House League Update - Games, Structure and Programming, News (Waterloo Ravens Girls Minor Hockey Association )

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House League Update - Games, Structure and Programming
Submitted By Ryan Terpstra on Wednesday, October 28, 2020
House League programming for WGMHA has been setup and is currently underway for all age groups. Much of the structure of this season is due to the restrictions and protocols that are needed for Covid-19. This article is a way to inform HL about some of the things they can expect this season. Have things changed since the Zoom meetings you had? Yes.

Training Group (TG): This is defined as a group of players that practice together. They may or may not all be in the same Extended Group but they must be in the same Practice Bubble. The limit of 25 on ice is what restricts the size of the TG. 

 We have no teams this season. What you think of as a team is called a Playing Group.

Playing Groups (PG): U8 and U9 will have PG's set at 9-10 players each but their current Training Groups will remain unchanged (your practices will not change as they are running now). U11 to U22 PG's will be the Training Groups already set, meaning TG's remain intact as they are now and simply transfer into PG's. U11 to U22 PG's were targeted to be 18 players, but with players de-registering, they are now averaging 14 players. 

Games: Current limits are NMT 10 players for a 4v4 game. 3 staff max (Waterloo games). This means, with an average roster of 14 for U11 to U22 HL PG's, we need to rotate through the players who will be sitting for each game. The Head Coaches are aware of this and will be coordinating the rotation. They will do everything to try and fairly balance ice time for all players, but we also need your support. If you cannot make a game you need to let the coach know in a timely fashion so another player can be contacted and fill the '10 per game'. Our initial intention was to run back-2-back games and split 9 and 9 for teams of NMT 18 players, but playing numbers do not support this anymore. It is also not easy for the player to play in two back-2-back games with the higher level of exertion required to play 4v4 with no stoppages in play.

Intra-squad Games: With the situation of sitting players in games, we are setting some practice/games to intra-squad games. This would mean the practice hour becomes a game for the PG or TG. The idea is that coaches run a game, self-reffed, and invite additional players (goalie and skaters) to fill 18 for the game. This will allow more opportunity to get games in and encourage unity amongst the Extended Group. This season is about fun and playing hockey a bit different, but it's still hockey! Ravens socks and jerseys for these games. The amount of Intra-squad games is based on the age group. The higher the age group, the more intra-squad games are permitted. Coaches have been informed. The reason is practice is more important at the younger ages. 

Extended Groups: This is defined as the Playing Groups (aka 'teams'), that you play. An Extended Group cannot exceed 50 players total. We are doing either all-Waterloo Extended Groups, or Waterloo + other centres PG's coordinated by the KGLL. Here are the setups:
  • U8 will have 2 Ravens PGs + PGs outside Waterloo
  • U9 Tiered will have 1-2 evenly-tiered Ravens PGs + tiered PGs outside Waterloo
  • U9 will have 1-2 Ravens PGs + PGs outside Waterloo 
  • U11 will have 2 Ravens PGs + 1 PG outside Waterloo
  • U13 will have 3 Ravens PGs
  • U15 will have 3 Ravens PGs
  • U18 will have 3 Ravens PGs
  • U22 will have 1 Ravens PG + 2 PGs outside Waterloo
Practice Bubble: This is defined as a group of 50 players permitted to practice together. It can be different from the Extended Playing Group. They are not permitted to scrimmage or play games unless the Practice Bubble = the Extended Group (same 50). This is because social distancing should be maintained during practices when Extended Group ≠ Practice Bubble. Therefore, the following are permissible with our setup:
  • U8, U11, U13, U15, U18, U22 may all practice and play intra-squad games as they are in the same Extended Group and Practice Bubble. Since the Extended Group = Practice Bubble, you may call-up a player from another PG to join your intra-squad game, or play in a game. 
  • U9 TG's will practice together, but no scrimmages or game-play during Training Group practices (Except the U9 Tiered TG). There can be no call-ups for games outside your Extended Group; no exceptions. Reason: U9 TG's include players from U9 and U9 Tiered, which will be in different Extended Groups. 

Additional Programming coming:

EX "Extended" HL:
 We have had a lot of requests and interest to 'have more' for HL players. With DS programming being highly unlikely we are going to be offering additional programming for those interested from U11 to U18, where we traditionally have DS. These will offer additional practice hours run by our DS coaches previously selected and assisted by other coaches in your division. This will be at an additional fee. It will consist of a weekly practice or intra-squad game. More details will be coming shortly. U13 EX is running a 'mini' training program in November (4 ice times) as a start to this. News article posted 27Oct2020. Numbers will be limited to what we can allow in a TG or in a PG, so participation will be on a first-come, first serve basis.

U9 Tiered: This is now up and running. The Tiered program had an additional fee with 1 extra ice time per week. The current Training Groups for all U9 players will remain unchanged, but another ice time for just the U9 Tiered TG has been added for extra practices / intra-squad games. The U9 Tiered TG was limited to 18 players.


We realize this season is confusing, different, and you have concerns. Things do change daily with hockey at this time. We have to adjust plans accordingly. I can assure you WGMHA is doing all it can to keep us on the ice and keep hockey fun for the kids, and that is what it's all about: 
For the Kids, For the Game, For the Fun of it! 

My plea: Regardless of what your personal thoughts are on masks, and Covid-19, please follow the arena protocols. Consider the 550+ Ravens that are playing hockey and what it means to them to keep playing... we are doing a great job at it so far!


Ryan Terpstra
Director of House League, Waterloo Ravens

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