Author: Brett Rojec

Grew up in the mountains in Colorado. Moved to Denver when I was 13. Got my BA in Physics from a small university in upstate New York. Moved to Madison for Epic in 2014, where I started playing + fell in love with hockee.

MGHA Evaluations – October 24

TL;DR: Evaluations are this week. You MUST sign up by FRIDAY! Link is below! Please read this entire announcement for important information.

Hey all!

The time has come for evaluations. Please read this entire announcement for information on how this will work this season.

First point of order: The MGHA does not cut players. You will all be put on a team.

Now that that’s out of the way, here we go.

ACTION ITEM: Sign up for a slot based on your skill level.

  • Please do your best to sign up for the level that best matches your skills.
  • Each slot is limited to 20 skaters (and 2 goalies, who will organize themselves)
  • Only skaters who feel they can safely skate in L2 (higher level) should sign up for the 6:50, 7:20, or 8:30 slots
  • Sign up by FRIDAY, October 22 because we need to print rosters!
  • https://www.madisongayhockey.org/evaluations/

Off-Ice Gameplan:
We need to know who is on the ice to effectively evaluate skaters. An evaluation rep will gather information and provide it to the evaluators.

  • Arrive early and be dressed by the start time listed
  • Check in with the evaluation rep (will be near the rink doors somewhere and will likely have a clipboard) before stepping on the ice and provide them with the following
    • Your name
    • Jersey number (if your jersey doesn’t have a number, use hockey tape and create one on the back of the jersey)*

On-Ice Gameplan:
The on-ice portion will be split between drills and scrimmage. We need you to skate to the best of your ability while staying IN CONTROL. We need to know who is able to score at-will. We need to know how fast you are. Please play to the best of your ability while skating safely. We will have brief on-ice demonstrations, but below is the breakdown of the drills we will be doing.

  • 5 minute warmup
    • Use this time to stretch and skate around
  • 7 minute skating drills (subject to change)
    • Forward skating and stopping
      • Form 6 lines at the goal line
      • First group of 6 goes and they skate at their top speed (safely, in control) from goal line to center ice then fully stop (we need to see if you can stop)
      • That group then continues to other goal line, stopping again
      • The next group of 6 goes when the last person from the first group reaches center ice
    • Backwards skating
      • Repeat the forward skating drill but backwards (don’t worry too much if you can’t skate backwards)
    • Skating circles
      • All players line up in the corner to the goalie’s right
      • Skate around the circles, essentially creating figure 8s up the ice
      • Skaters will finish to the other goalie’s right
  • 12 minute rainbow drill
    • Standard rainbow
      • Split into two groups with half on one side of ice and half on the other
      • On each side, half of the players are in the corner to the goalie’s left while half are on the goalie’s right
      • One person from the goalie’s right skates forward up around the cone and starts coming back into the zone toward the goalie
      • The person next in line on the goalie’s left passes a puck to the incoming skater who then catches the puck and shoots it on net
      • The shooter goes to the opposite line
      • The passer now goes up and around the cone and the process repeats with the person on the opposite side now passing the puck
    • 2-on-0 rainbow
      • Same setup as last time but all pucks go to the corner to the goalie’s right
      • One player from each line skates up and around the cone
      • As they come in, they receive a pass from the next person in line to the goalie’s right
      • The two coming into the zone may pass back and forth then one player takes a shot
      • After the shot, they switch sides and the next skater in each line goes
  • Scrimmage
    • Scrimmage-style hockey is in effect
      • Half of the players on each bench
      • 5-on-5 hockey
      • Change when you’re ready (please keep shifts short)
      • When changing, LOUDLY call out the position you were playing
      • Next person in line takes your position on the ice
      • Reminder: Please play to the best of your ability (safely) to help us estimate skill levels

*Flair Points:
While you don’t get any official points, wearing distinctive jerseys (or other forms of flair) will help show your personality while helping us off-ice evaluators recognize you. Feel free to be creative and have fun with it as long as the flair is not too distracting or unsafe.

