We are big hockey fans. So the fact that our son gets a chance to play real ice hockey even though we live in the South is quite a delight, especially to his father. Let's put aside the exorbitant amount of fees and the expenses in buying the equipment because I'd just rather not talk about that anymore than I have to.... (when I think of the beads I could have with that money... well... let's just say I could buy ALOT of beads and add a room onto my house to store them!)... the following is what you need to know about hockey if you are thinking of it for your son.
First, and most importantly, you must know that ice time is very valuable and there are lots of people competing for it. Here we have a semi-professional team, a college team, high school teams, traveling youth teams, house teams, and then there is the whole figure skating community that must all vie for ice time. This explains why our games are scheduled for Saturday mornings at 7:00. The rink we have been assigned to is 30 minutes away. Doing the math and allowing time to dress (more on this in a minute), that means getting up every Saturday for the next six months at 5:30 a.m. Also, we have practices every Monday night.
Second, here is a picture of all the equipment you will need. Not included in this picture are the jersey, undergarments (and related paraphenalia) and mouth guard....
Make sure you don't forget your huge hockey bag (a must) to carry all your stuff in.... don't assume your 7 year old can actually carry this bag, either.
Of course, the other option is to put your 7 year old IN the bag and have your 12 year old carry it!!! :-)
And finally, don't mistakenly think you can get to the ice rink 5 minutes before your practice and get your child dressed in time. No, dressing for hockey takes time, patience and a manual. I am not kidding. We had to go online and get a detailed description of how to dress... this stuff has to go on in the right order, or you will mess everything up. So, I was armed with my instructions... I found out the only real benefit that I can see to all of this... he looks really cute in all this stuff. :-)
Hockey players work hard on the ice. Here he is after practice: