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.

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

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.

Are you throwing away $400!?

Imagine you have $400 in your pocket. What could you do with that money? Would you throw it away? Well, this is what is exactly about to happen in a few days. You will be throwing away up to $400.

“Wait, wait, wait, how am I throwing away up to $400?” By not having your team registered on Breakout for the winter hockey season! Teams that are registered in the month of May, will get extra 30 days to receive that Early Bird credit. Returning Team and Early Bird credits can add up to $400.

The best part is you don’t even need to pay anything to get the extension. Just let your fingers do the work, a couple of taps on your phone screen or the keyboard and you can easily join the winter hockey season on Breakout. It will literally take 1 minute of your day to do it, but will give you 30 extra days to bring your team invoice to zero.

But you say: “Ah I don’t know, the team might not go this winter, I don’t know if I have enough players …” or something similar. We get it, being a GM is a tough business, always be recruiting, right? (have you heard of the secret FreeAgent Facebook group where you can pick up players for the season, that is only available to NCHL GMs?)

This is why if the team does not go, simply leave the winter season or delete the team on Breakout, no sweat off your back. What is the downside? That is right, there is none.

So go online or on your app right now, before you forget, and join the Winter 2019-20 Season on Breakout with your existing team, or make a new one. Then pat yourself on the back for making a smart decision!

By the way if you already registered your team for the winter hockey season, you are awesome and we thank you! Welcome back to the NCHL – A Better Way to Play!

P.S. Teams that register by midnight (MST) May 31st, 2019 will get an Early Bird credit extension until end of day August 1st, 2019.

Lets play hockey, because, the alternative is unthinkable!

This post contains relevant information for NCHL Grande Prairie league only – Updated May 27th, 2019

Are you throwing away $600?

Imagine you have $600 in your pocket. What could you do with that money? Would you throw it away? Well, this is what is exactly about to happen in a few days. You will be throwing away up to $600.

“Wait, wait, wait, how am I throwing away up to $600?” By not having your team registered on Breakout for the winter hockey season! Teams that are registered in the month of May, will get extra 30 days to receive that Early Bird credit. Returning Team and Early Bird credits can add up to $600.

The best part is you don’t even need to pay anything to get the extension. Just let your fingers do the work, a couple of taps on your phone screen or the keyboard and you can easily join the winter hockey season on Breakout. It will literally take 1 minute of your day to do it, but will give you 30 extra days to bring your team invoice to zero.

But you say: “Ah I don’t know, the team might not go this winter, I don’t know if I have enough players …” or something similar. We get it, being a GM is a tough business, always be recruiting, right? (have you heard of the secret FreeAgent Facebook group where you can pick up players for the season, that is only available to NCHL GMs?)

This is why if the team does not go, simply leave the winter season or delete the team on Breakout, no sweat off your back. What is the downside? That is right, there is none.

So go online or on your app right now, before you forget, and join the Winter 2019-20 Season on Breakout with your existing team, or make a new one. Then pat yourself on the back for making a smart decision!

By the way if you already registered your team for the winter hockey season, you are awesome and we thank you! Welcome back to the NCHL – A Better Way to Play!

P.S. Teams that register by midnight (MST) May 31st, 2019 will get an Early Bird credit extension until end of day August 1st, 2019.

Lets play hockey, because, the alternative is unthinkable!

This post contains relevant information for the Calgary, and Edmonton leagues only – Updated May 27th, 2019

Are you throwing away $500!?

Imagine you have $500 in your pocket. What could you do with that money? Would you throw it away? Well, this is what is exactly about to happen in a few days. You will be throwing away up to $500.

“Wait, wait, wait, how am I throwing away up to $500?” By not having your team registered on Breakout for the winter hockey season! Teams that are registered in the month of May, will get extra 30 days to receive that Early Bird credit. Returning Team and Early Bird credits can add up to $500.

The best part is you don’t even need to pay anything to get the extension. Just let your fingers do the work, a couple of taps on your phone screen or the keyboard and you can easily join the winter hockey season on Breakout. It will literally take 1 minute of your day to do it, but will give you 30 extra days to bring your team invoice to zero.

But you say: “Ah I don’t know, the team might not go this winter, I don’t know if I have enough players …” or something similar. We get it, being a GM is a tough business, always be recruiting, right? (have you heard of the secret FreeAgent Facebook group where you can pick up players for the season, that is only available to NCHL GMs?)

This is why if the team does not go, simply leave the winter season or delete the team on Breakout, no sweat off your back. What is the downside? That is right, there is none.

So go online or on your app right now, before you forget, and join the Winter 2019-20 Season on Breakout with your existing team, or make a new one. Then pat yourself on the back for making a smart decision!

By the way if you already registered your team for the winter hockey season, you are awesome and we thank you! Welcome back to the NCHL – A Better Way to Play!

P.S. Teams that register by midnight (MST) May 31st, 2019 will get an Early Bird credit extension until end of day August 1st, 2019.

Lets play hockey, because, the alternative is unthinkable!

This post contains relevant information for NCHL Richmond league only – Updated May 27th, 2019

Bringing Your Team Invoice To Zero

We always talk about bringing your team invoice to zero and how important that is for making sure you receive your credits. But what does it exactly mean? Lets have a look at some examples.

When you first register the team on Breakout or join the next season in the NCHL and then create a team invoice it will show two types of balances on it. Current balance and future balance. Balances can be negative, zero, or positive. Negative balance means you have a credit because your players paid more than needed, zero means your team is paid up and positive balance (denoted in red) means the team still owes for the season.

