Texas Hockey Kids!
Austin, Texas Area Ice Rinks
Note: Austin area youth hockey is currently under the umbrella of the Austin Metro Hockey Association (Webpage) and all youth (house and travel) leagues will be ran through the AMHA. When looking to sign up players 18 and under you should visit the AMHA page for details. All current rinks play part in controlling youth hockey. AMHA does not allow voting members so in essence a small group of owners and venders control the Austin youth hockey landscape. Despite this being an obvious conflict of interest that is removed from other associations by vendor restrictions within their bylaws AMHA has opted to form as a vendor controlled entity rather than a community controlled entity. Unfortunatly the result is higher prices and bloated programs.
Chaparral Ice (Website)
2525 W Anderson Ln
Austin, TX 78757
Chaparral Ice is located on the North West side of Austin and is the area’s oldest ice rink. Although only a single sheet of ice Chaparral does a admirable job serving Austin's hockey, figure skating, as well as the areas general public crowd. An average day at Chaparral starts at 5:00 A.M. and ends around 10:00 P.M. and the rink will see numerous types of sessions over the course of the day. It is known for their family friendly atmosphere. Prices are very reasonable but given the rink is such a jack of all trades be sure to plan ahead in order to make the type of session your wanting.
The Pond Hockey Club
An alternative (2 sheets) of ice in the Austin area is The Pond Hockey Club. However I suggest first filling your child’s youth hockey needs at Chaparral and using The Pond only as absolutely needed. The Pond offers minimal services and charges maximum fees. The development of youth hockey in the area is a low priority for The Pond, which is well known to prefer to keep its sheets of ice empty an unused rather than offer up reasonable alternative programs. The Ponds version of stick and puck (Pond or Barn time) is only offered in mixed age groups, The Pond doesn't allow any pick up style games during its stick and puck and the mixed environment isn't the safest for younger children.
San Antonio Area Rinks
Ice and Golf Center at Northwoods (Website)
17530 Henderson Pass
San Antonio, TX, 78232
San Antonio has only one rink but it is a legitimate sheet of ice in a state of the art facility. It's hockey
programs are without the shadows that hang over Austin Hockey and AMHA given Northwoods is a seperate entity from San Antonio Jr. Rampage or DSTHL and being such is without the questions of
curruption. Northwoods runs resonably priced programs and I have been amazed at the overall friendlyness of the facility and it's staff.
Unlike Austin registering with Northwoods is a seperate program than becoming part of San Antonio Jr. Rampage Travel hockey. To register for the Jr. Ranpage click here. This appears to be a good system and has controlled costs as well as proven to give players more options.