Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A Parent’s Guide to the MHL
This Guide has been produced by the Mississauga Hockey League (MHL) to assist parents in understanding how the League, its Area Associations and their teams operate. This guide is designed to give you general information only. In all cases, it is subject to the actual wording of the Rules, Regulations or By-laws of the MHL, GTHL, the OHF, and Hockey Canada. For more in-depth information, please navigate through our website.
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1 - Is Hockey Expensive?
No, not really. It can be, if your skill level is such that you can progress to the “Rep” level (i.e. A, AA, AAA), but for the most part House League hockey (or Community-based hockey) is quite reasonable. The season lasts for 24 weeks, during which time you will typically have one game and one practice per week, and will cost around $750, or $31 per week. Tyke hockey, sometimes known as Timbit hockey, is even less expensive, generally less than $500 per season, or $21 per week.
Equipment is another cost to bear, but this too is less expensive than you might think and there are a number of ways to keep these costs down. (See additional FAQ’s regarding Equipment.)
2 - Do I need to know how to skate?
No, not really. It certainly helps, and will aid in your progression, but all Associations have coaches who are ready, willing and able to help beginners learn the game, including honing their skating skills. The City of Mississauga also offers a number of Learn to Skate programs and Power Skating programs that you can participate with while learning to play with your team.
3 - What equipment do I need?
4 - Where can I buy the equipment?
Hockey equipment can be purchased at the large, national chains (Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Sport Mart, Pro Hockey Life, National Sports, Play It Again Sports) or at smaller specialty stores such as West Star Athletics, Bert’s Sports Excellence, and many, many others.
Used equipment is another option, available at Play It Again Sports or via organized equipment exchanges (or swaps). The Mississauga Hockey League also has a supply of gently-used equipment for sale or exchange.
5 - Is equipment expensive?
As with most things you can buy today, you can buy equipment in many price ranges. A beginner equipment kit, which will provide you with most of what you need (with the exception of skates, stick and helmet) can be quite reasonable, say around $200, and should last for a couple of playing seasons.
6 - What do I bring on the first day?
Be sure to bring ALL of your equipment, including your stick, and a positive attitude. And a water bottle, with your name on it, is also handy. Despite being played on ice, hockey makes you hot and sweaty, and thirsty.
7 - What kind of time commitment?
At the Tyke and House League levels, you’ll generally have one game and one practice each week, each running for about one hour. Games will generally be on Saturday afternoon and practices on Sunday morning. As you progress upward in skill level you may see 2 practices and 2 games per week. Note that the MHL takes time off at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Family Day, and March Break.
8 - Where are the games played? Do we have to travel?
At the Tyke/Timbit level, games and practices will be held at your local Association’s “home” arena. There should be very little travel required. As you progress to League play (i.e. 7 and up), you’ll continue to practice at your Association’s “home” arena, but you’ll play your games throughout the City of Mississauga. Other than tournament or exhibition games, which are at the discretion of your team’s coach, you won’t be required to travel outside of Mississauga.
9 - How long is the season?
Player evaluations begin in mid-September and the regular season begins in late September. Playoffs commence in early to mid-February, with the season culminating on Championship Weekend at the end of March. (Note that we don’t play games during March Break.)
10 - Once I pay for registration, are there any other costs?
Besides equipment, probably not. However, some teams might purchase an extra hour of practice ice from time to time, or play an exhibition game, or enter into a tournament. Your team may also have a post-game drink/snack fund that you’d be asked to contribute to. Generally however, your costs beyond registration should be fairly nominal.
11 - Do boys and girls play on the same team?
Yes. Mississauga does have a separate girls league (the MGHL), but girls are welcome on all MHL teams. As the players become older, separate dressing rooms are available for the boys and the girls.
12 - I want to play with my friends; do I have to play where I live?
No, you are welcome to join any one of our 6 Area Associations… Applewood, Erindale, Heartland, Lorne Park Clarkson, Meadowvale, or Port Credit.
13 - Is hockey safe?
Absolutely! Hockey in the MHL is non-body-checking, and all forms of aggressive play and fighting are prohibited. Yes, as with all sports there is opportunity for injury, but wearing your equipment properly will help eliminate most (if not all) injuries.
14 - What if I’m not as good as the other players my age?
Not to worry, MHL league play is tiered by skill level. Prior to each season every player is run through a series of on-ice evaluations and placed on a team suitable to his/her skills. Convenors and coaches continue to watch players through the start of the season to ensure that players, and teams, are placed correctly, and each year players move up and down as their skill levels change.
