Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I join a team?
A: Before each season (Fall/Winter and Summer), the Greater Seattle Hockey League (GSHL) conducts three to five free evaluation skating sessions. During these sessions, you will be put through several drills (skating, shooting, passing, etc.) and then play in a light scrimmage. League officials will assess your skills and place you in the appropriate level for teams currently in the league. After the final evaluation, captains of teams looking for players will conduct a draft based on player rankings. The captain of the team drafting you will contact you after that.
Q: How many evaluations do I need to attend? Do I have to register beforehand?
A: You only need to attend one evaluation skate to be eligible to play. Pre-registration is not necessary as these evaluations are completely free. However, in order to play, you must be a registered member with both USA Hockey and the GSHL.
Q: Why do I need to register with USA Hockey?
A: 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 Membership for their liability as well.
Q: I missed the evaluation skates. Can I still join a team?
A: Feel free to contact the league. New players may be placed onto teams before December 1 for Winter/Fall season and before May 1 for Summer season. A league official will decide which level and team to place you. If it is after those roster deadlines, we will place you on a contact list for next season's evaluation skate and help you get on a team for the following season.
Q: I have never played before. Can I still learn to play hockey?
A: Yes! The GSHL is committed to providing ample opportunity for novice/beginner 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.
Q: What are the costs?
A: 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.
Q: Does the league provide equipment?
A: The GSHL does not provide equipment to players. There are several local pro shops in the Puget Sound area that sell gear, as well as online stores. For a list of Pro Shops, view our list of Pro Shops page under Playing Arenas.
Q: What is the format of the season? On what nights are games played?
A: Fall/Winter season consists of 22 games with double-elimination playoffs. Summer season is 12 games with single elimination playoffs. All teams make playoffs, so you get at least two games extra in the Winter/Fall season and one game extra in the Summer season. Game weeks begin on Sunday, and games are played Sunday through Thursday nights, with Friday's & Saturday's off. Generally, lower divisions (6-8) play earlier in the week while higher divisions (1-5) play later. Due to scheduling complexities, playoffs can occur on any night of the week (Sunday to Thursday).
Q: At which rinks does GSHL play?
A: The GSHL teams play at the finest arenas around the Puget Sound region. Our full-time playing arenas include: Olympic View Ice Arena, Lynnwood Ice Center, Kent Valley Ice Centre, accesso ShoWare Center, XFINITY Community Ice Rink and Angel of the Winds Arena, with more being added. For more information, visit our Playing Arenas page.
Q: Are there any choices for nights and/or arenas?
A: Captains may request certain nights and/or arenas. The GSHL strives to honor those requests as much as possible.
Q: Can I move up or down a level (division)?
A: 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.
Q: What is the 40+ division?
A: 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 players, and notify their teams.
Q: Is body-checking allowed?
A: 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 bump into and 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.
Don't see an answer to your question? Email the league at Info@GSHockey.com and ask! We'll get right back to you.