New to Hockey?

My child has never played before. How do I register?

Registration is easy! Each year, you'll use the same Hockey Canada account that you created on their website to register your player(s). There are a few extra steps to take when creating your Hockey Canada account for the first time, but these are simple tasks that you'll only have to do once. For more details and step-by-step instructions, see our Registration page and look for the New Player section.

What does it mean to be "new to organized hockey"?

"New players" are those who have never been part of an official Hockey Canada-affiliated program, and do not have a Hockey Canada ID. The reason we need to know is because there are a few steps to take in order to establish a Hockey Canada ID (e.g. demonstrating proof of age and residency), and if your player does have an account, then we do not want to create a duplicate record.

Can anyone register with West End / What team are we supposed to register with?

Yes, as long as you live within our district or catchment area. Hockey Canada allocates catchment areas to teams, so players within a certain geographic region are assigned to the team representing that territory. If you're unsure about which catchment area you are part of,  visit the HEO Minor website to determine where you should be registering based on your address.

What equipment do I need to get, and where do I get it?

All the required equipment is listed in the Required Equipment Parent Resources section of our website. For the younger kids just starting out, many sports stores carry "starter" kits that include almost everything you need -- just add "personal" items, like helmet, skates, mouth guard and athletic cup/support, and you're all set. The staff at those stores are usually very helpful in getting players off on the right skate!

My kids never played hockey when they were young, but want to start now. Is that possible?

Yes! The West End Hockey League (WEHL) offers programs for youth between the ages of four and 20. Most players aged eight and above are assessed at the start of the season and sorted into groups of similar skill level to ensure everyone has a chance to play and improve. We welcome all newcomers. Everyone has a place!

What should I expect on the first day of the season?

Generally speaking, controlled chaos! You won't be the only one just getting started, so there's usually extra help at the rink to get people headed in the right direction. But there's always someone there who's been through it before, and lots of people are willing to help out, so don't be afraid to introduce yourself and ask questions. At the youngest ages, you'll need to help your player get dressed. Try putting on the gear at home once or twice before you head to the arena, just so everyone knows where everything goes. 

Can I help with my child's team?

Yes, please! West End is almost 100% volunteer-run, and we always need help. Experienced volunteers are always highly sought after for on-ice coaching and bench positions, but many of the tasks required to run a team need no specific hockey knowledge. Managers, treasurers, trainers, event planners and more are always required at team and league levels. Where training or certification is required, it will be provided, with the costs covered by West End. To volunteer, simply reach out to our VP of Administration for more details.


When does Registration start / end?

Registration for the 2024-2025 season opens on June 10, 2024.  While we try our best to avoid registration deadlines, spaces do become limited after September/October. Please contact our Registrar if you are hoping to register after September. 

Is my player considered a "New", "Returning" or "Transfer" player?

RETURNING players are those who previously registered with the West End Hockey League. TRANSFER players are those who played on another organized team last season, but are new to the WEHL catchment area. NEW players are those who are new to organized hockey. New players don't have a Hockey Canada ID, and will need to apply for one before registering for the season.

What division or level do I register my player at?

Registration is strictly based on age. The registration system will determine what division your player should be placed in based on their age as of December 31. Click here for more details about our programs. The sort-out process at the start of the season will determine what level (A, B or C) your player is placed in.

My player is [really good/not-so-good], and I think they should play in a division up [or down], but the system won't let me register in a different age group. How can I change that?

You can't. Registration is strictly based on age as of December 31. If you want to discuss further, please contact our Registrar.

Can I register for any team in Ottawa? How do I know if we're supposed to be registering for the West End Hockey League (WEHL)?

No. Hockey Canada organizes team registration based on catchment areas, i.e. geographic location based on your place of residence. To determine if you live within the WEHL's catchment, enter your address into the form at HEO Minor's website

We're moving away from the West End catchment area. Can you transfer my player's profile to our new team?

No, transfers are initiated by the team you're moving to. As soon as you have proof of your new residence, reach out to the Registrar in your new catchment area to kick off the transfer and registration process.

We're moving into the West End catchment area. How do we register for West End hockey?

We're glad you asked! See the Transfers subsection in our Transfers pages for full details. And welcome to the neighbourhood!

What is the "Respect in Sport" course, and why do I have to do it?

One of the most common reasons coaches, managers, and officials, of all ages, cite for leaving sport is unacceptable parent behaviour. The Respect in Sport Parent Program is a proactive, educational program that empowers parents with the tools to ensure the game is enjoyable and respectful for themselves, their children and all other stakeholders in the game.​ All parents of U7(IP5, IP6), and U9 (Novice players), as well as new players joining our association, are required by Hockey Eastern Ontario to complete the Respect in Sport - Parents program

I was told the team in our catchment area is full. Can I register with West End?

Maybe. See the Transfers subsection of our Registration web pages to initiate a Transfer request. If you are inquiring in September (or later), reach out to registrar@westendhockey.com first to ensure that we are still accepting registrations.

