The U11 division (formerly called Atom) is for kids who are 9 or 10 years old (as of Dec 31, 2011 or Dec 31, 2012). U11 is designed to build basic hockey skills and is progressively planned by coaches to move players from basic to competitive play. As part of the transition from the U9 level, U11 teams start playing full ice and keep score during games. The U11 division is also the beginning of tiered teams from the competitive "rep" to house levels. There are U11 evaluations or "tryouts" hosted at the start of the year which facilitate player placements.
The season begins in September and ends in early March after a round of playoffs. U11 players will usually have 1-2 practices per week followed by weekly games as scheduled throughout the season; the Double Letter team will have more practice times. As well, teams will often arrange to play several tournaments throughout in the year.
The program focuses on:
- Advanced skating skills, including speed, endurance, and edge control
- Puck handling
- Shooting and passing
- Understanding of hockey rules
- Competitive hockey strategies
- Building friendships and teamwork skills
Beginners or players new to hockey can still join at this level as they will be placed according to their registration, evaluation or tryout (if relevant) and experience on recreational or competitive teams.