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Practice for 8U Mites normally begins on the first Saturday of October
8U Mite Typical Season
Season: October - March
Game Days: Every Saturday
Approx Games: 20-25*
Practices: Two 50 minute practices each week
Included: 8-12 association exchanges/jamborees
Games will progress from cross-ice format to half-ice to encourage playing in small spaces
*Approximate games counts are recommendations from USA Hockey ADM Model. GVAHA team game and tournament counts can vary between teams.
Our GVAHA Mites participate in the MITE JAMORREE each year held at VanAndel Arena. Check out the highlight video!
What's it like to play 8u Mite hockey at GVAHA?
Grand Valley Amateur Hockey Association is an affiliate of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA).
MAHA is a sanctioned affiliate of USA Hockey whose purpose is to develop and encourage sportsmanship between all players for the betterment of their physical and social well-being. The association supervises the activities of thousands of amateur hockey teams, and tens of thousands of players, using a volunteer workforce of elected and appointed officials. MAHA supervises the activities of over 2,500 amateur hockey teams, and 50,000 players and coaches using a volunteer workforce of elected and appointed officials. MAHA administers amateur hockey in Michigan through seven established districts. Each District is responsible for the local teams and Associations in their area.
Grand Valley Amateur Hockey Association is located in DISTRICT 6 of MAHA. This area includes these hockey associations:
Adrian Youth Hockey Association
Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association
Battle Creek Ice Hockey Association
Berrien Area Hockey Association
Big Rapids Area Junior Hockey Association
Chelsea Hockey Association
Fox Motors Hockey Club
Grand Rapids Blades Hockey Association
Grand Rapids Amateur Hockey Association
Grand Valley Amateur Hockey Association
HAWKS Hockey Association of West Kent
Jackson Area Hockey Association
Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association
Lansing Hockey Club
Muskegon Junior Lumberjacks
Rockford Hockey Association
West Shore Amateur Hockey Association
West Michigan Elite/Meijer AAA
West Michigan Ice Dogs
What is The Seaons Schedule Look Like?
A typical season includes practice 2x per week, plus practice or games on the weekend. Practices start the first week of October through Mid-March. Weekend Exchanges, Jamborees and Tournaments begin the end of October through Mid-March.
8U Mites will play several Exchange and Jamborres and only 1-2 Tournaments. All 8U Mite Exchanges are coordinated by a MAHA Scheduler and we do not get the schedule until Mid-October.
Where do we travel to play games?
All exchanges and jamborees will be held within our district. Tournaments can be outside the district. Some of the rinks we typically play at for Exchanges and Jamborees are:
Griff's Ice House West, Holland
West Shore Community Ice Arena, Scottsville
Patterson Ice Center, Grand Rapids
Southside Ice Center, Byron Center
Kentwood Ice Arena, Kentwood
Walker Ice & Fitness Center, Walker
Eagles Ice Center, Grand Rapids
Optimist Ice Arena, Jackson
Cedar Rock Sports Plex, Rockford
Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids
What is an Exchange?
An exchange is typically a 2-hour block of time in which 6 teams play 2 or 3 games each. These games generally last about 20 minutes and have 60 or 90-second line changes. Most times these are back to back or could have 1 game between for rest. It could be played at our ice rink or at any of others that are included within D6. It could be a 3x3 or 4x4 with goalie, cross-ice or half ice.
GVAHA has had anywhere from 2-5 teams of approximate 7 players on each team.
What is a Jamboree?
A jamboree is similar to an exchange but you typically play up to 4 games. There can be a longer break in between games and generally the manager or one of the moms tries to coordinate food for the kids. Things like gatorade, ham on bun, fruit, cheese sticks, granola bars and other healthy snacks are available to the kids.
What is a Tournament?
Tournaments are never a mandatory thing. These are above and beyond your player fee. If the team has secured any sponsorships, this money can be used towards these costs otherwise the cost is split among the players attending.
Tournaments are generally two days of games. Some keep score, others do not at this level. Usually, you are guaranteed 2 or 3 games and if you win, you advance to the semi-finals or championship game. If they do keep score, any tie in the standings is broke by score differentials. This means we score as much as we can and keep the opposition from scoring as much as we can.
If the tournament is not local, the manager will put a hold on a block of hotel rooms and you get a link or number to use to book a room. One of the nights the team tries to do a team dinner which could be potluck style or just a bunch of pizza or even go out some place. This is where team bonding is at its highest. As for pool time, it is a general rule of thumb that the kids can have some pool time, however, it at the coach's discretion to revoke this if they choose. There is a curfew we abide by so the kids can get rest and be fresh for the second day of games.
Remember when we are away from our home rink, we are representing the Stars and GVAHA and should be on our best behavior.