Recap:
Remember, we’re using these evaluations as a means to balance teams both for team creation and for subbing later in the season. We get that everyone has an off night and sometimes your best one day isn’t equal to your best another day. It’s all good! Don’t stress about it. Go out there and do what you can do! Oh, and as always, have fun!

In case you didn’t do it yet, go sign up now. Please do this by Friday!
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/evaluations/

Oh, and the deadline for play-with requests is this Sunday…
Play-With Requests (Optional – Due October 24)
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/play-with-requests/

I think that’s it for now.
I understand that this is a lot.
If you have questions, please reach out!

Thanks!
Tim
(on behalf of HOps)

Schedule for October 17th

TL;DR: Scrimmages this week. EVERYONE must sign up for a session. Read on for links and to sign up.

Hey everyone!

Thanks to everyone who has been showing up for the last few weeks. Also, thanks to all the helpers who have been dedicating their time to getting the season up and running.

This coming week is all about scrimmages. New-to-MGHA beginners will have a controlled scrimmage. We’re also aiming to have bench coaches for the returning beginner scrimmage as well.

Looking ahead, we’ll have evaluations the following week, October 24th. Everyone should make plans to be there so that we can see everyone’s skills. Remember, everybody makes a team in the MGHA and we do these evaluations to help with team balance.

Here’s the schedule for this week…

October 17 Schedule

Everyone must sign up for a slot this week. Please sign up ASAP because spots are limited. If we fill up sessions, we’ll overflow to an 8:30 PM session. If you’re having a hard time finding a slot, reach out and let me know.

Please sign up as soon as possible so that we know if we need an overflow slot.

Reminder… everyone should be able to have ice in every preseason week. If you’re having trouble finding a slot, please reach out to us.

Other Things You May Have Forgotten
If you haven’t already, please make sure you’ve completed the following. More details are available in the season kickoff email.

USA Hockey Registration
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/usa-hockey-registration-2021/

League Fees
Deadline was Friday, October 1.
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/product/2021-2022-league-fees/

Play-With Requests (Optional – Due October 24)
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/play-with-requests/

That’s it!
See you on Sunday!
Tim
(on behalf of HOps and the Board)

Schedule for October 10

TL;DR: Schedule is below. Please find your group and arrive accordingly (ideally 30+ minutes before for new skaters). Intermediate players need to sign up for a session.

Hey everyone!

We’re in the swing of things now. This week will focus again on mainly clinics. Look for a sign-up next week for scrimmages!

October 10 Schedule

The only group who needs to sign up this week is the intermediate skaters because there are multiple sessions. Most sessions will be run as clinics (no official scrimmage time) with the exception of the advanced group.

  • New-To-MGHA Beginners and Never Skated Before
    • 5:40 PM on Rink B
    • Stick around for Tim’s “Hockey 101” at 7 PM*
  • Returning Beginners
    • 5:00 PM on Rink A
    • Stick around for Tim’s “Hockey 101” at 7 PM*
  • Intermediate Skaters – Sign up here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/intermediate-preseason/
    • 4:30 PM on Rink B or 6:10 PM on Rink A
    • If this fills up, we’ll open an overflow slot at 6:50 PM on Rink B
  • Advanced Skaters
    • 7:10 PM on Rink A
    • Scrimmage
  • Goalies
    • 6:50 PM on Rink B
    • More details will be provided on the MGHA Goalie Facebook page

Again, only intermediate players need to sign up. Everyone else, please attend the session that aligns best with your skill level and league newness. New skaters, please leave time to get geared up before your session.

Reminder… everyone should be able to have ice in every preseason week. If you’re having trouble finding a slot, please reach out to us.

*Tim’s “Hockey 101”
This session will talk about everything the new player (or beginner player) needs to know about hockey. We’ll talk about the bench, where to sit, where to go on the ice, where to stand during a faceoff, and all the other little odds-and-ends we can think of.

Other Things You May Have Forgotten
If you haven’t already, please make sure you’ve completed the following. More details are available in the season kickoff email.

