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8 & Under Mite Program (Ages 6-8)

Our 8U Jr. Amerks  will have a complete hockey experience. Designed for children ages 6-8, our primary goal is to create a fun and competitive environment where every player can develop their skills and a passion for the game. Our programming this season is highly focused on player development so that each player is equipped with the skills necessary to advance and excel at the next level. 

The objective of this stage of development is to refine fundamental movement skills and begin to acquire basic sports skills. This is the time when a foundation is laid for future acquisition of more advanced skills. The focus is on the development of physical literacy. Fundamental movement skills should be mastered and motor development emphasized, while the participation in many sports/activities is encouraged. For optimal skill acquisition, the basic hockey skills of skating and puck control are introduced. FUN competitions are also introduced in a team environment.


Contact 8U Program Director Ryan Gage with questions

What is Red, White, & Blue?

8 and under teams are classified into three levels know as Red, White, and Blue.  These levels are used to estimate an individual team's competitiveness when scheduling games. 

Red (Advanced) classification implies the highest level of competition and the players tend to be the  players who've been playing for a few years already and intend on playing travel hockey when they get to 9U level.

We offer a 7U Red team and an 8U Red Team each season. The Red teams programming includes extra training throughout the season and opportunities to play full-ice hockey through the RIC Academy AAU mite teams 

White (Intermediate) classification implies the team is competitive, however could be comprised of younger players or players with less than two years of hockey experience.

Blue (Novice) classification represents 8U teams that are usually comprised of younger players and players who are newer to hockey.

What is Cross Ice Hockey?

The USA Hockey Cross-Ice program is based on a model of practicing and playing hockey across the ice surface as compared to practicing and playing lengthwise along the full length of the ice surface. This cross-ice practicing and playing model has been used in many of the leading hockey nations in the world for a number of years and has stood the test of time. It has been shown that children who begin their hockey training in this environment have an outstanding hockey experience.

What is the American Development Model?

We follow the American Development Model (ADM) and conduct station-based practices with all our teams. The ADM is a framework to help all individuals realize their athletic potential and utilize sport as a path toward an active and healthy lifestyle. The ADM is based upon key tenets taken from research and best practices in youth sports, human development, coaching, and the sports science that promote sustained physical activity, health & safety, and age-appropriate development.

Season Forecast Explained

What is the 6U Prep Team?

While technically not part of our 8U Mite program, our 6U prep team offers additional opportunity for kids in our Intro to Hockey Doodle Bugs program who show an aptitude for the game and want to play more hockey. The program is designed to help our youngest players advance their skills while playing in a fun and ​competitive team setting, preparing them to play at the highest levels as they grow in the Jr. Amerks program. Historically many of our 6U Prep team players move on the play 7U Red or 8U White teams.

The 6U prep team is assembled early in the season, after coaches evaluate players in our DoodleBugs Level 1 and Level 2 programs and identify those who are ready for a higher level of play. The team consists of 10-15 players, plus a head coach and assistant coaches.

The 6U prep team will have regular team practices on Sundays throughout the season. The team will also play games against other Jr. Amerks teams and participate in jamborees and tournaments in the Rochester area.