8U Program

LHA's U8 Program is the very foundation - the base upon which the Association builds its travel and recreational teams. The USA Hockey Initiation Program is designed for players 5-8 years old. It encourages a non-competitive environment in which children can learn the basic skills without the distractions that are often associated with an over emphasis on winning. Mastery of fundamental skills and the fun of playing are essential to the development of a lifelong interest in hockey.


  • Modify the playing environment to meet the needs for this specific age group
  • Increase opportunities for players to touch and handle the puck
  • Stress participation, fun and skill development
  • Increase the practice to game ratio to a minimum of three practices to each game
  • Provide a positive environment for learning the fundamental skills of hockey
  • Improve the utilization of ice time

The 8U Season begins October 1 with evaluations. LHA will not finalize rosters until the end of October.


The 8U Program is divided into three levels per USA Hockey's Athletic Development Model. These levels are Advanced, Intermediate and Beginner. LHA uses four weeks at the start of the season to evaluate players for placement in these three levels. Players may be moved between levels to suit their appropriate skill level.

  • Beginner - one hour of ice on Saturday and one hour of ice on Sunday.
  • U8 Intermediate - at a minimum, one hour of ice during the week, one hour of ice on Saturday and one hour of ice on Sunday.
  • U8 Advanced - at a minimum, two hours of ice during the week, one hour of ice on Saturday and one hour of ice on Sunday.


When participating in jamborees, Advanced and Intermediate teams play half-ice games while Beginner teams play cross-ice games. Jamborees are fun gatherings where multiple games are played on one ice sheet. No score is kept and teams will play two to three "friendlies" in an hour slot.


In addition to developing young hockey players, LHA uses the U8 Program as a forum to educate and groom future coaches for our association. Coaches are often listed as the most important influences in the lives of young people, so if you have an interest in being on the ice to help in any capacity, I encourage you to contact me for details.

All LHA Coaches are required to complete the USA Hockey Coaching Clinics, USA Hockey Online Modules, registration with USA Hockey, a CAHA Background Check and an approved concussion training program.

Evaluation Dates

U8 Evaluations will begin October 1, 2024

Team formation will be finalized no later than October 29, 2024

LHA Cup Dates

  • TBD



Harry Golden

8U Director

Jason Gour

LHA Programs Director

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