F.A.Q. (Northumberland Minor Hockey)

Frequently Asked Question Answer
What is house league hockey? (HL) House league hockey is classified as recreational by Hockey Canada and the OMHA. Emphasis is on having fun and learning the skills required to play the game. Ice time is split equally between players. House League is played by teams within the same organization.
What is local league hockey? (LL) Similar to House League, LL is recreational hockey played by teams from two or more organizations. Local League normally consists of teams from smaller sized centres who travel to other near-by centres.
When does the house league season start and end? Northumberland's House League normally starts in mid-September and finishes on the Saturday before the start of March break. We do not run between Christmas and New Years.
How much does it cost? Our "base registration fee" varies by age group. Our Initiation(IP) has a lower fee because referees are not used. Tyke to Bantam have the same fee and Midget is an increased fee due to the higher referee costs. (Midgets play all games) Exact amounts can be found here: https://northumberlandminorhockey.com/Pages/1562/Fees_and_Information/
How do I register? Registration can be done in-person or online.  New registrations require a copy of the players birth certificate.  New parents to organized hockey may be required to complete the Respect-In-Sport Parent program before their child can be rostered to a team.  There is a $12.00 fee.
Is there financial assistance available? Simple answer, Yes! Jumpstart (Canadian Tire) and Northumberland KidSport are two great organizations who provide financial assistant to families who can not afford to to play sports. These two organizations handle the qualification process. Northumberland Minor Hockey also provides financial assistance but you must go through Jumpstart or Kidsport first.
Can both boys and girls play? Yes, the Nighthawks accepts all genders, we do not exclude any player.
How often to they practice/play? All house league players are usually on the ice twice per week. If local tournaments are being played, House League programing may skip the odd weekend ice. Starting in the 2019-20, only Atom, Peewee and Bantam divisions will practice once per week and play one game per week. Midget teams do not practice, they only play games. Novice and younger teams use modified programing meaning Hockey Canada mandates game/practice ratios on smaller ice surfaces, (cross-ice and 1/2-ice) and when/how many games can be played.
What days of the week/weekend are involved? House League game night is normally every Tuesday. Novice to Bantam divisions hold practices on Saturdays.  Game nights are held on Tuesdays as players more likely to be away on the weekends and this could cause games to be cancelled due to player shortages.  Midgets play games on Sunday evenings and Tuesday nights. Finding alternative dates/times for Midget players is very difficult.  Players do not want Friday or Saturday nights nor games during the day of Saturdays and Sundays as many have work commitments.  Minor Novice and younger teams have ice times on Saturday and Sundays as many parents find it difficult to get to the arenas by 4:30 during the week.
How are ice times allocated? Ice times are allocated according to age. Younger teams normally use early mornings or early evening ice. Older teams use late night ice. The NMHA must maximize all of the ice allocated to us by the local arenas as we do not have carte blanche to pick the ice times we want.
Why does Initiation and Tyke (Minor Novice) only use Cobourg rinks? Our modified ice programming in Initiation, Tyke and Novice requires us to divide the ice into cross-ice and half-ice sections using the foam dividers as well as storing all of the modified nets.  Jack Burger is not able to offer us a suitable and accessible place to store the pads when they are not in-use.  
Why does Midget use the later ice? Over the past few years since amalgamation, the NMHA has tried various days and times for our midget games.  With so many players having work commitments, scheduling games on sat/sundays during the days and evenings before 9pm really conflict with the player's work schedules.  The other consideration is our younger teams.  With only so much ice available to the NMHA, we need to ensure that our younger players are using time appropriate ice.
Why do we sometimes have weekend gaps in our schedules? Our season from mid-September to early-March is 24-weeks long which would equate to 48 ice times as players participate 2x per week.  Parents only pay for 40 ice times with their registration fee.  Over the course of the season, players will sometimes only practice or play once per week and this normally happens when local tournaments use the weekend ice throughout the season.
What arenas are used? Our primary arenas are the Cobourg Community Centre, Cobourg Memorial and Jack Burger as these are local, taxpayer funded facilities. When required, we may book ice at Baltimore or Bewdley.