15 - How can I progress up to “Rep” hockey?
As your skill levels improve, you will become more sought after by coaches at the higher skill levels. The MHL offers the equivalent of “select” hockey at our Red level, and also offers “A” level hockey through each Area Association. Beyond that, AA and AAA hockey is available through our Member Partner of the Ontario Hockey Federation, the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL).
16 - We are new to the MHL and are interested in registering our child to participate in the MHL at the House League level. How do we go about registering?
The MHL is made up of 6 Area Associations (Applewood, Erindale, Heartland, Lorne Park Clarkson, Meadowvale, and Port Credit). There are links on the website under “Area Associations” which will direct you to their websites and will generally provide contact information (ie. email address and/or hockey hotline phone number). Registrations are accepted after the start of the season, however, registrations that come in after November 15th will be accepted only if there is space, and would be subject to all convening rules. The last day in any season for registration is January 15th. For further information, please visit the Registration Process page on our website.
17 - How is the MHL set-up?
In House League, each age group is divided into four levels called “Red”, “White”, “Blue”, and “Green” (Minor Novice and Novice divisions have a “Gold” loop as well). Each level is designated for players with specific hockey abilities. This process ensures balanced and fair teams with equal opportunities for all players. In the Minor Atom to Midget levels, the highest level of hockey takes place in the MHL in what is considered “Competitive” or “A” level hockey. (Levels more competitive that “A”, in other words “AA” and “AAA”, fall under the jurisdiction of the GTHL). Players “tryout” for these teams in April each year.
18 - What are House League evaluations?
Evaluations or “Tryouts” for all House League teams (Red, White, Blue, Green) will take place during the Evaluation period in early to mid-September. These evaluations are run by the respective Associations. Players are placed on teams and in levels in conjunction with skill and ability displayed during this period. Please consult your Association website for complete information on Tryout (evaluation) times and locations.
19 - What is Convening?
During the first six weeks of the MHL season (House League only), representatives from each Association and the MHL Board of Directors will review the balance of divisions and teams and attempt to organize playing levels as fairly as possible. Divisional Committees may move teams and/or players up or down within the various categories as deemed necessary and appropriate during the Convening period. Players could also be moved laterally to balance two teams from the same Association in the same division. This process provides balance within the divisions.
20 - During the convening period, I did not agree with the loop at which my child or his/her team was placed for the upcoming season. Who can I speak with in regards to this?
21 - How do I obtain the game schedule for my child's hockey games?
If you are on the MHL website (hockey.on.ca) click on “Game Centre”, find your team from within the Standings, click-on your team, and you will see your game schedule. Please note that game schedules can change from time to time. All teams must stand by to play on 18 hours’ notice.
22 - How are MHL games scheduled?
All “A” team schedules are posted 30 days prior to the season start. In House League during the Convening Period (the first six weeks of the season) the House League schedules can be found in the Games Centre on or about the Wednesday or Thursday prior to each weekend. Approximately 3 weeks after the convening process, six full week so fthe House League Schedule will be posted. Please note that game schedules can change from time to time, so it is important to continue to check the Games Centre frequently.
23 - Will there be games played on statutory holidays?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Lately we’ve been playing on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, but not on the Sunday or the Monday; we won’t play on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year’s Day; we don’t play on Family Day; we don’t play on Good Friday but we could play on Easter Sunday and Monday.
24 - When do MHL Playoffs Start and End?
Playoffs generally start early to mid-February and depending on how far you go, Rep teams can go up to early/mid-April prior to the OHF Championships. House League teams will generally wrap-up on the last weekend of March.
25 - Can my son/daughter play in the MHL and for another hockey club?
No. No player can be registered with another hockey club or association that is directly affiliated with another hockey league (eg. GTHL, Ontario Minor Hockey Association, Alliance, and OWHA) while registered with the MHL.
27 - My child has incurred a concussion, what are my next steps?
The concussion must be reported by filling out a Hockey Canada Injury Report From which can be found by clicking here. Once the form is filled out, it must be submitted to the MHL Office. Any player who has been diagnosed by a physician to have any degree of concussion from any activity will NOT be permitted to return to playing status in the MHL, including practices or dry land training, without the written authorization from the physician on the MHL Return To Play Form and a copy of that form being supplied to the MHL Office.