What to Expect for U8 2023-2024

Welcome to U8! The Vancouver Thunderbirds U8 minor hockey program focuses on development, fair play, and fun!  This page provides an overview for parents whose 2016 players are entering U8 this coming season.

What does U8 look like?

U8 Players will have three ice sessions per week.  Players will participate in one skill session and two ice sessions dedicated to their team for practice or home games.

Skill Groups will be assessed at the beginning of the season.  Players will be divided into 3 skill groups and participate in their skill group’s ice session. This ice time is typically consistent throughout the season.

Balanced teams will be drafted in early October.  Your player will participate in their team’s two assigned ice times. Starting in December, your player will play half ice games against other associations (Arbutus Club, Van Minor, Burnaby Minor and New West Minor Hockey Association. These half-ice game times and locations will be determined by the President’s League in November; therefore you will not have a team schedule for December to March until November.

*Please note due to the balancing process players could move between teams up until December 1st.

Due to the City of Vancouver ice rental process, ice times will be determined mid to late August.

Ice sessions will be at a combination of the following Tbirds rinks: UBC, Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, Hillcrest, Sunset, or Richmond Oval.

Ice sessions could be scheduled as early as 7:15am on weekends or starting at 4pm on weekdays.

Sessions typically begin the second weekend of September and end the first week of March.


U8 teams are required to participate in a Tbirds Family Day Tournament scheduled for Friday to Monday of the Family Day Long Weekend 2024.

Most U8 teams will participate in one additional tournament to be decided at a later date.

Parent Involvement:

In order to have your volunteer fee refunded, families are required to volunteer:

  • 3 hours for the Tbirds Association,
  • 3 hours with your player’s team and
  • 1 shift at the Family Day Tournament.

Currently we are looking for parents to lead the U8 division.  This includes:

  • 2 Division Ambassadors to help oversee the U8 Division,
  • 3 Skill Group Managers who will oversee communication of one of the 3 Skill Groups,
  • 12 Hockey Canada Safety People (HCSP).Ice sessions cannot happen without a certified HCSP volunteer present.  These positions are perfect for anyone with a medical background of any kind or folks interested in keeping kids safe on ice,
  • On Ice Volunteers: do you enjoy putting on your skates, helmets and gloves and help out on ice during skills?If so, we need your help!

If you are interested in any of the volunteer positions, please contact us at register@vancouvertbirds.ca

What Equipment do I need for my player?

Due to safety requirements, players must wear proper equipment while on the ice.

‘Hand-me-downs’ are a great way to save money but be sure to carefully inspect the items to ensure they are safe to wear as when equipment is not fitted, the player may be injured.

T-birds require players to wear:

  • Hockey skates
  • Hockey stick
  • CSA Certified Helmet with full cage in Royal Blue
  • Jock or Jill
  • Shin pads
  • Hockey Pants
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Neck Guard
  • Hockey Gloves
  • Water Bottle with long spout

*U8 players will receive a Timbits practice jersey and socks to be worn at skill groups and team practices.

Where can I go to get equipment?

  • Cyclone Taylor Sports at 6575 Oak Street offers Tbirds families 10% off.Just mention you’re playing for the Tbirds for your discount.
  • Vancouver Tbirds also has an equipment marketplace Facebook Group. To join, please visit Equipment Marketplace
Player Equipment