Category: Announcements

November 2020 League Update

Looking at the growth in cases over the last few months together with Dane County Order 10 and the spike in cases that prompted it, we will be postponing our 2020-2021 season indefinitely and suspending on-ice activities until the attached Return to Play Guidelines and conditions can be met in Dane County. Thank you for your support and patience with this process as we try to find what is best for the league, the health and safety of our hockey family is our top priority. 

While this may feel like crap news, it is with hopeful hearts that we publish this document in that it presents a path to getting back on the ice together safely in the future. The most recent hint of baseline conditions (19 or fewer daily cases) was this past June, so it is not impossible! We will play again!

Please see our Covid Updates page for more information.

MGHA Season Postponed to January

First, we’d like to thank you for filling out the survey, coming to our town hall, and sending us feedback as we work through what has been one of the hardest decisions to make as an organization. In coming to a decision as to whether to have a season start in September, we evaluated survey feedback, town hall feedback, Dane County metrics and USA Hockey guidelines, and, as always, our mission of being an inclusive, intersectional, and community-driven organization.

We are postponing any form of games until, at minimum, January. We are exploring the possibility for some level of on-ice, socially distant activities starting in November, and will be providing you with an update by October 1st if these activities will occur.

We know that this decision likely comes with a mixture of feelings – sadness for the season being postponed, anger that the coronavirus has taken our hockey time away from us, and relief that we can make sure we keep our community safe in the midst of this pandemic. We feel many of these things with you, and are here to support you along with the rest of our hockey community. 

This league has always been more than just playing hockey; our goal from the start has been to create an intersectional community in support of our shared, common identities to bring us all together. Although hockey may not be happening, we are staying true to our mission. In the coming weeks, we will be creating a format for you to create virtual events to share with the whole league, titled “Living Room Lives.” Anyone can host these events, and we’re hoping to kick off a grand unveiling by the middle of August. Interested in being a part of the social squad? We need your help! Reply to this email, and we’ll be in touch.

We know there has been much interest for socially-distant dryland events. For the safety of those in our league, we are only sanctioning virtual events as an organization for the foreseeable future. Of course, this does not prevent you from meeting up as individuals to do socially-distant activities. For all social events, including our “Living Room Live” events, we will ask that you have a virtual format that is accessible to those in the league.

Although this decision has been tough, we have been truly inspired by the passion in our league and the thought and interest the community has had for our favorite sport. Please be well, check in on your hockey family, and stay healthy.

In solidarity,
The MGHA Board

2020-2021 League Deposit Now Open

Returning player registration deposit is now open!

We are proceeding as though we will have a “normal” season but we are lowering the deposit to $5 to not tie up funds for folks in the case that we have to cancel (all deposits and dues will be refunded if there is no season).

We will be following all USA Hockey and Capitol Ice Arena guidelines for COVID at minimum, and may add more safety requirements.

We may look at starting the season a little differently, possible later start, fewer skaters on the ice for clinics, but hope to be able to start the league games in November as usual while following safety guidelines.

We understand not everyone will feel comfortable playing at all and may wish to sit out this season. We respect that choice and it will not compromise any eligibility for future seasons.

Registration Details:

– Dues will be $300 total. $5 deposit plus $295 due at season start. Goalies will also have $5 deposit and have $95 due at season start. Financial assistance will be available, you can fill out the form here:

– We will keep our Sunday evening time slot at Capital Ice, September(??) through March, so mark your calendars.- All last season’s players will be able to register. Alumni (previous players that didn’t play last season) in good standing will be able to register in the returning player registration window provided they email to have their status updated.

– Choose your league preference. Subbing across leagues will be allowed. You can also update this field in your user profile: login, go to your account info and scroll to the bottom.

– End of business day July 19th is the deadline for returning players. After that date, returning players will be treated as new recruits and subject to waitlisting.

– USA Hockey registration still required by season start

We do have some folks with outstanding balances from last season. Our new treasurer is still working through the list. If you know you did not pay the amount you had arranged to pay, please do so or fill out the financial aid form, or contact Gene at to make arrangements. Failure to do so may risk your ability to play with us in the future.

Looking forward to seeing you on the ice!

Black Lives Matter

Black lives matter. Unequivocally. Inarguably.

