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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.

Learn to PLAY 

Polar Caps will offer several sessions beginning in the summer and throughout the winter season. Learn to Play (LTP) is for our newest and youngest skaters that may have had some prior experience skating. LTP is designed to be a fun, low-pressure introduction to basic hockey skills through games and free-play. Skaters completing a LTP session can move into Cross-Ice or RWB at the beginning of the season or mid-season if they so choose.

Cross Ice 6U - 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. Cross Ice teams typically practice 2 times per week prior to the start of games in December. Then they practice 1-2 times per week and play scrimmage games against other Cross Ice teams on 1/3 of a sheet of ice with no goalies.

Red, White & Blue 8U - Recreational/Local Travel Hockey Intro (October - March)

Also known as Mites, the Red, White & Blue (RWB) program is 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 or on the Studio ice rink with a suited up goalie in the net. RWB teams may participate in a local tournament during the season.

House 10U, 12U, 14U - 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 teams at the 10U (9-10 year olds), 12U (11-12 year olds), and 14U (13-14 year olds) age levels. Depending on the number of available players, House teams are most often formed by combining age groups for a 10/12U team and a 12/14U team. Note that players who want to play on a team only with other players their same age level, should play instead on our Travel hockey teams for the Squirt 10U, Pee Wee 12U, and Bantam 14U age levels. Recreational House games are played in-house or against other teams typically in the Dane County area with a suited up goalie in the net.

All House teams welcome new skaters, as well as those who 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 (or 10/12U) team typically practices 2 times per week prior to the start of games. Then they practice 1 time per week and have 1 small area game/scrimmage (3v3 or 4v4) on the weekend at MIA in the Studio rink against other 10U teams in the area. The House team will typically schedule a couple additional games on full ice with local area teams during the season as an introduction to playing games on full ice.

The House 12/14U team typically practices 2 times per week prior to the start of games. Then they practice 1 time per week and have 1 home or away game each weekend. Occasionally, an additional ice time may be scheduled on weekends for either a scrimmage, practice, or second game. The House 12/14U team typically plays appropriately skilled opponents in the Dane County area. They also play games in neighboring counties as needed to create a balanced schedule while maintaining a competitive 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 10U (9-10 year olds), Pee Wee 12U (11-12 year olds), Bantam 14U (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. Evaluations 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 within WAHA (Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association) depending on the number of total players.

Travel hockey teams typically have 3 practices per week and weekend games at home and/or away throughout WI and sometimes in neighboring states. Typically, teams may participate in a regional area weekend tournament and will also have 2 or more out of town weekend tournaments per season. The level of travel for games and tournaments is adjusted for each team each season based on what is needed to create a balanced schedule while maintaining a competitive environment for the team as a whole.

Travel teams also play for an opportunity to compete 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.

2022-2023 Season Program Options by Skater Age

Birth Year "Hockey Age" Learn to Play 6U Cross Ice 8U Mite RWB 10U House 12U House 14U House 10U Squirt 12U Pee Wee 14U Bantam
2018 4 Yes
2017 5 Yes Yes
2016 6 Yes Yes
2015 7 Yes Yes
2014 8 Yes Yes
2013 9 Yes Yes Yes
2012 10 Yes Yes Yes
2011 11 Yes Yes
2010 12 Yes Yes
2009 13 Yes Yes
2008 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.