Frequently Ask Questions

FastCounter by bCentral

When can I move to a different team?
What if I want to move to a different team during the Season?
What is a Commitment Fee and why was I ask for one at Tryouts?
What Forms or Documents do I need to play travel hockey?
Can I play on more than one team?
What level does a coach in Women’s hockey have to be?
Do I need to have hockey playing experience to play Tier-2 hockey?
What skills do I need to become an Ice Hockey Player?
What is Cross Ice?
Why Shouldn't I Pay All My Fees Early?
Stiff Penalties (5 minutes and a game)
Organization's Cost and Services Comparisons (and info about IRS 990 Forms). 


Q - When can I move to a different team?

A - In The Atlantic District, at the conclusion of Girl's and Women's Nationals, all Players are Free Agents and may choose to join any Team they wish.  Teams release all youth players at the end of the National Tournament provided they have met their financial obligation.  Many teams will not issue spring/summer tournament team releases before the end of the National Tournament. 

Other Districts may have different policies.  Under "Handouts", the Sound Shore Warriors 2003/2004 website provides a New York State Amateur Hockey Association, Inc., "Release Form" that states... "1. Player/Parent requesting release must have form filled out and approved by current Association President prior to skating in tryouts, practices or games for new Association".

Q - What if I want to move to a different team during the Season?

A - AYHL "In-Season" player movement policy / In-Season Player Movement/Release (Youth Only): Once a player/parent executes a playing agreement with a Member Club, that player shall be considered protected. That protection will be in effect through the Tier I National Championship. A written release will be required to move to any other Member Club. Any player that is issued an In-Season Player Release shall be subject to a 45 day “Cooling off” period. The player will not be eligible to participate with the new Club for a period of 45 days, commencing on the issued date of the In-Season Release or September 1 (which ever is later). The Releasing Club has the right to waive the “Cooling Off” period. The League Commissioner is empowered to provide partial or total relief of the “Cooling Off” period based on individual circumstances. All releases must be issued by the Club and the right to waive the "Cooling Off" period is at the Club's discretion. It is improper for the League to interfere with Club's decision to release or not to release a player. It is only in extreme cases that the League would consider a "Release" appeal. For example, if a family was relocating and the Club was refusing to release. 

[This should make it obvious why it's so important not to commit to a team before all options are explored and you are thoroughly satisfied you've made the best choice.]

Q - What is a Commitment Fee and why was I ask for one at Tryouts?

A - Some teams require "Commitment" Fees to be paid before trying out for their team.  It's not in the best interest of the Player to pay anything (other than the tryout fee, and then only in cash) before deciding if they want to commit to that team.  Once you hand a commitment check over or sign a contract/commitment, you are no longer a free agent and can not leave that team to join another without getting a Release (see What if I want to move to a different team during the Season?).

Q - What Forms or Documents do I need to play travel hockey?


If player is under 18, a parent must usually attend Tryouts and Registration unless they have made other arrangements with the organization.

* Generic USA Hockey Forms are available elsewhere on this website.

Q - Can I play on more than one team?

A - As of the 2002/2003 season, NO DUAL ROSTERING of Girls between Tier I and Tier II teams is allowed. So a female may not be on a Tier I roster AND a Tier II roster.

A player who is rostered on more than one National Bound Team must declare before December 31st, which team she will go to Nationals with.  (Note that some organizations do not allow a player to register, roster, and play with any other tournament bound USA Hockey association.)

A player may usually register, roster, and play on both a Nationals Bound team, school league team and in-house non-travel programs. 

Q - What level does a coach in Women’s hockey have to be?

A - Coaches of Women’s teams must obtain the following levels of accreditation in order to be a coach in good standing with the Atlantic District of USA Hockey: 

Minimum Classification Level
                Women’s 19 – Under     Advanced (Level-4)
                Women’s 15 – Under     Intermediate (Level-3)
                Women’s 12 – Under     Associate (Level-2)
                Women’s 10 – Under     Initiation (Level-1)

A Masters Level Coaching Certificate (Level-5) means nothing if the coach is not treating kids properly, teaching them, and running an effective organization by listening to players and parents, and taking the team in the direction they want.

Q - Do I need to have hockey playing experience to play Tier-2 hockey?

A - You should have at least one year of hockey experience (ice or in-line) with an in-house or community program prior to trying out for Tier-2 team. Check with local ice rinks or your school's athletic coaches for information.

Q - What skills do I need to become an Ice Hockey Player?

A - You should know something about what you are about to undertake. Perhaps you're an Ice Hockey fan and watch every game on TV you can. Perhaps you have a friend, brother, sister, or parent that has played. Or maybe you're an athlete who lives for the competition and excitement of athletics. Check with your local rink about games being played in your age group and go watch them. Talk to the players, coaches or spectators and ask questions.