To all Black lives: We stand with you. We condemn the murderers of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and so many others, and the white supremacist structures that enabled and emboldened them. It is not enough, however, to condemn these murders as a singular moment in time; our league strives to be an anti-racist organization and we have more work to do to make hockey – and our country –  accessible and welcoming for all folx, most acutely our Black and POC friends within the organization and beyond.

To the MGHA Family: We stand together. We cannot stay silent or turn away and continue to claim we are an inclusive community serving groups traditionally marginalized in hockey.

“…We are especially committed to providing opportunities for those who have historically felt uncomfortable in traditional sports settings to learn and teach ice hockey in a safe, supportive, and fun environment. We aspire to the highest standards of sportsmanship and promote integration of the wider Madison community into the gay community.”

This is the mission. This is what we all signed up for, to stand and support each other and reach out, support, include, and ensure the safety of those who have historically felt uncomfortable in traditional sports settings. Right now that means focusing on the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community shouting for their humanity and right to not be murdered by the unjust structures in which we are all complicit. It means making systemic updates in our league processes to intentionally include more Black owned business and reach out to more QTPOC communities. It means educating ourselves and each other, and taking action against racism in our community.

As an all-white board, we feel it important to acknowledge that our organization is not as diverse or inclusive as it could be at present, and we want to ensure our intention of making an organization that is inclusive for all queer and trans folx matches our impact in making hockey an inclusive and accessible space for everyone including BIPOC folx. We have more work to do.

We will commit to being more intentional with our dollars and time prioritizing Black owned and QTPOC businesses and community organizations for our events and fundraisers. In addition, we will continue to educate ourselves and our community on injustice and inequity, and how each creates barriers to entry and participation in our league, and re-commit to doing the work of making our community more inclusive and welcoming for people of color.

Recruitment will continue to prioritize POC applicants and we will work with QTPOC community organizations to improve our recruitment strategies. Financial aid resources will continue to be allocated specifically to ensure that finances are not a barrier for participating in the sport in acknowledgement that hockey has historically excluded POC from playing.

Finally, in the first week of Pride, it is important to acknowledge the origins of Pride. We must not forget that Pride was not a parade – it was a riot that fought the perpetual violence against BIPOC, specifically trans women of color. We need to center the needs and contributions of our QTPOC players, and our white folx within the league need to spend time listening and learning. Human rights are not negotiable. If we are to combat the systemic nature of racism and the racist structures in our society, it will take each and everyone one of us to do our part to dismantle those systems in the search for justice.

It takes all of us listening, standing up, and taking action.

In solidarity,

The 2020-2021 MGHA Board

2019-2020 MGHA All the Way Award Winners

Here are this year’s winners and the nice things their teams had to say about them! Lots and lots of you were nominated for wonderful and encouraging efforts. Props to everyone.

Avalanche Avengers Keith Westpfahl Keith brought laughter, confidence, and compliments to everyone on the team. He was always looking for ways to get the new players the opportunity to score their first goal. He kept connections with teammates off ice as well and was always available to jump in and help other teams fill sub spots. He is the perfect example of a model teammate.

Black Mirror Sean Hubbard He was always encouraging and coaching from the bench and on the ice. He was generous with the puck as well.
His play was inclusive and cooperative and he was encouraging and supportive of players of all skill levels. Sean is a great teammate!

Blue Moons Paul Weber His game-time cheering gives the entire team (and the opposing team!) a punch of energy and sense of fun, but it’s his genuine appreciation of his teammates and never-ending willingness to provide both complements and help off-the-bench that makes Paul above-and-beyond the embodiment of the MGHA way.

Cordon Blue Laur Rivera Laur always came to every game with a positive mindset and ready to do her best. She goes the extra mile to check in on teammates and make sure everyone feels comfortable and accepted. Laur exemplifies all MGHA values and exceptional sportspersonship!

Dumpster Fire Jen Lawrence Jen only ever has encouraging and supporting words for her teammates and opponents. She plays hard, but still in a way that it makes it a safe environment for everyone. Super helpful and a great team player!

It Ain’t Easy Bein’ Cheesy Lori Prechel Lori was a consistently positive, hard-working presence on and off the ice. Even after suffering an injury that kept her off the ice for what turned out to be the rest of the season, she continued to come to each and every game, put on her helmet and cheer on everyone from the bench. She represents the best of what the MGHA is about, and it was a joy to be her teammate.

