Frequently Asked Questions
When is Registration?
Registration typically begins in early September and continues until a November deadline or when the divisions become full.
Online registration is available and preferred. Payment is made by credit card. Registration confirmation is immediate.
Don't delay. All our programs fill up very quickly.
Can I Register In Person?
After careful deliberation, we decided not to host an in-person registration for the 2013/2014 season. This is the first time we have not hosted a registration evening.
Up until 2006, in-person and mail-in registration was the only registration method for our 500 participants. Since the beginning on online registration in 2006, the number of paper registration has steadily declined. In the 2012/2013 season, 95% of our participants registered online.
If you have questions about our programs, feel free to email us. If you would rather pay the registration be by cheque or cash, email us and we can work something out. We're always hanging around the neighbourhood and near the rink.
Where Can I Find A Registration Form?
Beginning with the 2008/2009 season, we no longer offered the option of printing a registration forms. This shift has greatly simplified the entire process for the league's volunteers.
I Want to Help, But I Can't Skate
No problem. You can still get involved.
In the Learn To Skate program, we encourage parents to come on the ice, with skates, as your children participate. There's actually a lot a parents in this neighbourhood who learned to skate by quietly following along with their kids. Find yourself a pair of skates and helmet and join us.
For the hockey programs, there's still lots you can do by coaching a team (which really isn't much more than encouraging the kids and opening the door).
What are the Divisions and Ages?
For our house league hockey program, we usually have 5 divisions. We group the divisions in 2 or 3 year age brackets that work well for our league, although with some adjustment to account for differences in skill levels as between individuals.
For reasons that no one knows and we can't be bothered to change, our division names don't line up with the rest of the hockey world.
|Age||Swansea Hockey||Everyone Else|
|6||Novice||Tyke (the first year of Select rep. hockey)|
|9||Minor Atom||Minor Atom (the first year of GTHL A, AA, and AAA rep. hockey)|
|15||Peewee||Minor Midget (OHL draft year)|
|16||Bantam||Midget Junior, Junior A,B,C, OHL|
|17||Bantam||Midget Senior, Junior A,B,C, OHL|
|18||Bantam||Under 21 (NHL draft year)|
Aside from our names not lining up, it seems rather odd to call a 17 year old a Midget. Go figure.
When Are The Games?
The game schedule is created once registration is mostly complete. This gives the league an opportunity to create balanced teams within each divisions. We also attempt to create a schedule that minimizes conflicts with other local house league hockey programs.
Specific schedules will be posted sometime in November. Upcoming games will be shown on the front page of the website. The full games schedule is available from a link in the main menu.
To help in planning your own coming schedules, we can tell you that in previous years the schedule looked something like:
- Learn-to-Skate (3 - 6 year olds): Saturdays at 11am on the hockey rink and the pleasure rink
- Learn-to-Play-Hockey (4 - 6 year olds): Saturdays at 12noon or 1pm on the hockey rink
- Hockey (7 - 8 year olds): Saturdays between 2pm and 5pm. Occassional Sunday morning games or practices at 8am or 9am (once you get the players out of bed, these early mornings are actually a lot of fun!). Occassional weeknight (Monday or Tuesday) evening games or practices at 6pm or 7pm. No more than 2 times a week on ice.
- Hockey (9 - 10 year olds): Late Saturday afternoons. Possibly a Sunday morning game at 8am or 9am. Occassional weeknight (Monday or Tuesday) evening games.
- Hockey (11 - 12 year olds): Saturday evenings. Likely one game a week on either Monday or Tuesday.
- Hockey (13 - 15 year olds): Likely one to two games per week on Mondays and/or Tuesdays.
- Hockey (15 - 18 year olds): Monday and/or Tuesday evening at 9:00pm.
Please use this as a guideline only. We may not adher to this schedule once we know how many players are in the league this year and whether other local leagues have changed their own schedules.
Can Girls Join the League
Mixing boys and girls in our league has never been a problem, either on the ice or in the locker rooms.
In fairness, we should also tell you that we share the rink with the Swansea Girls Hockey League. They also have a great program.
Program Fees and Payment Methods
One of our goals is to offer a very affordable introduction to skating and hockey, a house league program, and a mid-winter fun tournament. With the generous help of our sponsors and supporters, we're able to keep our program fees in the $100 to $150 range for the season. The exact fee for the season is determined over the summer as we assess our anticipated costs for ice time, player jerseys, trophies, equipment repair and replacement, and a host of other items.
