1. Assess Level of interest - Talk to the hockey people within the community and surrounding areas. Are there voids in your community? Is there a demand? Visit the local arenas and discuss the possibility of a new league with the arena personnel, referees, and players.
2. What type of league - Decide what type of league to start. After speaking with the hockey people and getting an understanding of the hockey in the community you will know what types of leagues already exist, and who plays in them. Based on this information you will need to decide if your league will be daytime, noon hour or your traditional night time league. Will it be for men, women, or co‐ed? Another factor to consider is the age group it will serve, will it be for 19+, 35+ oldtimers, open or seniors.
3. Ice time - Meet with the local arena ice booking staff to ensure there is available ice time, and find what time slots are open. These individuals typically work for the City. The ice availability may dictate the number of teams you will be looking for. Book the necessary ice time.
4. Fees and registration - Develop a breakdown of all costs associated with the league and create a
budget. Some things to consider when setting fees are the cost for ice time, referees, timekeepers,
jerseys, prizing, banquet, etc. Do a scan of your community to determine what other, similar leagues are charging. Compare the offerings and establish your team entry fee and individual fee. Host a league registration day, where team representatives sign up and pay a deposit for their team entry.
5. Advertise - Spread the word of a new league around town. Re‐visit the local arenas and distribute and post promotional information, email the community hockey people and organizers, post the information on free classified websites such as kijiji.ca, and utilize CARHA Hockey’s national network.
6. League Guiding Principles - Create the structure and principles for the league. League principles include establishing league rules, suspension guidelines, constitution, executives, and operating
structure. CARHA Hockey’s Resources page offers sample league principle documents.
7. League format - Based on ice time availability and the number of teams, you will decide how many games each team will play and the length of each game. Also, you need to determine if the league will host an annual draft to assign players to teams, or if it will be a team based league. With the allotment of ice time you receive you can either have playoffs at the end of the season or play a full regular season and the team with the most points is the champion.
8. Hockey insurance - As the league executive it is important to have league liability coverage against third party claims. Also, as a requirement to rent ice, many municipalities across Canada require a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance coverage. CARHA Hockey offers an insurance package that meets these needs and also extend a sport accident polity covering all players.
9. League operations - Should you opt to become a member of CARHA Hockey, you will receive the
aforementioned insurance programs, free website, scheduling application service and stats tracking
program. Through the arena organize the timekeepers, and referees. If the league needs referees, visit CARHA Hockey’s National Referee Registry and source out refs from the surrounding communities.
10. Team jerseys - If the league decides to provide jerseys you will have to order through a supplier. Most municipalities have a local promotions company that can order the jerseys and screen/embroider the logo and numbers. CARHA Hockey works with Keener Jerseys as its supplier and they could provide competitive and preferential pricing to you as a member.
11. League sponsor - Get the support of the local business community. Present the league to local
businesses such as restaurants and bars, printing and design companies, and sporting goods
stores. Partner with these businesses to have them support your league with financial and in‐kind
contributions, and in return drive the league participant business to these establishments. Often leagues will be able to negotiate preferred pricing and rates for their participants with these businesses.
12. Year‐end banquet - To conclude the season a league banquet is a great offering and setting to provide player awards and prizing. Hosting a banquet will be an added cost, so make sure you plan for it in the budget.