Wild Things Rob Kalejta Rob was an invaluable asset to the team this year. He was a constant source of helpful guidance on the bench and on the ice, he had a great attitude for every game, and he consistently played thoughtful, inclusive hockey. Rob leverages his knowledge and experience in the league to mentor the less experienced players, and to provide guidance during intermissions between periods.

Yellow Submarine Doug Haltinner He was a great presence on the team — always positive in the locker room (and fun), always enthusiastic, and always working to improve his and the entire team’s game.

Monsters Matty Brausen Matty was new to the league this year, but immediately took to the concept of playing the MGHA way. As an experienced player, he quickly learned how to adjust his play style, and always worked collaboratively with his linemates to help create plays. On the bench and in the locker room, he was always upbeat and inclusive. He even dyed his hair blue to match our team’s jerseys!

Sacre Bleu! Daniel Burkhardt Daniel is an unselfish player, willing to play anywhere the team needs him. He always makes an effort to include everyone on the team; in the locker room, on the bench, and on the ice.

The Devils Wear Prada Chuck McKain In this new world of divisions, he was always positive, never really was overly physical or upset when the other team was,  and he helped many others on the team learn to play at a higher level.

The Juice Sarah Bottjen She constantly brought good vibes to the team and was the impetus behind the squirt squirt patch!

The Shrek Republic Ryan Ziltner Ryan was so positive socially and played the MGHA way, contributing to an overall excellent experience for everyone on our team. He organized our team holiday party, brought everyone holiday gifts of rainbow hockey tape, and volunteered to perform at the MGHA Classic Drag Show fundraiser.

Ugly Pucklings Gabby Grandin Gabby was a great captain – she spent time each game teaching us something about how we could be playing as a team, she had great spirit and infected the rest of us with it, all while also keeping us rowdy ducks in check. She not only co-led the team, she did it with panache.

League Referendum May 2020

The Board moves to implement a two league Association for the foreseeable future, until the structure no longer serves the Association and at which time, a new proposal shall be made, and the members will vote on the new restructure. The two league Association structure will include “L1” and “L2” as two skill based leagues, details below as it worked in the 2019-2020 season.

Restructure of the MGHA into two skills-based leagues, L1 & L2.

  1. L1 will provide a safe and inclusive place to play and coach ice skating and hockey fundamentals. Anyone can skate in this league.
  2. L2 will provide a safe and inclusive game of competitive hockey. Players should skate in control of their body while handling the puck and seek to avoid collision with others.
  3. All skaters are expected to play the MGHA Way – safety, fun, skills and strategy development over showboating and winning. This is not, and never will be, a “beer league”.
  4. Cross-league subbing for skaters is encouraged assuming subbing guidelines are followed and players are able to safely compete and follow league guidelines.
  5. All Skaters will be evaluated and can self-select their League, but the Board and HOPs reserves the right to appeal self-selection.
  6. Yearly evaluations of Goalies will determine which league they will be placed. Same-league subbing will take priority over cross-league in order to maintain skill balance. If no other options are available, upon evaluation from HOPS and/or the Board, a similarly-skilled Goalie will sub in for the absent Goalie. 
You must log in to vote.

2019-2020 “What Gay Hockey Means to Me” Essays Published and Winner Announced

Every year, the MGHA asks our community to reflect on their experience and prompts everyone to write an essay on “What gay hockey means to me”. This year we had 9 people respond and as always, these essays reflect the beauty and diversity of meaningful experiences.

Check out these essay previews and click the links below each picture to read the full essay.

Thanks to everyone who participated this year – you mean the world to us!

Avery’s Essay and Profile
Avery’s 2019-2020 essay won this year and will be featured in Our Lives Magazine.
Alpha’s Essay and Profile

Martha’s Essay and Profile
Bryam’s Essay and Profile
Grayson’s Essay and Profile
Ian’s Essay and Profile
Julie’s Essay and Profile
Karoliina’s Essay and Profile
Nat’s Essay and Profile

CANCELLED – Remainder of the 2019-2020 MGHA Season

Due to the Mayor and Dane county officials’ announcement today banning gatherings over 50 people due to COVID-19 and our wish for the safety of our hockey family, we are going to cancel the remainder of our season (3/22, 3/29, and 4/5). It’s a disappointing end to our season, for sure, and it is the best decision we can make to help keep folx healthy and safe.