The specific fees for the current season are listed in the description of each program and on the registration page.
Occasionally, although fortunately rarely, a cheque will bounce and we'll have to ask you to cover the bank charge that is levied against the league.
I'm Tight For Money
Relax. We would rather have our kids playing hockey than sitting on the sideline.
We understand that sometimes you've got to balance a lot of expenses and their timing. Just let us know and we can work something out.
We would far rather delay cashing cheque than have it returned because of insufficient funds. (And for an NSF cheque, we will have to ask you also pay the penalty that the bank charges us -- sorry).
Regardless, all fees have to be paid in full by the time the season starts. If the fees aren't paid in full, then we'll have to pass the spot on the team along to someone else who is on our waitlist.
If money's an issue -- please let us know by contacting The Registrar and we can work something out.
Why Does The League Ask For So Much Registration Information?
The online and paper registration forms really are not too bad -- they just look long.
We require the parent's and player's names and contact information. That's pretty obvious.
We ask for the player's birthdate so we can initially assign them to a division. Knowledge of the player's past and current playing experience, both at Swansea and elsewhere, is used to appropriately balance teams and adjust the player into an older or younger division. We ask for the players' gender to assist us in balancing teams. We ask for the player's height and weight to assist with divisional placement and jersey sizing. Consideration of these factors helps the league to develop a fair and safe playing environment.
If you have any car-pooling arrangements or the player wished to be on a team with a friend, please let us know if the comment box. We might be able to accommodate you (but no promises).
There are four waivers that you are required for you to complete registration. If you have any concerns about these, feel free to ask us.
What About The Children's Fitness Tax Credit?
In the 2006 budget, the Government of Canada proposed a Children's Fitness Tax Credit of up to $500 which came into effect on January 1, 2007. In general, it applies to registration fees paid for an eligible program of physical activity for children under 16 years of age.
Information about the Children's Fitness Tax Credit is found at http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/fitness/.
Tax receipts for the current season are available in late January or early February. An announcement and link will be posted on the website's front page.
Receipts for the current and previous years are downloadable from the Registration Confirmation page.
Can I Get a Refund?
Refunds will not be issued after December 31.
If a refund is requested on or before this date, a full or pro-rated refund will be provided less a $20 fee.
The reason we withhold some funds is that we have numerous items that have to be ordered and paid for well before the beginning of the season.
If a program refund is required, please send an email to The Registrar.
Security of Information
Our online registration process has information flowing to two different servers.
All player information is stored on our password protected database server as part of our webhosting package.
The financial transactions involving credit cards are handled by PayPal through their secure website involving encrypted communications with your computer. Credit card information is never handled by the Swansea Hockey Association. All that we receive from PayPal is confirmation of your payment (and, of course, your payment so we can buy jersey, trophies, hire referees, and do all the things needed to run a fun league for the season).
Where's Your Privacy Statement?
I guess it would be here.
Any information you provide to us will only be used to run our programs for the participants. We will not collect any information that does not help to to run the programs.
The City of Toronto sometimes requires a list of our participants and their addresses to verify that a significant portion of our players live in Toronto. This gives us a reduced rate on the ice rental fee.
Our insurance company sometimes requires a list of our participants in order to support our insurance policy which is present for the benefit of all of us.
With the exception of these two parties, we will never share or sell our participant information to other parties.
There's probably a lot more we could or should say, but that's the gist of it.
Game Play FAQ
Are There Special Rules For Younger Age Groups?
Yes. We do have special rules for the younger age groups.
In the Novice, Minor Atom and Atom divisions, there can be some players who are reasonably proficient while other players are just starting out. To prevent lopsided games scores, we limit all players to no more than 3 goals per game. A player can have as many assists as possible which helps others develop, but no more than 3 goals.
If a players scores a 4th goal, either intentionally or unintentionally (i.e. a deflection), the goal does not count and the resulting face-off takes place in the scoring player's end (i.e. similar to an icing where the puck comes all the way back to the far end of the rink).
In the Just-For-Fun Tournament, we have a 2 goal limit and a penalty shot is award for exceeding the limit. We feel that penalty shots for this issue in Novice simply wouldn't be fair to the goalies who are sometimes in net for the first time in their lives.
How Are Team Standings Determined?
