DEK Hockey

POTTSTOWN PAL DEK HOCKEY: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is dek hockey?
Dek hockey is a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the great game of hockey, either for new or experienced players.  Dek hockey is played with sneakers on an asphalt surface.  Dek hockey is played with a plastic ball.  No skates are used.

What is Pottstown PAL Dek Hockey?
The Pottstown PAL Dek Hockey program has been in existence since 1996.  We are proud to hold a full competitive season each spring and an instructional program each fall.

What are the age breakdowns?
Players are separated into four age divisions based upon the child’s age on January 1st. The penguin division is for ages k-7, the beaver division 8-10, the Cadet division is 11-13, and the teenage division is for ages 14-17.  Typically, each division has between 4 and 5 teams.

Is PAL dek hockey for both boys and girls?
Absolutely! Both boys & girls have always participated in PAL Dek Hockey.  Girls are allowed to play an overage year if their parents so desire (age 9 in the Penguin Division, age 13 in the Cadet Division).

How is the season broken down?
Teams are selected for competitive balance by the PAL board and divisional coaches in the first week of March.  Your child’s coach will contact you during the second week of March.  Practices will begin in the third week of March, to be held one night a week for an hour each.  Approximately twelve regular season games will take place in the spring. All regular season games are normally scheduled for Saturdays or Sundays generally between the hours of 9 am and 4 pm.  Double-elimination series playoffs are held for every team in June to conclude the season.

Is there an evaluation of my child’s ability?
For brand new players in the Penguin Division, there will be a low-key evaluation after registration to help introduce the players to the game and to assist the league in dividing the teams.  For other divisions and past players, there is no evaluation day.

How experienced are your coaches?
All adults who participate in the program have gone through a Pennsylvania criminal background and child abuse check. Our coaches are closely instructed to focus on teaching the rules and sportsmanship, not to focus on winning or losing.

Can I request to be on a certain team?  Are siblings placed together?
All brothers and sisters in the same division are placed on the same team.  The league cannot guarantee any other requests for carpools for non-relatives.

How much will my child play?
Games are allotted to take an hour.  Play time consists of three ten-minute stoppage periods, with a possibility of five-minute overtime.  There are no shootouts.  Teams generally have about 10-12 players, so everyone will usually participate on the dek at least 12 minutes per game.  Players come on and off the dek for shifts, so water bottles are needed for every practice and game.

Can my child request to play goalie?
Goalie equipment is provided by the league for players to share.  Players can request to play goalie on their registration forms.  Also, coaches generally ask at different points during the season for volunteers to play goalie as well.

 

Does the league provide any equipment?
The league has the ability to rent helmets (with full face cages and chin pads), gloves (that cover the wrists), and elbow pads to players.  The league has a larger supply and variety for younger players, as older players generally purchase their own after many years in the league. This equipment is handed out on a specially designated equipment day in February for anyone who has not received them.  This equipment is returned after your child’s last game.  Players all receive a free team tee-shirt with a number that must be worn for all games but not practices.

What equipment do I need to provide for my child?
The league requires leg pads for every child.  The league does not have a free supply of them (although some are available for purchase).  These leg pads are hard and plastic and must cover the knee.  Soccer shin pads are not acceptable as they will not protect the kneecaps during falls.  Mylec brand is usually the most inexpensive and can be found at most sporting goods stores.  The league also does not provide hockey sticks.  Acceptable sticks can either be one-piece composites or have a wood shaft with a screwed-on plastic blade with air holes.  Wood blades that splinter are not allowed.  Ice hockey sticks are not advised because they are more expensive and can get worn down on the surface.  Butt-ends at the top of the stick are required.  Plastic butt-ends are sold on stores or parents can tape off the top of the stick.  Generally, sticks are cut to come to the chin of a player, as this allows for the best reach.  All male players must also wear a cup.

How safe is the game of dek hockey?
While all sports carry the risk of injury, dek hockey is a closely regulated sport.  Two Referees are on hand to call penalties to keep games safe.  Players are not allowed to swing at the ball with their sticks in the air above their shoulders, for instance.  Checking is not allowed either.  Players are advised to stay on their feet at all times.

Where is the dek located?
The dek is located outside at the West Pottsgrove Elementary School at 25 Grosstown Road in Stowe.  The dek includes plastic flexible boards.  Parents and spectators sit and stand outside the fenced playing area. 

What happens if it rains?
On the morning of a rain-out, your child’s coach will call you with this information.  If no call is received, assume the game is on, as games are usually held when the weather is just drizzling.  Games are generally rescheduled on weekends, but some exceptions might be made depending on circumstances.

Does the league play in other locations or against other programs?
Pottstown PAL Dek Hockey is strictly intramural and all games and practices are held at West Pottsgrove Elementary School.

When and where do I register?
The three registration dates are Saturday, January 12, 19, and 26, all from 12 pm to 2 pm.  All registrations are held at the Pottstown PAL office building on 146 King Street, down the road from the Hanover Street intersection.  There will be a last-call registration date with a greater fee on February 9th.

How much does the program cost?
The program cost $85 dollars for the first child. Additional children cost $70 dollars.

Is medical insurance required?
Yes.  A separate form is required.

Can I mail in a register form?  Where to?
Parents can visit the website at www.pottstownpal.org.  On the tab bar, click on “Documents”, fill out the registration form, medical form, and release from liability form.  Mail these completed documents, along with the payment, to Pottstown PAL, P.O. Box 176, Pottstown, PA 19464.  The absolute deadline for all registrations is March 1st.

How can I volunteer?
Pick up volunteer form

What fundraisers and special events does the program include?
A spirit wear fundraiser is conducted.  Individual and team photographs are sold as well.  All players receive free medals at the end of the season.  All money is put back into the dek hockey program to assist with dek and equipment improvements as well as other projects.

How can I spread the word about the program?
Registration fliers were distributed in early January to Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Boyertown, and St. Al’s elementary and middle schools.  This flier is downloadable at www.pottstownpal.org.  Click on “Athletic Programs” and “Dek Hockey” to see the link for the flier.  Thank you for your help. Our goal is to continue to grow.

Who can I contact for more information?
The Pottstown PAL Dek Hockey president is Darren Becker (484-300-5141).  The other board members are Ian Lawrence (484-942-9493), and Diane Miller.  The board’s email is padhapal@gmail.com.  Please feel free to contact us about any questions or concerns.  Feedback is always appreciated.

What are the important dates for the season?
Board Monthly Meeting –
First Registration
Second Registration
Third Registration
Late Registration