Frequently Asked Questions

League Information

What makes SSHA different?

There are many things that make Stanley Stick different. We focus on fun and fair play in all age groups. We focus on skill development but we do not focus on winning. SSHA does not keep any competitive statistics.a

We focus on respect - for ourselves, for our opponents, for the officials and for coaches and everyone involved. The league is non-contact and no slap shot in all ages to minimize the risk of injury.

The league is operated entirely by volunteers and without office space to minimize the cost and thereby maximize the accessibility to good, fun sports for all. To keep the league sustainable with volunteers, we do control the size of the league to manage and simplify all aspects of administration.

What are the age groups for Stanley Stick Hockey?

These are the age ranges and birth years for the various divisions within Stanley Stick for the 2023-2024 season:

  • Learn to Skate (LTS) is for 4, 5 and 6 year olds (2019, 2018, 2017)
  • U8 is for 6 and 7 year olds (2017, 2016)
  • U10 is for 8 and 9 year olds (2015, 2014)
  • U12 is for 10 and 11 year olds (2013, 2012)
  • U14is for 12 and 13 year olds (2011, 2010)
  • U18 is for 14 to 17 year olds (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006)

Age is determined by year of birth only.

When does SSHA normally play? When will my (or my child's) ice times be?

The SSHA constitution states that our league plays exclusively on weekends (Saturday and Sunday). In order to balance ice times made available to us by the City of Guelph, SSHA does not guarantee a specific date / time slot to individual age group on a consistent week-over-week basis. 

The ice times SSHA receives are determined by the City of Guelph ice administration group - we cannot guarantee the schedule until we have an agreement from the city and even then they have the right to make changes. We typically have a complete schedule in early September and make it available to the SSHA community at that time, and though there can be changes throughout the season they are irregular.


How long are SSHA ice times? 

With the exception of our Learn to Skate program, each session is usually 1 hour 50 minutes in length. This is broken down with the first hour being practice, and the second hour being a game. For the Learn to Skate program, the ice times are 50 minutes. 


Where does SSHA normally play?

SSHA typically uses the ice facilities at West End Recreation Centre and the Sleeman Centre (directions below), with the occasional ice times at Exhibition Arena and Victoria Road. The ice times are determined by the City of Guelph ice administration group, so this is subject to change.


My child has never skated/played before. Can they join?

Yes. Our Learn to Skate program is geared towards young children including those that may never have skated before or those that have some experience but are still learning the basics. For the hockey divisions (U8 through U18) the player should have some skating skills to start.


What accommodations do you provide for girls?

SSHA encourages both boys AND girls to play in our league. There is a separate dressing room that is available for girls in the U12, U14, and U18 divisions. Once they are geared up, they join the team in the primary dressing room for the pre-game chat.


What are the SSHA Rules of Hockey?

In general, the SSHA adheres to the official rules of the Canadian Hockey Association, with the following additions:

Body checking

Body checking is prohibited in all levels of SSHA hockey.

Slap shots

A slap shots are defined as a shot taken with the stick initially raised to the height of the knee or higher.

Slap shots are prohibited in all levels of SSHA hockey. When a slap shot is taken, play shall be stopped and a face-off shall be conducted.

If a player of the attacking team takes a slap shot, the face-off shall take place in the neutral zone.

"Clearing" slap shots, intended to move the puck down the ice and not directed at a player, may be permitted at the discretion of the referee.

Three or more penalties in one game

Any player who is assessed his or her third penalty of the game shall be ejected from the game.

The ejected player shall be permitted to play in subsequent games unless prohibited by the application of other penalties such as misconduct, game misconduct, gross misconduct or match penalties.


In-Season Questions

How do you operate the time clock?

What about Goaltending and Goalie Clinics?

Goaltending Clinics

From time to time, goaltending clinics are made available to aspiring goalies. Our goaltending instructors provide high-quality instruction to goalies starting at the Novice division. Due to equipment limitations, enrollment is limited to one goalie per team, unless equipment can otherwise be arranged. Those interested in goalie clinics should contact your Head Coach.


How do I get to the Rinks?

Directions to each rink SSHA plays at are listed below. Most games are held at the Sleeman Centre and the West End Community Centre.


The Sleeman Centre

50 Woolwich St
Guelph, ON N1H 3T9

The Sleeman Centre is located at Woolwich and MacDonnell St in downtown Guelph. The most convenient parking is on the 2nd floor of the West Parkade. However, this is paid parking operated by the City of Guelph. There is free 2-hour parking on the street.  Click here for a map.


West End Community Centre

21 Imperial Road South
Guelph, ON N1K 1X3

There are 2 rinks, WERC 1 and WERC 2. There is parking at the back of the complex.  Click here for a map.



Victoria Road Recreation Centre

151 Victoria Rd N

Guelph, ON N1E 5H4

Click here for a map.


Exhibition Park Arena

70 Division St.

Guelph, ON N1H 1R3

Click here for a map.



Equipment Questions

What equipment is required to play?

Full Hockey equipment is required for LTS and for all hockey divisions: Athletic cup/support, shin pads, socks with support, pants, skates, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, CSA approved helmet with face shield and BNQ approved neck guard. A mouth guard is optional but recommended - must be tethered or custom fitted.

Jerseys and socks are provided by the league. Goalie equipment is also provided for each team by the league.


How do I properly fit a pair of skates?

Skate sizes are not the same as shoe sizes! Skates typically fit one size smaller - ie I wear a size 10 shoe and a size 9 skate. With the skate laces loose - really loose (or removed) put your foot into the skates and push your foot forward to touch (just touch) the front of the boot. While standing in the skate with the toes just touching the front, you should be able to insert no more than one index finger between the back of the foot and the back of the boot - if you can get in two fingers they are too big - if one finger is tight that is ok as long as it feels comfortable when laced up and walking around. Remember skates also come in different widths - measure your child's foot for width fitting or base on experience - this is important to avoid blisters in the instep.


What is the proper length for a Hockey stick?

With the player standing - wearing skates - holding the stick straight in front of the player - blade at your toes, front tip touching the floor - the stick should come no higher than the chin. Any taller and the blade will not rest properly on the ice. A bit shorter is ok.


My child is going to be the goalie. How do I get them ready?

When your child is going to be goalie next week...

They will be given the equipment to take home and try out. Have your child put on the equipment. This is a great time to adjust the straps to get the best fit. (Trust us, it's a lot easier to do it then, than 2 minutes before gametime).

Go down to the basement or a carpeted area and practice shooting or throwing pucks or balls at your "goalie". This will help him/her get comfortable moving around with the equipment. Hint: if possible, try to use a slightly harder object to throw at the catching glove, as tennis balls tend to bounce out.


Arrive at the rink at least 45 minutes for game time -- it may take that long to get dressed.

How do I put the goalie pads on, or on my child?

For those new to putting goalie pads on, check out this video for a walk through on fitting the complete pads ( and a closer look at the leg pads, as they often have the most questions (

Pads have the logos and the vertical outer roll on the outside and the knee blocks which the goaltender lands on in the butterfly on the inside - this is how you tell right from left pad.

The laces to tie the pad to the skate should sit about an inch off of the toe (see image to the right). The boot strap which runs underneath the skate should also be loose - keep in mind many NHL goalies have eliminated this strap entirely. These two notes are extremely important as they allow the skate to move properly without it impacting the rotation of the pad.

All other straps can be left up to personal preference of the goaltender so long as they are not so tight they prevent the pad from rotating when dropping into the butterfly.

If your child is lefthanded, and needs a right-handed catching glove and stick, let your coach know in advance. There is one of these per division.

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