The standings are determined by (applied in order):
- Highest Total Points
- Most Number of Wins
- Fewest Number of Losses
- Most Number of Ties
- Highest "# Goals For" divided by "# Goals For and # Goals Against" i.e. GF/(GF+GA)
- Most Number of Goals For (GF)
- Fewest Number of Goals Against (GA)
- If teams are still tied, we'll flip a coin (although in the standings, they will be listed alphabetically)
After the first round of playoffs, the remaining teams are ranked based on their regular season standings. The highest ranked team is Rank 1. Second ranked team left standing is Rank 2, and so on. This is used to determine the matchings in the second round of the playoffs.
During the regular season, any game that must be cancelled and cannot be rescheduled will be scored as a 1-1 tie. While the inability to reschedule a game is regrettable and unavoidable, every team advances to the playoff round.
Who's On My Team?
Every year near the beginning of the season, we receive requests for the team rosters. This is understandable since players like to know where their friends are playing.
However, we don't give these out. But the players very quickly figure out where everyone is.
Some coaches hand out a small rosters to parents. This can help arrange carpooling. It can help parents learn the players' names so they know who to cheer for.
What Equipment Do I Need?
The hockey gear is listed in the standard order in which players get dressed (though parents dressing young children, however, may want to put the skates on last for safety reasons). There's lots of parents around to help. Remember that many of us didn't have a clue what we were doing for the first few weeks (especially with goalie pads -- they often end up on the wrong legs for younger ages).
The league will provide a goalie equipment to each team for use by whom ever wants to play. Of course, players who have their own goal equipment can use their own.
The coloured boxes above the equipment indicate what level of hockey requires it:
Learn to Skate | Learn Hockey | House League
It is important to have comfortable clothing that suits the current climate conditions. On the coldest days; turtlenecks, winter socks, track pants and a thin touque are recomended.
Jocks also have straps or velcro to hold up the hockey socks.
For Learn to Skate, children may wear protective knee pads, like the ones for biking or blading. For House League, make sure that the shin pad covers from above the knee to below the toungue of the hockey skate.
Swansea Hockey Association will provide you with hockey socks that will match the colours of your team jersey.
Some varieties include suspenders, which effectively stop the pants from falling down. Other just have string, or a belt system to keep them up.
It's recomended to put your skates on before your upper body equipment to allow for better mobility when lacing up. If you're lacing up the skates of your young children, using skate guards might be a good idea to prevent injury.
You must wear a certified neck guard, they usually have a frontal flap which covers the area between the neck and the top of the shoulder pads.
Today's shoulder pads are much larger than they used to be, just try to find the proper medium between protection and mobility.
The elbow pads should also cover part of the forearm, to allow as little as space possible between the elbow pad and the hockey glove.
Swansea Hockey Association will provide you with a jersey for league play. It will have the sponsor's name and logo on the front, with a number on the back.
Although it is non-contact hockey, accidents happen and because of this, you must wear a certified mouth guard at all times. A mouth guard is mandatory at Swansea (although it is not a higher levels of hockey).
Your hockey helmet must be certified, and be equipped with a full-face shield: full visor or cage, whichever you prefer.
When purchasing hockey gloves, make sure the wrist is covered as well as possible, without compromising too much flexibility. For Learn to Skate, mitts or winter gloves are fine.
Right and left handed sticks seem to be almost evenly distributed amongst the players nowadays. It may be a good idea to bring a second stick incase the first one breaks, especially in the older leagues with bigger, stronger players.
My Child Wants to Play Goal. What Do I Need?
Apart from nerves of steel -- it's very stressful on parents watching their kid in net -- you don't need to get anything. There's no need to run out to buy any goalie equipment.
We provide each team with a set of goalie equipment. This set includes pads, chest protector, glove, blocker and stick. If your child is left handed (i.e. catches with his or her right hand), we have extra gear kicking around in our storage locker.
Regular player skates, player hockey pants, and a regular player helmet with cage/visor can be worn.
Do Teams Have Scheduled Practices?
We have a limited amount of time available to us on the single outdoor rink and an awful lot of players and teams. Most of our allotted time is devoted to games.
The younger age groups receive some dedicated ice time for practices. The older age groups do not.
Teams generally have about 10-15 minutes prior to each game to work on skills. Coaches try and make the most of this time.
Are Teams Balanced For Skill?
Team rosters are created in November prior to the start of the season. We make every effort to create teams of equal strength within each division based on what we know about each player from previous seasons, from their registration information, and based on requests to accommodate car-pooling arrangements.
