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2021-2022 Season Kickoff

TL;DR: Please read every word of this announcement as it’s all important! Also, hockey is starting!

It’s about time to get the upcoming 2021-2022 MGHA season underway.  To do that, there’s a lot we have to cover.  I’m going to break it all down for you here.  Please read EVERY WORD. Anything you see in red is an action item.  Please take a moment to make sure you’ve done what’s asked before the deadline. If possible, do it all now so you don’t forget.

Hey everyone!

Even more than previous years, this season will be different and there are lots of moving parts, so please pay attention and if you run into questions along the way, email the board.

Let’s get to it!

USA Hockey Registration

Before you can set foot, err… skate on the ice for the upcoming season, you’ll need to be registered with USA Hockey.  We do this for liability reasons to protect those in our league.  Signing up is easy and can be done online.  Follow the link below to head to the MGHA website where we’ve got the steps laid out for you.

ACTION: Follow this link to sign up for USA Hockey…https://www.madisongayhockey.org/usa-hockey-registration-2021/

League Fees

You should have already paid the deposit for the league.  To pay the bills, we need to collect the rest of those league fees.  You can do that at the link below.  Please take care of this as soon as possible.  Deadline will be Friday, October 1. Please also know that the MGHA is committed to making hockey accessible to all members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and funds are available to provide financial assistance to players in need. To request financial assistance to help cover the cost of your league fees and/or gear, please complete our financial assistance form.  If you have any questions, please contact Gene, our treasurer, via email: treasurer@madisongayhockey.org. We’ll be happy to work with you.

ACTION: Pay your league fees at the link… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/product/2021-2022-league-fees/

Play-With Requests

If you have someone who you’ve discussed ridesharing with or even someone you do not feel safe being on the same team as, this is how you let us know.  We’ll do our best to honor these requests during the team creation process.  This year there are three options including must play with, would like to play with, and would not feel safe playing with. All of this is detailed in the link below. You do not have to fill this form out if you do not have any requests.

ACTION: Follow this link to submit your play-with requests if you have any… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/play-with-requests/

Preseason

This year, we’re offering various paths for skaters to take as part of the preseason. All of these will take place over a 7-week stretch between September 26th and November 7th. We are doing our best to give options for returning players of all skill levels while also focusing time and effort on those new to the MGHA and new to skating. At this time, you’ll only be signing up for the first 3 weeks of clinics.

The second part of the preseason will consist of skills-based scrimmage games for all players in the league. You will have a chance to sign up for scrimmages at a later date.

It’s also worth noting that we’re also striving to limit the number of attendees at each session. When you sign up, you’ll notice only 20 available roster spots for each ice slot. If, during your clinic enrollment, you run into an instance where you are stuck and unsure what to sign up for or if all slots in a particular time are full, please reach out and we’ll do our best to help. We have extra ice available, but we need to see what levels will need the ice time before offering it as an option.

NEVER SKATED BEFORE

Who: Anyone new to skating

When: 9/26 at 4:30 PM or 6:50 PM*, 10/3 and 10/10 at 4:30 PM or 6:50 PM

Description: All three weeks will be run clinic-style. During these weeks, we’ll focus on the basics of skating progressing through passing and skating with the puck. We’ll also work on shooting and positioning. There’ll be some ups and downs, but trust us… you’ll get through it! (If you don’t believe me, ask some of the skaters who started last season!)

ACTION: Sign up for a slot here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/never-skated-before/

NEW-TO-MGHA BEGINNERS

Who: Anyone new to the MGHA that knows how to skate

When: 9/26 at 5:00 PM*, 10/3 at 5:40 PM, 10/10 at 5:40 PM

Description: All three weeks will be run clinic-style. This clinic, geared towards beginners to hockey, will focus on the fundamentals of the game at a slightly faster pace than the ‘never skated before’ group. We’ll work through skating skills, passing, skating with the puck, shooting, and positioning.

ACTION: Sign up for a slot here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/new-to-mgha-beginners/  

RETURNING BEGINNERS

Who: Anyone who has participated in the MGHA that knows how to skate

When: 9/26 at 7:20 PM**, 10/3 at 6:10 PM, 10/10 at 5:00 PM

Description: All three weeks will be run clinic-style. This clinic, geared towards beginners to hockey, will focus on the fundamentals of the game with the assumption that the skater has played with the MGHA in the past. These clinics will focus on skating (working with edges, accelerating safely, stopping safely), stick and puck work (passing, shooting), and will feature some individual time with a number of coaches and mentors. Depending on time, scrimmages may occur as well.

