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07-08-2012, 10:48 AM
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I can only speak for what goes in Richardson, but besides the regular games, there are periodic practice sessions that are managed by a designated coach (which each I league team is assigned). How effective these practices are depend exclusively on the quality of the coach.

When I started playing ice years ago, I personally never took any special skating or ice hockey classes. Most of my roller experience translated well enough. Playing in a lower-level ice league helped with the transition, getting more and more comfortable after each game. If you're really serious about getting better at hockey and don't mind shelling the coin for 'em, the classes are a good idea.

Regarding equipment, I got a completely new set for ice (one bag with my ice stuff, another with my roller stuff). But if you wanna multipurpose your stuff, you'll for sure need skates (duh), ice hockey pants, and shoulder pads. You'll also need hockey socks, a girdle/suspenders/cup combo (or one of those new shorts with Velcro on the front & attached cup holder), and elbow pads. For me, I made sure to get a helmet with face shield/visor. Taking an ice puck in the face isn't worth the marginally better vision. For the stick, if applicable for you, don't use an ABS stick on ice.

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