FAQ

New to Hockey?

My child has never played before. How do I register?

Registration is easy! Each year, you'll use an account that you create on Hockey Canada's website to register your player(s). There are a few extra steps in the first year to create a Hockey Canada account for your player and a Registration account for yourself -- but these are simple tasks which you'll only ever have to do once. For more details and step-by-step instructions, see our Registration page and look for the New Player section.

What does it mean to be "new to organized hockey"?

"New players" are kids who have never been in an official Hockey Canada-affilated program. Essentially, it means your child has never been registered in the Hockey Canada database, and does not yet have a Hockey Canada ID. The reason we need to know this is because there's a few extra steps to establsh a Hockey Canada ID (like demonstrating proof of age and residency), and if your child does have an account, we don't want to create a duplicate record, as this could cause complications for you down the road.

Can anyone register with West End / What team are we supposed to register with?

Yes... as long as you live in our district. Hockey Canada allocates "catchment" areas to teams, meaning players within a certain geographic region will be assigned to the team representing that territory. If you're not sure if you live in the West End catchment, visit the HEO Minor website and input your address to determine where you should be registering.

What equipment do I need to get, and where do I get it?

Easy! All the required equipment is listed in the Required Equipment Parent Resources section of our website. For the younger kids just starting out, many sports stores carry "starter" kits that include almost everything you need -- just add "personal" items, like helmet, skates, mouthguard and athletic cup/support, and you're all set. The staff at those stores are usually very helpful in getting a youngster off on the right skate!

My kids never played hockey when they were young, but want to start now. Is that possible?

Yes! Every year West End takes in players new to hockey at almost every age group. Players are evaluated at the start of the year and sorted into groups of similar skill level to ensure everyone has a chance to play and improve. We welcome all newcomers -- everyone has a place!

What should I expect on the first day of the season?

Generally speaking, controlled chaos! You won't be the only one just getting started, so there's usually extra help at the rink to get people headed in the right direction. But there's always someone there who's been through it before, and lots of people are willing to help out, so don't be afraid to introduce yourself and ask questions. At the youngest ages, you'll need to help your player get dressed. Try putting on the gear at home once or twice before you head to the arena, just so everyone knows where everything goes -- the rooms can be a bit of a squeeze with 30 or so players and parents, so it's not the best time to be discovering what-goes-where. Important pro tip: September is usually still pretty warm in Ottawa, but best to leave the sandals at home when in the vicinity of unsteady kids walking around with sharpened steel blades on their feet!

Can I help with my child's team?

Yes, please! West End is almost 100% volunteer-run, and we always need help. Experienced volunteers are always highly sought after for on-ice coaching and bench positions, but many of the tasks required to run a team need no specific hockey knowledge. Managers, treasurers, trainers, event planners and more are always required at team and league levels. Where training or certification is required, it will be provided, with the costs covered by West End. To volunteer, simply reach out to our VP of Administration for more details.

Registration

When does Registration start / end?

Registration opens on July 27, 2021. This year, in part due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, we are offering the early registration fee to all families for the whole registration period. West End's informal policy is to ensure all new players find a place, and we try to avoid any hard cap on registration numbers. That said, at a certain point in early September we have to lock in the number of teams we'll operate with for the season, and start to sort the players accordingly. This generally means that space will be limited after that point, so be sure to register early!

Is my player considered a "New", "Returning" or "Transfer" player?

RETURNING players were participants on a West End team last season (or the last time they played organized hockey). TRANSFER players are individuals who played on another organized team last season, but are new to the West End catchment area. NEW players are individuals who are new to organized hockey (including graduates of the Ottawa Senators Learn to Play program). New players don't have a Hockey Canada ID, and will need to apply for one before registering for the season.

What division or level do I register my player at?

Registration is strictly based on age. The registration system will determine what division your player should be placed in based on their age as of Dec. 31st. The sort-outs at the start of the season will determine what level (A, B or C) your player is placed in.

My player is [really good/not-so-good], and I think he/she should be playing in a division up [or down], but the system won't let me register in a different age group. How can I change that?

