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Welcome to Program Services

The Program Services site is a resource center for local youth association leadership. Its goal is to provide local associations with the tools necessary to deliver the best youth sports experience in their community. These include growth and retention programs that associations can easily apply in their own structure.

November 10, 2018 Try Hockey Event Recap

Thousands Try Hockey For Free with USA Hockey

First-timers pack ice rinks nationwide to take their first strides

Saturday (Nov. 10) was a great day for hockey in the United States as 12,564 children were introduced to the sport for the first time through USA Hockey's Try Hockey For Free Day, presented by SportsEngine. The skating scene played out in 451 host arenas nationwide.

Try Hockey events were held in 48 states, with equipment provided for children to borrow free of charge. Thousands of USA Hockey-certified coaches and volunteers provided instruction and encouragement.

U.S.-based NHL, AHL and ECHL clubs supported local rinks by promoting THFF, visiting participants at THFF locations and organizing their own events.

On a state-by-state basis, Wisconsin once again ranked No. 1, welcoming 1,201 participants. Michigan (1,097 participants) and Minnesota (962 participants) rounded out the top three.

For the second consecutive season, the honors for largest single-site turnout went to the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Hockey Association, which welcomed 154 participants. Runner-up honors went to the Colorado Rampage (Monument, Colorado), a USA Hockey Model Association that suited up 144 participants. The Charleston (South Carolina) Youth Hockey Association was No. 3 with 139 participants.

"It's great to see all the smiling faces as children learn new skills and their parents watch them experience a game they can enjoy for a lifetime," said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. "Volunteers nationwide deserve a ton of credit. Their energy and dedication make it a memorable day for the participants and their parents. We're also grateful for the support from the NHL and its member clubs, as well as all the other leagues and teams that contributed to the success of the event."

USA Hockey, which conducts two national Try Hockey For Free Days each season, will conduct its second event Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, as part of Hockey Week Across America. Interested rinks and youth hockey associations can visit to register as a host site.

USA Hockey's Try Hockey For Free Days are designed to provide a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge. SportsEngine is the presenting sponsor of Try Hockey for Free Day, while Chipotle and Pure Hockey are also official sponsors of the event.

NOTES: Now in their ninth season, USA Hockey's national Try Hockey For Free Days have introduced more than 178,000 children to the sport ... Join the conversation and post your photos and videos on social media using the hashtag #TryHockey .

2018-19 Dates Announced for National Try Hockey For Free, Presented by SportsEngine

USA Hockey is excited to announce the 2018-19 dates for National Try Hockey For Free, presented by SportsEngine. This program, designed to provide youth hockey associations a national platform to introduce new kids to the sport, is a joint effort between USA Hockey, the National Hockey League, and NHL member clubs. Last season, nearly 25,000 kids had their first ice hockey experience while participating in a National Try Hockey event.

SportsEngine is the presenting sponsor of Try Hockey for Free Day, while Chipotle and Pure Hockey are also official sponsors of the event.

The first Try Hockey Day for Fall will be Saturday, November 10th as part of Come Play Hockey Month. November is an ideal time for new families that may not have previously considered youth hockey and are completing their fall sports.

The Spring Try Hockey event will take place on Saturday, February 23, 2019. February is a great opportunity to attract new families who are thinking about hockey because it's winter. This will give rink programs an advantage with spring programs and identifying prospective hockey families for next fall.

Click Here to register as a 2018-19 Try Hockey Host Site.

For questions, please email

Participant registration for Try Hockey events opens a month prior to date on

Registration is open for the 2018-19 2 and 2 Challenge

The 2 and 2 Challenge guides youth hockey leadership through national programs and tools to drive participation at the 4 to 8 age group. By growing hockey at this age group, programs will experience long-term growth as these kids continue to develop.

What is the goal of the 2 and 2 Challenge?

The blueprint guides youth hockey leadership through national programs and tools to realize their goal of acquiring 2 new players and retaining 2 additional players than the previous season's total in the 8 & under age category. Associations accepting the 2 and 2 Challenge will:

  1. Participate in Welcome Back Week (Sept. 17-23, 2018)
  1. Host a Try Hockey event on November 10, 2018 OR February 23, 2019; PLUS one additional event
  1. Offer a Transition Program (after your Try Hockey events)

By completing the 2 and 2 Challenge, associations will receive up to $250 in Pure Hockey credit to help your association enhance growth initiatives.

For more information or to get started, visit

IIHF World Girls Hockey Weekend

USA Hockey is looking for associations and rinks to host opportunities to build awareness, celebrate your current players and grow participation for girls hockey as part of the eighth annual IIHF Girls’ Hockey Weekend, October 6-7, 2018. To participate, host sites can utilize; season kick-off party, cross-ice jamboree, try hockey for free, or create an original event to celebrate local female hockey players.*Events are encouraged to be focused on the 8U age group. To learn more about Girls Hockey Weekend, please CLICK HERE.

Host site registration is available HERE. Please contact with questions regarding registration.

In 2017, over 120 locations across the United States celebrated the seventh annual IIHF World Girls' Ice Hockey Weekend.