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MGHA Voting Results – Location and League Restructure

Both proposals affecting the 2019-2020 season have passed. Thank you to all the MGHA members who voted and provided feedback.

What does this mean?

1. We will play at Cap Ice for the 2019-2020 season. (64% first choice)

2. We will restructure into two leagues under the Madison Gay Hockey Association. (81% yes) Please read the below info and share your thoughts/ideas with us here by June 11th.

Further details as of right now:

1. Cap Ice – we will try to balance which rinks teams play on as well as time slot. We will communicate on where people can hang out if they wish to watch games together (Eagle’s Nest, or a specific bleacher area, etc). We will adjust scorebox duty to accommodate the challenges on Rink A as well as subbing to accommodate overlapping games. 

2. League restructure will be hockey skill based with less experienced players in one league (L1)  and higher skilled players in the other (L2). Everyone will be able to choose where they play at sign up, though if it is a safety issue, HOps will counsel players on where they can play safely. First year players with little or no prior hockey experience will be placed in the L1 league. Leagues will roughly map to D=L1 and B/C=L2 league levels. The specifics of how this will happen will depend on a lot of moving parts, most importantly the skill levels of the players who sign up for the 2019-2020 season, and also includes number of players and which level folks choose to play.   

I would like to reiterate why we are trying this out this season:     

  • Player on-ice safety     
  • Greater opportunity to develop hockey skill at all levels     
  • Greater team skill balance     
  • More inclusive of advanced players 

Great things about this league we will not sacrifice in this restructure:     

  • Community     
  • Inclusivity and acceptance of everyone willing to follow our Code of Conduct     
  • Playing the MGHA Way – safe, inclusive, fun! 

Items to be decided:     

  • How subbing works     
  • Team distribution (how many teams in each league, how many people on a team, etc)     
  • Season schedule     
  • Skill distribution     
  • Lots and lots and lots of other things

This is a lot of change. We will be as clear and transparent as possible and will keep communications flowing. We will be asking for feedback a LOT on this so keep your eyes on your emails. This affects all of us and together we can find the best way forward.

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 (, Eric (, or Tim ( 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.“


March 10, 2019 Challenge Games

Hey everyone! This week we’ll feature two challenge games and then some makeup games.

As usual, please sign up for a game where you can learn and play safely. While it’s good to challenge yourself, please only do so within your safe limits. We’re doing low and high intermediate because we feel like this is the best fit for the majority of our league.

You may sign up for one game right away. On Saturday, March 9th at 2 PM, you may sign up for a second game if there are spaces available.

The night will be scheduled as follows:

4:50 PM – High Intermediate Game
6:00 PM – Low Intermediate Game
League makeup games will follow in the normal 7:10, 8:20, and 9:30 PM timeslots.

March 10, 2019 Challenge Games

You must log in to sign up.

See you on the ice!
-HOps (Tim, Brian, k8, Mark, Ashleigh, Sara, John)

Practice Schedule

Hey everyone!

Hopefully you all recovered from the team reveal.  It was a fun night and we hope you had a great time.  Now that we have teams, we should probably get to know one another better.  Lucky for us, we have two weeks of practice with our team.

You’ll be sharing the ice with another team each week.

Here’s the schedule for both weeks:

October 21
4:50 PM: Orange and Yellow
6:00 PM: Black and Blue
7:10 PM: Gray and Green
8:20 PM: Red and White
9:30 PM: Light Blue and Maroon

October 28
4:50 PM: Gray and Red
6:00 PM: Light Blue and Orange
7:10 PM: Maroon and Yellow
8:20 PM: Blue and Green
9:30 PM: White and Black

USA Hockey Registration 2019

It’s time to register with USA Hockey! For liability reasons, all players must register with USA Hockey. Registration covers one year of play (September 1 to August 31).

IMPORTANT: You will NOT be allowed to step on the ice at a MGHA skills clinic, practice, scrimmage, game, etc., without being registered with USA Hockey.

How to Register with USA Hockey

  1. Go to:
  2. Click the red “REGISTER NOW” button.
  3. For Registration Type, select “Ice Player/Coach.”
  4. Complete the form. Include payment of $51 ($46 to USAH and $5 to WAHA).
  5. You will receive a registration confirmation email with a confirmation # and bar code. Please forward this email from USA Hockey to our registrar (

MGHA needs the entire email in order to scan the bar code and register you with our league.

(Note: If you play in more than one league, you only need to register with USA Hockey once per season.)

Email with questions or concerns!

2017-2018 “What Gay Hockey Means to Me” Essays Published and Winner Announced

Thank you to all the players who submitted essays this year. As always, they were thoughtful, moving, and helped us all reflect on what gay hockey has come to mean for each of us.

Andrew Brausen
E Posner
Gene Zadzilka
Maggie Augustin
Tim Tender (winner)

For the winning essay, Tim will be featured in Our Lives Magazine and he will receive free dues for this season. Congratulations Tim!

*entrants did not vote in the contest

Championship Night Scorebox Sign-Up

Hey all!  We are in the home stretch and our final game is this Sunday.  You should have your schedule by now.  If you don’t, it’s live on the website.  You can also mark yourself as absent or available to sub.  We also would love for you to consider volunteering to run scorebox for a game.  We’re asking for volunteers to do this, so please help us out.

Sign up using the form below!


Championship Night Scoresheet Sign-Up

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January 7th 2018 Challenge games and clinic

This is the sign-up sheet for the Challenge games on January 7th.  We will have our usual advanced challenge game (4:50), intermediate challenge games (6:00 and 9:30), and beginner (8:20) challenge game.

We will also have a mid-season special: clinics during the 7:10 time slot.  There will be a clinic run by Mark Nessel and HOps for beginner skaters.  There will also be a clinic for those who are goalie-curious.  We have some gear for people to borrow and some goalies helping teach for those who want to learn what it’s like in the net or improve on goalie skills.  Woooo helping and learning from awesome volunteers!

As usual, please sign up for only 1 skater slot until Saturday after 12 noon.

7Jan2018 Challenge games and clinics

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