Once we start playing, we sometimes find that, despite our best efforts, a team is unusually strong or unusually weak. Situations like this are no fun for anyone -- the league executive, coaches, parents, and especially, players. We will move players to other teams to make teams and games as balanced as possible.
Note that every team makes it into the playoffs. The standings from the regular season games are used to determine match-ups for the playoffs.
Are Games Played In The Rain/Hail/Snow/Cold/Warm/...?
Yes we do. Dress appropriately.
We play at an outdoor rink. Ice can be maintained up to around +5 degrees. We've played games when it's -30. We've played games with tennis balls so the players can find it in the snow piles. We've played games while parents shovel snow from the ice surface. We've played in the rain. We've played under the sun when you don't need a winter jacket to cheer on the players.
But sometimes we have to cancel games and reschedule them (if possible). We try to contact players and parents as soon as possible.
This is Canadian hockey at its finest!
Help! The Coach Asked Me To Be The Timekeeper.
For regular season games, the home team provides the timekeepers.
When you're the timekeeper, you have the best seat in the house. You're as close to the action as you can get.
The timekeeper does a couple of things:
- collect the timesheets from the coaches (they each will give you one),
- record the player number for goal and assists
- keep track of penalties and make sure someone gets out on the ice after they've served the penalty time
- update the scoreboard. If you don't know how to do this, the referees will teach you (there's only about 3 or 4 buttons that matter -- it's pretty easy).
For playoff games, the league provides the timekeeper.
Does the League Keep Player Stats?
While the league statistician keeps track of each players goals and assists, we don't publish this information. The league decided long ago to not let players know their statistics in order to de-emphasize their importance relative to sportsmanship and playing well within a team. Even so, we know the players keep track of their own goals and assists. The league uses the players' statistics to assist in rebalancing the teams after the first few games and as a small factor in player awards end of the season.
Where are the Game Scores?
While our statistician keeps track of the game scores, we do not publish them on the website. But the kids always know which team won and which team lost and the game scores. As a league we prefer not to dwell on this. After the first few games of the season, players are sometimes moved to balance teams and provide more competative games. This rebalancing diminishes the value of the scores (although that point is generally lost on the younger players). As the end of the regular season, every team makes it to the playoffs. The regular season wins and losses determine the matches. However, playoff games are almost always competitive and any one can win.
Who Can Play in the Playoffs?
We are a low-key league and we want everyone to enjoy the game of hockey. In order that the playoffs also be fun, we require players to have played in at least half the regular season scheduled games.
By having this rule, we hope to prevent a ringer, who hasn't played much, from showing up in the finals. Any player who is significantly stronger in their division will likely have been moved to a more skilled division. We view this as being fair to the individual player who will face more challenging conditions and to all other players in the league.
There are a few differences between regular season games and playoff games. Here's a reminder of some of the key things to keep in mind.
- The executive provides the timekeeper for all playoff games.
- There will be "stop time" in the last two minutes of any playoff game when there is a two goal (or less) differential.
- In the Novice, Minor Atom and Atom divisions, the 3 goal maximum per players rule still applies in the playoffs.
- For Novice and Minor Atom divisions, every player must play equal time (i.e. 1,2,3,4,5 then 6,7,8,9,10 then 11,12,13,14,15 then start again. Teams can't have set lines of forwards and defence that would result in unequal playing time.
Playoff Overtime Format
Unlike our regular season games, playoffs cannot end with a tie game. The overtime format adopted by the SHA involves shifts with ever dimishing numbers of players on the ice. The coaches must provide the timekeeper with a list of their player in the order in which they will be played before the overtime begins. All players of the team must be listed. No changes in the order are made once overtime play begins.
Cool, eh? We've had some very exciting finishes with this format!
Here are the gory details:
- Each coach will prepare a list (the "overtime list") of player's names and corresponding jersey numbers. Names will be listed in the order in which players will be allowed on the ice during overtime play. Each players name will be listed once, and only once, with the exception that the goaltenders name will not appear on the list.
- The "overtime list" will be provided to the timekeeper not more than 2 minutes after the end of regulation time. Failure to do so will result in a bench minor penalty (2 minutes) being assessed with the penalized team being required to play short handed until the penalty has expired.
- Play during overtime will cease and a winner declared at the first goal ("sudden victory").
- Players will be played in strict order according to the overtime list.
- Overtime will begin with a 2 minute stop-time "shift". During that 2 minute shift, each team will play with the first 5 (4 in the case of the bantam division) players listed on the overtime list plus a goaltender.
