'24 season

The mini mites program is for 3 - 6 year old players, looking to learn the game of hockey and get structured ice time, emphasizing the basics of skating and hockey development basics.

Please note, all sessions are optional. Participants can take part in all available sessions or just one or two each week.


The first phase of the program covers skating development will be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, run by the Owens Center pro staff.

The remainder of the mini mites program will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays and will be broken up into ADM-style, small-area practice stations focused on basic hockey and skating development, including one game per week.

Learn to skate are available at Owens Center and are highly recommended, prior to participating in the mini mites program.

The mini mites program is focused on 6U hockey development and having fun while learning the game of hockey.


2023-2024 Practices & Games

Tuesdays 5:15-6:00 p.m.
Wednesdays 5:15-6:00 p.m.


Saturdays 8:15-9:15 a.m.


Sample Practice Plans
Practices 1 & 2
Practices 3 & 4
Practices 5 & 6
Practices 7 & 8
Practices 9 & 10
Practices 11 & 12
Practices 13 & 14
Practices 15 & 16
Practices 17 & 18
Practices 19 & 20

Mini Mite Contact Info

Contact Layne Martin (h4)
Phone: 309-370-1722
Email Layne

Owens Center Layout


Boys and girls of at least three (3) years of age. PYHA Mini Mites is a 6U (6 & under) program, meaning your player must be of the appropriate age to play in this division. You can find the current age classifications from USA Hockey at http://www.usahockey.com/youthhockey

Equipment rentals are available through PYHA. A list of recommended equipment can be found here.  Don't know how to dress your child in their equipment? Check out this video!

The season runs yearly from October - February and includes 2 touches of ice per week for the skating development phase to start and then 3 touches of ice per week for the remainder of the season. All sessions are optional. Each session will last 45 minutes to an hour. You will have at least one weeknight session and one weekend session. The schedule, when released, will be emailed and posted on the Mini Mite page of this website.

Full equipment for the player is required. The equipment list is as follows:

  • Helmet
  • Neck Guard
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Hockey Pants
  • Shin Guards
  • Hockey Gloves
  • Skates
  • Stick
  • Hockey Shorts (usually with Velcro tabs to keep hockey socks up, also holds athletic supporter)
  • Hockey Socks (will be purchased through team manager)
  • Jersey (provided by PYHA as part of registration)

Short answer: Yes!

Longer answer: Skating lessons are highly recommended prior or concurrently to the season and available through Owens Center, but even weak skaters will be in a position to grow, learn and have fun in hockey.

While PYHA's Mini Mite program is not designed as a learn-to-skate program there are stations nearly every practice focused on the basics of skating. Skating is a fundamental hockey skill. The more comfortable your player is on skates, the better they will adapt and learn the other hockey skills.
At a minimum your player needs to be able to stand freely on skates, and be comfortable enough on the ice without mom or dad holding his/her hand.

If you believe your player needs a little extra ice time there are plenty of opportunities available. Open skate times, skating lessons, and private tutoring are all available through the Owens Center. See www.peoriaparks.org/venue/owens-center/ for more information.

Mini Mite practices are patterned after USA Hockey's American Development Model (ADM). The ADM is designed to make the game smaller, and focus on primary skills. The ice will be divided into stations, and the players will rotate through each station over the session. Some stations may focus solely on skating, while others will work on passing and other skills. The key principal involved is keeping the players moving, learning, and having fun.
You can learn more about the ADM at www.admkids.com.

The games are cross ice and played on smaller nets. We do not use goalies or keep score. Each game is divided into three minute shifts. A buzzer sounds, to stop play and allow time to change lines. The games are designed to reinforce what we are learning during our practice sessions.

Incidental contact happens, and should be expected. However, there is zero tolerance for intentional body contact. Simply put, a player cannot body check at this age. The coaches are all on the watch for dangerous and intentional contact, and will act accordingly. The safety of the players is our highest priority, and please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns with the Director.

Owens Center maintains a board of locker room assignments for each day. This board is located near the main desk in the lobby. Check this board every time you come in as your locker room assignment may change each session.

It is important to use the locker room assigned to your team as this is the area where most of your communication from your coach/manager will occur. If you are not in the locker room before and after practice, you are likely to miss some important team specific information (and post practice snacks!).

There are many ways you can help PYHA Mini Mites! The program can always use coaches as well as team managers.

Coaches: Typically a team will have one head coach and two assistant coaches. They are responsible for on ice instruction and supervision. Coaches are provided practice plans each week, but are able to adapt the drills as needed to match the level of their players. During games coaches function as coach/referee/cheerleader/hydration technician/traffic cop.

Managers: The manager will often handle the communication for the team, as well as organizing the purchase of team socks, handling picture day, and (most importantly) organizing the team snack schedule.

Coaches and managers will also register with USA Hockey and PYHA, as well as have a background check done.
There are also many other opportunities to assist the PYHA organization and your team, so don't hesitate to ask how you can help!