General Questions and Answers
These answers are considered a general outline for information only. Some information is obtained through third-party and NASHA cannot be held responsible for total accuracy. If you have any questions, contact NASHA.
Q: Why should my child play Spring Hockey?
In addition to the character attributes mentioned below, Spring Hockey adds many benefits.
- You can play on any team you want with no restrictions of address.
- If you want to play with more of an Elite Team to enhance your child’s performance, you can do that with no restrictions. Just find the team you want to play on and contact the operator to get a tryout. NASHA assists you with this as NASHA has a list of Canadian Spring Team operators on our website. https://nashasports.com
- Unlike Winter Hockey, where you must commit to a 24 or more-week schedule, you can play as much or as little as you want in Spring Hockey. You can get the perfect Game vs Development ratio you seek. Every Spring Hockey program has a different ratio and you can find one that fits your wants.
- If you like to travel for Hockey over the Spring/Summer, you can find operators who have their teams travel to special tournaments.
- SPRING HOCKEY is the Ultimate in FREE CHOICE, as everything should be in life.
- Hockey is a fun, family-friendly activity that allows people of all ages to make new friends, get physically active, build essential skills like hand-eye coordination and strategic thought and create memories that last a lifetime.
- Hockey is also an excellent sport for building character, allowing those involved to learn the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and personal responsibility.
- Q: What are the costs of hockey? How is the price of minor hockey determined, and how much of my fees go toward licensing and insurance?
- Minor hockey costs vary depending on the Company, age group and skill level. Prices typically include registration, tournament fees, equipment, insurance, arena rental time and travel expenses.
- Registration costs and tournament fees are set by the Spring Hockey individual program, and these fees will be determined by the number of Tournaments and Development Sessions each team operates. Typical Spring Hockey programs run from $300 to $1,000 in fees, but many options are available in every price range.
- Equipment costs are set by manufacturers and retailers. Arena time costs are established by local arenas.
- Insurance costs are set by Individual Brokers and thus can vary by player/team. Unlike winter hockey, there is no single provider like Hockey Canada. NASHA Sports is supported by Jones Brown Canadian Brokerage. You can see the benefits of the Players Health program on the NASHA website https://nashasports.com.
- Q: How does NASHA ensure player safety?
- Safety is NASHA’s number one priority. That’s why NASHA has partnered with PLAYERS HEALTH and is initiating a Players Safety program by allowing players to get the Player’s Health App for FREE.
- Check out https://playershealth.com for more information on their extensive Players Health programs.
- Q: What is the average weekly time commitment?
- The awesome part about Spring/Summer Hockey is that you can join a Spring Hockey program that matches the hours you want to spend playing weekly.
Q: What are the minor hockey age categories, and how are they determined?
- The minor hockey age categories are
- U7 – U8 – U9 – U10 – U11 – U12 – U13 – U14 – U15 – U16 – U17 – U18 – U19
- Players are placed into age categories according to what age they will be by December 31 of the current calendar year.
Q: What levels of hockey are available? What are the differences between the levels, and what are the benefits of each one?
- Most Spring/Summer Tournament Operators offer three levels of play in any given age category: House/Local League, AE, A, AA, AAA, and Elite, but Operators can adjust levels to suit the tournament they are operating.
- House League hockey is a recreational level of play. House League players are almost always given equal ice time regardless of skill or talent.
- AE (Alternate/Additional Entry) hockey(not available in all programs) is a higher-calibre level of play for players who show vital skill and promise.
- AE teams are comprised of players who show enough skill to perform above House League players. Some AE players may receive more ice time than others depending on their skill, talent and willingness to work hard.
- Rep (Representative) hockey(A, AA, AA, Elite) is the highest calibre of minor hockey available in any company. Rep teams typically have 11 to 15 players representing the more skilled and talented players in their age group.
Q: How do Spring/Summer Teams choose players for their teams?
- The way Spring/Summer teams are chosen is the teams/organization’s choice. Some may run Tryouts, and others may choose their teams based on knowledge of players or referrals from trusted sources. Because of the Spring/Summer nature, NASHA cannot direct teams on how to proceed. NASHA is not in a position to dictate procedures for Spring/Summer programs. Head coaches on AE and Rep teams have the exclusive right to decide which players will be offered spots on their teams.
- When evaluating potential players, AE and Rep coaches typically look for a specific set of attributes:
- Skating skills
- Passing skills
- Shooting ability
- Puck control
- Playmaking ability (offensive and defensive)
- Positive attitude
- Skating speed
- Fore-checking speed
- Back-checking speed
- Shows up on time
- Brings all necessary equipment to the rink
- Skates are sharp
- Wearing a jersey
- Attitude Toward Learning
- Ability to recover from mistakes without becoming frustrated
- Ability to pay attention to instructions and follow the drill
- Takes the initiative to help other players learn new skills
- Encourages other players
- Sets an example through hard work
- Skating Ability
- This is more than just the ability to turn, stop and skate quickly
- AE and Rep coaches want to see players skate hard during every minute of their shift
Q: Does NASHA condone pre-formed AE and Rep teams?