You can't. But we can. 🙂  Register at the division based on the age of your player, then contact West End's VP Junior (U7 (IP5, IP6), U9 - Novice), VP Intermediate (U11 - Atom or U13 - Peewee) or VP Senior (U15 - Bantam, U18 - Midget or U21 - Juvenile) to discuss the appropriate plan of action.

Can I register for any team? How do I know if we're supposed to be registering for West End?

No. Hockey Canada organizes team registration based on catchment areas, i.e. geographic location of your place of residence. To determine if you live in West End's catchment, enter your address into the form at HEO Minor's website

We're moving away from the West End catchment area. Can you transfer my player's profile to our new team?

No, transfers are initiated by the team you're moving to. As soon as you have proof of your new residence, reach out to the Registrar in your new catchment area to kick off the transfer and registration process.

We're moving into the West End catchment area. How do we register for West End hockey?

We're glad you asked! See the Transfers subsection in our Transfers pages for full details. And welcome to the neighbourhood!

What is the "Respect in Sport" course, and why do I have to do it?

One of the most common reasons coaches, managers, and officials, of all ages, cite for leaving sport is unacceptable parent behaviour. The Respect in Sport Parent Program 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.​ All parents of U7(IP5, IP6), and U9 (Novice players), as well as new players joining our association, are required by Hockey Eastern Ontario to complete the Respect in Sport - Parents program

I was told the team in our catchment area is full. Can I register with West End?

Probably! See the Transfers subsection of our Registration web pages to initiate a Transfer request. If you are inquiring in September (or later), reach out to registration@westendhockey.com first to ensure that we are still accepting registrations.

Fees, Discounts and Refunds

How are the fees set?

Each season, costs of the program are evaluated and projected for the upcoming season. Fees are set based on an analysis of historical costs and trends in registration, then applied to the upcoming season.

If I don't want to use a credit card, can I make a payment with cash or Interac?

Yes. Reach out to our Registration team to make arrangements.

Does West End offer a payment plan? Can I pay the fees over multiple payments?

Yes, deferred payments are possible. Contact the West End Registrar to set up a payment plan. Also note that a number of funding options are available for those that qualify for financial assistance.

My player made a competitive team. How do I get my money back from West End?

See our Refunds page for details.

I didn't get 100% of our registration fee back, even though my player never stepped on the ice. What gives?

From the moment you register, West End incurs real costs that are unrecoverable. These costs are levied based on enrollment and registration even before the season starts and include flat fees such as Hockey Canada insurance. West End reviews this fee annually and strives to keep it as low as possible.

Is financial assistance available to help cover costs? What funding options area available to families?

A number of programs are available to families seeking financial assistance to cover some of the costs of hockey registration. In particular, Canadian Tire Jumpstart, Kidsport, and Their Opportunity are excellent programs which have made generous grants to West End players. In addition, West End operates a fund that can complement other charitable programs, or help out when others can't. See our Financial Assistance page for more information.

Volunteering

Can I volunteer for my child's team?

Yes, please! West End is almost 100% volunteer-run, and we always need help. Experienced volunteers are always highly sought after for on-ice coaching and bench positions, but many of the tasks required to run a team need no specific hockey knowledge. Managers, treasurers, trainers, event planners and more are always required at team and league levels. Where training or certifcation is required, it will be provided, with the costs covered by West End. To volunteer, simply reach out to our VP of Administration for more details.

What qualifications to I need to volunteer for West End?

It depends on how you're looking to help out. Some helpers need no special qualifications, while Hockey Canada mandates minimum qualifications for certain positions, particularly those directly involving the players. Most courses and certifications are one-time requirements (Trainer certifications need to be refreshed every 3 years), but West End will cover the costs of all required training. And all volunteers working with the kids require a Police Record Check. See our Clincs page for more details.

I'd like to volunteer, but I don't really know much about hockey. Is there anything I can do?

Absolutely! We need lots of help in areas that have little to do with hockey skills or strategy, at both the team and Executive levels. For more information, simply reach out to our VP of Administration

Try-Outs, Sort-Outs and Teams

My child has never played hockey before, and I'm concerned he/she won't be able to keep up. Is there a team for new players?

