Tournaments

Tournaments are an extremely important part of the minor hockey experience for both parents and players alike. They provide an excellent team building opportunity, allow Parents time to mix and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere and, even when unsuccessful, provide lifetime memories for those involved.

Tournaments, however, do add a great deal to the overall cost of minor hockey for a family. Aside from rising tournament fees due to ever-increasing ice costs, travel and accommodation costs can have a significant financial impact on some families; especially, when more than one child is involved in sport activity. This must be considered carefully when establishing your season tournament schedule with your Parents.

Normally, it is suggested that teams between the Novice and Bantam at the House League level enter a minimum of three tournaments over the course of the season – two at home and one away. For Competitive teams, five tournaments – three at home and two away – are suggested. These numbers may be exceeded with the approval of the parents and advance written permission of the Association.

At the House League level, the search for tournaments usually begins immediately after the team is formed. Finding good ones to fit your schedule and your budget is a collaborative effort among the Team Manager, Coaching staff and Parent group some of whom may provide a wealth of experience based on the participation of older siblings in previous years.

As a result of your earlier Parent Meeting, you should have reached agreement on the number and general location of tournaments (i.e. “2 Ottawa and 1 Toronto” or “2 local and 1 within a 5 hour driving distance” etc.) you wish to attend during the season. For House League teams, it is also important to establish whether or not you will attend any “contact” (i.e. body-checking) tournaments. If the intention is to do so, it is important to have such parameters clearly established prior to beginning your tournament search as there are simply too many permutations and combinations to consider without.

A travel permit must be completed and signed by the O.M.H.A. President, District Chairman or Branch Chairman as the case may be, for all teams travelling out of the ODMHA Branch for tournaments.

Sanctioned Tournaments

Any tournament you register for must be sanctioned by a Hockey Canada approved association. For example, all tournaments held in the ODMHA geographic boundaries, MUST be sanctioned by the Ottawa District Minor Association (ODMHA).

Note that if your team enters a tournament that is NOT officially sanctioned, the implications are:

  • The coaching staff and players are subject to suspensions; and,

  • The players and team officials are not insured under Hockey Canada’s insurance policy.

Tournaments within the ODMHA

For tournaments within the ODMHA, visit the ODMHA branch website – www.odmha.on.ca – and select either the House League or Competitive Tournament tab on the top bar. You may then identify both your Division (Novice, Atom, Peewee, Minor Bantam etc.) and your Category (A, B, C or Rep B). You will now be provided with a full listing of sanctioned ODMHA tournaments and their dates. Select a tournament listed and you will be brought to a page providing tournament contact information. Contact the Tournament Director via the contact information provided, indicate your interest and enquire as to registration process.

For tournaments outside of the ODMHA, it is easiest to search the website of or contact directly by phone the Minor Hockey Association of the area to which you are considering to travel; for example, Pickering Minor Hockey Association for tournaments in the Pickering area or Kingston Minor Hockey Association for tournaments in the Kingston area. If they themselves are not hosting a tournament suitable to your needs, they may lead you on to other Associations who are.

Most Associations hosting tournaments will have websites that they will direct you to from which tournament information and the applicable registration forms may be downloaded, completed and mailed back with the payment enclosed. Some more advanced tournaments (i.e. those that take place at the Sensplex) have online registration available requiring immediate payment by credit card at the time of registration.

As a minimum, the following is required to be submitted with an ODMHA tournament registration –

  1. A completed tournament registration form identifying –
  • The name of the team
  • The home association
  • The Division and Category of the Team
  • The name and telephone number of the Coach
  • The name and telephone number of the team contact (normally, the Team Manager)
  • Indication of both Home and Away sweater colours
  • A complete roster of the team indicating sweater number, last name, first name
  1. A cheque or bank draft in the name indicated on the registration form and covering the full amount of the tournament registration fee

  2. A copy of the Official Team List (if not available at the time of registration, a copy must be provided upon arrival at the tournament to the Tournament Director) (see Appendix 13 – Tournament Checklist)

Note: Fewer and fewer tournaments are accepting post-dated cheques every year due to demand. Do not assume that because the tournament is a number of months away, post-dated cheques will be accepted. If not specifically addressed within the tournament registration information, contact the Tournament Director to verify requirements.

Tournaments outside of the ODMHA

As a minimum, the following is required to be submitted with for registration in a tournament outside of the ODMHA boundary –

1.A completed tournament registration form identifying –

  • The name of the team
  • The home association
  • The Division and Category of the Team
  • The name and telephone number of the Coach
  • The name and telephone number of the team contact (normally, the Team Manager)

  • Indication of both Home and Away sweater colours

  • A complete roster of the team indicating sweater number, last name, first name

  1. A cheque or bank draft in the name indicated on the registration form and covering the full amount of the tournament registration fee

  2. A copy of the Official Team List (if not available at the time of registration, a copy must be provided upon arrival at the tournament to the Tournament Director)

  3. An ODMHA Application for Travel Permit signed by the OMHA President and the ODMHA District Chairperson (see Appendix 14 – Application for Team Travel Permit (Domestic)). To obtain an authorized Permit, fill out three copies of the Application (one for you, one for your association and one for your District Chair). Give all three copies to your Association President for signature. After his signature, you must provide all copies to the District Chair for signature. Upon receipt of that signature, a fully executed copy will be returned to you for your records. The other two will be filed with your Association and the District, respectively.