- At the end of the first 2 minute shift, the game will be halted, all skaters except the goaltenders will leave the ice, and the next 4 (3 in the case of bantam) players named on the overtime list plus the goaltender will commence play for a further 2 minute stop-time shift.
- Play will continue in 2 minute stop-time shifts, with the number of players being reduced by 1 for each new shift until the game is decided.
- The number of players on the ice for each team will decrease to 2 players (either 1 skater and 1 goalie, or 2 skaters). All subsequent shifts will be played with a total of 2 players per team.
- If the end of the "overtime list" is reached and all players have played once, the same list will resume from the top.
- Any player on the player bench, regardless of their position in the list, may be substituted for a goaltender at any time. Putting this substitute player on the ice does not change their position in the list. The goalie may be "pulled" at the start of a shift, prior to a faceoff, or during active play.
- A player on the bench may not be substituted for a non-injured player. Each player must play his or her full 2 minutes shift.
- Injured players will be replaced by the next available player on the list until the injured player is able to return to play or until the end of the shift. Return to play will occur only during a stoppage in play. If a player substituting for an injured player is on the ice at the end of a shift, he or she will remain on the ice for the next shift as if there had been no substitution for injury.
- Players who are assessed a penalty will serve that penalty in the penalty box. Bench minor penalties will be served by a player on the ice at the time the penalty was assessed, as chosen by his or her coach. Un-expired penalties assessed during regulation time, and penalties assessed during overtime, will reduce the number of players on the ice accordingly until they have expired. Where a shift begins with a team shorthanded, players will be drawn from the "overtime list" in strict order until the necessary number of players is on the ice for the shift. On expiry of the penalty, the penalized player will return to his or her bench at which time the next player on the overtime list will be allowed onto the ice surface from the player bench. That player will complete the remainder of the shift as if no penalty had occurred but will not remain on the ice for the following shift.
- In the event that a 2 minute bench minor penalty is assessed prior to the start of a shift, one player who was schedule to be on the ice must serve the penalty full penalty. This player will be one of the players on the ice for the following shift along with the next appropriate number of players.
Tell Me About The Banquet
Every year when the playoffs are done, we host the players and coaches for a couple of hours at the Swansea Legion Hall. It's a chance for everyone to get together before we move into summer. Players should wear their jerseys. We feed them pizza or hot dogs. We'll hand out trophies. It's a good time.
Unfortunately, the legion isn't big enough for players, coaches and parent. So parents will have to enjoy an hour or two of peace and quiet.
Where Do The Website Banner Pictures Come From?
What Is With The RSS And IFTTT Logos On The Rink Conditions Notification?
Ahhh. The webmaster has been having fun.
We know the conditions at our outdoor rink can be unpredictable. Here's a way to be notified by text if we change the Rink Conditions Status on the front page of the website.
You need to set up an account at IFTTT (it's free and very easy). This website that allows you to set up 'triggers' so that IF This happens Then do That.
Now that you have an account and you're logged into IFTTT, go to Swansea Hockey Rink Conditions and click the blue 'Use Recipe' button. You'll have to give them your mobile phone number so they can send you texts (an SMS message). That's it.
In place of a text, you could change the 'Recipe' so that it sends an email or flashes your HUE or WEMO lights or uploads it to your twitter page or whatever.
We don't change the status very often so don't worry about being bombarded by texts (or opening and closing your garage door too much -- if that's what you choose to set up).
When we do change the status, we'll try and give you as much lead time as possible since there is about a 15 minute delay for IFTTT to process the change.
Hopefully everyone finds this helpful.
How Do You Work The Scoreboard?
The electronic scoreboard has a portable control panel which connects to the timekeeper's bench. Instructions for running the control panel are usually stored with the unit in it's protective case. However, these instructions will get wet, torn and lost during the season.
The control unit is very sensitive to the outdoor conditions. Please keep it as protected as possible during games.
What Do I Do With Old Hockey Equipment?
Good question and one that lots of people ask.
For a while, Goodwill has accepts equipment and jerseys.
One of our sponsors, Play It Again Sports, may purchase your old equipment for resale and/or as a credit towards the purchase of other equipment. Other sports stores may do the same thing.
If you have goalie equipment, we would be happy to have you donate it to us. Maintaining our supply of goalie equipment in good condition is a significant expense and every bit of help is welcome.
If you have other questions, feel free to Contact Us.