NCHL Officially Cancels Winter 2019-2020 Hockey Season In Calgary, Edmonton, Richmond and Grande Prairie

On Friday March 13th, 2020 we made the difficult decision to suspend all NCHL, Discover Hockey and Draft Tournament activities, essentially hitting pause on everything we do and joined the fight to flatten the curve. This was one of the hardest things we have had to do in the past 15 years.

The simple truth is, we love hockey, in fact we are a little nuts about it. We love sharing this passion for the game with you on a nightly basis, but your well being is our number one priority. So while we all want to be out there, carving up the ice and scoring goals, we can’t risk spreading the virus.

We appreciate your help and commitment in joining us in this fight by staying at home and limiting contact with others, because the sooner we all stop the spread, the sooner we can get back on the ice and play the game we all love.

Given this new normal we had come to the unwanted conclusion that we are running out of time to complete the regular season and play out the playoffs. We just don’t know when the arenas will open again, and it makes it impossible to plan the playoffs under this level of uncertainty.

We also understand that your season was cut short due to circumstances outside of anyone’s control. Some of you had three games to play and some had as many as five more guaranteed games remaining.

We are all in it together and we are trying as best we can to find our way through it.

After spending a considerable amount of time reviewing our policies and thinking about what we can do to treat everyone fairly, we have decided we will make up all guaranteed games you did not get this winter hockey season (winter 2019-20) in the upcoming winter hockey season (winter 2020-21) by increasing the number of games you will be playing next winter, because after all, we all want to continue playing hockey.

And so with a heavy heart we must inform you that winter 2019-20 hockey season is now officially cancelled.

Thank you for your patience and support during these difficult times, it is greatly appreciated and we will get through it together.

We have set up a special link where we will be positing answers to your frequent questions, please check there before sending us an email as we are not equipped to handle a large volume of customer interactions resulting from the current situation – http://www.nchl.com/covid-19-faq/

We hope to see you all on the ice sooner than later.

COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions – What happens next?

The truth of the matter is no one know what happens next, this is an unprecedented situation so all we can do is take the wait and see approach. At some point the world will return to normal, and social distancing/isolation will end.

We do not know when this will happen, and at the moment no one does. But we are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis and will keep you updated once we have more information on anything that may affect you and your team.

Please continue checking back at http://www.nchl.com/covid-19-faq/

We will post what we know there as we do not have the capacity to respond to every single inquiry in a timely manner as most of the inquiries are about the same questions.

NCHL Pauses Winter Hockey Season Indefinitely Due To COVID-19

Many hockey and sporting organizations are taking a proactive approach to the spread of COVID-19.

Under the recommendation of many provincial and federal organizations we have decided to voluntarily suspend our league and programming operations.  

The NCHL will be suspending all games indefinitely as of 7:00pm MST March 13, 2020.  The safety of the players and officials in the NCHL are our top priority.

With calls for social distancing, we want to do our part in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is to resume operations when it is safe to do so.  

We will be in constant contact with facilities and government officials to make the correct decision on the potential resumption of hockey activities. 
 
In these uncertain times, we ask for your patience and understanding as we try to understand the logistics of moving forward. We will update everyone on a regular basis via email, website and social media. If you have any question or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out. We thank you all for your support and cooperation. 

 
Please stay safe and we will see you on the ice soon!

COVID-19 UPDATE: How it affects your NCHL ice hockey schedule

We continue to regularly monitor concerns associated with coronavirus (COVID-19) and wanted to take a moment to provide an update as it relates to NCHL activities.

Our top priority, as you know, is the safety of everyone involved with the NCHL.

The Public Health Agency of Canada currently assesses the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada and for Canadian travellers.

Public health risk is continually assessed as new information becomes available. Updates on COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

At this time, all arenas and recreation facilities that we have spoken to are still open for activities.

We have not been ordered to pause the NCHL schedule.

We ask that all players and officials use judgment while attending games in the foreseeable future and follow the following recommended procedures.

• Practice frequent and meticulous hand-washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and/or sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow

• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

• Quarantine anyone who is sick (players, coaches, roommates etc.)

• Ensure safe food sources; thoroughly cook meat and eggs

• Handshake lines after games should include fist bumps with gloves on or elblow touches

• Use individual water bottles; do not share them

• Towels should not be shared in any way

Multiple hockey organization throughout the world have posted some guidelines for staying healthy on an off the ice. Dr. Michael Stuart from the Mayo Clinic, who is also a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation Medical Committee, has shared the importance that everyone follow the guidelines above and regularly visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization websites for additional information.

We are in constant communication with various forms of government and facility operators and will update you as soon as the situation changes.

At this time, all games are still scheduled to proceed as normal.

The NCHL – A Better Way to Play

5 Reasons You Can’t Miss Out On Summer Ice Hockey This Year In Calgary

Ice hockey is more than just a game, it is a lifestyle. If you don’t play summer hockey yet, you need to read this because you won’t be able to take another summer off!

#1 – Amazing Start Times

Did you know that games in the summer start and end much earlier than during the winter season? It is quite normal for hockey games to start around 8-9PM and sometimes even earlier during the summer season. Awesome right?