Note: Do not leave Permit authorization to the last minute. It could take a couple of days or, depending on availability, a week to get all of the forms signed off.

For some tournaments outside of the ODMHA, registration will only be accepted from out of town teams if they utilize hotels identified by the tournament.

Tournaments in the U.S.

Travel for tournament play in the U.S. requires consideration of a number of different factors which do not come into play for domestic tournaments –

As of June 1st, 2009, travel for Canadians to the U.S. requires all individuals to have a valid passport. This must be taken into account when considering registration to tournaments in the U.S. as not all players or family members may not have the required documentation. Having to acquire such may substantially increase the price of participation in such a tournament for a Canadian family.

Many Canadian Health plans, including that provided under the CHA, do not cover medical attention, if required, during travel abroad. Others have severe limitations on such coverage. It is thus recommended that additional insurance coverage be obtained by for players and family members attending a team event in the U.S. Such may be done on an individual basis or through Group insurance coverage. Families comprising separated or divorced parents who share guardianship or custody of the player concerned must obtain written permission from the individual with whom they share custody with in order to allow them to take the player across the border. (see Appendix 15 - Consent to Travel Abroad Parent/Guardian Letter)

As a minimum, the following is required to be submitted for registration in a tournament within the U.S. –

  1. A completed tournament registration form identifying –
  • The name of the team
  • The home association
  • The Division and Category of the Team
  • The name and telephone number of the Coach
  • The name and telephone number of the team contact (normally, the Team Manager)
  • Indication of both Home and Away sweater colours
  • A complete roster of the team indicating sweater number, last name, first name
  1. A cheque or bank draft in the name indicated on the registration form and covering the full amount of the tournament registration fee

  2. A copy of the Official Team List (if not available at the time of registration, a copy must be provided upon arrival at the tournament to the Tournament Director)

  3. A USA Hockey & Hockey Canada Travel Permit signed by the OMHA President and the ODMHA District Chairperson (see Appendix 16 - USA Hockey & Hockey Canada Travel Permit)

Note: May tournaments now request copies of game sheets from your last five games – sometimes at the time of registration or at the time of signing in before the first tournament game. It is for this reason that it is important to keep at least your five (5) most recent game sheets within your team binder at all times.

Body Checking

The GHA House League is a non-body checking League. House League teams wishing to participate in body checking exhibition games and tournaments may do so after completing a body checking clinic conducted by an Instructor recognized by the OMHA with the advanced written permission of the OMHA.

Upon Arrival at the Tournament

Upon arrival at a tournament, the Team Manager’s first responsibility is to register the team’s arrival at the Tournament Registration Desk.

It is at this time that you will be asked to produce a copy of your Official Team List and, if an away tournament, a copy of your authorized Travel Permit. Many tournaments require that they retain a copy of both documents as part of the tournament sanctioning requirements. Thus, aside from retaining copies within your Team Binder, it is always good to make copies in advance for the Tournament Desk and to simply provide them upon arrival.

In Quebec, it is common practice for teams to have to provide their Team Binder to the Tournament Desk who retain it for the duration of the Tournament. Don’t panic – it will be returned intact. Sometimes, prizes are even awarded for the best organized!

The Tournament Desk will assign you your dressing room. It may provide you with a key for securing it or it may assign a member of the tournament committee to secure the room for you. It is important in such situations that during a game you know the key can be found as you don’t want to waste time looking for it if your player comes off the ice for equipment failure, or worse, due to injury and requires access.

The tournament desk will also provide you with a copy of the tournament rules. Take the time to review them with your Coach. The time to ask questions is before you take to the ice….not after. Some common questions to clarify in advance are –

  • Is it points per period or straight play?
  • How long are the periods? Is it running or stop time?
  • Is there overtime? If so, what’s the format?
  • Are there any timeouts? If so, how many and how long? In the overtime?
  • If a shootout in case of a tie are the shooters chosen to be in advance or are they selected at the end of regulation?
  • Is there any flood between periods?

It is always a good idea to provide a copy of the tournament rules to the Coach for his retention on the bench during the game. Should a question of play arise, he and the Coaching staff can quickly check the rules. If they’re located with you on the other side of the rink, they can’t.

In some cases, the tournament desk will provide you with refreshments for the dressing room and, often, the tournament player participation awards. It is best to provide these awards at the end of the first game thus avoiding disruption prior to the team taking to the ice for its first match and you having to carry them around to subsequent games.

At the end of the tournament, whether you win or lose, remember to make a point of stopping by the Tournament Desk and thanking those present for the time and effort they’ve expended in providing you a great weekend!