USA Hockey Registration
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/usa-hockey-registration-2021/

League Fees Deadline was Friday, October 1.
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/product/2021-2022-league-fees/

Play-With Requests (Optional)
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/play-with-requests/

That’s it!
See you on Sunday!
Tim
(on behalf of HOps and the Board)

Schedule for October 3rd

TL;DR: Updates to times. Please find your group and arrive accordingly. Intermediate players need to sign up for a session. 😀


Hey everyone!


We had a great first week! It was so nice to meet so many of you and I look forward to meeting more of you and seeing a lot of familiar faces in the weeks to come.


As expected, we have to do a little shuffling for October 3 based on attendance last week. Read below for details.


October 3 Schedule


The only group who needs to sign up this week is the intermediate skaters because there are multiple sessions. All sessions this week will be run as clinics (no official scrimmage time).

  • New-To-MGHA Beginners and Never Skated Before
    • 5:40 PM on Rink B
  • Returning Beginners
    • 6:10 PM on Rink A
  • Intermediate Skaters – Sign up here… https://www.madisongayhockey.org/intermediate-preseason/
    • 4:30 PM on Rink B
    • 7:20 PM on Rink A
    • If this fills up, we’ll open an overflow slot at 6:50 PM on Rink B
  • Advanced Skaters
    • 5:00 PM on Rink A
  • Beginner Goalies
    • 6:50 PM on Rink B


Again, only intermediate players need to sign up. Everyone else, please attend the session that aligns best with your skill level and league newness.


Reminder… everyone should be able to have ice in every preseason week. If you’re having trouble finding a slot, please reach out to us.


Other Things You May Have Forgotten
If you haven’t already, please make sure you’ve completed the following. More details are available in the season kickoff email.


Hockey Registration
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/usa-hockey-registration-2021/


League Fees
Deadline is Friday, October 1.
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/product/2021-2022-league-fees/


Play-With Requests (Optional)
https://www.madisongayhockey.org/play-with-requests/


That’s it!
See you on Sunday!
Tim
(on behalf of HOps and the Board)

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)

Mask Mandate and Survey

TL;DR: 

  • We are now indefinitely requiring masks for the hockey league in all areas of the ice, GOALTENDERS INCLUDED.
  • Take this survey to help inform the board on the league’s thoughts on COVID-19 for our fall season.

Hey all!
We will keep this coming e-mail brief but there are two important items to cover in this e-mail.


Mask mandate: to further facilitate safety and in tandem with our vaccination requirement for all players within the league, we will be requiring masks in all spaces of the rink. This includes in the lobby, the locker room, and the ice. We understand that some goaltenders have trouble playing with a mask on the ice due to helmet fastening issues, however, given the indoor mask mandate from Dane County Public health (effective 2021-08-19), goalies will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the rink.


Survey: Last year, we used a league-wide survey to inform a number of decisions the board made last season and will be conducting a survey this season, as well. You can take the survey here. We understand that some members may wish to share their thoughts anonymously. If this is the case, please respond to an e-mail that is not linked to your MGHA account to the e-mail on the CC line (board@madisongayhockey.org). We will be evaluating this survey next week Sunday, so please take it by end of day Saturday.
Thank you all for your thoughts and respecting the updated mask mandate!The MGHA Board

COVID updates

As I’m sure you’ve heard around, cases are rising, and the delta variant leaves some COVID question-marks.

  • As of right now, we are continuing our season as planned.  The 6 week preseason is optional, and we will be focusing on activities in smaller groups.  However we are aware of changing conditions, and the possibility that it may not be safe to return to play in a few weeks
  • AS A REMINDER: VACCINES ARE REQUIRED, with exceptions for medical conditions
  • We are recommending masks in rink common areas and locker rooms.  Masks on ice are optional right now, but may be mandated as conditions change
  • Should a season cancellation/postponement be necessary, or if the changing COVID situation changes your personal comfort and ability to play hockey, we will work out a system to give prorated refunds of ice fees
  • If you have public health and/or other COVID-relevant expertise or experience, and are willing to discuss the COVID situation with the board, please reach out, we’d love to hear from you
  • We have an existing set of comprehensive COVID guidelines, and we are working on updating those guidelines to better reflect the current ever-changing landscape of the pandemic

Keep in mind that this is subject to change as conditions, regulations, and rink policies are updated.