1. What are the different levels of competitive hockey available to my child?
In London, Competitive (BB/MD) Hockey starts at our U8 and U9 (formerly Novice Divisions) and is the highest level of hockey until U10 (Minor Atom) when there are three levels of competitive hockey available to children.
All minor hockey centres in Ontario are classified based on the size of population, hockey enrollment, etc. within their designated boundary. The classifications are AAA, AA, A, BB/B, CC/C, D.
The Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) has Competitive hockey exclusively for female minor hockey players from U7 ages up and there are several local associations running programming.
- AAA is the highest level of competitive hockey in London.
- The AAA program is offered in London only by the London Junior Knights for U10/Minor Atom to U18/Major Midget players.
- There is one team per age group made up of players from across the city.
Seeded Hockey (AA/A)
- Seeded Hockey is the second highest level of competitive hockey available in London.
- Seeded Hockey is offered by the London Junior Knights as well as the GLHA for U10/Minor Atom to U18/Major Midget players.
- The London Junior Knights have 1 or 2 teams made up of players from across the city.
- The GLHA Jr Mustang teams have players from Oakridge/North associations on 1 team (Purple) and and West/London Bandits on another team (White)
- GLHA Jr Mustang's will have two seeded teams per age group
- All Seeded teams play each other until December and then are declared either “A” or “AA”
BB/MD Representative Hockey
- BB (Formerly MD) hockey is first level of Competitive hockey and is available to U8/Minor Novice to U18/Midget players.
- For U8, there is only 1 level of MD hockey. For U9, we field MD1 (Tier 1) and MD2 (Tier 2) teams.
- BB/MD is the highest level at U8 and 9.
- BB/MD hockey is only available via the 4 GLHA associations.
- The local associations offer one BB/MD team per division where registration numbers and player development allow it.
- BB/MD teams can play Hockey Canada/ US Hockey BB/B 'Rep' and 'A' level tournaments and exhibition games outside of the Alliance.
- At the 2022 Alliance AGM, a motion was passed to change the MD Classification to BB. For clarity, BB is aligned with MD Tier 1 and B is aligned with MD Tier 2. All MD teams will now be referred to as BB. Alliance MD teams were re-classed to BB/B because the OMHA felt that Alliance MD teams were are too strong to compete at the OMHA MD level. The OMHA also eliminated their 'AE' level and those teams will be classed based on the respective centers size (BB/B/C) This now aligns with the OMHA as OMHA Minor Development (MD) is now a lower level division.
2. What is “Seeded Hockey”?
- As mentioned above Seeded (AA/A) hockey is offered by the London Junior Knights (city wide teams) and GLHA Jr Mustang's.
- All seeded teams within our area (i.e. Sarnia to Burlington) play each other until December and then are “seeded” or declared as either an “A” or “AA” level team based on their wins/losses etc. After the “seed”, the teams only play teams that are within their designation:
- The AA teams play in the ‘Constellation League'
- The A teams play in the ‘Bristol League'
- Generally, Junior Knights teams will be seeded as “AA” teams and the GLHA Jr. Mustang teams are seeded as “A” teams.
3. Does a player have to tryout for Higher Levels if they really wish to play BB/MD?
- No, players can start at BB/MD tryouts.
- We encourage players to tryout for higher levels to ensure players are playing at their optimal skill level.
- However, it is important to understand that there are added travel, financial and time commitments required to participate at Higher Levels to BB/MD.
4. When are tryouts?
- London Junior Knights AAA/AA tryouts are in the usually in Spring, but have been moving towards September in many age groups. Register for these tryouts at the London Junior Knights website.
- GLHA Jr Mustang teams tryouts have tryouts in May or September for U10/Minor Atom to U18/Midget.
- Association BB/MD tryouts for U8/Minor Novice to U18/Midget will be in September, usually right after Jr. Mustang Tryouts
- CHECK WEBSITES FOR CURRENT TRYOUT AND REGISTRATION INFO
5. Is competitive hockey more expensive the house league hockey?
- Yes, there are additional costs associated with competitive hockey.
- Competitive teams are on the ice more often than house league teams and have other team expenses. The associations charge a competitive surcharge to cover ice and other costs provided by the association.
- Teams may wish to purchase additional ice or go on tournaments. These costs would also be covered by the team.
- Many competitive teams fund-raise to cover some or all of these additional costs.
6. What is the time commitment?
- Generally there are 1.5 to 2.5 hours of practice time per week and 1 to 2 games.
- There is also more travel, as some of the teams you will play will be outside of London (like Sarnia, Woodstock, Stratford, Brantford, Burlington, Cambridge, KW area).
- Generally there is less travel with BB/MD hockey compared to Seeded hockey.
- BB/MD Hockey had had 'interlock' games in the past with area OMHA Centres which gives additional opportunities for great competition with little travel.
7. Are playoffs during March Break?
- Yes. Playoffs for BB/MD and Seeded hockey are during March Break so you could potentially miss key games if you are away. Each team's coach will set expectations.
8. What if we are away during tryouts?
- The association has provided ample notice of tryout times.
- It is important to have your child at some of the tryouts to benchmark him/her with the other players to ensure he/she is placed appropriately.
- We need to evaluate your child’s individual and team skills.
9. I have just moved to Oakridge geographical area. How do I register for hockey tryouts?
- Please contact our Registrar ASAP to assist you with your transfer.
10. When will Oakridge Competitive Coaches be announced?
- Head Coaches for GLHA Jr Mustang teams from U10/Minor Atom to U16/Minor Midget will be announced in May.
- BB/MD Coaches are planned to be announced by late June
11. What Division is my child in?
- The competitive divisions are based on birth year. The naming is based on the age that the players will start to be turning after New Years.
12. When does "checking" hockey begin?
- Checking hockey begins in U14 (Minor Bantam) Seeded and higher levels in the Alliance. Body Checking Clinics will introduce these players to contact.