ACTION: Sign up for a slot here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/returning-beginners/

INTERMEDIATE SKATERS

Who: Anyone experienced at hockey but does not consider themselves advanced

When: 9/26 at 5:40 PM** or 8:30 PM**, 10/3 at 7:20 PM, 10/10 at 6:10 PM

Description: The first week (9/26) will offer open ice time to shake off the rust. Various coaches will be available should you need help. Halfway through, we’ll organize an informal scrimmage. The second and third weeks (10/3 and 10/10) will consist of a clinic. The clinic will run at a faster pace with the assumption that all players can comfortably skate forward, change directions, and stop. The focus will continue to be on skating in control, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and general game awareness. These sessions will be led by advanced players in our league with years of hockey experience.

ACTION: Sign up for a slot here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/intermediate-preseason

ADVANCED SKATERS

Who: Anyone experienced at hockey that considers themselves advanced

When: 9/26 at 6:10 PM**, 10/3 at 5:00 PM, 10/10 at 7:20 PM

Description: The first week (9/26) will offer open ice time to shake off the rust. Halfway through, we’ll organize an informal scrimmage. The second week (10/3) will be run clinic-style. Led by an advanced skater in our league, this clinic is for those who can comfortably and safely maneuver around the ice, skating forward and backward with ease. Expect more advanced skills to be worked at a much faster pace. Please only consider this group if you feel you can safely participate.

ACTION: Sign up for a slot here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/advanced-preseason/

*IMPORTANT: New players to the MGHA must attend either the 3:00 PM or 5:30 PM orientation session on 9/26. During this mandatory orientation, we’ll focus on ‘The MGHA Way’ and also check vaccine cards and USA Hockey registration. Returning players should plan to arrive at the rink 30 minutes earlier than normal to have their vaccine cards and USA Hockey registration checked. You will NOT be allowed on the ice without attending an orientation session and providing your vaccine card (or a doctor’s excuse with a negative COVID test). More details were sent to your email on August 30, 2021. More details on COVID protocols will come from the Board at a later date, as well.

Each ice session will last 1 hour. As we have limited time, please be ready to be on the ice 15 minutes before the scheduled time.  If this is your first time putting the equipment on, be sure to allow even more time to get comfortable. MGHA representatives will be around to help with the gear process.

Hockey Operations reserves the right to make changes if there is any question of safety. It’s in your best interest to choose the level that most accurately represents your current skills.

Evaluations

While evaluations will be ongoing throughout the preseason, we will also have a night dedicated to evaluations. Hockey Operations will work to give everyone a ranking and these will be used during team creation. Have no fear, though, because everybody will be placed on a team. The MGHA does not cut players!

Please keep the night of October 24th free. We’ll offer signups to allow you to pick your time at a later date.

Team Reveal

Team Reveal will be held on November 7th. There will be other activities planned for this night so be on the lookout later. All groups will have a scrimmage as well! Put this on your calendar because it’ll be a fun night!

Team Practices

Once you know your teams, it’s important to get to know the fine folks you’ll be playing with for the next few months.  That’s why we have two weeks of team practice built in before games start.  This’ll help your team gel.  Like past seasons, Hockey Operations will work to provide captains with drills and an agenda for their practices so that everyone gets even more benefit from team practices. Please be sure to mark your calendars and be there on November 14th and 21st.

Regular Season and Championship Night

This year, we’ll play the first game on December 5th and we’ll run through a 13-game regular season with a championship night immediately following.  The final game will be held on April 3, 2022.  We’ll give more details on how the championship works later in the season.

Regular season games will mainly take place at the following times. There will be several weeks where our schedule will shift due to tournaments at Cap Ice. We’ll have a full schedule available soon.

Rink A: 5:00 PM, 6:10 PM, 7:20 PM, 8:30 PM

Rink B: 4:30 PM, 5:40 PM, 6:50 PM

Wrap-Up

That’s about it.  I know this is a long announcement, but thank you for reading through it.  We’re doing our best to provide open, honest, and clear communication.  If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know and we’ll do our best to address them.  This is important. To get in touch with us, please email the Board or reach out to me directly.

We look forward to seeing you all on the ice soon!

Tim

(Hockey Operations Commissioner, on behalf of the MGHA Board and HOps crew)

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