The reason for this is simple. There is no minor hockey taking place between the months of May and August, and this means all of the best ice times are available for us, the adults.

So if playing in the winter seems like working the graveyard shift, summer will feel amazing with the kinds of starts we are talking about. We the adults deserve good ice times too, right?

#2 – Only Once A Week

One day a week isn’t too much to ask is it? After all if you really love the game, you can spare one day out of your week to play it, right? Actually it is not even a day, it is mere hours.

Think about it, if your game starts at 8PM, you can be there at 7:45PM, dressed in 15 and hop on the ice for the warm up. Play for 75 minutes, hop off the ice, shower in 5 and you are back to the patio somewhere by 9:45PM. The night is young, party on!

Or if you are more like us, you showed up early for your game to meet the team for pre-gamers, take your time getting dressed, enjoy the game, hang out a bit more in the dressing room with everyone and then slowly transition into the parking lot with the team. The night is still young, you are in flip-flops and shorts with a cold one in one hand, a dog in another, what could be better?

This is your night, and the hall pass was issued a long time ago when you got your weekly summer schedule in May. The funny thing is, you will still roll home well past midnight, but you had way more quality time along the way. What’s not to love?!

Bonus, you still have 6 other days to do all the things you want to do in the summer, like golf, BBQ, softball, etc.

#3 – Zero Weekend Games

In the winter hockey season games can fall on any day of the week, including the weekends, which is ok. You probably won’t be going camping when it is -30° C outside.

Of course things are different in the summer. As soon as May Long hits, everyone is rushing out of the city to their favourite camp site. Understandable. Who wants to be cooped up when it is “warm” outside ;).

This is exactly why there are NO weekend games at all during the summer, including playoffs. Sweet! Now you can still play the game you love, go away on the weekend and enjoy the summer. Best of both worlds, right?

Are there games on Fridays since technically it is not the “weekend”, you ask? Nope. No games on Fridays. So you can safely plan your summer weekends starting now. All games will be played on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the summer ice hockey season.

#4 – Staying With It

Let us ask you this. How many times did you swear under your breath that is after you caught it during your first shift back on the ice and wished you would have never taken the summer off? Every year it becomes a bit harder to come back in mid-season shape if you don’t continue playing hockey in the summer.

What is worse, your hands aren’t getting any favours from your either. The timing is off, the legs are lead and so it continues until you get back to where you were before you stopped. Each year it takes a bit more time. But what if you never stopped?

We are not saying you suddenly will develop McDavid-esque type speed and your hands won’t be silky smooth like Johnny Hockey if you play summer hockey, but the decline will be slower and you won’t be swearing as much as you would have. The timing will still be there, your legs won’t feel like bricks and it wont take any time to get back on the horse, because you never got off it in the first place.

The other thing to consider which is maybe even more important is this. You camped all summer, golfed, BBQ’d and consumed conspicuous amounts of beer, may you be a prime candidate for a heart attack when you step back on the ice?

The mind is willing but the flesh is weak, as the saying goes. Lots of guys push themselves as hard as they did during the winter season on their first shift. Not smart if you did not play in the summer.

So don’t lose your hockey shape, don’t lose what little hockey skill you may have remaining 😉 and stay safe by playing summer hockey. Do yourself a favour, your body will thank you for it, even if it is only once a week.

#5 – Time For Yourself

If you are not yet convinced that you should not stop doing what you love during the summer hockey season consider this. Winters are busy, especially if you are coaching minor hockey like a lot of us do. If you are a head coach, hats off to you! It is busy, busy!

When do you get to enjoy yourself? In the summer. The weather is nice, the ice times are early, the beers are cold, games are only once a week and there are no weekend games. You can hang out with the gang, play the game you love without having to run around all over the place. So take back summer, and enjoy hockey. It is your time!

Bonus Reason #6

You probably know this one already, but the league fees are quite a bit less in the summer. Yes there are less games overall, but in absolute terms, it is much easier on your wallet to play summer hockey than winter hockey and that is a fact.

The playoffs are identical to winter, so right there you are getting a better value in the summer, no doubt. Heck, if you go all the way your team could get 3-4 bonus games to finish off the season, and if you are in the right division, go all the way to Provincials!

So let us ask you, is there a reason why you are not playing summer hockey this year? Please let us know, because the way we see it, there should be none!

Summer 2019 Playoff Schedules Posted – Calgary

Schedules for summer playoffs are now posted for all Calgary hockey divisions. Please follow the link to see yours. You will need to know where you finish in the standings to determine which game you will be playing.

Division 2

Division 3 (North)

Division 3 (South)

Division 4 (South)

Division 5 (South)

Divisions 6 (South)

Division 7 (North)

Divisions 7 (South)

Division 8 (North)

Divisions 8 (South)

Division 9 (North)

Divisions 9 (South)

Make Sure Your Hockey Team Is Registered For The Winter Hockey Season

August 1st is the deadline for team registration. We are working hard on picking up better ice slots for this winter hockey season and so far we’ve made great progress. Each year we strive to improve the overall hockey league schedule and this year is no different. Watch for more information in the coming weeks about this.

