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Associations Can Apply to Host First Shift Program in 2024-25 Season

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 01/16/24, 10:45AM EST


Program ensures a positive experience for new-to-hockey families

Opportunities are now available for OMHA Associations to apply to host the First Shift program during the 2024-25 season.

A unique introductory program created by Hockey Canada to get more families introduced to hockey, the NHL/NHLPA First Shift provides boys and girls ages 6-10 an opportunity to easily try hockey for $299, which includes a six-week on-ice trial, expertly fitted head-to-toe equipment, and in-depth parent education.

Following the six-week on-ice sessions, participants have the option of improving their skills via the local hockey association-managed Transition Program or in some communities, the local hockey association can place NHL/NHLPA First Shift graduates on to a minor hockey team.

Since 2014, more than 1,500 First Shift programs have been executed, resulting in more than 52,000 girls and boys across the country trying hockey for the first time. Local hockey associations are encouraged to review the application criteria and submit an online application if they wish to be selected as a host community.

The registration fee for each participant includes:

  • a Welcome Event – information, education, and an equipment fitting session
  • six on-ice sessions designed by Hockey Canada on the same day and time each week
  • a complete set of gear, including: hockey bag, helmet combo (with facemask), shoulder pads, elbow pads, neck guard, shorts with jock / jill, pants, hockey socks, shin guards, jersey, gloves, stick and skates.

Minor Hockey Associations are able to apply for either an A program or a B program. Having a sense of the size of your community, the interest in trying hockey, and the number of instructors you can gather are all points to consider when applying.

  • A Program = 45 participants (10 instructors maximum)
  • B Program = 30 participants (7 instructors maximum)
  • Make arrangements for ice rental (MHA to cover cost of ice)

In surveys issued by First Shift, 100% of families would recommend the program to a friend, and 100% of Associations would recommend the program to increase membership.


The deadline to apply is March 15.

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