Current Balance = Team Fees – All Payments Received To Date

 

Current balance is pretty simple, this is what is owed by the team after all player payments actually received by the league have been subtracted from the total of the team fee including tax, minus any credits, plus any charges added. Charges can be added for late fees, but also for things like refunding a player that has left the team because we need to account for that payment. Credits can be added to the team invoice because you had an over payment from a previous season, or if a payment was made outside of Breakout, to reflect the current state of team payments.

Future Balance = Team Fees – All Payments Received To Date & To Be Received In The Future

 

Future balance is a bit more tricky, but it follows the same logic. The difference is, you may have players who have signed up for payments, (two or monthly payments), and that money will be coming off their credit cards in the future. We count this money as if it was already paid towards the team fees to calculate the future balance. So for example if you have a player who was assigned $600 and chose six monthly payments of $100, we would reduce the future balance by the full $600 instead of just the $100 made as the first payment.

View From Breakout’s Perspective

 

Here is what it looks like on Breakout. One invoice has a positive future and current balances, which means the team still owes money and the other shows a negative current and future balance. The second team is fully paid up  and has an overpayment (based on the current balance figure).

The overpayment can go towards their next season, remain on account or be refunded to you as the team GM. The league of course can not refund anything above the current balance if it is negative, simply because the future payments have not yet been received.

This invoice shows a positive current and future balance – the team still owes fees.

This invoice shows a negative current and future balance – the team has a credit that can be applied to the next season, remain on account or be refunded to the team GM provided all future payments have been actually received by the league. In the end current balance should equal future balance once all payment have been collected from players. The league can’t issue a refund for money that is yet to be received.

So if your future balance is at zero or is a negative number by the credit deadlines listed here, your team will be eligible to receive the credits based on the schedule plan you selected. Some plans do not have credits.

15 Days Left To Register Your Hockey Team For Winter Season

HEADS UP – WINTER HOCKEY REGISTRATION IS ABOUT TO CLOSE

Winter is coming. And we are hard at work. Getting ready to start the hockey season on the right foot and on time. As of today, there are only 15 days before team winter hockey registration closes. After August 1st, 2018 we will not be able to accept any more teams for winter. This means you need to set up the team on Breakout today, but you don’t have to have the full team fees paid yet. Just the deposit. Which is super simple, it is your own fees (after all you will be playing, no?) and 2-3 other players paid in full.

By the way if you already paid your team deposit, this you can see on your team invoice on Breakout, you are good! And since you are so organized (which we love) consider starting a club team for winter.

SEASON STARTS IN 50 DAYS

Yes. It is hard to imagine. But winter hockey season will be starting soon. It all starts right after the Labor Day weekend. Or precisely in 50 days from today, which is not much time. Not much time at all, to finalize ice bookings, build the master hockey schedule for Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Richmond. To figure out parity and placement for hundreds of hockey teams playing in the NCHL this winter. And there are team season schedules to build, select and publish. Lots of work. So if you have yet to register your team, please do it today! This will help a lot with speeding up the process of publishing your schedule for the whole season on time.

HELP US HELP YOU

Each season we try to do our best to build and release the master hockey schedule on time. If there is one thing wrong in the information we have received from your team it delays the release of the schedule for everyone. So if you are a division 10 team, but chose division 1 by accident on Breakout, the winter hockey might as well be a write off if you had to play in div 1. We want to avoid this case as much as you do. Imagine if more than one team does this, well it piles up and it takes longer and longer to figure out the whole schedule for the rest of the year. The schedule is now late! We want to avoid this and publish it on time. You can help. Please make sure your information is completely accurate on Breakout for your team settings.

PLENTY OF TIME TO HERD THE CATS

That all being said, there is still plenty of time to organize a team. In fact most of your players or potential players may not be thinking about hockey yet. For them 50 days is a long time and we can appreciate that. So what is the best course of action for a GM stuck between the rock of time and a hard place of needing to make a decision? Ask yourself this. Are you better off playing hockey this winter or not?

GET THE LAY OF THE LAND

Do a quick survey of your teammates. If you have 9 other solid yeses you are well on your way and your hockey team will happen at a 90% certainty. We know this from experience, it is a question of confidence. If no one believes a team is a go it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. People loose confidence and it all unravels. On the other hand if your teammates believe that your hockey team will happen they are much more likely to say yes and sign up to play with you.

YOU SHOULD TRY THIS

Try this. Set up the team on Breakout, join the winter 2018-19 hockey season and set up the team invoice. We recommend 15-18 players on your paid roster. Once the team invoice is ready, add your players to it. Pay your own team fees, this part is easy, right? Now get 2-3 other players to do the same and presto the team is happening!

IT’S SAFE

By the way, we are not here to make people playing with us. We want your hockey experience to be exceptional, so if you get to a point where the team is just not happening and you paid the deposit, we will work with you. Even though the deadline for deposit refunds is 45 days before the start of the season, we review each situation on a case by case basis. And can easily refund your deposit if you were not able to get beyond signing up those first 2-3 players. We just don’t want teams who have committed to us and paid to pull out last minute, this really screws up the schedule for everyone else. Time is needed to adjust in a case like this.

FOR PLAYERS

Most of this info is not very relevant to you as a player. But there is one thing that is. You can help your team GM ensure the team is happening for winter. It is simple. Pay your own fees once you are invited to sign up on Breakout. And, you have plenty of choices for payment. You can do one, two or monthly payments and as of the time of this writing you can split your season fees into 6 payments. Ok, there is one more thing you can do to help your team GM. Every rec hockey team picks up 1-2 new players each season to round out the roster. If your team is looking for more players, which is usually the case, see if you can help with getting a friend on your team! Ask the GM first though.

P.S. If you already registered your hockey team and paid your deposit for winter, you are awesome! We thank you! Please keep up the good work and get all your players paid up in full or signed up on payments as soon as possible!

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