Author: Kriona "Viking Princess" Hagen

Proud trans woman, storyteller, geek, programmer, athlete, feminist, Slytherin, sister, mother. I'm in charge of the website, so if you need help, contact me.

2023-2024 MGHA Town Hall Notes

Monday, Feb. 26th: 6 – 7:30pm at Delta Beer Lab

6 – 6:30pm: Social time!

6:30 – 7pm: League updates and announcements!

  1. Quick introduction of the MGHA organizing groups
    • Board doesn’t do everything – this league is run by a bunch of other folks
    • HOps, scorebox leads, coaches, captains, recruiting, website, sponsorship, Classic tournament, crafters
  2. Highlights from the 2023-2024 season so far
    • Late games, scheduling issues with the rink. We don’t have much control about this
    • Folks are showing up to help as needed
  3. Events recap and announcements
  4. Financial update
    • Handouts!
    • Aim to have 1/3 of operating budget on hand in case of emergencies
    • Cap Ice is biggest expense, but we have really good rates with them
    • Gene isn’t planning on running for the board next year – will still be around, will be able to guide the next treasurer
      • Want to be the treasurer? Reach out to Gene
    • Got sponsorship ideas? Send them our way!
  5. Reminder about our annual meeting in May – become an MGHA member!
    • What’s the distinction between player vs member?
      • Members have a voice in decisions around running the league
      • Players aren’t necessarily members, though there is minimum of 1 season before you can be a member
      • Members don’t have to be playing in the current season
      • Members have additional responsibilities (we can call on membership for volunteers, for example)
      • Want to be a member? Get someone to sponsor you! Fill out the application
      • Lets you have some responsibility for the league without being on the board
      • Go recruit people to be members! Tell your teammates!
      • Membership and Bylaws
    • Vote on board in this meeting
    • There must be 10-60 days of notice for this meeting. – MGHA Bylaws

7 – 7:30pm: Open discussion, the “ask us anything!” part of the evening!

  • Championship night
    • March 24th
  • The Classic Tournament
    • April 26th – 28th, always the last weekend in April
    • Moving to Verona this year (Verona opened a second sheet of ice)
    • Verona is meeting Cap Ice’s rate for the Classic tournament
    • Tournament committee runs the tournament and the board is typically hands-off
    • Turnabout show last Friday 2/23 (fundraiser for the Classic) was a huge success
    • Lots of people have signed up – will be closing registration soon
    • Beginner division will have 4 teams, advanced will also be 4 teams, intermediate is expected to be ~10 teams
    • We haven’t picked a charity to donate to for the Classic yet
    • Verona has a bar, will be running it for us, we should not bring in our own alcohol
    • If you want to help out with the tournament, reach out!
      • Score-keeping is covered
      • Need help wrangling social events for the tournament
    • T-shirt design for Classic – going with the cute cow / cheese logo
      • Make it a design competition next year?
  • Summer Ice
    • Reached out to Cap Ice about summer ice, response was “we’ll get back to you soon”
    • No firm details (e.g., what night of the week, what rink)
    • Likely doing at least 2 levels, skills for all levels, will find coaches
    • Do we allow non-MGHA skaters? Historically no for scrimmages, more flexible on skills clinics (so, yes)
    • Goalie curious clinic may happen this summer
    • Skating-only clinics – hard to get interest for, so we don’t tend to run these
      • Laura Stamm also runs some clinics
      • UW does skating lessons
  • Craft group
    • Getting organized – folks asked for them to return to the Classic 
  • HOps
    • Captains meetings updates
      • Minor corrections on behavior in the moment are really helpful, especially for L3 (folks coming in with prior hockey experience)
      • Also helpful to tell people when they’re doing well, remind them to be kind
      • Recruiting goalies! There will likely be a summer goalie curious clinic
      • Collecting “the MGHA way” examples from each level – what does good MGHA play look like in each division
      • Do your team social! You don’t have to be the captain to organize something. Off-ice connections build community!
      • Growing pains with league expansion – survey going out to captains to collect input. Will come up with written guidelines for upcoming seasons on expected behavior on the ice
    • Tim’s updates
      • We convey the updates from Cap Ice about our ice times getting moved as soon as we receive them – it feels late because we get them late
      • Cap Ice tends to work in silos (front office, eatery, Zamboni crew (and Tyler), folks who book ice, etc)
      • Internally, the folks booking ice don’t tell Tyler (our rep), so ice gets double booked
      • Tyler understands our frustration, is talking to folks at Cap Ice about it
      • Teams have 3-or-fewer late late ice times
      • When the Zamboni broke, we had to pay the refs who were scheduled that evening. We’re asking Cap Ice to pay for these unexpected expenses, they’ve generally been receptive to this
  • All The Way awards
    • Award given to a member of each team who well represents the MGHA
    • Survey coming out soon! Players can submit for their teammates (but not other teams)
  • Essays
    • What Gay Hockey Means To Me
    • Winner gets published in Our Lives Magazine, gets league fees covered for the next season
    • Is a powerful recruiting tool
    • Has gotten us sponsorship, interest from the NHL

7:30 – 7:45pm: Closing up.

Our Response to the NHL Pride Ban

Hockey is for everyone. Hockey should be for everyone.

