House League Information


House League Information – Initiation (5/6) & Novice (7/8)

Welcome to South Winnipeg Hockey!

Welcome to all those who are returning and a warm welcome to the world of hockey for those joining us for the first time this year. We are pleased that you have chosen to register your child in hockey for the upcoming winter season.

The main objective of the South Winnipeg Hockey Association at the House League level is to ensure the kids have FUN. During the season, we also focus on developing the fundamental skills of hockey and being a team member.

1. Registration

As a condition of participation, at least one parent or guardian of each player registered in minor hockey in Winnipeg is required to complete the Respect in Sport – Parent Program.  This condition must be met before you are able to register your child for hockey.  The one-hour online course is a proactive, educational program that empowers parents with the tools to ensure the game is enjoyable and respectful for themselves, their children and all other stakeholders in the game. Note: You will be asked to provide your Respect in Sport Parents certificate number during SWHA player registration.

Note: If this is your child’s first year playing hockey with SWHA, you will also be asked to include your child’s birth certificate registration number during the registration process.

All parents, please review the Respect in Sport – Parent Program information.

For more information on how to register, please click here.

2. Preseason Skates – Introduction and Assessments

You’ve completed registration, what happens now?   The VP of House League and/or Age Convenor will send you an e-mail in early September advising you of your child’s preseason ice schedule.

Please note: The first ice times start on the second weekend in September.  The kids all require full equipment before then.  See below for Equipment guidelines.

The first few ice times are organized to provide players with an opportunity to go over some basic skills, participate in some hockey drills, and play fun games.  The objective of the first ice times is to get the kids excited about the coming year, to introduce potential coaches to the kids, and to assess each player’s skill level.

THIS IS NOT A TRY-OUT – Every player who registers for House League Hockey participates in these preseason skates.

Each child is assessed on their ability to skate, their ability to carry the puck, and their understanding of the game.

If you signed up to coach in some capacity, we welcome you on the ice during these sessions. (Everyone on the ice must wear a helmet, no exceptions).

3. Team Formation

Initiation (5/6) Team Formation

All 5/6 teams are created under the following parameters in order of importance:

1. Siblings are placed on the same team (unless caregivers request otherwise).

2.  The top ranked players play on separate teams to ensure all teams have one skilled player.

a)    If there are 6 teams the top 6 players are divided.

b)    If there are 4 teams the top 4 players are divided.

3.  The head coach and one assistant coach’s children are placed on the same team with the condition that it does not interfere with the second condition.

4.  One reciprocal friend request is allowed with the condition that it does not interfere with the second condition (the priority is to create balanced teams).

Please Note:  Reciprocal request means friends must request each other to avoid “chain requests” (ie. Tim requests Nick who requests John who requests Mary who requests Tim).

Friend requests should be made during the registration process, and we will do our best to accommodate all requests, however due to the number of players and the requirement of creating balanced teams we may not be able to honour all requests.

Novice (7/8) Team Formation

The Novice A, B and C teams will be formed by the VP of House League and Convenor using the results of the assessments.  The teams in each division (Novice A, B and C) will be balanced according to the skill level of the players.

Novice A

Starting in 2017/18, modifications to the Novice 7/8 program will see Hockey Winnipeg’s 8A1 program replaced with the Novice A division.  Players placed on a Novice A team will participate in a slightly more competitive league.  These teams typically practice more often, participate in more tournaments and will have higher ice fees than Novice B and Novice C teams.  A player who makes a Novice A team will need to pay an additional $120 on top of the Novice registration fee paid at registration (to be collected after team formation).

Players who are selected but do not want to play Novice A will be placed on a Novice B team.

4. The House League Season

The house league season begins in mid-late October.  Coaches will contact their players via e-mail shortly after teams are selected (ensure you check your e-mail inbox regularly).

Each House league team should expect to be on the ice 2-3 times a week, typically games and practices are scheduled on the weekend (between 7:30 AM & 10:30 AM starts). Occasionally teams may also have a week-day practice around the supper hour (days and times will fluctuate weekly based on available ice).

When outdoor ice is available each team will also be allocated one hour per week (usually 6:00-7:00pm) at one of the areas outdoor rinks.

SWHA teams typically participate in three tournaments during the year, the FGNHA indoor Christmas tournament at the end of December, the WHCC outdoor tournament in February, and the SWHA indoor tournament in March.

The House League Balanced Line Concept

SWHA House League (Initiation (5/6), Novice B, Novice C) follows a balanced line concept, which means that players are divided into two groups based on skilldeveloped and developing.  Each team has a developed line and a developing line.

The kids aren’t told which line they are on; they just know it’s their turn to play!

During games, the more developed players play against other developed players, and the developing players play against other developing players.  This approach ensures all players are given the opportunity to get into the play and touch the puck as much as possible helping to keep them engaged and to develop their skills.  Kids will have the opportunity to move between the developed and developing lines depending on how their skills progress over the course of the season.

Initiation (5/6) Games

A coach from each team will accompany players on the ice during the games. The coach acts as a guide, encouraging and coaching the kids in game situations.  The kids play 3 minute running time shifts.  No scores are kept and all kids rotate through all positions during the game (including goalie)

During the season, games are played on half ice, meaning that dressing rooms will be crowed as there are 4 teams on the ice at one time. The half ice games allow for more touches of the puck and so that players are always close to the play.

Novice (7/8) Games

A referee will be on the ice during games. The games will be played on a modified half ice surface for the first half of the season. There are no set goalies at the Novice B and Novice C level, every player gets the chance to suit up as goalie for at least 1 practice and game.

Further information on the 2017-18 changes to the Novice (7/8) program can be found here.

Other Information:


Your September registration fee only covers the fees related to league fees, game ice, preseason ice, jerseys, etc. Please click here for a listing of current fees.

Additional fees to pay for practices and tournaments are about $250 per player, depending on the number of practices/tournaments your team participates in. 

These additional fees are collected by the team treasurer throughout the year – usually half in November and the balance in January when fees for practice ice are due.

Your team can participate in fundraising events to help with the additional fees – each team is responsible for their own fundraising projects.


Standard Equipment List:

  • Helmet and Face Mask (with CSA label)
  • Mouth Guard
  • Throat protector
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Hockey Pants
  • Shin Pads
  • Gloves
  • Skates
  • Jock/Jill Protector
  • Stick
  • Hockey Bag
  • Water Bottle
  • Practice Jersey
  • Hockey Socks

Please do not buy equipment that is too large with the idea that it will last for several seasons.  If the equipment doesn’t fit properly, it will not provide the protection it was designed for, and injuries will result.

Mouth guards are mandatory.  Mouth guards protect the teeth and provide a cushion that has been shown to lessen the risk of concussion following a blow to the head or neck.

Throat protectors are mandatory and must bear the BNQ insignia.

When buying a hockey stick please make sure that it is a junior stick, as the shaft is smaller to accommodate little hands. Proper stick length can be determined by placing the toe of the blade on the ice between the skates, with the shaft running up the player’s body. The top of the shaft should touch the player’s face between the chin and the tip of the nose.

Hockey Canada Equipment Poster

Hockey Canada Equipment Tips (excerpt from Safety Requires Teamwork Booklet, 2016-17)


Even with little hockey experience, you can help make your child’s season successful.  Please consider helping out – you’d be surprised how much you can learn and how much more fun the season can be when you participate with your child.  Please make your intention known to the VP of House League (Richard Morin, and the Director of Coach Development (Ian Perreault,

Coaching applications are available here.

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