You have to be willing to put the team's well being above your personal agenda. Ice hockey can severely cut into your social life and if you're already having difficulty with your school work, you may have a problem doing ice hockey too.

If winning wasn't important, they wouldn't keep score.  You have to be willing to contribute what you can, to the team, and be willing to watch and learn when a game situation is beyond your capabilities.

You have to be willing to break a nail and take bumps and bruises. As you condition your body for the sport, the aches and pains will lessen, but even the best trained athlete plays hurting, from time to time. 

Get all the ice time you can.  Public skating and open hockey let your body develop at your pace.  Hockey clinics and schools get you ice time and specialized training.  When in doubt, take the most basic clinics before progressing to the more advanced ones.  Basic clinics are less expensive and if you are really that much better then the rest of the students, many of the people running these clinics will take you aside and help you develop more advanced skills. Even if the clinic is just drills you've already done, it will strengthen you and give you confidence.

Q - What is Cross Ice?

A - USA Hockey is promoting Cross Ice for mini-mites and mite kids, eight and under, with the possibility of including squirts.  There's about eight to 10 kids per team. It gives younger developmental players more ice time and a chance to work on more skills. When you use the full rink, the kids go up and down the ice from one end to the other and you have a child four to eight years old skating the same length as a professional with the same puck and same net.

Research shows the average kid touches the puck 30 seconds a game. In the cross-ice program, they handle the puck even more.  Additionally, the cross-ice program will allow two or three games or practices to take place on the same ice surface which accommodates a lot more practice time and keeps the ice costs down.

Kids 8 and under are a little too young to cover the whole rink. It doesn't give you much time to teach the game to the child. It allows the kids to play on small surfaces and learn skills so they will gain more confidence.

Hockey is not rocket science. Its not all X's and O's and positioning and systems. The team with the skills are usually going to win. Cross ice puts the emphasis on skill development.

Q - Why Shouldn't I Pay All My Fees Early?

A - See the two articles following.  The first from, and the second from

Flyers Skate Zones Save Day For Medford Wild

Flyers Skate Zones offer free ice time to teams without a rink

The Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, Pennsauken and Northeast Philadelphia are helping out the Medford Wild Ice Hockey Association by donating free ice time to their member teams. The teams were left rinkless after the Medford Ice Rink closed on Monday, January 3.

To read more about this story, please visit Wednesday's Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Posted on Wed, Jan. 05, 2005 

Ice rink's closing shuts youth league out
Angry parents fear having to pay more money to go elsewhere. The Flyers have offered time on their ice.
By Rusty Pray
Inquirer Staff Writer

When Medford Ice Rink's doors were suddenly closed Monday, more than 200 young hockey players were left out in the cold.

Parents of members of the Medford Wild - a hockey association owned by the rink, with 204 skaters ages 8 to 18 - are angry because they have been left to scramble for ice time at other rinks for practices and games.

They face having to shell out more money after paying Medford Ice Rink $2,100 a child last summer to cover not only ice time but also uniforms and some equipment the skaters never received.

"It's a shame all these parents paid all that money and the kids don't have any uniforms," said Jody Pagliuso, a Medford resident who has three boys in the program.

The Flyers yesterday offered free time at their Skate Zones in Voorhees, Pennsauken and Northeast Philadelphia for Medford Wild teams to complete their schedules in the New Jersey Youth Hockey League.

"We plan to help," said Pat Ferrill, vice president for rinks and development at Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the Flyers. "We're just trying to do the right thing and keep the kids playing."

He said that would cover about 42 games - "a lot of ice time." The aid would not include practices or games not sanctioned by the league, although some rinks are offering the organization reduced rates. Ice-time fees vary according to the time of day, but a typical rental is $250 an hour.

Leonard Fox, the general partner of Mid-Atlantic Rink Associates, which is in the seventh year of a 15-year lease for the facility on Fostertown Road, said yesterday that the rink had been beset by equipment glitches, including a failed ice-refrigeration unit and a broken-down Zamboni that had rendered the ice unusable since mid-December.

Fox said the rink had been having financial problems for about a year and a half, and he acknowledged the rink's doors were locked primarily because the company could not pay its premium for liability insurance.

He said rising rental fees and other costs had contributed to the financial problems. "We're working diligently to try to get something working, but you still need resources," he said. "We have two problems: the business and seeing the kids finish their season."

Fox said he had lined up investors who could "help with short-term needs - but it's more than short-term problems."

