FAQ

General

What is Ball Hockey?

Ball hockey is the ultimate spring sport for any hockey fan. It brings the excitement of the sport of hockey to our arenas in the springtime. The game is played on the cement surface once the ice has been taken out of rinks. The rules are generally the same as per Ice Hockey, with a few exceptions.

When does the season start and end?

Our season is dependent on when the ice is taken out of the hockey arenas. The season typically starts in March around spring break with player assessments. Regular games start in early April and run until early June, followed by our playoffs. The winning team from each division will represent Metro at the Provincials which is over the July 1st long weekend.

Are there any all-girls teams?

Yes, we are in the process of developing a female only program. Female players will have the opportunity to play in co-ed and/or female only teams (make your selection when registering).  Email us at info@metroballhockey.ca if you have further questions or go to www.wcmbh.com for more information. Please spread the word that girls are highly encouraged to join.

Can friends play together or can a request be made for car-pooling purposes?

The league has over 800 players and has developed a very good draft process to ensure the teams are as balanced as possible. Therefore, any requests must be submitted in writing and will be reviewed by the division leads before submitted to the coaches for their consideration on draft day. We cannot guarantee your request will be granted

Can I request that my child play for a specific coach?

You can indicate your request on the registration form. The coaches will be notified of any requests but we cannot guarantee your request will be granted.

How are teams chosen? They are not balanced.

The teams are drafted by the coaches. We have a very sophisticated computer program to aid us with the draft process. All the players are assessed and given a rating and the coaches in turn will pick their players. Every coach is given the same information regarding the player’s ranking and any special requests are also shared. The draft is done with all the coaches, the division lead and one or two draft moderators to ensure the teams are balanced. The draft process takes an average of 2 – 4 hours.

I have twins, will they be on the same team?

Twins will be placed on the same team. Siblings that are in the same division will also be placed on the same team. We can’t put siblings on the same team if they are not in the same division.

Can two friends be put on the same team?

Coaches are made aware of special requests (friends, carpooling requests etc.) but it is solely up to the coaches if they wish to grant the request. Metro does allow for two protected players on a team, typically it is the players of the Head Coach and one Assistant Coach.

How many players are on a team?

Depending on the division there are usually 15-19 players per team, including the goalie. We try to have larger rosters for the higher divisions due to work and school commitments which often leads to lower attendance rate.

I cannot coach full time but I would like to help out. What can I do?

Metro is run by volunteers who often do multiple jobs. Every team needs assistant coaches and team managers. We would like to offer skill development sessions and need people to help give one on one support. We are always open to new ideas and new volunteers to help improve our league. Just send us an email volunteer@metroballhockey.ca and we will get back to you.

What is the difference between the Mountain and Pacific divisions?

The BC Minor Ball Hockey associations decided in 2015 that the sport would benefit from dividing the upper divisions of Minor, Major and Junior into Mountain (also known as tier A or tier 1) and Pacific (tier B or tier 2) divisions. The Mountain division players are typically more competitive and have stronger skills. The rule within the associations is that the teams must be equally divided plus 1 if there is an uneven number of teams. Therefore if we have 8 teams in Junior, 4 will be Mountain and 4 will be Pacific. If we have 9 teams, then it will be 4 and 5 teams depending on the skill level of the players. We are not permitted to have only 2 Mountain teams and 6 Pacific teams even if the skill level is not there to run 4 Mountain teams. The player ratings and assessments determine whether a player will be in Mountain or Pacific division. This was introduced to allow all players equal playing time and for players to feel they are challenged, and are having fun regardless of their skill level.

Who do I complain to if I have a problem?

The team manager is the first person to talk to regarding any problems. If they can’t help you, then they will contact the division lead. The division lead can discuss the problem with the executive if they are unable to solve your problem. We wish to remind you of the 24 hour rule when making a complaint, let cooler heads prevail. If it is a concern of personal safety then please report it right away.

What is WCC? How can my player join?

WCC is the Western Challenge Cup and was created in 1999 to provide a tournament for skilled minor ball hockey players to compete against other teams from the Western provinces. The tournament is over a four day period during the middle of July. Age groups are U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19. Players are by invite only and the final team selection is decided by the coaches and the Metro executive.

How long has Metro Minor Ball Hockey been around?

The league has been around since 1998, with interest growing rapidly over the past couple of years. Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association has affiliation with both the West Coast Minor Ball Hockey Association and the Canadian Ball Hockey Association.

Who can play?

The league is co-ed, so both boys and girls (5 to 19) can play. Registration is open to players from New Westminster, Burnaby, Vancouver and Coquitlam.

What are the divisions?

For the 2019 season, the players are divided between the following divisions based on their birth years:

  • Junior – 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Major – 2004, 2005
  • Minor – 2006, 2007
  • PeeWee – 2008, 2009
  • Pup – 2010, 2011
  • Peanut – 2012, 2013
  • Tyke – 2014

How long is the season?

The season runs from mid March until June, with extended time for those teams that make the Provincials. Games are held during the week and the weekends. Typically there are usually two games per week. Although many coaches try to practice once a week, due to a lack of floor time availability, it is often more sporadic.

Do we have to travel to any other sites to play?

Yes. Our association home games are played mainly at rinks in Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver. However the association interlocks play with Valley Ball Hockey, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Richmond, and Delta, which would require travel to their rinks.

Are the parents required to do any volunteer time?

The association is purely run on volunteers; therefore, it is important for parents to offer their time, as the association is continually looking for volunteers to assist in various capacities.


Registration

How do I register?