- Yes, we do, as the Spring/Summer programs self-regulate in forming teams.
Q: When does registration start/end?
- Exact registration starts any time after January 1st of the current season and ends August 31.
Q: How do I register my child? / How do I access my child’s registration information?
- You can register your child online through your NASHA registration system.
Q: Does NASHA mandate cross-ice games for Initiation-age players and half-ice games for Novice players?
- NO, the optional style of Spring/Summer Hockey is that the operators of a Tournament or League can choose to play the younger player games on any size ice surface they choose. If this concerns you, check with your Team or Program Operators before signing with that group.
- Q: Are there female-only teams?
- Yes! There are many Female-only divisions in our member’s tournaments to encourage female-only play.
Q: How will I get my income tax receipt?
- The teams or organizations you signed with will provide you with an income tax receipt. NASHA does not collect any funds and thus cannot issue any receipts.
Q: What training do minor hockey coaches receive?
- In the short season that is Spring/Summer hockey and the fact, NASHA is not only governing, but we also cannot control the certification of Coaching and Team Staff. Most coaches in Spring/Summer Hockey have been certified through Hockey Canada. We warn you of this so you can check the coaching status before you sign with a team. You can play with any team in the Spring/Summer, so it lies with your best judgment on the team you choose to sign with.
Q: Are there professional coaches at the minor hockey level?
- The decision as to whether to pay a coach rests with the individual team or Company in question. There are many paid coaches in Spring/Summer Hockey.
- There are also coach mentors available to Minor Hockey Companies through Hockey Canada’s members. Coach mentors are experienced professionals who work with minor hockey coaches to develop their coaching skills.
Q: I want to become a coach for my child’s team. How do I register as a coach?
- Coaching your child’s team is a fun and engaging way to create quality family time and have a lasting impact on your child’s life. Spring/Summer is the best opportunity to coach.
- You can establish a team of your own and enter tournaments. However, we encourage you to become part of a Spring Hockey Company that runs multiple teams. They can put you in a position of coach in one of their team, but also provide all their experience in running a team. They also handle getting ice, ordering jerseys, booking tournaments etc.
- This is where NASHA can assist you, as we have a list of many Spring Hockey companies on our website https://nashasports.com.
Q: Do I need to be a former player to become a coach?
- Officially coaches are generally expected to know hockey technique and strategy that is best mastered by first playing the game. If you want to become a coach but have never played hockey before, you have many companies offering online courses to increase your knowledge. Still, the best suggestion is to play with a Spring Hockey company that can help with the knowledge and strategy to coach.
Q: How can I learn the rules of organized hockey?
- NASHA is not about to rewrite the rules of hockey. Hence, we suggest you read Hockey Canada’s Rule Book mobile app for Apple and Android devices is a convenient way to have the most up-to-date hockey rulebook at your fingertips. Tournaments will play by the generally accepted rules of Minor Hockey. (Just a reminder, Minor and Professional Hockey can have a few different rules.
NASHA Sports Safety Program
Q: Does every minor hockey team require a Safety Person?
- Unlike Hockey Canada, we cannot require this as we do not sanction all Spring/Summer teams.
- However, we are partnered with Players Health, and all our coaches and trainers will have access to the information they provide. Also, many trainers transition from Winter Hockey to Spring/Summer and have their training certificates through Hockey Canada. IMPORTANT verify any of your concerns are satisfied before you sign with a team.
Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of the Safety Person?
- If a Safety Person is in place and a team official, you play a leadership role in implementing effective risk management programs with your team, enhancing the safety of players and all involved in amateur hockey.
Q: Does the Safety Person have to be a medical professional?
- Not necessarily. But NASHA does recommend that the Safety Person take a first aid/CPR course.
Q: How do I become a Safety Person on a team?
- If you want to become a Safety Person, contact NASHA, and we will be happy to recommend how you can learn the information needed.
Q: What financial support is available to families?
- Hockey is for everyone. No child should be denied the opportunity to play hockey due to a difficult financial situation; however, not every problem can be addressed.
- If you need financial assistance, there are programs available that can help subsidize the cost of your child’s minor hockey registration and equipment:
- The Big Play is a joint charity program led by Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.
- Eligible families can receive up to $500 per child through the program. This money can be applied toward your child’s registration fee or a purchase of hockey equipment at any Canadian Tire retail location. Financial assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Visit The Big Play website to learn more or to apply for funding.
