Sabres Instructional

The Southern Maryland Sabres have partnered with the WASHINGTON CAPITALS to provide the Learn to Play program through the NHL ( This program is for children to experience the basics of hockey for the first time, in a fun and safe environment. All required equipment is provided (to keep) including skates and CCM brand items! What is Learn to Play? The Learn to Play initiative was developed jointly by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association to offer more families a chance to experience everything that makes youth hockey so rewarding. Developed with the help of experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada, the Learn to Play initiative aims to be the gold standard for youth hockey programs with the goal of inspiring more families to join the hockey community. Learn to Play changes the way youth hockey is offered by providing first time participants, free head-to-toe equipment, weekly session of age appropriate on-ice instruction and certified coaching, led by the National Hockey League Alumni, in a fun and safe atmosphere. Learn to Play on-ice instruction plans have been developed in collaboration with experts from USA Hockey and Hockey Canada and taught by certified instructors. Our Sabres coaches are all certified through USA Hockey, are SafeSport certified, and have current background checks. Our coaches work hard to implement the Learn to Play instruction plans to the best of their ability, while making a fun and safe environment for first-time hockey players! *Please note: there have been some changes to the Learn to Play program for the 2018-2019 season, different from previous years.


Players turning 5-9 years of age this calendar year.


Saturdays – 8 practices with the last practice being a graduation/jamboree Session 1: December 1 – January 26 (*skip Sat. 12/29) Session 2: February 2 – March 23 *One practice per week for 45 minutes- Time TBD


Capital Clubhouse in Waldorf, MD


Head-to-toe equipment for registered participants: Each participant will receive the following new equipment to call their own, with a customized jersey from the Washington Capitals: - Ice Hockey Helmet with a cage - Shoulder pads - Elbow pads - Hockey gloves - Hockey pants - Shin guards - Skates - Jersey - Socks - Stick - Equipment bag *It is recommended that you purchase a mouth guard and athletic supporter, in addition to the equipment provided. (

Additional Costs

$170 – Registration information will be updated as it comes available through the Washington Capitals and We do not have an official date yet because we are waiting on the website developers to finish the site but the absolute latest registration should be open is 9/1. The program provides FREE head-to-toe equipment for your child to keep as they continue exploring youth hockey. However, the participation fee associated with the program offsets ice and coaching expenses. This fee is the lowest it can be in our market, the National Capital Region.

2018-19 Season

Check out the estimated cost for hockey equipment and see what a deal this program is!

-    This program is designed for first-time players only.
-    Basic skating skills are necessary to get the most out of the Learn to Play program, which includes being able to skate unassisted on the ice, not holding onto a wall or anyone’s hand, while being able to skate the width (shorter distance side-to-side) of the ice generally without falling down if just skating.  As a prerequisite to the Learn to Play program, we ask that your child participates in a Learn to Skate program in order to learn the fundamentals of skating prior to the fundamentals of hockey. The Capital Clubhouse offers these classes; information can be found at:

-    Participants in the Learn to Play program must register online.  Phone and/or in-person registration at the rink will NOT be accepted through the Washington Capitals.
-    Questions? Email Megan Whalon at

    Fall Learn to Skate sessions are being offered at the Capital Clubhouse year round.  If your child has never formally skated, the Learn to Skate program is an essential prerequisite to learning to play hockey.  The Learn to Skate program is offered prior to both Learn to Play Sessions at the Capital Clubhouse on both Sunday and Monday evenings – you can register at, in person at the Capital Clubhouse, or by calling (301) 932-4348.  The Skating Director is Sigrid Berge -

*Note: for Learn to play, you will be getting 8 weeks of instruction in addition to all of the required hockey gear for your player for $170 – an amazing value!

In order to prepare for the first day of Learn to Skate, please watch the following video on how to dress your player in the full hockey gear, provided by USA Hockey:
Additional information from USA Hockey: