Frequently Asked Questions
The Greater Seattle Hockey League offers several different programs throughout the year, geared towards providing options for all of the varying lifestyles.
Recreational League -- this program is comprised of approximately 100 teams spread across divisions ranging from 1 - 8, many with subdivisions A - D. (For example, Division 4D.) This league is where you join a team permanently, acquire your own set of jerseys & socks, and stay for years to come. Each team is matched up against other teams within their division and generally speaking, all players on a team and in a division are roughly the same/similar skill level. The seasons are split into Winter (23+2 games, September - April) and Summer (13+1, May - August). Game days are Sunday - Thursday, and vary by division. Also, teams play across any of our six rinks; however, most teams have preferences of which night of the week they prefer to play and which geographical rink(s) they prefer to play most of their games at.
40+ Draft League -- this redraft program is comprised of eight teams and is open to all skill levels ages 40 and up. The season is split into Winter, Summer & Fall, and each team plays 14 games, including playoffs. All players are ranked 1 - 10, and the captains conduct a draft each season to create their teams. This is a fun, relaxed program that averages GSHL Division 5 or USA Hockey Level D (Intermediate). 40+ Draft League games are rotated between Everett, Lynnwood/Olympicview Arenas, and Kent, and plays only on Wednesday evenings.
Sprinker Draft League -- this redraft program is comprised of four to six teams and is open to all skill levels ages 18 and up. The season is split into quarters, consisting of Fall, Winter, Spring & Summer, and each team plays 12 games, including playoffs. All players are ranked 1 - 10, and the captains conduct a draft each season to create their teams. This is also a fun, relaxed but more competitive program that averages GSHL Division 3C/4A or USA Hockey Level C (Bronze). Sprinker Draft League is hosted exclusively at Sprinker Recreation Center in Tacoma, Washington, and plays only on Wednesday evenings (for Spring 2020 season, we may add Thursday's as well, depending upon program growth).
The Great Puckaroo Roundup -- this is an annual, outdoor, adult ice hockey tournament, produced by the Greater Seattle Hockey League and hosted at Winthrop Rink in Winthrop, Washington, intended to provide friendly, fun and competitive games for team skill levels ranging from B to E.
League Practices -- the Greater Seattle Hockey League hosts league practices throughout each season open to all players within the league. If you want to get more ice time and improve your skills in a fun and encouraging atmosphere, the GSHL league practice sessions are a great resource.
Learn to Skate & Play Hockey -- You love hockey! That's why you are here. You want to play! Learning to play hockey is more than just learning a game. More than skating, passing and stick-handling, hockey is about responsibility, respect and teamwork. As adults learn the skills needed to succeed on the ice, they also build and solidify important character traits needed to succeed off the ice. The GSHL and its partner rinks host year-round LTPH classes -- and the programs are open to all adults of any skill. Whether you are new to hockey altogether, or returning to the game after a long hiatus, come on out and play!
Some of the questions contained below pertain primarily to our Recreational League:
For our traditional, recreational league, prior to the beginning of each season (Winter and Summer), the Greater Seattle Hockey League 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. 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 new player draft. Please do not attend more than one evaluation skate. You are encouraged to register as a new player 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 confirmation # 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 rinks 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 season and before June 1 for 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 seasons and help you get on a team then.
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 Skate & Play Hockey program.
The exact dues 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 typically pay the new player dues and have it applied to the team they join. If you contact a captain directly and join their existing team, the captain will work it out to pay more or less per player by having a larger or smaller roster, respectively. By joining through the league as a new player, you are guaranteed a fixed amount.
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 select programs (such as 40+ & Sprinker Draft Leagues, Learn to Skate & Play Hockey), the GSHL may provide you with either a complimentary loaner or temporary jersey. However, we strongly recommend all players have their own jerseys as well. For a list of retail shops in the area, head on over to the Pro Shops & Equipment page.
Our Winter season consists of 23 games with double-elimination playoffs (2 games minimum to start). 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 Winter season and one (1) game extra in the Summer season. Game weeks begin on Sunday, and games are played through Thursday nights, with Friday & Saturday off. Generally, lower divisions (5 - 7) play earlier in the week while higher divisions (1 - 4) 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 rinks include Kent Valley Ice Centre as well as the Seattle Thunderbirds' accesso ShoWare Center. The northern-most rinks are Everett Silvertips' Angel of the Winds Arena. In-between these southern and northern rinks are Olympicview Arena and Lynnwood Ice Center. For more information, visit Our Rinks. Sprinker Recreation Center is reserved for our Sprinker Draft League program.
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 become older, some choose to move to the 40+ Draft League. Most beginners and teams move up a division after one year as their individual and/or team skating and skills improve.
The 40+ Draft League is for players over 40-years-old. This program consists of three seasons (Fall, Winter, & Summer). The pool of eligible players are drafted onto teams each season. The skills of the players may vary, but the teams are drafted in a way to create parity. Each player is ranked 1 - 10 and all the 1's get drafted first, etc. until all the players are drafted. A player who is new to 40+ Draft League 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.