- KidSport Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that provides children across Canada with opportunities to play sports. You can apply for financial assistance through your local KidSport chapter, which you can find on the KidSport Canada website.
- YMCA Canada also offers a financial assistance program, YRASP (YMCA Recreation, Arts, and Sports Program). The YRASP program provides funding of up to $500 per child per year to cover registration, equipment and transportation costs for organized arts, recreation and sports programs. YRASP is available to families with children aged 17 or under whose annual household income is under a certain threshold.
- You can apply for YRASP through your local YMCA chapter, which you can find on the YMCA website.
- The NHLPA (National Hockey League Players Company) operates the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund. This charitable fund supports grassroots hockey by donating money and equipment to volunteer-based grassroots hockey organizations. Eligible organizations can receive brand-new skater and goalie equipment for up to 50 children.
Q: How are younger players prepared to transition to hockey with body-checking?
- All games played at Peewee and below are non-body-checking games. However, our tournament operators are independent and can announce other divisions as CONTACT. It is up to the team management to know this and not register for the tournament.
- All teams playing in a Contact Game must be insured for Contact Hockey.
- If your child is moving to contact, NASHA recommends that you contact one of NASHA’s sanctioned Hockey Schools to take proper Body Checking lessons.
- There are also non-contact Hockey Leagues in-season and off-season, and you should look for these leagues if you are concerned about Contact Hockey. Also, all House League programs are non-contact.
- Although there are all kinds of online information, NASHA believes getting live lessons through a Hockey School is vital to playing contact hockey.
Logistics, Communications & Scheduling
Q: What days of the week will my child be on the ice?
- Practice and game schedules are set by Tournament Operators and Practices set by the Spring Hockey program you have signed with. There no consistency on what tournaments teams might enter and what days they practice. Make sure you know the plans of the Team you are joining before signing.
Q: Do we have to travel out of town, and if so, how often?
- This is flexible based on the Teams plans for tournaments. As always, make sure you ask the team what their plans are before you sign.
Q: What equipment does my child need? How much does it cost and where can I find it?
- All minor hockey players must have a complete set of equipment to play. For your convenience, Hockey Canada has prepared a complete and exhaustive list of every piece of equipment your child will need.
- An equipment fitting guide states that to ensure player safety, all minor hockey players must have the following equipment:
- Helmet (must be CSA-certified)
- Neck guard (must be BNQ-certified)
- Shoulder pads
- Elbow pads
- Groin guard (jock/jill/cup)
- Hockey pants
- Shin pads
- Hockey socks
- Hockey stick
- Practice jersey
- Equipment bag
Several optional pieces of equipment make your child’s hockey experience even better:
- Skate guards – Skate guards protect your child’s skates from accidental damage, keeping them sharper for longer.
- Water bottle – Hockey is a fast and demanding sport; hydration is essential. It is recommended that players have their own dedicated personal water bottle.
- Pucks – While pucks will be provided at all official league games, you’ll also want to ensure your child’s team has a healthy supply of spare pucks for practices, warm-ups before games and gaps between tournament games.
- Stick tape – Your child’s stick should be taped at the top and the blade. Taping the top will ensure your child can keep a firm hold on the stick while taping the blade will improve the stick’s grip and allow for better puck control.
- Sock tape/Shin pad straps – This clear tape holds your child’s socks and shin pads in place. Some shin pads come with Velcro straps, making sock tape unnecessary. Alternatively, you can purchase Velcro shin pad straps to affix to strapless shin pads.
- Spare stick – You never know when a stick is going to break. That’s why it’s always a good idea to carry a spare stick to games and tournaments. Your child should have his or her spare stick to ensure the best possible hockey experience.
- Spare laces – Loose skates are uncomfortable and can make it difficult for your child to skate properly. If your child’s laces fray or break on the ice, you’ll want to ensure you have spare laces behind the bench so your child’s coach can quickly replace the damaged laces.
- Stick wax – Stick wax prevents the buildup of snow and ice on the blade of a hockey stick, allowing for better puck control and extending the life of the stick.
Q: Apart from registration and equipment, what other costs are involved in minor hockey? How will they be paid for?
While not mandatory, teams may incur other additional costs during a season.
Team Clothing & Merchandise
Parents who wish to go one step further to support their local minor hockey Company may choose to purchase team clothing or team merchandise.
Travel & Tournament Fees
When travelling to away games, teams are responsible for travel costs like gasoline, food, parking and toll fees.
It is up to each team’s parents and coaching staff to determine how these expenses will be paid. Some teams choose to have each family pay their way. Others will pool funds to ensure costs are distributed evenly across all families on the team.
Thank you for reviewing our manual.