Frequently Asked Questions
Prior to the beginning of each season (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer), the Greater Seattle Hockey League (GSHL) hosts a series of three to five complimentary Evaluation Skate sessions. During these sessions, participants will be put through several drills -- including skating, shooting, passing, etc. -- followed by a light scrimmage. GSHL league officials will assess each participant's skills and place participants in the appropriate division based upon displayed skill level.
By participating in an Evaluation Skate, participants commit themselves to the player draft conducted right before the start of the season. Once a participant is selected by a team, the captain of the team they are drafted to will be in contact with the participant to review next steps.
You only need to attend one (1) evaluation skate to be entered into the pre-season captains draft. Please do not attend more than one evaluation skate prior to each season. You are encouraged to complete a New Player Application prior to participating so that we have all of your information beforehand. In addition, to be eligible to participate and eventually join a team, you must be a registered member with both USA Hockey and the GSHL. It is strongly recommended to have your USA Hockey registration # with you when you arrive to the evaluation skate.
USA Hockey is the governing body for amateur hockey in the United States. They supply the basic rules, format, and supplemental insurance for rinks, players, and officials. This also helps us keep costs lower by not having to track down everyone's individual insurance cards and all GSHL's playing arenas require USA Hockey registrations for their liability as well.
Feel free to contact the league. New players may be placed onto teams before December 1 for Winter/Fall season and before June 1 for Spring/Summer season. A league official will decide which level and team to place you. If it is after roster deadlines, we will place you on a standby list for next season's evaluation skate and help you get on a team for the following season.
Yes! The GSHL is committed to providing ample opportunity for beginner/novice adult players. A vast majority of players in the GSHL started as adult beginners and the GSHL is always welcoming to those new players. The GSHL also offers our Learn to Play Hockey program.
The exact price will depend on whether you sign up as a new, individual player or as a team. Individual and team pricing is determined prior to each season. Players who are brand new to the GSHL will usually pay the individual price and have it credited to the team they join. Some existing teams will work it out to pay more or less per player by having a larger or smaller roster, respectively.
The GSHL does not rent, loan or otherwise supply any equipment/gear to players or participants. All players and participants must procure their own hockey equipment. All skaters and goaltenders will need a full set of ice hockey equipment (Skaters: click here. Goalies: click here.) For a list of retail shops in the area, head on over to the Pro Shops page.
Fall/Winter season consists of 23 games with double-elimination playoffs (2 games minimum to start). Spring/Summer season is 13 games with single elimination playoffs (1 game minimum). Every team makes the playoffs, so you get at least two (2) games extra in the Fall/Winter season and one (1) game extra in the Spring/Summer season. Game weeks begin on Sunday, and games are played Sunday through Thursday nights, with Friday's & Saturday's off. Generally, lower divisions (6 - 7) play earlier in the week while higher divisions (1 - 5) progressively play later through the week. Due to scheduling complexities, playoffs can occur on any night of the week (Sunday to Thursday).
GSHL games are conducted at the finest ice rinks in the Pacific Northwest. Our furthest southern playing arenas include Kent Valley Ice Centre as well as the Seattle Thunderbirds' accesso ShoWare Center. The northern-most playing arenas are Everett Silvertips' Angel of the Winds Arena. In-between these southern and northern rinks are Olympic View Arena and Lynnwood Ice Center. For more information, visit Playing Arenas.
Absolutely! You can either come out for an Evaluation Skate to have your skills assessed and placed in an appropriate division. On occasion, a player knows a captain that will take a player up or down to their team. As players get older, some move to the age-based division. Most beginners and even teams move up a division after one year as their individual and/or teams skating and skills improve.
The 40+ division is for players over 40-years-old. The pool of eligible players is re-drafted into teams every season. The skills of the players may vary, but the teams are drafted in a way to create parity. Each player is rated 1 - 10 and all the 1's get drafted first, etc. until all the players are drafted. A player new to 40+ division should come to an evaluation skate and get assessed. Existing players will keep their old assessment. The captains will meet before each season, draft additional players, and notify their teams.
No. The GSHL is a strict non-checking league. However, please keep in mind that this does not mean "no contact". Ice hockey is a contact sport so you will make contact with fellow players during the course of play. Also keep in mind that there is an inherent risk of injury that all players assume when taking the ice and playing hockey, and any sport in general.