Metro Minor Ball Hockey is doing online registration this year. Please click on the link below to start registration. The number of teams and players accepted, depends upon the number of volunteers we have to coach at each division. Register early to avoid disappointment.

Registration site will Open Dec 20, 2019

Register a player

My child plays ice hockey, baseball and soccer in the spring. Can they still register?

It is detrimental to the team if your player does not show up because they have other sports or activities to attend. A bench that is too short cannot compete fairly with other teams and associations. It is not fair to the coaches and other players who are often forced to forfeit a game because of a lack of players. As well, we have many players on the waitlist who are denied a spot on a team by someone who isn’t committed to playing.

When does registration open?

Registration typically opens in early December. Please register early so that we can determine how many teams will be in each division and create the schedule. Most divisions fill up quickly and you will then be waitlisted. The number of teams varies per year depending on enrollment so the sooner you register the better. On average we have about 50 teams with over 800 players aged 5- 18.

Can we get our money back if my child decides they do not want to play?

A written request must be sent to the Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association if you are withdrawing a registration.

A $30 administration fee will be subtracted from your refund if your written request is received before any player evaluation session.

A $50 administration fee will be subtracted from your refund if your written request is received after the player evaluation sessions have started.

NO REFUNDS will be provided once draft and player placement on teams has occurred.

Equipment

What equipment is required?

Mandatory Equipment

  • Hockey stick
    • Must be a real hockey stick, plastic sticks are not allowed
    • Should be cut to about chin height
    • Must be taped at the top to prevent the stick going through a helmet cage
  • C.S.A. approved helmet with full cage/shield.
  • Protective cup for boys; Jill for girls
  • Hockey gloves
  • Shin pads – D Gels or comparable do not need to be covered but if using soccer shin pads they must be covered with socks.
  • Goalies wear full gear (with C.S.A. approved helmet). Goalie equipment is provided by the league

Recommended

  • Elbow pads (soft, like Volley Ball style)
  • Knee pads (soft, like Volley Ball style)

The league will provide jerseys for the season. A damage deposit of $100 is required, which will be returned to the player when the jerseys are returned undamaged.

My child wants to play goal, do we need to provide goalie equipment?

No. The league provides goalie equipment; however, the player has to provide his/her own CSA approved goalie facemask or helmet with full cage.

Where can I buy the equipment? Do you have used equipment that we can use?

Stores such as Pro Hockey Life, The Hockey Shop Source for Sports, Cyclone Sports, SportChek, and Canadian Tire carry ball hockey gear. We do not have used equipment. If you have financial difficulties regarding attaining equipment or registration please email us. We support KidSport.

Do Goalies need to supply their own gear?

Metro Minor Ball Hockey Association will supply all the gear needed for the Goalies with the exception of a helmet. You can use your regular CSA approved player helmet. A street hockey mask is NOT acceptable. A neck protector is also recommended. If you need to borrow goalie gear, please inform the division lead so that we can make arrangements to get the properly sized gear for you before the season starts.

Games

When are games played?

Each division is a little different. The league makes every effort to schedule games at times that are suitable for each age group.
Games are held during the week, and the weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). There are typically two games per week, but there can be more scheduled on some weeks.

How many games are there in a season?

There are approximately 14-16 games during the regular season for all divisions from Peanut to Junior. Every team will play in the playoffs in June. The winner for each division will then represent Metro at the BC Provincials at the end of June. These Provincial games are rotated yearly between the different associations and can be in Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, Victoria, Langley or Maple Ridge.

Our Tyke division is for our youngest players and is an introduction to ball hockey with the focus on fun, skills and mini games. The tyke program typically runs on Saturday and Sunday morning from 8 to 9am.

How many practices are there in a season?

Typically there is one practice a week. Due to lack of floor time, the majority of practices times will be shared with another team. Some coaches may be able to obtain extra practice times at the reserved “lacrosse/hockey” outdoor boxes or school gyms. If you have practice at an outdoor box please bring an old stick and do not use Metro goalie gear; the rough surface will ruin the equipment rather quickly.

What days are the games and practices on?

The schedule is not set until early March so we cannot tell you what days your child might play until you receive the schedule from your coach. The scheduler must work with the available floor time and the other associations to ensure all teams have equal games and practices. The schedule is created so that the younger divisions play earlier in the evening and the older kids play later at night. Games can start as early as 8AM or as late as 9PM.

Where are the games played?

Home games are typically played at Kensington arena (6159 Curtis St, Burnaby), Burnaby Lake arena (3676 Kensington Ave, Burnaby), New West Moody Park Arena and Vancouver – Killarney/Trout Lake Arenas.

All divisions, except Tyke, will have away games which may require travel to Surrey, Richmond, Langley, Vancouver, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge.

Is ball hockey a “no contact” sport?

Yes, Canadian Ball Hockey Association rules penalize players for body checking (body contact). Referees will call penalties for game infractions. Serious incidents may result in game suspensions or total bans. Please note it is a fast sport and incidental body contact does occur.

Do I have to be a parent to coach?

No, you do not have to be a parent to coach. We have several coaches who are current or former Metro players who love the game and want to help coach a team. If they are under 19, then we will ensure an adult coach is also assigned to the team to be a mentor.

How come there is only one referee or sometimes no refs at a game? Can’t you pay them more so they will show up?

We are not the only association to have a shortage of referees. Often new referees quit mid-season due to the stress and verbal abuse they receive during games. Many refs also have scheduling conflicts with their own games, other work or school events. Their pay scale is on par with the other leagues. We cannot pay a referee extra as an incentive to come out to a game. We are working on training more referees. If you are interested in becoming a referee, let us know and we will post when the next referee clinic is.

Where are games played?

See the link of rink locations here.