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Welcome to the Berkshire Rattlers 2022-2023 Learn to Skate & Play Season!

 

We are so excited to be back on the ice and are ready to play. 

Our season starts the first Saturday in December with skating on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon each weekend. We will skate through the middle of February and skaters are encouraged to come both weekend days. The more time on the ice the faster they improve. LTS/LTP is a great winter activity!

 

There are so many great reasons to learn to skate and play!

This article Pure Hockey explains why and has information about how to fit equipment. 

Have a skater who is ready for learn to play? Check this out! Pure Hockey learn to play

 

What to expect on the first day:

  • Please bring your skater dressed to play, with the exception of skates and helmet. If your skater can access it independently, you can also bring a water bottle.
  • Everyone entering the rink must wear a mask regardless of vaccination status (when we come to skate we are all visitors!) Skaters do not need to wear a mask on the ice but can if they wish. All coaches will be masked on the ice. Skaters DO need a mask when not on the ice (entering & exiting the building). 
  • On day 1 when you enter the lower lobby you will check in and new skaters receive a Berkshire Rattlers practice jersey!
  • We will be skating on the East (smaller) Rink on the right side of the building for the month of December. There will be benches and one locker room available for tying skating and putting on helmets. 
  • Parents can watch skaters from the lower level silver benches or access the upper level stands from the stairs in the rink. The heated hallway and upstairs lobby are not available for use. There are skate-friendly bathrooms at ice level in the rink.
  • We will provide crates for skaters who are not yet independent. Sticks are optional but should only be used for skaters who can stand and skate independently.
  • After skaters are assessed, we will run a learn to skate and a learn to play section of the ice. Skaters can be moved between groups as their skills progress throughout the season. There is no pressure - this is purely for fun!
  • When watching from the bench and stands, please wave and encourage your skater to stay on the ice. They will fall down and hop up several times throughout practice - the pads really do help! It may take a few sessions before your skater is zooming around on the crate or skating independently, but once they catch on the fun really begins!

 

A few reminders:

  • Please refrain from eating & drinking in the rink so you are able to keep your mask in place. 
  • We are guests at Berkshire school and feel incredibly lucky to skate in such an amazing facility! Please help us maintain this great relationship by adhering to the facility guideline. 
  • Parking is available in front of the building and along the drive. There are also spaces in the back of the building. (If you park in the back, enter and go down the stairs to access the rink) 
  • Only the assigned rink is available for use. Please do not go up the main front stairs outside the building, enter at ground level. The TV monitor in the lobby gives updated information about which rink and locker room to use.
  • Please label the top of your skaters helmet with their name - this really helps our coaches!
  • Only coaches and players may sit on the player benches. (They are open to the ice and you need protective gear for stray pucks.)

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

  • Q: Does my skater need all the hockey gear? 
  • A: Yes! Since there will be pucks on the ice we require all skaters to be in proper protective hockey gear. Plus, falling down can hurt! Falling in pads is much better and your skater will have a more enjoyable experience. 

 

  • Q: Where can we find all that gear?
  • A: There is a resource section on our Learn to Skate page for locating hockey gear. In addition the Rattlers run an equipment swap in September. If you missed the swap and still need gear, you can email us (rattlershockeyorg@gmail.com) to see what is still available. Friends and family are also a great resource. Let people know you are joining LTS/LTP and they often have gear to pass on. 

 

  • Q: Do we have to attend every skate session?
  • A: The more sessions you attend the quicker your skater becomes independent and the more fun skating is! Saturday & Sunday ice times will be posted each week but we know families have commitments. Join us as often as you are able! 

 

  • Q: Can I go out on the ice with my skater?
  • A: We are always looking for coaches. If you are interested in volunteering please contact us (rattlershockeyorg@gmail.com). We can help you with the certification process. 

 

  • Q: I have an older child who skates with the Rattlers. Can they come out on the ice to help?
  • A: Unfortunately we can’t have siblings out on the ice, there will be a lot of skaters! Later in the season coaches will invite older players to help out with LTP. We also encourage past Rattlers (high school/college) to join our student coach program!

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  • Q: Where can we get skates sharpened?
  • A: Skates can be sharpened right at Berkshire School! Just leave $5 in your skates and place them on the Rattlers rack. The amazing rink staff will sharpen them for you! (Usually you can leave them on Saturday after practice and pick them up Sunday.) Skate sharpening is also also available at local stores like Kenver.

 

 

Resources for Hockey Gear:

  • Click here to read a Hockey Monkey article about buying used gear.
  • You can find used gear at stores like Instant Replay in Pittsfield or Play It Again Sports
  • New gear can be purchased through hockey stores like Pure Hockey, Hockey Monkey, or general sport’s stores like Dick’s. 
  • Some stores even sell hockey packages where you can order all gear together (Check specifics for helmet & skates sometimes not included). Here are some options: Pure Hockey learn to skate video equipment description  Sports etc. 
  • Some of the used children’s clothing stores also carry hockey equipment on consignment.
  • Tip: Have your skater practice walking around on the living room carpet in their skates & guards to get used to the feel!