League Structure Proposal

MGHA Member Proposal –  last updated 3/10/2019                             Two Skills-based Leagues + Partner Teams


MGHA Member Proposal –  updated 3/10/2019                     Two Skills-based Leagues + Partner Teams 1

Proposal & Goal 1

Details [numbers, teams, cost, captains/coaches, subbing, social impact, MGHA Way, and Implementation] 1

Player Path Examples 2

Sunday Night Lineup Examples 3

FAQs’ 4

Background 5

Proposal & Goal

Restructure the MGHA into 2 skills-based leagues, within the broader MGHA organization, as a way to grow in size and provide better hockey opportunities for all without losing out on the social/community cohesion we’ve established.

Details [numbers, teams, cost, captains/coaches, subbing, social impact, MGHA Way, and Implementation]

Numbers: 6 teams in 2 leagues “L1” & “L2”, 12 total teams, 15 players on each team = 180 total

Partner Teams: 6 colors, 1 team in each league for each color.

Cost: If any player skates in both leagues, they will pay two league fees.

Captains/Coaches: two per team, ideally one for social and people management, another for hockey strategy and skills. Include option for L2 player to captain/coach L1 from the bench or as an active skater.

Subbing: no major change within league subbing. If cross-league subbing is necessary, give preference to partner teammates to increase social ties.

Social Impact: with partner teams, we increase a skater’s connection from 15 teammates to a broader group of 30 across both teams, i.e. L1/L2 Black team coordinates social events together, attends/cheers for each others’ games (scheduled back-to-back), practice together, have same jerseys / same names(?).

MGHA Way: must persist in both leagues

  • L1 emphasis on puck touches, hockey fundamentals, bench/active coaching to advance skills.
  • L2 emphasis on safe, inclusive, fun, competitive play. In that order.
  • Game pace should feel roughly feel like low intermediate (L1) and high intermediate (L2)
  • L1 shouldn’t be branded as “beginner”, as skaters of all levels will be competing and growing at a pace that works best for themselves and others in L1.
  • L2 shouldn’t be branded “advanced”, as skaters with intermediate abilities will be competing and should be played with and not expected to skate at an advanced level.
  • Skills required to apply for L2 will be defined by the Board & HOPs, but should be inclusive of intermediate players wishing to gain skills through experiencing a faster L2 game; i.e….
    • Skates in control of own body and can redirect or stop quickly to avoid collision
    • Centered balance on skates with and without the puck, and when de/accelerating
    • Can hold/deke puck while skating forward and turning
    • Can look up to make a pass or take a shot


  • This is a one year trial to see what works/doesn’t work. Surveys should be sent throughout season to get feedback and make changes as necessary.
  • Christina & Gabby (thus far) are willing to play in L2 and coach/skate for an L1 team.

Player Path Examples

Sunday Night Lineup Examples

Player, SkillPathNotes
Andy new to hockey / new to skating, 1-2Play in L1.
Andy can take opportunities to be coached, increase practice, etc. to gain skills to access L2 in a future year.
Don’t change the goodness of the new player experience we have established.
Increase coaching/practice opportunities through extra ice time and mentoring.
Benintermediate 3-4Ben has some or all skills necessary for L2, and can apply for either league as they’re comfortable.
HOPs/Board reserves the right to place the player in a league for safety reasons (same as challenge games) or discuss specific/sensitive situations needing compromise.
For this trial year, this should be a personalized process. Ask for preferences and brainstorm skills necessary to play in L2.
Give a path for these players to grow while playing in L1, and clear opportunities to work on the skills they need to acquire to play in L2.
Chris upper intermediate/advanced player 4,5,6Can select to play in either or both leagues.
Chris can coach one league, skate in another, or coach & skate in both.
Chris’ growth is important for the MGHA to expand our knowledge/leadership/hockey experiences offered. These skaters should help create a team-focused atmosphere and develop strategies to learn how to play good hockey, not be a showboat or skate faster than is safe for those around them.
Seek 6-12 player/leaders from this group that will dually support the L1 teams as coaches and/or skaters for both partner teams, as it is critical to set a tone of cross-league collaboration and accessibility to advanced players know-how.
Devin & Ern want to play togetherDevin has skills to skate in L2, but Ern does not and would be safer in L1.
Devin can choose to skate in both leagues, or skate in L2 & coach L1, or skate in L1.
Ern can skate up into L2 with approval from HOps.
Devin & Ern should be placed on the same partner/color team for convenience and social reasons.
Devin understands that L1 is designed as a beginner/intermediate developmental league and they should anticipate using their expertise to teach the game as well as play inclusively with lower experienced players.

