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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.

Initiation - Learn to Skate (NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY)

The Initiation program focuses on children (age 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.

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.

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.

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 both the 10U (9-10 year olds) and 12U+ (11-12+ 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.

Both 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 both 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+ team typically practices 1-2 times per week on the Studio or ½ sheet of 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+ team typically plays appropriately skilled level Pee Wee teams and 12U or 14U girls teams in the Dane County area. We have also played games in Beloit, Waunakee, and Baraboo as needed to create a balanced schedule while maintaining a good environment for the team as a whole.

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 to group together players with similar skill levels. Tryouts are held at the conclusion of preseason practices to determine team placements. 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).

2019-2020 Season Program Options by Skater Age

Birth Year "Hockey Age" Initiation Cross Ice RWB 10U Rink Rat 12U+ Rink Rat Squirt Pee Wee Bantam
2016 3 Yes
2015 4 Yes Yes
2014 5 Yes Yes
2013 6 Yes Yes
2012 7 Yes Yes
2011 8 Yes Yes
2010 9 Yes Yes
2009 10 Yes Yes
2008 11 Yes Yes
2007 12 Yes Yes
2006 13 Yes Yes
2005 14 Yes Yes

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.