We don’t want anyone to have to decide between their own health and their hockey team. Lots of us (including myself) view hockey as family and would do most anything to keep from feeling like we’re letting that family down. This cancellation is so you don’t have to make that call.

What we did manage to do this season!

6 weeks of clinics including a 4 week spirit tournament

2 weeks of team practices

2 challenge weeks

14 weeks of league games

(That’s a total 24 weeks of hockey we squeezed in!!)

14 fantastic teams and team names (and like a bazillion clever jersey names)

Taught over 40 people how to play hockey (whaaat?!?)

Grew to the largest gay hockey league IN THE WORLD with 196 players (take that, Toronto!)

Participated in Hockey is for Everyone events with the Capitols, Milwaukee Admirals, and Chicago Blackhawks

Raised a bunch of money for Vivent at our Blades Against Aids fundraiser

Three new league sponsors

Made new friends/connections/teammates

Countless actions big and small by a TON of people that made this season happen, thank you all

What’s coming up?

Essay entries and winner announcement soon (you might cry, sorrynotsorry)

More rainbow sweatshirts available soon (I hope, haven’t heard from the printer, but they were in process a week ago) – shipping options will be available

Lots of practice time at home (we’ll add a page of resources and your recommendations)

Maybe some virtual hangouts (researching now if folx have ideas?)

A super fun party/championship night at some point

Summer scrimmages (as soon as we get the all clear, we will get those scheduled)

What’s also delayed/on hold?

Classic Tournabout show will be postponed to a later date (TBD)

TeamTrans Friendship Series will also be postponed until a later date (TBD)

Classic Tournament is cancelled, hoping to reschedule. Refunds will be issued as soon as we can.

Other stuff

Membership applications are still open. We will discuss the logistics of the end of season member meeting (where the board gets voted on) at our upcoming virtual board meeting this week.

What we will be looking forward to, when the infection curve is sufficiently flattened and manageable for health care workers and facilities, is renting ice on an upcoming Sunday (TBD) and hopefully having our championship night complete with potluck and league picture. We realize the later into the year that we push, we will be bumping against other sports leagues, long awaited travel, and other fun things. Subbing and such will all still be in place.

To the health care and sanitation workers, medical researchers, daycare workers, Epic folx, and everyone else in our family that continues to work to keep things running, thank you for putting yourselves in harm’s way to help others. To the rest of us that can stay home, thank you for doing what you can to lower infection rates and keep the load on those other folx as manageable as possible.

With gratitude for a successful (yet somewhat abbreviated) season,


on behalf of the Board

Town Hall Meeting 2/20/20


  • Introductions
    • Brief board introduction and our acting roles
  • Presidential Address
    • spotless/flawless/fabulous  


