Oakland Ice Center operated by Sharks Ice offers a hockey program for every age and skill level of hockey player from their first time on the ice until they age out of youth hockey at 18 years old. We are a USA Hockey Gold Association.
Ladder of Development
Hockey 1-2-3 (4-12 years old)
The class is divided into three levels based on age and skill for players to develop the basics of skating skills to prepare them for the Oakland Bears In-House Hockey League or the Oakland Bears travel program. We have free rental gear available for players new to hockey while they are in the class, but are subject to availability.
Cub Hockey (5-8 years old)
These players are in the process of transitioning from Hockey 3 into the 6U/8U program. Players will practice on Saturday morning after their Hockey 1-2-3 class (if they are registered for both programs), but will not participate in the Sunday game. This is done to help promote more ice time and to transition into 6U/8U hockey.
Oakland Bears In-House Hockey League (5-8 years old)
These players practice and play at the same times but are divided into 6U & 8U groups based on their skill level. 8U players are 7-8 years old and have begun to develop good skating and puck skills and are capable of participating in a team environment and executing more structured drills and concepts for practices and cross-ice games which includes players in goalie gear. 6U players have completed Hockey 1-2-3 and are 5-6 years old.
Oakland Bears In-House Hockey League (9-14years old)
These players practice and play at the same times and will be divided into groups based on age and skill (10U, 12U, 14U). Practices will be held on Wednesday and/or Saturday; games for 10U, 12U, and 14U players will be played on Sunday mornings. Games may be cross-ice, half-ice, or full-ice, depending on number of total kids.
Sharks Ice JV High School Hockey League (14-18 years old)
Oakland based teams will play regular season home games at Oakland Ice Center, while other games may be scheduled at Solar4America Ice at San Jose or Solar4America Ice at Fremont. Practices will be held once per week. Options to practice more than once are available.
Oakland Bears Travel Team
The Oakland Bears Hockey Club is a competitive travel hockey organization and one of the oldest operating clubs in California with a focus on long term player development and not short term success. The Bears practice and play at Oakland Ice Center operated by Sharks Ice located in vibrant Downtown Oakland. The teams compete in the Northern California Youth Hockey Association (NORCAL) and field teams at all the available age groups.
The Oakland Bears youth hockey programs are proud members of USA Hockey and implement the American Development Model (ADM) and Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) process in all of our hockey programs. Players in our program have developed to elite levels and have had the opportunity to move on to AAA youth teams in San Jose, Junior hockey and College hockey (ACHA & NCAA) across North America, after playing right here in Oakland.
Both programs are designed to enable players to develop their individual skills in a fun and rewarding environment. On-ice instruction focuses on teaching players the proper techniques of the four fundamentals of hockey: skating, puckhandling, passing and shooting. In addition to individual skill development, players are introduced to basic rules of the game, team play and the importance of teamwork, enabling them to be successful in their progression onto the subsequent levels of play.
New To Hockey List
Here's a helpful list for an aspiring young hockey player
- Get Here Early! Ice is scarce and expensive, do your player a favor and give them plenty of time to get dressed so they can be on the ice, on time and not miss any instruction. Coaches expect all players to be ready to go on the ice before the designated time. As they get older, once the doors to the ice shut, for many coaches they will stay shut.
- Bring a water bottle. All players should have a water bottle that is individually marked. All players should bring the water bottle with them on the ice and set it on the boards at the benches so they have access to it at all times without leaving the ice. Once a player is on the ice, there should be no reason for them to leave the ice until the session is over.
- Double check gear. Make sure you have everything before you leave the house. There's a lot to remember, so do a quick look around before walking out the door to make sure your player has everything.
- Wear appropriate clothes. Clothing for underneath hockey gear should not be bulky (No jeans or sweatpants!). Gym shorts and spandex pants are encouraged as well as t-shirts or long sleeve shirts, either cotton or sweat wicking material will be sufficient for keeping your player warm while they work up a sweat on the ice.
- Get dressed in a locker room. Locker room time is one of the most important aspects of playing hockey. Getting to know fellow players and teammates helps young players peak their interest. And helps develop the camaraderie necessary for playing as a team on the ice.
- Tie skates tight! The tighter you can tie skates the better. The ankle support that skates provide is crucial for players to learn how to skate properly and maintain their balance.
- Protect their teeth. All players should have a mouth guard, and it is required once they reach the Squirt level. It's a small equipment item but protects some very valuable teeth.
- Don't leave clothing or personal items in public spaces. While we do our best to monitor our facility, getting dressed in the lobby or other public areas makes players and parents subject to lost items. Locker rooms are a safe place to leave bags and clothes, but we always recommend keeping valuables on your person.
- Close doors. For the safety of all the players and coaches, PLEASE make sure to close the doors to the rink if your player gets on or off separately from other players, or is the last one on or off. Even for a quick bathroom break or equipment fix (which we coaches are happy to help with). If you or your player opens a door, please assume that you should also ensure that it is closed immediately.
- Have FUN!!! We strive for two things every time we get on the ice with your player: Every player has learned something and is better at the end of the session than when they started; and every player had fun. The number one reason kids stop playing a sport is because it stops being fun. Please help us keep everything in perspective and reinforce this basic fundamental.