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New to Hockey?


We hope you find the following frequently asked questions helpful:

Who is TYHNC?

TYHNC (Triangle Youth Hockey of North Carolina) is a USA Hockey sanctioned organization that governs the 'Hillsborough Hogs' ice hockey teams. TYHNC originated in 1980 and was the first youth hockey association in the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill, NC area. We follow the USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) and have teams at all levels.

What do these team names -- Mites, Peewee, etc. -- mean?

The names refer to the age groups for each team. USA Hockey groups players into into 2-year ranges.  Age cutoffs for each division are based on the calendar year.    

  • Mites, also called 8U, are 8 years old and under
  • Squirts, 10U, are 9 and 10 year olds.
  • Peewees, 12U, are 11 and 12 year olds.
  • Bantams, 15U, are 13, 14, and 15 year olds.
  • 18U, also called Midget or High School, are 15-18 year olds.

My child wants to play hockey. Where do we start?

They are never too young or too old to get started.  Through our partnership with the Triangle Sportsplex, we recommend the following path for getting started with the great game of hockey.

  • Step 1:  Learn to Skate. Before playing hockey, your child must learn how to skate.  Check out or call the Triangle Sportsplex (919-644-0339) to learn more about their Learn to Skate programs.
  • Step 2:  Learn to Play. The Triangle Sportsplex offers learn to play hockey lessons for children as young as 3 years old.  Children must be able to skate and have the appropriate hockey equipment.  
  • Step 3:  Join the Hogs! Once your child has developed basic skating skills and has learned hockey fundamentals, they are ready to join the Hogs!

What's the difference between House teams and Travel teams?

There are two types of teams at each age level: House teams for players looking for a more recreational level of play with local scheduling; and Travel teams for the more experienced players looking for a higher level of competition. Any player can sign up for a house team, provided the roster is not full, while Travel team players are selected based on tryouts that occur in May or June of each year for the following season.

Are TYHNC coaches USA Hockey Certified?

Yes, all of our coaches are USA Hockey certified, have passed the background and Safe Sport requirements mandated by the USA Hockey and Carolina Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA). All of our coaches focus on fun, skill development, team play, sportsmanship, and enjoyment of the game.  

How do I know when my child is ready to play for the Hogs? 

Generally, if a player has completed one or two learn to play sessions, they’re ready to join one of the house level teams.  Your learn to play coach, as well as any TYHNC staff member, are good resources to discuss player readiness.  We also encourage new players to come to a few practices and try it out (for free) before committing.  

How long is the season? 

The season usually starts in September, and runs through early March.
We usually have a one week break over Thanksgiving and a two week break over Christmas / New Years.

Where and when do we play?

All practices and home games are at the Sportsplex in Hillsborough, NC.  Practices are twice a week on weekday nights (once a week for Mites). Games can vary, but usually are on weekends.  The number of games and format (single game v. tournament) vary by age level and type of team.  Most house teams will have approximately 20 games per season. Travel teams may play 30-40 games per season.

Who do we play?

Most House teams play in the Polar Hurricanes House League (PHHL) and teams from other area organizations:  Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, etc.  Travel teams play in the CHL (Carolinas Hockey League), which includes other local travel level teams and tournaments in the mid-Atlantic region.

My child is inexperienced &/or small for their age, can they play down a level? 

USA Hockey does not permit players to play down a level.  Inexperienced players still working on the basics will find the house team at their age level to be a great fit.  The size of a child is generally not a factor for determining whether he or she is ready to play hockey within their age group (including from a safety standpoint).  Checking is not allowed in PeeWee (U12), Squirt (U10), and Mite level hockey. 

I have a girl, can she play? 

Yes, definitely!  All of our teams are co-ed.  We sometimes even play all girl teams!  

How much does it cost? 

Cost varies depending on the age level and the team (house or travel) your child will play on.  The 8U / Mite registration fee for 2019-20 is $650 and the other age groups range in cost from $1200-$1400. This fee covers the entire 5+ month season.  When accounting for all hours of activity provided (practice & games) over the course of the season, it usually works out to about $13-$15 per hour for house team players.   

To help with costs, TYHNC allows you to pay the registration fee in five monthly installments, offers financial aid, and offers sibling discounts.

Note, other than uniforms and socks, TYHNC does not provide any gear (i.e., helmets, pads, skates, etc.).  If you need assistance on where to obtain gear, and/or are on a budget, please contact us & we can provide some suggestions. 

Is financial aid available? 

Yes.  We have an objective formula that takes into account income and number of dependents to allow for registration discounts at various levels.  

Is there a sibling / multiple player discount?

Yes. The sibling discount is 10% off of the total registration bill for families with multiple Sharks.

Is equipment provided? 

Other than a jersey and socks, no gear will be provided.  If you need assistance on where to obtain gear, and/or are on a budget, please contact us & we can provide some suggestions. 

Do the kids have fun?

Yes, they love it!

Playing Cross Ice: NHL Analytics Tracking of 8U Hockey Players

Interesting video from USA Hockey on the benefits of playing cross ice for 8U kids.

View video here