Not to worry! There's a place for everyone at West End. Players are evaluated at the start of the season and sorted into levels and teams of like-skilled players, even if it means moving a player up or down an age group (which can happen in rare cases, usually on request). If you're ever concerned about the evaluation process or the relative skill of your player vs others, reach out to West End's VP Junior (U7 (IP5, IP6), U9 - Novice), VP Intermediate (U11 - Atom or U13 - Peewee) or VP Senior (U15 - Bantam, U18 - Midget or U21 - Juvenile) to discuss the appropriate plan of action.

How does my player try out for competitive?

West End is a strictly House League association. If your player wants to attend assessments for competitive teams, you will still register with West End, but need to separately reach out to the Competitive team directly for information and to sign up for their evaluations. In West End's catchment area, that usually means the Ottawa West Golden Knights, Ottawa Sting, and Junior 67s.

My child wants to play on the same team as a friend. Can that be arranged?

In many cases, yes. Check the Contacts page to reach out to the Convenor of your division to make arrangements. Note that as a general rule, players will only be matched with one other friend, and that friend must also make a similar request. "Friend requests" that are not mutually reciprocated will not be reviewed.

How can I ensure that my twins / similarly-aged kids play on the same team?

We know logistics can sometimes be hard enough for multiple players in one family -- we're certainly not going to make it harder for you! Assuming your kids are playing in the same division/level based on age and skill, we'll pair them up. Just be sure to reach out to the Convenor for your division to provide a gentle reminder -- sometimes the obvious can get lost in the "fog" at the hectic start to a new season!

Schedules and Locations

How long does the season run?

The kids usually hit the ice in the first week of September, with IP and Juvenile seasons typically starting a few weeks later than the rest. The season will run until mid-March (depending how deep your team runs into the playoffs!), with a large annual tournament that usually runs in late March (optional, but usually attended by most teams). There are pauses in the schedule over Christmas, March break and Thanksgiving and Family day long weekends. And, where we can control it, there areno ice times on Halloween night.

My player does other activities in the winter. Can I get the hockey schedule so we can plan around games and practices

Unfortunately, after IP5 and IP6, it's not that simple. West End plays our games in the Bytown association, that includes 4 other local associations. The annual logistics management revolving around ice availability, tournament commitments that differ from team to team, event conflicts, unexpected arena maintenance, and even the occasional "act of God" combine to create a dynamic schedule that requires dedicated volunteers for each association. For those reasons, its impossible to predict the season schedule in advance for all 50+ teams in the West End association. But we know that predictability is important for busy families, so we do our best to give you as much notice as possible.

What is the schedule like at the IP level?

IP will have 2 x 1 hour sessions per week. Saturday and Sunday in the AM, plus more during optional tournaments in which the team may choose to participate. We have been successful in recent years to have them scheduled at the same time(s) and place each week, but this won't be confirmed until closer to September each season.

What is the schedule like at other levels (U9 - Novice to U18 - Midget)?

Once the kids hit U9 - Novice and above, the schedule is less predictable. Generally speaking, it averages out to one practice and one game per week (this can vary a bit due to the rescheduling that results from signing up for different tournaments), but over the course of the year this is the average that they should expect from the association/league in a week. Teams should receive individual schedules, looking ahead to the next 4-6 weeks, about a month in advance. Some of this is unfortunately out of the control of West End, as we are dependent on the Bytown association for our game schedules.

I'm concerned we'll miss a lot of games/practices -- can my child play part-time?

West End does not offer part-time registration. That said, it's not unusual for House League players to not be available for every game and practice. It will come down to an assessment in your family of the value of the experience for the time your player is able to participate. But keep in mind that teammates and coaches get more out of the experience when they can create that bond that makes sports teams more fun, rewarding, and often, successful.

Where are the games and practices?

For WEHL, our home rink is JA Dulude. We also get ice at Tom Brown, Barbara Ann Scott and McNabb. Practices and home games will be at these arenas (predominately JA Dulude), while away games will be at the arenas for OCMHA, OEMHA, CHA and SEMHA. Each of the other associations in the Bytown League have their own home arenas, where most of their home games (our away games) are played. The main home arena for each is outlined below:

  • Ottawa Centre: Brewer Arena
  • Ottawa East: Sandy Hill Arena
  • Canterbury: Brian Kilrea Arena
  • South End: Jim Durrell Recreation Centre