House League General Information

Why would I want to play with Ottawa Girls?
The Ottawa Girls Hockey Association (also known as Ottawa Ice) is an inclusive and supportive community-run organization. We believe that hockey offers girls an opportunity for personal growth and development in a supportive environment. 

What is house league and how is it different from Competitive?

House league is open to all who want to play hockey. In House League teams are not divided based on skills but are rather balanced to create balanced teams at each age level. These “sort-outs” take place in September.  At younger ages there is phenomenal development in skills throughout the year and the playersgirls progress quite quickly.  

Competitive hockey is also open to all but you have to try out and be selected for the team based on your skill level, speed, abilities - what we refer to as "merit". Tryouts for competitive teams occur in April/May for U11 and above. For U9, competitive tryouts occur in the fall. 

There are other differences such as the amount of ice time the team purchaes, the amount of travel and the cost. These are explained in greater detail below.

When and where do they play?

In OGHA House League we strive for your daughter to have ice time twice a week, both typically on the weekend due to limited weekday ice in Ottawa currently.  You can generally expect one game each weekend and one practice. Ice time varyies each week but you will know in advance when your daughter will be playing and the game schedule is set in the fall forfallfor the regular season.

OGHA is part of the Metro Ottawa Girls House League along with Clarence-Rockland, Gloucester and Gatineau.  The majority of games and practices take place in Central Ottawa (Richcraft Senspex, Peplinski, Tom Brown, Sandy Hill) with the occasional game in Gatineau at Slush Puppy arena or in Clarence-Rockland at arena on the Highway 17. 

How much does it cost?

Registration for both House League and Competitive cost $630 in 2023-2024. If your daughter has never played before and you're not sure she'll like it, just register and come to the first couple of evaluation skates. If she really doesn't like it, we will refund you the entire registration fee. We guarantee it! If you have any questions about our money back guarantee, please contact our house league convenor at

In addition to registration, House League teams typically have another $300 in team fees to cover the costs of tournaments and activities.  Often teams will have one away tournament (in addition to 1-2 local tournaments) so you will need to plan for hotel accommodations and food for a weekend tournament.

Competitive hockey costs more - from an extra $1800 per season up to $4600 at the AA level for team fees.This includes purchasing additional ice time and tournament entry costs.  At the competitive level you can expect to be on the ice 5-6 times per week and you can expect to have a number of away tournaments each season. Travel distances are also greater for competitive hockey.

If your child is engaged in other extracurricular activities or you have multiple children in activities House League Hockey may be the perfect place for you. Our OGHA teams have loads of fun and develop such great friendships and skills!

What is DS?
DS or "development stream" is a way for house league players to get a chance to play a few extra games of more competitive hockey. The house league division must have a minimum of 2 teams in order to form a DS team. The DS team is chosen in mid-November and starts play in December. It's really good value for your money and has proven to be very popular. There is only one DS team per age division and usually the DS team is comprised of equal numbers of players from each team in that division. Teams are often chosen by the house league coaches because they know their players quite well by November. If your daughter is interested in playing DS, mention this to your coach. Sometimes it's hard to choose because so many of our girls are very capable players, but knowing that your daughter is interested may help the coach decide.

How competitive is it?
It depends on where your daughter wants to go. If she's just starting, she should play in house league. Our dedicated house league coaches create just the right environment for girls to discover their abilities, to make strong friendships, and to have a fantastic time each and every time they get out onto the ice. All girls are eligible to play in our house league, and they all get equal time on the ice. 

At what age can I start?
A few players as young as 4 play in our U7 division, however the typical age at which a player first starts playing is between 7 and 11.

I've never played before - am I too old to join?
It does get more challenging to catch up to the other players as your child gets older - 12, 13, or older. Players coming in at these ages should take skating lessons before they come to the first practice. They should also try to play road hockey with their friends, or try shooting balls at an empty net to get the feel for the game. More preparation is better but willingness to learn and some athletic ability goes a long way towards on-ice success. We never turn away a player who wants to play hockey in our house league.

Do I have to be a good skater?

If you've never skated before, no worries. Every year when we have our first practices there are a good number of girls who start off wobbly and unsure of themselves. When we ask the girls to skate from one end of the rink to the other, they're the stragglers who don't even make it to the first blue line when the fastest skaters are already at the far end. Every girl on the ice started that way - even our AA players! If your daughter needs a little boost in confidence before she goes to her first practice, buy a helmet and skates and go to any one of the public skates being offered across Ottawa, or take some lessons in the previous year.

Can I be injured playing hockey?
It is possible. Girls hockey does not allow checking at any age but hockey is a fast-paced game and there are sometimes collisions. Especially at the more competitive levels there can be some body contact - though head contact is never allowed and results in an automatic penalty. There are risks associated with playing any sport. The question you must ask yourself is this: Is the risk associated with not playing a sport worse than the risk of playing a sport like hockey? Girls and boys need to be active. It's worth a small risk. And if an injury does happen, every team has at least one staff member - called a "trainer" - who must be female and whose responsibility it is to provide first aid. Every trainer must pass a certification course.


For more information on House League, contact the House League Convenor:

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