It’s about time to get the upcoming 2017-2018 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. 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.
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-2017/
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 before the first clinic, which is slated for September 10. If, for some reason, you can’t make the payment right now, please contact Shelly, our Treasurer, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy work with you on a payment plan.
ACTION: Pay your league fees at the link… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/product/2017-2018-league-fees/
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. 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/
We’ve heard feedback from advanced players that they’d like to be included in clinics at the beginning of the season. We’re happy to announce some changes. Clinics will take place on September 10, 17, and 24. Each week, we’ll have a slot for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill levels.
We are allowing self-selection for this process, but please understand that the clinics will be run at the appropriate pace based on the level. It’s in your and your fellow skaters’ best interests to choose the level that most accurately represents your skills. Although ‘playing up’ is a thing for challenge games, we do not recommend it in this situation. If we see someone who we believe has selected the wrong group, we’ll ask you to change your selection to ensure the effectiveness of the clinics for all.
For intermediate and advanced players, we will have an outside coach running the clinics. Beginner players will work with members of our Hockey Operations crew. For all groups, we have a limited amount of ice 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.
To give the coaches a heads-up on how many people they can expect at each session, we’re asking that you sign-up for each week. This process will be similar to signing up for challenge games.
As we’ll be building upon clinics from the previous week, we recommend making all of the clinics for your skill group.
ACTION: Sign up for clinics using the links… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/clinic-sign-ups/
Similar to last year, we’ll be doing evaluations over two weeks. The first week, October 1, will be mainly skills evaluation. The second week, October 8, will be evaluation scrimmages. There’s currently no action required on your part for these. We’ll send out a follow-up email closer to the date to let you know to which slot you’ve been assigned. Start times range from 5:15 PM through 9:00 PM and the slots last for one hour. Evaluations are the most important pre-season activity as they allow us to evenly distribute teams.
ACTION: Attendance is mandatory! Mark off these two dates in your calendar now.
Team Reveal and Challenge Games
Our first challenge game of the season happens on October 15th. Due to ice time limitations, this set of challenge games will have one slot for beginner, one for intermediate, and one for advanced. All others throughout the season will consist of a single slot for beginner and advanced and two slots for intermediate. Sign-ups for this will be on the MGHA website a little closer to the date. We’ll also use this night to announce teams, so make sure to mark this on your calendar!
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. This year, Hockey Operations is going 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 October 22 and 29.
Regular Season and Championship Night
We’ve heard from you and we’ve expanded our season this year. With the first game on November 5, we’ll run through a 15-game season with a championship night immediately following. This will give teams even more time to gel before championship night on April 15, 2018. Mathematically, conferences worked well with the number of games scheduled last year. This year, they simply don’t. For that reason, we’re doing away with them. Once the regular season wraps up, the first and second place teams in the standings will play for the championship. On championship night, 3rd place will play 4th place and so on with games for everyone. The full schedule will be on the website soon.
That’s about it. I know this is a long email, but thank you for reading through it. We’ve been told by the league that you want 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.
We look forward to seeing you all on the ice starting with our first clinics on September 10!
(on behalf of the MGHA Board and HOps crew)