Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
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).