Historically the “Future Caps” and “Raiders Learn to Play Program” have been very popular and sell out very quickly – if you would like to enroll, please don’t delay your registration.
This information has only been sent to current Raider members – it will be posted to the Raiders website soon. If you are a returning member and know others who are interested in playing next year, please share these dates.
About the “Raiders Learn to Play” & “Future Caps” Programs
“Future Caps” is a program sponsored by the NHL and the Washington Capitals that provides equipment and eight on ice training sessions for those children that have never participated in a “new to hockey” program previously. This program requires that you register with the Raiders and USA Hockey as well as with the NHL/Capitals. The cost, "Future Caps" program - $299, are paid when registering with the NHL/Capitals. More information will follow regarding the NHL/Capitals registration portion.
“Raiders Learn to Play” is the Reston Raiders Hockey Club’s long running development program, which is considered one of the best, if not the best, “Learn to Play” program in the DMV. This program is the foundation to our mission of providing a fun place to play hockey for kids. Our focus is developing the love of the game and teaching the fundamental skills necessary for a lifetime playing hockey. The cost for the program is as follows, for "Raiders Learn to Play 1" Fall session - $175 and for "Raiders Learn to Play 2" Fall session - $299. Fees are paid at time of registration to the Raiders.
Both programs are based on the USA Hockey American Development Model, focusing on small area games and skill development, to teach the fundamental skills necessary to play ice hockey in a fun and supportive environment.
No skating or hockey experience is requiredfor the “Future Caps '' nor the “Raiders Learn to Play 1'' programs. Both programs are designed to teach young children to skate at the same time as they learn important hockey skills. All abilities are encouraged to enroll, a desire to play is the only thing required.
The combined programs are building blocks for children who have little to no experience skating or playing ice hockey, and teach them the skating and hockey skills necessary to join our Raiders House league recreational hockey program and our Raiders Travel Program.
The Fall session will begin in Late September and runs until the beginning of December. Upon completing the Fall session, the players will progress to our Winter session that runs from December until the end of February and finally our Spring session that runs from March until the beginning of June.
The combined programs are for players born between 2011 and 2017.
Players born earlier than 2011 with no organized hockey experience should plan to enroll in the House program and be evaluated by the House Director
Age Enrollment Guidelines – the following levels are recommendations for each age based upon a recommended transition path to organized Recreational/Travel hockey. We understand schedules may only allow certain options for your child, so these are recommendations only unless stated otherwise
Both “Future Caps” & “Raiders Learn to Play 1” (LTP1) are intended for younger children (4 – 7 years old) with no hockey experience.
The LTP1 group will practice one time per week on Sunday afternoons.
Younger players (e.g. 4 and 5-years of age) may repeat LTP1 and do not need to move on to LTP2. All players born in 2016 and new players born in 2017 should register for “Future Caps” or LTP1.
“Raiders Learn to Play 2’ (LTP2) is intended for older children (6 – 10 years old) or those that have completed LTP1.
The LTP2 group will practice two times per week. Saturday morning games/scrimmages and Sunday afternoon practices.
Older players (born in 2011 – 2013) with no (or limited) skating/playing experience may also enroll in LTP2.
If you have any questions, you may email the Learn to Play Director – Nick Durso –
The Raiders coaching staff will do an initial evaluation on all the LTP players at the beginning of the year to ensure your player is in the correct session. We may ask that some players move from LTP1 to LTP2 and vice-versa depending on their age/ability and what we believe is the best environment for your child’s hockey development.
Children will be evaluated at the end of the LTP season and you will be provided a recommendation on the next steps in your child’s hockey career. We will assess if they have the requisite skill level to join the Reston Raiders House or Travel programs or would benefit most from another session of Learn to Play. The main factor used to determine the recommendation for the next step in your child’s hockey career is to decide which environment would be best for the development of your child as a hockey player. A child who does not “graduate” to our House program is not a failure or “behind” – many of our most skilled Raider players at the 8U through 18U levels took multiple years of LTP – your LTP player is at the very beginning of hopefully a long hockey career. We strive to create an environment where each child enjoys the great game of hockey and looks forward to coming to the rink and leaves the rink with a smile. The LTP program is all about developing players, developing a passion for the game, and… about smiles. After all, it’s always a great day to play hockey!
Our program is dependent on adults willing to volunteer their time to help the kids learn to play the great game of hockey. We greatly appreciate all the volunteers from previous seasons who come back to help and we encourage new volunteers to help us each year. You will not be stuck out there by yourself, experienced Raider coaches will plan and lead the sessions. If you would like to volunteer, please email
so we can put you on the list – no previous hockey experience is necessary, ability to stand up and move around on skates is very beneficial, patience and a desire to have fun with the kids is required. Minimum requirements for volunteer coaches include:
Registration with USA Hockey
Hockey Shorts - Jock/Jill (with Velcro to hold up hockey socks)
Shoulder pads (small, not overbearing)
Hockey helmet with cage/facemask
The Reston Raiders will provide a stick and a jersey to all LTP participants (to be distributed at the Orientation Session).
Neck protection (hockey neck guard)
The Reston Raiders host an annual equipment swap where you can find gently used youth hockey gear for very reasonable prices. The equipment swap usually takes place in early September (prior to the LTP season start) and details will be posted on the Raiders website.
Washington Capitals/NHL Learn to Play Equipment Program
In previous seasons, the Washington Capitals and the NHL have sponsored a free equipment program for all new Learn to Play participants (those players who have not participated in a Learn to Play program previously). Currently the Future Caps Learn to Play program is not being offered to the Raiders program. The Raiders are currently working to see if the Capitals to see if they will offer this program for our Learn to Play participants and we will notify all players if this is possible.