HOME ICE ADVANTAGE | SET YOUR HOCKEY TEAM UP WITH SWEET ICE TIMES THIS WINTER SEASON
Winter hockey season is just around the corner, and we all know how hard it is to get good ice times. Minor hockey has precedence, and for good reason. Kids can’t go to bed at midnight on a school night during the hockey season.
That being said, what would you say if we told you, you could pick your best ice times for this winter hockey season? How? It is simple. The NCHL is the only adult hockey league offering home ice schedule options to teams. We believe everyone wants choice.
But, everyone also wants something different, and as the famous quote goes – “trying to please everyone, pleases no one”.
So we came up with the fairest possible way to ensure you get what you want. (we will get to how it all works a little later on)
This winter season you have two amazing schedule options, Home Ice and Home Ice Premium. They are mostly similar, but are different in one big way.
Why choose a home ice schedule for this winter season? Do you want to have at least half (could be more) of your games on the same night, at the same time and the same rink for the whole season? If you said yes, this is for you.
It sure makes life easier when you can drive to the rink in 5-10 minutes and know the night of the week to block for hockey in your schedule. (sure away games will be on a different schedule, but when you are at home, you know where you play and when for the whole season, though realignment is still possible).
And, if teams in your division are realigned, or your team is, you get to take your home ice schedule with you*. No one else offers this.
The Home Ice Advantage
- Choose your rink – 50% (or more) of your games will be played here
- Choose your day – 50% (or more) of your games will be played on this day of the week
- Choose your time – 50% (or more) of your ice games will be played at this time of the day
- 50% or more (we always try to give you more if we can) of your games will be at the same rink, at the same time on the same night
- Portable* – your home ice follows you in case of realignment in the league (not the case for other schedule options)
*(if for some reason we are not able to make this happen, you will be credited on a pro-rated basis for games out of home ice schedule)
Home Ice Premium vs Home ICE
Like we mentioned before, there are two schedule options that give you the Home Ice Advantage, they are mostly similar but are different in one very important way.
When you choose Home Ice Premium you get priority over Home Ice teams when it comes to selecting your home ice for the season. Let us explain how it all works.
Sometime in the middle of August (after the team registration has closed) we will hold a Home Ice Schedule Selection Draft.
This is where all teams that bought the home ice schedule packages get to choose their ice times.
Before the draft we will send out all available ice time to you, the Team GM. This will give you time to go through what is available (it changes from year to year as we pick up great ice times) and rank your selection.
You should be ready to pull the trigger at the draft without delay and snag the ice times you think is best for your team at that time. (we want to minimize deliberations at the draft for a smooth process).
At the draft we will start with the Home Ice Premium teams first. Here is the big difference between Home Ice and Home Ice Premium schedule options.
The Home Ice Schedule Selection Draft
Home Ice Premium teams will go ahead of Home Ice teams even if they registered after them (though if you chose Home Ice, or any other package, you can upgrade on the spot to preserve your place in line and grab the ice time you have your eye on)
To make things fair, we go by the registration order of teams. Home Ice Premium teams have the right of way, ahead of Home Ice teams. The very first Home Ice team will select their ice time, then it will go to the second team and so on, until all Home Ice Premium teams have selected their ice times.
Being early out of the gate when we open team registration (in May, no payment needed to register) helps you be at the top of the list! (and if you are number 1 you get the first overall pick and the best available ice time)
Once all the Home Ice Premium teams have selected their home ice, we go back through the registration list in the same order. First Home Ice team will pick their slot, then second, and so on, until all ice times have been selected.
So you are taking a bit of a chance your ice time will still be there if you choose Home Ice (but you pay a little less because you are later in line). And yes you can also downgrade to Regular (though not Budget, where applicable) if you don’t like what is left on the board.
In previous years we did it in person, but in the last few it, was via video. We hope to return to in person events this year.
After the Home Ice Schedule Selection Draft is complete, we are able to build the master league schedule, and send selections to the Regular teams. As soon as we receive everyone’s picks we can publish the winter hockey season schedule online for the whole season and for everyone to see.
Choose one of the home ice options if you value being able to play majority of your game close to home, on the same day at the same time.
Choose Home Ice Premium if you want to have the most selection at the Home Ice Schedule Selection Draft.
Choose Home Ice if you want to save a little bit of money, still value playing majority of your games close to home, on the same day and at the same time and don’t mind taking the chance your ice time may not be in the list at the draft.
Your home ice follows you* if there is realignment into a different division, or if teams are moved into your division during the season.
Choose Regular if you don’t care about any of the things above, you want to save money and don’t care where and when you play. (you still get to choose your schedule, but it could change during the season significantly).
What Was the League Schedule Last Winter Hockey Season?
If you have any questions about these two incredible schedule options, please contact us and we will be happy to assist!