If you are a player who does not have a team to play for, jump to the bottom of this post to see how you can get on a team this winter.

Ask your team GM right now if they have set up your team on Breakout and provided the required deposit based on the schedule plan selected. Send them a text message or an email to confirm. Unfortunately we will not be able to accept any more teams after August 1st, 2019.

This is because we need enough lead time to build the schedule for the selection draft and unfortunately we will not be able to put your team in to the season unless your team GM registered the team in the Winter 2019-20 Hockey Season on Breakout.

But what does it actually mean? Do you have you have the whole team ready to go by August 1st? Not at all. We are simply asking your team GM to register the team on Breakout and cover the deposit.

The team GM will then have 60+ days to work out who will be playing on your team before season start, which is the first week in September. It is plenty of time! Heck you can probably start your own brand new team between now and then. We have seen it happen more than once. People just need to know there will be a team for them to play on, then they feel confidence to pay their fees.

It is easy to cover the deposit. Pay your own team fees, and get one or two more teammates to do the same. Just make sure your team GM invited you to the team invoice where you can make your payments. It would really help if you did that right now. Payments can be split into 2 or monthly installments.

Ok but what if we don’t have the whole team ready to go, you ask? That is ok, if you have a core of 10-11 players you can always pick up players down the road. There are new players moving into town all the time and it is hard for them to get on a team when they don’t know anyone here.

Or a team may fold and now there is an abundance of players looking to play winter hockey in a league. Typically there are hundreds of players looking for an ice hockey team to join each winter season.

How can you get them to play on your team? Simple, we have this handy, but secret, Facebook group where you can see which players are looking to play winter ice hockey. But to access it you need to ask us for the link. Players can join this group if they want to play on a hockey team in the NCHL or team GMs in the league can access it to pick up players.

We know how hard it is sometimes to find the last 1-2 players you need to complete the roster for the winter ice hockey season. This is why we made this group, but it is only for team GMs that have a team in the NCHL. The NCHL is the only league to offer this service to your team because we want to make it easier to make, run and manage ice hockey teams and save your team GM time.

We also have a list of players we can share with your team GM. They just need to email us, and we will forward him or her everyone’s names and a way to contact these players. We will also invite your team GM to be part of the Facebook group for your city. There is literally no good reason why your team can not play this winter season.

PLAYERS LOOKING FOR A HOCKEY TEAM TO PLAY IN THE WINTER HOCKEY LEAGUE

If you are a player looking for a team, please check out this page and get on the list so you can find a team to play for this winter!

TO SUMMARIZE, BY AUGUST 1ST

1. Set up your hockey team on Breakout

2. Invite all your players to the team invoice you created

3. Cover the deposit by paying your own team fees and getting one or two more players on your team to do the same

4. Spend the next 60+ days recruiting the rest of the team. Don’t forget to use our Facebook group and the list we can send you.

August 1st will be too late to register your team for winter hockey

August 1st is the deadline for team registration. If you are a player, jump to the bottom of this post to see how you can get on a team this winter.

So if you have not set up your team with us on Breakout and provided the required deposit based on the schedule plan you have selected it will be too late.

We need enough lead time to build the schedule for the selection draft and unfortunately we will not be able to put your team in to the season unless you are registered and are planning to play.

But what does it actually mean? Do you have you have the whole team ready to go by August 1st? Not at all. We are simply asking you to register the team on Breakout and cover the deposit.

You will then have 60+ days to work out who will be playing on your team before season start, which is the first week in September. That is plenty of time! Heck you can probably start a brand new team between now and then. We have seen it happen more than once. People just need to know there will be a team for them to play on, then they feel confidence to pay their fees.

It is easy to cover the deposit. Pay your own team fees, and get one more or two more players on the team to do the same. That should not be too hard should it? Here is where you can see the winter hockey league team fees.

Ok but what if I don’t have the whole team ready to play, you ask? That is ok, if you have a core of 10-11 players you can always pick up more players down the road. There are new hockey players moving into town all the time and it is hard for them to get on an ice hockey team when they don’t know anyone here.

Or a team may fold and now there is an abundance of players looking to play winter hockey in a league. Typically there are hundreds of hockey players looking for a hockey team to join each winter season. They could join yours!

How can you get them to play on your hockey team? Simple, we have this handy Facebook group for where you can see who is looking to play.

We also have a list of players we can share with you. You just need to email us and we will forward you everyone’s names and a way to contact them and invite you to be part of the Facebook group for your city.

PLAYERS LOOKING FOR A HOCKEY TEAM TO PLAY IN THE WINTER HOCKEY LEAGUE

If you are a player looking for a team, please check out this page and get on the list so you can find a team to play for this winter!

TO SUMMARIZE, BY AUGUST 1ST

1. Set up your hockey team on Breakout

2. Invite all your players to the team invoice you created

3. Cover the deposit by paying your own team fees and getting one or two more players on your team to do the same

4. Spend the next 60+ days recruiting the rest of the team. Don’t forget to use our Facebook group and the list we can send you.