The rink, built in 1997, would be profitable only if it added a second ice surface, he said, adding that "you can't make money with a single-sheet facility."

Fox outlined the rink's problems in an e-mail to parents and coaches late last month.

Sam Barisi, the building's owner, said he had begun eviction proceedings against Mid-Atlantic. He said that among other problems, Mid-Atlantic had been chronically late with rental fees.

Fox maintained that his company had never been more than 30 days behind in rent.

Barisi said a "number of entities" were interested in leasing or buying the building. "Hopefully, within the next 30 days, there's a strong possibility people will be skating again on that ice," he said.

But parents remained skeptical. "We really don't believe" the rink will reopen, Pagliuso said.

Contact staff writer Rusty Pray at 856-779-3894 or 
© 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved. 

A precursor to closing.  The Medford Ice rink allowed their domain name,, to expire on 12/11/2004... twenty-four days before locking their doors and essentially leaving parents and players with an incomplete season and without the ice they had paid for.  

Q - Stiff Penalties

5 minutes and a game penalty occurs in a league game and there are intervening non-league games before the next league game - Per The MAWHA on 1/5/05, Player must attend the next League Game, sign the score sheet, not play, and make themselves useful on the bench by opening and closing the doors. If there are intervening Non-League Games, Player must attend the next one and also sign the score sheet, and make themselves useful on the bench by opening and closing the doors, but must also serve the same penalty Copies of all score sheets (league and non-league) signed by a player serving a penalty must be forwarded by the team with the player serving the penalty to the League with a reference to the served penalty.  There is no longer a 60 mile rule whereby a player who has to travel 60 or more miles to comply with the preceding does not have to attend the game, sign the score sheet, and make them selves useful.  However... the league can consider the distance that would have to be traveled and waive or adjust the requirement(s) of the player attending and signing.  [This appears to be double jeopardy, in that a single game forfeiture penalty assessed by a referee, is actually be a two game forfeiture. Perhaps after The MAWHA gets everything together, this will change to something more reasonable.]

Organization's Cost and Services Comparisons  

It behooves a smart shopper to shop around.  Teams and organizations are very private and even secretive about their fees, dues, and extra expenses... and about specifying exactly what you can expect for your money.  Accurate side by side comparisons are are not available, so the following is offered as a suggestion of what you should be concerned about and want to compare between teams and organizations.

Costs are usually based on 17 paying players, so short teams (or organizations who field multiple short teams) could raise costs for everyone (usually in the form of unanticipated fundraisers or loss of ice time).  The ultimate source of costs and services is from printed documentation provided to you by the organization.  If you don't have it in writing, it can change... if the organization won't give it to you in writing, perhaps you should question their motive.

A 501-C-3 Nonprofit Corporations IRS Form 990 reveal reported Income and Expenses.  These tax returns are by law, public records.

For an ice hockey organization, Ice Rental should be the greatest expense (usually listed under Equipment Rental and Maintenance or Occupancy).  It's not difficult to call the organization's home rink, obtain the hourly rate for ice during the different rate periods (assume a 3-5%, or greater discount for larger organizations), and then work those figures into the number of teams, practice slots, and game slots.

When Uniforms are purchased through the organization (rather then by the player from the ProShop), they are often accounted for under Supplies Expenses.  If Franchised Logos are involved, individuals within the organization could be reaping personal profit from this line item (see A Not For Profit Organization can be a Profit Center for some individuals).

If you are familiar with an organization, it can be interesting to figure out how they accounted for that fund raiser or other income last year.

Another interesting thing is how many Officers (Board Members) are actually listed on the IRS Form 990 and how many of them you have ever met.  Some organizations have very few.  Do they hold elections or public meetings?  How are you and other parents represented, on the Board... or aren't you?

A Nonprofit Organization can be a Profit Center for some individuals.

An Interesting Observation.

Among eight Organizations during the 2003/2004 Season:

To aid in searching for IRS Form 990 on the internet:

- Philadelphia Little Flyers, EIN: 23-2176861 
- Delaware County Phantoms Youth Ice Hockey, EIN: 52-2023319 
- Springfield Quakers Ice Hockey, EIN: 22-2717253 
- Atlantic Metropolitan Hockey League Inc., EIN: 22-3249555 
- Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association, EIN: 23-7375622 
- Delaware Valley Hockey League Inc., EIN: 22-3067684 
- New Jersey Colonials Hockey Association Inc., Morris Township, NJ , EIN: 51-0427234 
- The Princeton Tiger Lilies, Mercer County (Incorporated name unknown. Formed in 1992. EIN unknown.)

Page Last Updated 03/23/2005

31 -  3/12/04, 33 - 3/13/04