Getting started in hockey has never been easier or more convenient!
In Fall 2021, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the return of Learn to Play in collaboration with the OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rinks to design a simplified hockey development pathway for boys and girls ages 10-and-under. All participants will begin with Learn to Play hockey classes. Once a child moves through the three-step Learn to Play, he or she will be ready to join an organized hockey league.
Learn To Play presented by Performance Columbus, in association with Moo Moo Express Car Wash, aims to deliver a positive experience with age-appropriate instruction and certified coaching, led by Blue Jackets Alum Andrew Cassels, in a fun and safe atmosphere.
Learning to play hockey is more than just learning a game. More than skating, passing and stickhandling, hockey is about responsibility, respect and teamwork. As children learn the skills needed to succeed on the ice, they also build and solidify important character traits needed to succeed off the ice.
Part of a National Hockey League-wide initiative in partnership with the National Hockey League Players' Association and developed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada, the Learn to Play initiative aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs with the goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community.
- Three-step introductory program
- Open to boys and girls between the ages of 4 to 10
- Receive head-to-toe equipment with first-time enrollment ($600 value)
- Family-friendly schedule with eight weeks of 45-minute classes
- Eight-week sessions ($200) held year-round at select OhioHealth Chiller Ice Rink locations
- With each registration receive one (1) free ticket to a 2023-24 regular season Blue Jackets home game
Children who are currently or previously enrolled an organized hockey program are not eligible to participate in this program and will be removed if registered. Free equipment is provided with first-time enrollment only. Participants may repeat the program at the same fee but will not receive equipment.
STEP 1 - INTRO TO HOCKEY SKATING
Discover, Learn and Play! This introductory level allows new skaters with no prior skating experience to build confidence while learning to skate.
STEP 2 - ADVANCED HOCKEY SKATING
The Advanced Hockey Skating curriculum is designed to teach the fundamentals of hockey skating. Skaters will learn how to be more proficient and agile on the ice.
STEP 3 - HOCKEY SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Once a child has sound skating fundamentals, this next step will help challenge and further develop each player as they prepare to play organized hockey.
What is Learn to Play?
Learn to Play is a program that provides a unique opportunity for families to join the hockey community and for participants to develop fundamental skills to help them succeed both on and off the ice. Created jointly by the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL). Learn to Play's goal is to inspire youth and welcome more families into the hockey community.
The value of learning to play hockey goes beyond skating and puck-handling skills. Its' greatest value is the role it plays in the development of character and life skills such as RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT, INTEGRITY, PERSEVERANCE and TEAMWORK. Learn to Play is the start of a new experience, extending further than the ice. It's about falling down and getting up, making new friends from teammates and most of all creating fun memories that'll last a lifetime.
Learn to Play aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs by providing first-time participants free head-to-toe equipment, age-appropriate on-ice instruction, and certified coaching in a fun and safe atmosphere.
Who is eligible to register?
The program is offered to new, first-time participants (boys and girls) between the ages of 4 and 10. First-time participants are defined as those who have not previously been registered in a USA Hockey sanctioned youth hockey program (i.e. an organized league/playing on a team).
Does my child need to know how to skate before they register?
No. Learn to Play Hockey 1 will teach and develop beginner skating skills for your child.
What is the cost of LTP and what is included?
The program fee for each 8-week session is $200 and all participants will receive:
- Family-friendly schedule with 8 weeks of 45-minute classes held on consecutive days of the week.
- Professional age-appropriate skating and hockey instruction.
- Special appearances by Blue Jackets Alumni and Stinger.
- One (1) free ticket to a 2021-22 regular season Blue Jackets home game.
- CBJ giveaways and more!
Additionally, a complete set of new hockey equipment (yours to keep!) is included with your child's initial enrollment. Participants may repeat the program at the same fee but will not receive equipment.
When is Learn to Play offered? How do I register?
Learn to Play is offered in 8-week sessions year-round with both weeknight and weekend classes held on consecutive days of the week. Below is a typical schedule, subject to change.
August session: August - October
October session: October - December
January session: January - March
March session: March - May
May session: May - July
To register for a session, visit https://www.thechiller.com/classes/hockey.cfm. Registration typically opens one month prior to the start of the session.
What equipment is included/required for the program?
A complete set of hockey equipment is required for Learn to Play. With your child's initial enrollment they will receive a new complete set of equipment, which includes: a helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, hockey skates, athletic supporter, hockey stick, jersey, socks, skate guards and an equipment bag.
How do I get my child's equipment?
Once you've registered your child, equipment ordering instructions will be included in your confirmation email. Equipment fitting will be done online only. Equipment will be shipped to each participant to the address provided. Please allow 7-10 days to receive equipment.
NOTE: If you sign up for your session of Learn to Play less than one-week prior to the start date then we cannot guarantee you will receive your equipment before the first class.
Is this program available to girls?
Yes. Learn to Play is open to both girls and boys between the ages of 4 and 10.
Can I register my child more than once for the program?
Yes, and we encourage you to! Your child may repeat the program until one of the following occurs. 1) Your child ages out of the program. 2) Your child is too advanced for the program pending an evaluation from an instructor.
If I register my child again for the program, will they receive another set of equipment?
I completed my child's registration, what's next?
Creating a safe environment for families to develop a love for hockey is integral to the Learn to Play program and the first step in doing so is providing all participants with properly fitted head-to-toe equipment with first-time enrollment ($600 value). With your child's initial enrollment they will receive a new complete set of equipment, which includes: a helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, hockey skates, athletic supporter, hockey stick, jersey, socks, skate guards and an equipment bag.