How are teams picked? At the start of each season, players are evaluated by the all of the division coaches for that season. Players are graded by each coach on skill and ability. Ie skating, shooting, stick handling etc using a numbered grading system. The coaches all meet together with the division convenor to "draft" their teams. Coaches are to pick equal amounts of 1,2,3,4,5's with the goal of balanced teams. This is not an exact science - sometimes it does not work so players may be moved around to rebalance the teams. Please keep in mind, we do try to accommodate "friend requests" and sometimes this could impact the balancing of teams.
Why do we play games against Baltimore, Grafton & Colborne? Over the past few season's Northumberland HL teams have been playing Exhibition games against Baltimore, Colborne and Grafton. While these are not league games and do not count in any standings, the players and their families have enjoyed these "road" games where kids get to play in different arenas against some different teams.  Games against Baltimore, Colborne and Grafton give teams in some of our lesser divisions more opportunity to play. All games are subject to OMHA approval. 
How do I get involved in coaching? The NMHA requires a Head Coach and a Trainer for every team. Both of these positions require specific training from the OMHA. We also require other volunteers such as on-ice helpers and team managers. To be a Head Coach or Trainer, contact the appropriate division convenor well before the start of the House League Season.
What is required to volunteer within the NMHA? 1. A valid and current police check. We require this before any coach has involvement with their players. 2) Respect-In-Sport Activity Leader. This online program provides hockey coaches with the tools they need to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination. 3) Gender Identity an Expression training is an online course for coaches to understand discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression. RIS and GI&E are onetime courses.
What coaching clinic fees are covered? The NMHA reimburses coaches, trainers and managers for their specific coach/trainer course as well as the Respect-In-Sport Activity Leader. The Gender Identity course is free.
My child enjoys House League but would like more competition, what is available? The NMHA offers Select Hockey for players who desire more competitive (but still recreational) hockey. A coach will "select" the players from HL who s/he would like on their team - if the player accepts, they are on the team. Select teams play up to a maximum of 3 games per month from November to April against other teams from Kingston and along 401 corridor to Pickering, as well as Peterborough, while still playing on their own HL team. They're is an added cost to playing Select and this will vary from team to team to cover additional expenses such as extra practice ice, tournaments and jerseys. Select players must be eligible by residence or must have played within our HL program for the two preceding years.  On top of Select, we also offer AE Rep Hockey who play against teams in the Lakeshore Hockey League.
Why are team photos not included in our fees? It's a pretty simple answer...not every parent wants pictures of their players. By including pictures in everyone's registration fee, every parent would be charged an additional amount regardless if they want them or not.  We do have picture nights/days for the teams, but the purchase of the photos is completely optional for each family.
Is it true that Rep Hockey is partially funded by House League? No.  Every player regardless of Rep or House League hockey pays our base registration fees into our general account. These fees cover 40 hours of ice time, referees for the games if needed, OMHA/HC Canada fees, insurance, our operating costs such as bookkeeping and banking fees etc. With the NMHA being a non-profit organization, we are able to keep our registration fees very affordable each year and our expenses for each each player are very close to the registration each parent pays.  As for Rep...on top of the base registration fee paid by each player, each Rep team has a team budget to cover an additional 80 hours of ice, higher referee costs, tournaments etc.  In fact, most team budgets are typically between 18,000-25,000 and 100% funded by the Rep Parents.  The same applies to our select teams but on a smaller scale.
What is Development 6 / Development 7 ? Development 6 is a "program" designed for 6-year old IP players who are looking to eventually play Rep Hockey when they get older.  This program uses professional instructors with focus on improving the players skating and overall skill development.  This is not a team, nor do they play games together.  Development 6 participants are players from our IP House League Program.  An additional fee above the registration fee is required.

Development 7 is a "team".  Also know as Minor Novice Select, our Development 7 program is a continuation of the Development 6 program for players looking to eventually play Rep Hockey.  These 7-year old players do not play House League, but play 1/2 ice games against other 7-yr old select teams.  Hockey Canada mandates a 2:1 practice to game ratio, all players rotate through all positions.  Development 7 has it's own coaching staff, but also relies heavily on our professional instructors to focus on improving the player's skating and overall skill development.  An additional fee above the registration fee is required. Players must be residentially compliant.
I have a question not on this list, how do I ask it? Please email your question to our Communications Officer - [email protected] or our VP of House League - [email protected]