Are the Junior Ice Flyers affiliated with the Pensacola Ice Flyers?
Although the Junior Ice Flyers are not affiliated with the Ice Flyers, we share their desire to grow the game of hockey in Pensacola. Additionally, the Ice Flyers very generously offer various discounts each season for families registered with the NFHL. The Junior Ice Flyers also occasionally get to skate during Ice Flyer game intermissions. These intermission skates are sponsored by various businesses in the area and are great entertainment for the Ice Flyer fans in attendance!
How old do you have to be to play youth hockey?
Children between the ages of 4 and 18 are welcome to play youth hockey!
I'm new to hockey. Is there anywhere that I can find additional information about hockey?
The New to Hockey Page is a great place to start. Additionally, USA Hockey Parent's Community FAQ page and the USA Hockey website has a great deal of information about the different hockey programs. It also governs many of the policies and procedures that are followed in Northwest Florida Hockey League (NFHL).
My child wants to play hockey and can skate. Do you have a Learn to Play program?
Yes! Our Learn to Play sessions are 6 weeks long and we will hold 2 sessions per season.
Skaters will learn the following skills: how to get dressed for hockey; turning and stopping; backwards skating; and using the inside and outside edges of the skates. In addition to these required skills, skaters will also be introduced to: hockey stops; crossovers; stick and puck handling; hockey basics. Skaters are taught by simple progression at their own pace using drills, one on one coaching, and on-ice games to teach them how to skate with an emphasis on having fun! All skaters must use the following hockey equipment: a USA Hockey approved helmet with face cage; gloves; elbow pads; hockey shorts; knee pads; ice hockey stick.
Skaters must master these skills and will receive a written evaluation before moving to their age group
Are there any summer camps or clinics available?
Due to the unpredictable nature of the Bay Center Schedule camps/clinics are very difficult to schedule. We try our best to schedule in house - clinics with our coaches when we can during the season, Oct - March.
Summer camps unfortunately are unable to be scheduled due to the ice being removed in the spring. We have several camps/clinics that we can suggest from other PJIF members recommending.
How much does it cost to play youth hockey with the Junior Ice Flyers?
As of our 2022 - 2023 season the cost is approximately $700 per skater to register with the league for house, and approximately $1700 for travel plus jersey fees. This cost will fluctuate each season according to operating costs required from the Bay Center. It is a requirement to also register with USA Hockey , which costs about $50 - $70 depending on birth year. Required hockey equipment, (if purchased new) starts at about $200 for a starter kit, skates are $100+; as your player gets older, prices will vary per piece needed. Additionally, the house league may participate in 2-3 tournaments each season, which cost will depend on the tournament fees and the amount of skaters attending. Participation for house tournaments is completely voluntary. Travel team players have made a commitment to the team and are required to attend every tournament weekend; travel expenses to games are not included and the responsibility of each player family.
Where can I get youth hockey equipment?
Because youth hockey is still growing in northwest Florida, no local stores carry equipment. We do equipment swaps at the beginning of each season during our Season Kick Off Party, where gently used equipment may be available. Otherwise, there are various websites where the majority of families in this area get their equipment. We have some linked on the New to Hockey page. Families also visit local shops during tournament weekends.
What equipment is required to play?
We have our requirements listed on our New to Hockey page for reference, but here is the list as well.
HECC Approved Helmet with approved full-face mask
Throat protector (Neck Guard)
Supporter with cup & garter belt (to hold socks up)
Breezers (aka hockey pants)
What is the commitment involved?
The NFHL season runs late October through March. Each age division usually practices two evenings per week and occasional weekend mornings at the Pensacola Bay Center. The schedule can vary depending on the Bay Center's events schedule as well as the Pensacola Ice Flyers' schedule. The Junior Ice Flyers is mostly made up of house players, but we do have several travel teams each season. The house league may participates in 2-3 tournaments in other cities each season, as well as occasional friendly scrimmages with area teams. Participation in the tournaments and scrimmages is completely voluntary. In addition to the regular weekly practices in Pensacola, the travel teams practice and play games an additional weekend or two per month outside of Florida. Travel team players have made a commitment to the team and are required to attend every tournament weekend.
Is fundraising required?
Yes. We make every effort to keep our registration fees low and affordable to families so they can participate in the great sport of hockey. Even though the cost of ice time has increased, each registered player is required to participate in one of the three available fundraising options per hockey season. The three options are: sign up a $250 or more sponsor for the league, volunteer a minimum of 10 hours (Chuck a puck, Concession Stand, work an event), or buy yourself out for $100. More information can be found on our Volunteering page.
Why do only some age groups get to travel?
The league's primary responsibility is to provide for the house league players. The house league will form a tournament when numbers allow and will travel to tournaments when possible. This is completely voluntary by the house players. The league will only support a travel team initiative when the player numbers and demand support it. Travel evaluations are held in the spring and are when we are able to get a better determination as to the possibility of having a travel team in certain divisions. The cost to play on the travel teams is $1700, plus travel, lodging, and other costs.
Where are the locker rooms?
The NFHL usually has the use of 2 locker rooms at the Pensacola Bay Center. Availability is subject to the Ice Flyers' game schedule. We are not allowed to use the locker rooms the day prior to a game. There is a changing area by the entrance to the ice, or players can use the restrooms for changing. Please visit the Locker Room Policy page for more info.