  • Clarification of forum for discussion 
    • 5 minutes to introduce your topic of discussion and present your arguments
    • 10 minutes total discussion for the topic after introduced, then it becomes old business
  • Summary of agenda with brief explanation
  • Conduct process review 
  • HOps update 
  • L1/L2 Split Review 
  • Survey results summary about 78 responses for the meeting with several positive answers and a few negative. Social interaction seemed to be one of the larger barriers this year.
  • Comments and suggestions from the attendees:
    • Witte- Asked for the planning to be more intentional for challenge weeks. 
    • Parter- Create a new committee for challenge/non-game weeks activities.
    • Sukup- Have a conversation with captains to be more open and outgoing themselves or to find a social ambassador on the team to help with branching out to other folx in the association. 
    • Alpha- Set up game areas, board or cards, in the common areas upstairs.
  • MGHA Classic Tournament
    • Ryan Ziltner- Put social committee together for the Classic to help mingle locals and visitors playing in the tournament (he volunteered to help this year).
  • Recap of all topics mentioned
  • Open discussion
    • Sukup- What safety concerns do people have with the on-ice safety or rink location
    • Safety concern was on-ice with different levels not playing down, players trying too hard and putting themselves and puck handler at risk of injury.
  • Geoffrey- Asked about the demographics of new players and if they had breakdown of gender specific answers in regards to gay folks vs straight and if we are still recruting gay men. 
  • Sarah Pisula – How are we holding skill levels 5 and 6 accountable for their promise to play down to the L1 level. Are they helping to create a safe environment for the the newer skaters?
  • Alpha- Maybe there’s an issue with the players ranked 3 and 4 playing down and inclusively, not just those who rank 5 or 6. 
  • Witte- Felt the play was pretty great in the leagues. Feels the social aspect is lacking and finding the sponsor that stays open past 9:30 on Sundays. There’s still a barrier between L1 and L2 leagues commingling
  • Ryan Z- Again volunteered to help with the social squad, is loving the league and scheduling life on Sundays around hockey. He asked if we can we get our sponsors to possibly cater food in the eagle’s nest to facilitate socialization. 
  • Witte- Should we be telling the sponsors we are from MGHA? 
    • Yes tell hosts you are MGHA.
  • Patrick F- How much aid did we award this year, do we expect this much every year? What’s the forecast with our funds and being able to sustain in the future?
    • Amanda- Waiting on numbers from Jake.
  • Sukup- There were a lot of new player socials at the beginning of the year, how did they go? Were they successful?
    • Ryan Z-personally didn’t talk to a lot of people, but was fine
    • Laur- Interacted with a lot of players till 1-2am at the bonfire.
    • Tim- L1’s have been hanging out a lot together, especially the new hockey players.
  • Chuck-whats the goal for next year in regards to adding more teams?
    • Amanda- Waiting till the end of the year survey to see what folks thought of the season. The L1 league is larger than initially anticipated.
  • Ryan-do we need to keep recruiting new players?
    • Patrick/Amanda- Yes, it’s always good to have players waiting to enter the league as there are players who move away or don’t want to play in the up-coming year. 
  • Sarah P- Loving the restructure as L1 has given her more time to think while playing and learn at the right speed with those who are similar in skills with her.
  • Alpha- Echoes what Sarah said and has enjoyed learning to play goalie in the L1 league and broadening his skills.
  • Ryan-are we staying at Cap Ice for next year?
    • Amanda-we have a price guarantee for ice. The super bowl debacle won’t happen again. Overall, the ice is better than Hartmeyer’s ice. We have faced some challenges with the Capitals home games forcing us to adjust game times, but are working on better communication with the rink management (they’ve had some turnover).
  • Sukup- Loved the super bowl color bowl games.
  • Amanda T- Little blurb about membership and their roles/responsibilities.
  • Matthew- Are there new proposals for this year?
    • Amanda- Not at this time.
  • Patrick- Plug for essays and their impacts on new skaters. How they impact and act as a blueprint for other leagues to follow.
    • Tim- Writing his essay helped him take a look at his life; where he came from and what he had learned about different groups of people.
  • Patrick- Let’s do outreach to help teams get together and travel to other league tournaments.
    • Katy- She would love to see more advertising/encouraging of league members to put together teams and travel.
  • Alpha- Team trans event is coming up!
  • Chuck- What are some things we could do to help others feel less excluded and more included in the MGHA?
    • Amanda- Keep an open spot when talking in a group to allow someone to join. Assist captains with finding a social ambassador from the team to help with motivating others to interact and plan social events. 
  • Matt- A way to encourage socializing could be pre-game activities in the locker room, like jamming out to a song and this could lead to conversations amongst players and pump up the team. Also, maybe set up a week night get-together to participate in trivia or play other games.
  • Laur- Suggested teammates and other team players stretch together pre-game.
    • Maggie- Great idea! Folx could use the lobby or locker room. 
  • Sarah- Enjoyed the goalie curious clinics and found out she really enjoys the position. She would like to see more folx encouraging new people to try different positions.
  • Geoffrey- Enjoyed the color games during the super bowl, too.
  • Chuck- Will there still be summer scrimmages?
    • Tim- Yes, assuming Cap Ice is available to us. We will possibly continue Sunday night scrimmages if there is enough interest  from folx. 

2019-2020 Essays: What Madison Gay Hockey Means to Me

As the season enters the home stretch and we’re all a little sad thinking about hockey ending and not see our teams and friends on the regular, it’s time to reflect on what hockey has meant to us as individuals. We all are changed in some way by being a part of this league and community. Writing and sharing our experiences helps others learn and grow and new players see a potential path for themselves. Our Lives Magazine runs an essay contest on this subject each season and the winner gets published in the magazine as well as their dues paid in full for next season.

All are encouraged to write an essay. All 2019-2020 league participants are eligible for this contest except previous winners.

More explanation of this as well as previous essays can be found here

Please send your essay submission to president [at] Essays will be read and voted on by members of the current board and captains who do not enter this year’s contest.

Deadline is Tuesday March 3nd!