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President's Letter

September 21, 2022

Dear Storm Hockey Community: The 2022-2023 season is nearly here! The ice is going in the last full week of September and the MRC is set to open the ice rink on Sunday, September 25. As a volunteer Board of Directors, we feel lucky to have this incredible rink and hockey community to provide our kids with the opportunity to play at all levels. I know my son can’t wait to get started!

The purpose of this letter is to send out a single communication that captures most of the important details for the 2022-2023 hockey season AS THEY STAND NOW.

Practice Schedule: The 2022-2023 practice schedule for all travel teams and House Hockey is up on the Storm’s website.

Storm COVID Policy: We are all hopeful that as a society we are moving back to normalcy. At this time the Storm does not have a Covid policy or restrictions. We all need to be mindful that circumstances can change quickly. The Storm Board of Directors will be ready to respond if needed.

House Hockey: Players ages 9-14 receive two skills practices per week and a house game every other week. House Hockey games will take place on Tuesdays from 6:40-7:40 p.m. On Tuesday, October 4 and Tuesday, October 11 all players (travel and house only) are encouraged to attend to start the season. We will play cross-ice scrimmages, and coaches will be doing a skills assessment to build balanced teams. House games will begin on Tuesday, October 18. If your child is enrolled in 10U or 12U travel hockey, the House program is part of the package. House Hockey registration is live on Storm’s website! (14U travel players are not eligible for House Hockey play unless approved by the Storm coaching director.)

8U House Hockey: 8-year-old skaters (birth year 2014) who play with the MRC 8U program are eligible to play in House games. The cost is $150. This is for games only. It is a great opportunity for 8-year-old skaters to experience games on a full sheet of ice. Skaters will still practice with the MRC-run 8U program. Register on the Storm website.

Pre-Season Clinics: Storm will be offering pre-season clinics on September 26, 27, and 29 from 5:30-7:40 p.m. All players ages 8-14 are eligible to attend. The rink will be divided to separate older and younger players. The focus will be on skating skills, with the second half of the clinic spent playing small area games. The fee for all three clinics is $60 or you can pay a drop-in rate of $30 at the rink. All players MUST have a USA Hockey number to participate. Registration is up on Storm’s website!

Travel Hockey Skills Assessment Session: On Thursday, September 29 there will be a skills assessment session from 5:30-7:40 p.m. for any players interested in travel hockey who did not try out in the spring or who would like to be re-evaluated. The purpose of this session is to assess the skill level of players interested in playing travel hockey, as each 10U, 12U, and 14U travel teams may have open spots. Coaches will determine if a player’s skills are appropriate for their age level team. If you choose to have your player take part in a skills assessment for travel there is an additional tryout fee of $35. (Note: if you paid this fee in the spring and are seeking a re-evaluation you do not need to pay the tryout fee again.)

Travel Hockey Registration: Players who have been selected to play on Storm travel teams at the 10U, 12U and 14U levels may now register for the season. Please visit Storm’s website to register now. Volunteer Hours: As you know, Storm is a non-profit organization that is run 100% by volunteers, which means that fundraising and volunteer time from our families are critical to the success of our organization. Storm has a policy of requiring each hockey family to document 10 volunteer hours for the organization at a Board-led event. This could be working the clock at the rink, volunteering at one of our fundraisers, helping to check players in at the start of the season, etc. Volunteer opportunities will be communicated and the Board will create a form for you to document your hours.

Raffle Ticket Sales: Did you know that we pay approximately $70,000 for our ice time each year ($235 per hour)? Rather than passing along all of that cost to our families through tuition payments, we have fundraising efforts throughout the season to make up the difference. One of those fundraisers is our annual raffle ticket sale. Our travel players as well as House players are required to sell $100 in tickets each year to offset their tuition. Families have the option to sell tickets to friends/family, purchase the tickets themselves, or choose the buy-out option when registering and add the amount to their tuition payment. You will receive the tickets by mid-October and have until late-November to sell them.

Fundraising Goals: The Storm needs to raise $20,000 to meet our budget for this season and keep tuition low. Please help by connecting us to area businesses that may be interested in sponsorship opportunities.

No Cell Phones in Locker Rooms: USA Hockey is maintaining a policy that cell phones are not permitted in locker rooms under any circumstances. If a coach, parent volunteer, or locker room monitor observes a cell phone in a locker room, its owner will be asked to leave the locker room and return without it being visible.

Parent Volunteers as Team Assistants: We need parent volunteers to assist managing practices and games. You will need to complete a USA Hockey background check and the SafeSport online module. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer Corbett at jennifercorbett21@yahoo.com. YES! This is a great way to meet your volunteer hours.

Inferno: An exciting part of Storm hockey is the Inferno hockey team for girls. This is a partnership between Storm, Brewer and Maine Junior Black Bears, to provide our girls an opportunity to play on an all-girls team. Storm players are still encouraged to play Storm House Hockey and the Inferno practices may be woven into our House structure.

Background Checks: Coaches and parent volunteers who have contact with kids (such as team assistant) need to complete a mandatory background check and the USA Hockey SafeSport module. Unfortunately, there is a fee for the background check. The background checks only need to be completed every other year. SafeSport requires a short refresher course every year. Please check your USA Hockey account to determine if you need to update your background check and SafeSport module.

We are excited for a great season.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns. Storm hockey is a great way for your child to stay physically and mentally fit while building new friendships.

Sincerely, 

Brian McCarthy & the entire Storm Board of Directors

Storm President: Stormpresident2@gmail.com