House League Program
Welcome to the Toronto Leaside Wildcats House League Program
The Toronto Leaside Wildcats House League program is for girls aged 8 to 17. The season runs for 25 weeks, beginning in mid-September and ending in late March. Games and practices are held every weekend, with some exceptions for holidays and tournaments. Players do not need to have previous hockey experience, but skating experience is an asset. (Girls without previous hockey experience may wish to consider our Introduction To Hockey program.) Divisions are balanced to ensure that each team has a mix of players of every level of skill and experience.
In addition to the regular house league schedule, every team will participate in one local tournament involving house league teams from other associations around the GTA. The opportunity to play teams outside of Leaside contributes to teamwork, skill development, and player camaraderie. Most important, it provides lasting memories for our players, who frequently cite the tournaments as a highlight of the season.
The cost of this tournament is covered in the fee for basic House League registration. The league selects the tournament for each team. When registering, choose the House League option.
Tournament Team Program, 2019–20 Season
Players who would like to take part in additional tournaments with their team should consider the Tournament Team Program. The Tournament Team Program (TTP) is an optional, extra-fee program open to house league players in Peewee, Bantam, and Midget. No tryouts are involved: players are accepted into the program at registration on a first-come, first-placed basis. Players in the TTP will take part in one to two additional weekend tournaments including an away tournament. To minimize conflicts, tournament teams will have no house league practices or games scheduled for their tournament weekends.
The cost of the TTP is $950 per player ($925 for Midget). Only those players who select the Tournament Team option at registration will be assigned to a tournament team.
Spaces in the TTP program are limited: interested families are encouraged to register early. When registering, choose the House League / Tournament Team option, which includes the cost of House League plus the two extra Tournaments.
House League Tournaments: Schedules and Locations
House league tournaments typically involve a 3-game, round-robin schedule, with games occurring on the Friday and Saturday of a tournament weekend. A team that advances to semifinals and finals may play those games on the Saturday or Sunday.
A local tournament is any tournament within one hour’s drive of central Toronto; an away tournament will be within a few hours’ drive of central Toronto and will require a hotel stay of at least one night. The costs of the hotel and any team meals are extra: they are not covered in the cost of the TTP registration fee. Tournament dates and locations will be selected by the Association.
Other House League Information
Changes to Novice Hockey
In 2017, Hockey Canada announced that by 2019–20, all players 8 years of age and under will be required to play their games on a modified ice surface no larger than half the size of a typical hockey rink. The change is designed to promote player skill development by increasing the amount of time each player touches, passes, and shoots the puck. (For a full explanation of the Hockey Canada policy, visit the OWHA’s website.)
Beginning in 2019–20, Novice will represent a transition from half-ice to full-ice hockey, starting the season with half-ice games and moving to full-ice games part way through the season.
For information on our Minor Novice program, for 6- and 7-year-olds, please see our Learning Programs page.
Novice, Atom, Peewee, and Bantam House League teams have practices on Saturday and games on Sunday. Midget teams have practices on Saturday and games on Sunday afternoon, Monday night, or Tuesday night. Time and location varies from week to week. For a sense of what the schedule will be like for each division, please see the current 2018–19 schedule.
We do our best to accommodate friend requests, which are important for social as well as practical (i.e. carpooling) reasons. However, in order to balance teams within each division, we can honour only one mutual (reciprocal) friend request per player.
House League Goalie Policy
Every house league team is provided with a full set of goalie equipment, and we encourage all players to play at least one game in goal. We have no full-time goalies in house league: no girl may play more than half of her team’s games in goal. Find out more about our weekly Goalie Clinic.
House league players looking for additional games and tournaments played at a more competitive level can try out for one of the teams in our DS Program, offered in all divisions from Novice to Midget. The DS Program is an extra-fee program available to players in House League on a tryout basis. Tryouts for the DS teams are held in early November. Find out more here.