News / Calgary

Calgary minor hockey testing league with no standings or playoffs

Three minor hockey associations are offering youngsters a chance to play in a league that doesn’t keep track of standings, individual statistics or host playoffs.

The year-long pilot program — familiar to some as house-league hockey —  will be available to city players at the novice and atom levels.

Hockey Calgary executive director Kevin Kobelka said the goal is to "indoctrinate" players in Canada’s favourite game. He admitted: “The standard, traditional model isn’t keeping everybody in the game.”

“We’re finding people are shying away from hockey because of the time commitment and cost commitment,” Kobelka told Metro.

Players under 11 years old would hit the ice twice per week, which is roughly half of their community-level colleagues. Parents would also save an estimated $300 to $400, according to Kobelka.

West-side associations Glenlake, Trails West and Springbank have signed on for the inaugural test run. Officials hope to get at least two or three teams from each club to play each other.

It’s clearly not for everyone.

Hockey mom Tonalee Andrews has a 10-year-old boy who craves the competitive game and loves playing in tournaments.

“He’s a real sports nut,” Andrews said. “Maybe in a few years house hockey may be better — we know most kids aren’t going to the NHL, so it’s not that.”

“I like playing and winning,” chimed in Aaron, who currently suits up for Trails West.

Kobelka hopes players will move on to play in a more traditional community stream after getting a taste for the game.

Fast facts:  

  • Calgary's house hockey season would span early October to February.
  • Players would be placed on teams through a one-day tryout.
  • Bow River offers an independent novice house league, which will be expanded next season to include atom-level players.

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