Cleveland Monsters Learn to Play Programs

The Cleveland Monsters welcome you to Learn to Play Hockey! 


In coordination with certified Learn to Play (LTP) programs at area rinks, this website will help you learn all about the sport and where to sign up your future hockey player.  LTP programs across the area are for kids ages 4-8 (some select programming offered to older kids) and are available through this website.

NEW for 2017-18, certified area LTP programs will offer the opportunity to showcase your skills for FREE at Quicken Loans Arena for select weekend dates!  Also new for 2017-18, select area LTP programs will feature Cleveland Monsters players and Sully the Monsters mascot helping to teach hockey for select sessions!

Certified Monsters Learn to Play partners will be announced by September.

Area Learn to Play programs are the first step for learning the game of hockey!  After “graduation” from Learn to Play, your player begins on the path to more competitive stages of hockey in the 8U (Mite) program or the 10U (squirt) program of the Cleveland Suburban Hockey League (CSHL).  The CSHL is the only hockey league of it’s kind in NE Ohio with almost every rink in the area fielding a CSHL program.

It is recommended but not required before registering for LTP that your player graduates from a Learn to Skate program.  Learn to Skate programs are offered at most area rinks and you can find more details on our rink locater page.

Many LTP programs in our area follow this process for teaching your player the game of hockey:

  • Learn to Play program (ages 4-8) for one year!
  • 8U (Mite) Blue travel hockey
    • Station-based practices/curriculum similar to Learn to Play, but now featuring other area teams to play against!
  • 8U (Mite) White travel hockey
    • Some players will graduate Learn to Play and go straight to Mite White, the second stage of 8U hockey!
    • Station-based practices are still taking place, but more advanced area competition and more games included on the schedule
  • 8U (Mite) Red travel hockey
    • This is the last stage of Mite hockey and most competitive stage of 8U. 
    • Almost exclusively set for 7 and 8 year olds to compete and can feature select full-ice hockey games as well.
  • 10U (Squirt) travel hockey
    • Depending on age after graduation from LTP, your player may advance to 10U hockey!
    • The CSHL association you are a part of will feature various skill level teams at this age group to help your player make sure they are on the correct team.
    • If graduating from a Mite program, the same procedure will follow with placement on a team of the skill level relative to your player.

Hockey equipment for most Learn to Play programs is provided at reduced costs or for rental. The following pieces of equipment are required for hockey participants:

  • Hockey skates
  • Shin Guards
  • Hockey Pants
  • Girdle/Cup protector (recommended)
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Hockey gloves
  • Helmet
  • Hockey Stick

Area LTP programs will provide hockey jerseys and socks to help complete the uniform.  When you register for LTP, your association or rink will help direct you to the best stores in the area to help outfit your player.  Some programs even offer these above items for free through USA Hockey!

Certified Monsters Learn to Play programs must follow a baseline curriculum.  Area LTP programs begin in October or November and run through February or March each calendar year.  The Monsters work with these area LTP programs to help develop programming which are similar across the area!  To be Monsters Learn to Play certified, programs must offer the following:

  • Fundamentals on skating/edgework - *note: skating skills are recommended, but not required to join LTP.  To find a Learn to Skate near you, contact the rinks on our website 
  • Introduction to hockey equipment – learn how to dress your player!
  • Fundamentals on hockey – how to stay safe on the ice and control your balance with hockey equipment on and stick in your hands.
  • Stations for practices – your player will develop hockey skills at stations designed to teach hockey skills in a controlled and fun environment.  Sticks and pucks are introduced and follow USA Hockey 6U hockey drills.
  • Game time!  After January 1st games amongst the program and with select area programs are happening!


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