PREFERRED Hartmeyer x 5 slots

Game 1Game 2Game 3Game 4Game 5
L1 Black vs. L1 GreenL2 Black vs. L2 GreenBlue & Red Bye Options-mixer scrimmage w/ Blue & Red players-clinic for any/allL1 White vs. L1 OrangeL2 White vs. L2 Orange
  • 18 game nights per season
  • 6-game cycles = 5 games vs. league opponents + 1 bye week
  • 2 off nights / challenge game nights on thanksgiving & super bowl

Hartmeyer x 6 slots

Game 1Game 2Game 3Game 4Game 5Game 6
L1 Black vs. L1 GreenL2 Black vs. L2 GreenL1 White vs. L1 OrangeL2 White vs. L2 OrangeL1 Blue vs. L1 RedL2 Blue vs. L2 Red
  • Inadvisable, as we’d likely have to add an even later game at Hartmeyer

PREFERRED Cap Ice, 2 rinks

Rink 1, Game 1Rink 1, Game 2Rink 1, Game 3Rink 1, Game 4
L1 Black vs. L1 GreenL2 Black vs. L2 GreenL1 Blue vs. L1 RedL2 Blue vs. L2 Red
Optional ice rentalRink 2, Game 1Rink 2, Game 2Optional ice rental
L1 White vs. L1 OrangeL2 White vs. L2 Orange
  • 15 or 20 game nights per season
  • 3 or 4 5-game cycles = 5 games vs. league opponents
  • Optional 5 “other” nights for challenge games, skills clinics, scrimmages, etc fun

Cap Ice 2 rinks, 3 games/rink

Rink 1, Game 1Rink 1, Game 2Rink 1, Game 3
L1 Black vs. L1 GreenL2 Black vs. L2 GreenL1 Blue vs. L1 Red
Rink 2, Game 1Rink 2, Game 2Rink 2, Game 3
L1 White vs. L1 OrangeL2 White vs. L2 OrangeL2 Blue vs. L2 Red
  • If anyone skates with both teams, would have to choose a team 1/3rd of the time


  • Q: What happens if a lot of L1 players grow into L2 and the balance of 6 teams/league doesn’t work?
    • A: good question, but we don’t know yet if we will have that problem. This is why we need this trial format. We should discuss player growth on an individual basis if we become top-heavy.
  • Q: What about goalies? What if they all want to play in one league or another?
    • A: We should offer the same double-play option to goalies. One goalie can play in both leagues for the same color team. If they don’t want to play twice as much, we could fill each league as first-come, first-serve. THIS IS NOT FINAL – we know we need input from current goalies to understand paths forward that fit best for them. Please submit your feedback/ideas to Christina, Eric Witte, or Tim.
  • Q: I have feedback on this, who do I go to?
    • A: If you have suggestions or want to add an FAQ or detail to this proposal, contact; Christina (christinalbs@gmail.com), Eric (witte.eric1@gmail.com), or Tim (tim.tender@gmail.com). Note: This committee’s goal is to facilitate discussion and submit the proposal to membership for a vote. Committee membership does not necessarily equal endorsement.
    • A: Anyone! We want everyone to think and talk about this with one another to understand each other’s perspectives and goals for the league. Friends, captains, new players, old players, etc. we encourage everyone to talk about the future of the MGHA through this process.


From Christina Libs – “I’m still not sure I can grow in this league. I like coaching/captaining, but I see a lot of everyday stressors on individual’s growth considering the wide level of experiences on the ice. I do not wish to divide this league. This proposal is intended for hockey and community growth, as we have a strong foundation and funnel for introductory players yet we see advanced player churn continue. And personally, as I evaluate if this is the right league for (people like) me who have grown into good hockey players that can play elsewhere, but still want to play and grow with the MGHA. I believe we can expand our reach and extend the values of a safe & competitive hockey game that we’ve so passionately developed.“