all comers. Registrations after November 1 for the teams are still welcome, but are subject to head coach approval (primary driver is total team size relative to number of coaches). Teams will have a parents meeting within the first couple weeks of the season to clarify additional expectations and any questions you may have as you start with the program.

The House 10U team typically practices 1-2 times a week and has one game on the weekend at MIA in the Studio rink against other 10U teams in the area. The 10U team will typically schedule a couple games on full ice with area teams later in the season as an introduction to playing on full ice.

The House 12U and 14U teams typically practice 1-2 times per week on the Studio rink or ½ sheet of full ice. They have one game each weekend, and occasionally a second ice time each weekend which can be either a scrimmage, practice, or second game. The House 12U and 14U teams typically play appropriately skilled opponents in the Dane County area. We have also played games in neighboring counties as needed to create a balanced schedule while maintaining a competitive environment for the team as a whole.

Current Plans:
We are planning to start our in-house programs, including House Rink Rats, back on the ice in mid-October. We will have some changes this season due to Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. We will be limiting the number of people in the rink and skaters on the ice. For House teams, this means that multiple ice times will be scheduled during the week to accommodate the smaller groups of skaters. We are planning for consistent indoor practice times 2 times per week for House teams. Parents should understand that they will not staying during ice sessions and that skaters should be dressed prior to entering the rink for ice sessions. When allowed, we will be starting with in-house games and then moving to games with other local clubs.

Travel Hockey Teams (October - March)

As your player progresses, the Polar Caps offer several travel teams at each age classification -- Squirt (9-10 year olds), Pee Wee (11-12 year olds), Bantam (13-14 year olds) -- for players who live in the Madison Memorial and Madison West high school districts. Placement on these teams is competitive and is designed specifically to group together players with similar skill levels and experience. Tryouts are held at the conclusion of preseason practices to determine team placements. Like-skilled teams are formed for A, B, C1, and C2 levels of competition depending on the number of total players. These teams generally have 2-3 practices per week and weekend games in the Dane County area and neighboring counties. Teams will often participate in a local weekend tournament and will also have 1-2 out of town weekend tournaments per season. Travel teams also play for an opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin State Tournament at the end of the season. The Polar Caps travel teams are part of Region 4 and play in Division 1 of WAHA (Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association).

Current Plans:
We are planning to start our Travel teams back on the ice in mid-September. We will have some changes this season due to Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions. We will be limiting the number of people in the rink and skaters on the ice. We are planning for consistent indoor practice times 3 times per week for Travel teams. Parents should understand that they will not staying during ice sessions and that skaters should be dressed prior to entering the rink for ice sessions. We are planning for options for playing games based on local guidelines depending on when and where they are allowed and for resuming normal hockey season play if that becomes available.

2020-2021 Season Program Options by Skater Age

Birth Year "Hockey Age" Initiation 6U Cross Ice 8U Mite RWB 10U House 12U House 14U House 10U Squirt 12U Pee Wee 14U Bantam
2017 3 Yes
2016 4 Yes
2015 5 Yes Yes
2014 6 Yes Yes
2013 7 Yes
2012 8 Yes
2011 9 Yes Yes
2010 10 Yes Yes
2009 11 Yes Yes
2008 12 Yes Yes
2007 13 Yes Yes
2006 14 Yes Yes
2005 15
2004 16
2003 17
2002 18

Fees

Polar Caps' fees have historically been some of the lowest in the city, and having parent volunteers helps to keep costs down. In addition, the Polar Caps have financial aid available to help families on a fixed income with fees and costs.