The Madison Gay Hockey Association’s central mission is to provide opportunities to play hockey for people who have historically felt marginalized in traditional sports settings. We’re committed to putting those people in pads, giving them a stick, and teaching them to love the game as much as we do.

The NHL’s recent decision to ban Pride jerseys and Pride tape is directly contradictory to our mission, and makes our work so much harder. How are queer and questioning athletes supposed to feel about hockey when one of the premiere hockey organizations in the world is loudly proclaiming, “you’re not welcome here”?

Getting queer folks to play hockey is hard. Most of us have grown up being taught that team sports are not for us and that we’re not welcome, hearing as much from coaches, from classmates, from opponents – and now also from the NHL. The MGHA works tirelessly to convince people who have grown up hearing this to give hockey a try. It’s hard work – there are a lot of scared faces the first time a new cohort steps on the ice, and some quit before they even get that far.

And the people who stick it out? It can be life-altering. At the end of each season, our players have the opportunity to respond to the essay prompt “What Gay Hockey Means To Me.” They write about how much the hockey community has come to mean to them, how they’ve grown as people and as athletes, and how hockey has become a positive and empowering force in their lives. We hear about the positive impact hockey can have, year after year after year.

The MGHA is the largest gay hockey league in the world. We have 270 skaters for the 2023-2024 season and are fielding 18 teams. Our organization is steadfastly dedicated to the idea that hockey is for everyone, and we’ve been incredibly successful in convincing our community that there is a place for them in hockey.

The NHL has the opportunity to be a part of this. The NHL is in the best position to make hockey a welcoming, inclusive space. The first step: reverse the Pride ban. Let our community know that you’ve heard us, and that there’s a space for us in the NHL. You started the “Hockey Is For Everyone” initiative – prove to us that you mean it.

The NHL has been a force for good in this space, and can be again.


MGHA Gear Swap – 8/29 at 6pm

The annual gear swap is scheduled for Tuesday, August 29th from 6-7:30pm at Capitol Ice Arena.

Are you a new player who needs gear? Bring your mentor, try on some gear, and take some new equipment home with you. If your mentor is busy, that’s OK! There will be plenty of folks around who can give advice.

Are you an existing player who has gear to donate? Bring it around 6pm and drop it off, or coordinate with someone you know who will be going to take it on your behalf.

Check out the Facebook invite.

Update your league preference

Friendly reminder to update your league preference for this season:

We’re looking to expand from 16 teams to 18 teams, and we need to know where everyone wants to play in order to determine where to put those 2 new teams. We’re thinking L1, but we need feedback from the league to make a call.

L1 is for beginners and low intermediate players. Expect to learn and practice basic ice skating, hockey rules and strategy at a slower pace. This level includes coaching and extra skills clinics throughout the season. Higher level players can play in this level and will have restrictions such as strict goal caps.

L2 is for intermediate players who are able to skate safely during faster play. Expect to use and develop skills with your team. This level may include coaching, at your captain’s discretion and coaches’ availability. Higher level players can play in this level and will be goal-capped.

L3 is for intermediate and advanced players looking for SAFE fast-paced competition. Expect to develop strategies with your team, learn how to safely challenge yourself and others, and absolutely NO show-boating or unnecessary contact. This level may include coaching, at your captain’s discretion and coaches’ availability.

2023-2024 League Deposit Open

Deposits for the 2023-2024 season are open!

The deposit secures your spot in the league for the upcoming season. The full cost of the season will be $365 ($100 deposit, remaining $265 due before you set foot on the ice). The cost of ice is going up some, but not as much as we expected. We had unexpected costs with refs last season and we’re trying to budget for that.

As always: cost should not be a barrier to playing hockey with us! If it is, reach out – we have a financial aid program to help make the cost of playing hockey easier. If you want to play with us but need some time to figure out the finances, that’s fine! Let us know and we’ll hold your spot in the league.

Excited to play hockey with you all!

-Kriona, on behalf of the MGHA Board

Team Names and Season Schedule

Hi friends! All of the team names are in. May I present to you:


  • Caution!
  • End of the Rainbow
  • Green Eggs and WHAM!
  • Necromancers
  • Sauce
  • Skyfall
  • The Fanta-Sticks!
  • The White Stuff


  • Black Holes
  • Magic School Bus
  • Slippery When Wet
  • The Harvey Milks
  • The Red Flags
  • Violet Villains

The schedule has been uploaded to the Team & Schedule page.

Use this page to mark whether you’ll be absent from a game, and to sign up to sub in other games. Subbing is skill-based, so you will always be replacing a player of roughly the same skill as you. Captains will only look for subs if players are absent, so it’s not guaranteed.

I’ve added the games to the MGHA’s Google calendar. You can add the MGHA’s calendar to see all the games. If you want to import your games and scorebox shift(s) to your own calendar, click on your team name and scroll to the very bottom of the page – underneath “Upcoming Games” will be some links to do that.

We’ll need you (yes you!) to help run the scorebox periodically. We’ve given everybody scorebox shifts. Don’t worry! If you’re new to the MGHA, we’ll pair you with people who have been in the league for a while. You can read more about scorebox duties.