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About

 Sidney Crosby's Little Penguins Learn to Play Hockey is an introductory program for children ages 5 to 9. The program aims to inspire families to join the sport. Little Penguins provides first-time participants FREE head-to-toe equipment, eight to ten weeks of age appropriate on-ice instruction, and certified coaching in a fun and safe atmosphere. Little Penguins is presented by the NHL and NHLPA with the support of Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, DICK'S Sporting Goods, CCM and USA Hockey.  

Registration Information 

  • Little Penguins registration takes place well in advance of program start dates. Please check the dates section below for details. Each Little Penguins program is hosted by a local rink/youth hockey association.
  • Equipment sizes must be submitted during registration process. Please utilize the Equipment Fit Guide to determine sizes PRIOR to registering. Equipment sizes cannot be changed once submitted.
  • Registration MUST be completed online through LeagueApps. Telephone and on-site registrations will NOT be accepted.
  • Equipment pickup will take place on a specified date at the DICK'S Sporting Goods location selected during participant registration. Please double check selected location, as it cannot be changed.
  • Upon registration, you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Please check your SPAM or PROMOTIONS folder as this e-mail may not arrive straight to your inbox.

Dates (subject to change):

  • Registration takes place in mid-July for programs beginning on-ice from September - December
  • Registration takes place in early-November for programs beginning on-ice from January - March/April

For questions, please contact littlepenguins@pittsburghpenguins.com

Register Now!

Program Eligibility

Please note the following program eligibility requirements:

  • Participants must be between the ages of 5 and 9 years old.
  • Offered to new, first-time participants only. Participants must not have been previously registered with USA Hockey or participated in an ice hockey league/program.
  • It is strongly encouraged that participants complete a Learn to Skate class through their local rink prior to enrolling in Little Penguins.
  • Children who previously participated in the Little Penguins program, are NOT eligible to participate again.

*If the host facility becomes aware that a registered child has previous hockey league/program experience, the child will be removed from the Little Penguins program.

 

Equipment

Each participant's equipment set includes the following:

  • Skates
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Hockey gloves
  • Hockey pants
  • Shin guards
  • Helmet (with a cage)
  • Socks
  • Jersey
  • Stick
  • Equipment bag

The only equipment we suggest you purchase is a mouth guard and athletic supporter. Hockey stick tape is also recommended.

Equipment Fit Guide

FAQs

About Little Penguins

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. Learn to Play changes the way youth hockey is offered by providing first-time participants FREE head-to-toe equipment, eight (8) to ten (10) weeks of age appropriate on-ice instruction, and certified coaching in a fun and safe atmosphere.

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The program provides FREE head-to-toe equipment for your child to keep as they continue exploring youth hockey. However, there is a participation fee associated with the program which offsets ice and coaching expenses. The participation fee may vary by facility.

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The Little Penguins Learn to Play program is offered to new, first-time participants (boys and girls), between the ages of five (5) and nine (9). First-time participants are those who have not been previously registered with USA Hockey or previously participated in a hockey league/program (house/rec league, learn to play, mini-mites, camps, etc.). It is strongly encouraged the participants complete a Learn to Skate class through their local rink prior to enrolling in Little Penguins.
* If the host facility becomes aware that a registered child has previous hockey league/program experience, the child will be removed from the Little Penguins program and the guardians will be charged the full retail price for the equipment

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It is strongly recommended that children complete a "Learn to Skate" class through their local rink prior to enrolling in Little Penguins. Most rinks have regular ice skating sessions which are open to the public and are a great way to gain experience and confidence on the ice. For those looking to register for a "Learn to Skate" program, please contact your local rink.

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The Little Penguins Learn to Play program is offered at over twenty local rinks throughout Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia area. Although, not every rink hosts a session each time. Check the "open registrations" section, for a list of locations offering the next session.

 
Registration

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We are sorry to hear that! If you are able to give notice prior to picking up your equipment, you are able to cancel your registration, and our staff will work towards processing your refund. Please e-mail littlepenguins@pittsburghpenguins.com with any cancellation requests.

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We have waitlists for all Little Penguins programs. If you are interested in a session that is full, please register for the waitlist. We will do our best to contact participants on the waitlist should a spot become available.

If you successfully registered your children for the same session, then yes. All participants will be on the ice at the same time. Coaches may split the class into groups for drills throughout the program.

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USA Hockey is the national governing body of ice hockey in the United States (https://www.usahockey.com/). USA Hockey provides a number of resources for the Learn to Play program, including; age-appropriate training modules and practice plans, coaching certification, background screening and insurance for all Learn to Play participants. Each Little Penguins participant receives a free USA Hockey player membership for the season in which they complete the program. The memberships are typically processed during the latter half of on-ice sessions. Once processed, the membership confirmation email is sent directly to each participants' primary e-mail used during registration. This e-mail includes the participants USA Hockey confirmation number.

 
On-Ice Sessions

It is strongly recommended that participants arrive 30-60 minutes early to the first on-ice session. Please arrive in enough time to ensure that your child is able to get checked in, dressed, and on the ice on time. Please be aware that it can take longer than expected to get your child dressed, especially in the first few sessions.

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Please make sure to let your Coach know that you will not be attending a certain class.

 
Equipment

Upon registration, each participant will receive complimentary head-to-toe CCM equipment. The equipment provided includes: a helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, gloves, hockey skates, a hockey stick, jersey, socks, and an equipment bag. USA Hockey strongly encourages participants to purchase their own athletic supporter (jock/jill), mouth guard, and neck guard. All equipment is required to be worn during on-ice sessions. Participants keep the equipment upon graduating from the Little Penguins program.

 
Next Steps/Continue to Play

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The Pittsburgh Penguins encourage all Little Penguins participants to continue playing hockey! Talk to your Coach or Rink Director for the best next step program.

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Unfortunately, no. The Little Penguins program is offered to only new, first-time participants. Sessions are not progressive and participants may only register for the program once. Host facilities/organizations will provide participants with direction on transitional, next-step programming available.

 

    The program provides FREE head-to-toe equipment for your child to keep as they continue exploring youth hockey. However, there is a participation fee associated with the program which offsets ice and coaching expenses. The participation fee may vary by facility.