Fees, Discounts and Refunds

How are the fees set?

Each season, costs of the program are evaluated and projected for the upcoming season. Fees are set based on an analysis of historical costs and trends in registration, then applied to the upcoming season after they are presented at the Annual General Meeting. Please see our Divisions & Fees page for this season's  fees.

If I don't want to use a credit card, can I make a payment with cash or Interac?

Yes. Reach out to our Registrar team to make arrangements.

Does West End offer a payment plan? Can I pay the fees over multiple payments?

Yes, deferred payments are possible. To discuss or to arrange paying in installments, please contact our Treasurer. Also note that a number of resources are available for those that qualify for financial assistance.

I didn't get 100% of our registration fee back, even though my player never stepped on the ice.

From the moment you register, the WEHL incurs administrative costs that are unrecoverable. These costs are levied based on enrollment and registration even before the season starts and include flat fees such as Hockey Canada insurance. We reviews this fee annually and strives to keep it as low as possible.

Is financial assistance available to help cover costs? What funding options area available to families?

A number of programs are available to families seeking financial assistance to help cover some of the costs of hockey registration. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for more information.


Can I volunteer for my child's team?

Yes, please! West End is almost 100% volunteer-run, and we always need help. Experienced volunteers are always highly sought after for on-ice coaching and bench positions, but many of the tasks required to run a team need no specific hockey knowledge. Managers, treasurers, trainers, event planners and more are always required at team and league levels. Where training or certifcation is required, it will be provided, with the costs covered by West End. To volunteer, simply reach out to our VP of Volunteers for more details.

What qualifications to I need to volunteer for West End?

It depends on how you're looking to help out. Some helpers need no special qualifications, while Hockey Canada mandates minimum qualifications for certain positions, particularly those directly involving the players. Most courses and certifications are one-time requirements (Trainer certifications need to be refreshed every 3 years), but West End will cover the costs of all required training. And all volunteers working with the kids require a Police Record Check. See our Clincs page for more details.

I'd like to volunteer, but I don't really know much about hockey. Is there anything I can do?

Absolutely! We need lots of help in areas that have little to do with hockey skills or strategy, at both the team and Executive levels. For more information, simply reach out to our VP of Administration

Try-Outs, Sort-Outs and Teams

My child has never played hockey before, and I'm concerned they won't be able to keep up. Is there a team for new players?

Not to worry! There's a place for everyone at West End. Players are evaluated at the start of the season and sorted into levels and teams of like-skilled players, even if it means moving a player up or down an age group (which can happen in rare cases, usually on request). If you're ever concerned about the evaluation process or the relative skill of your player vs others, reach out to West End's VP Junior (U5, U6, U7 and U9), VP Intermediate (U11 and U13) or VP Senior (U15, U18 and U21) to discuss the appropriate plan of action.

How does my player try out for competitive?

West End is a strictly House League association. If a player intends to tryout for District B competitive hockey (i.e. Golden Knights, Sting, Junior 67s), they must first pre-register at no cost with the WEHL prior to registering for competitive tryout. Players who are accepted on a competitive team will pay their registration fees directly to the competitive association. Players who are not accepted, must complete and pay for their registration with the WEHL.

My child wants to play on the same team as a friend. Can that be arranged?

Convenors may consider friend requests, but cannot guarantee them. Check the Contacts page to reach out to the Convenor of your division to discuss. 

How can I ensure that my twins / similarly-aged kids play on the same team?

We know logistics can sometimes be hard for multiple players in one family. Assuming your kids are playing in the same division/level based on age and skill, please reach out to the Convenor for your division to discuss.

Schedules and Locations

How long does the season run?

Most players in U9 through to U18 usually hit the ice in early September for conditioning and sort outs, while younger players and those in U21 start a few weeks later. The season will run until mid-March (depending how each team's individual playoff schedule). There are breaks in the schedule during the holidays in December and March break as well as Thanksgiving and Family day long weekends. When possible, we try to avoid scheduling ice times on Halloween.

Please click here to read more about our programs.

My player does other activities in the winter. Can I get the hockey schedule so we can plan around games and practices?

Unfortunately, after U5, U6 and U7 it's not that simple. West End plays games in the Bytown association, which includes three other local associations. Annual logistics, management of ice availability, individual team tournament commitments, event conflicts, unexpected arena maintenance, and more create a dynamic schedule that requires dedicated volunteers from each association. For these reasons and more, it's impossible to predict the season schedule in advance for each WEHL team (we have more than 50+ teams every year). We do know that predictability is important for busy families, and we do try our best to provide as much notice as possible.

What is the schedule like at the IP level (U5, U6, U7) ?

U5 will have one ice time per week, while U6 ad U7 will have two. These sessions are typically held on weekends. Note that some families may choose to participate in optional tournaments or jamborees. Please click here to read more about our programs.

What is the schedule like at other levels (U9 - Novice to U18 - Midget)?

Once the kids hit U9 and above, the schedule is less predictable. Generally speaking, it is one practice and one game per week. Teams should receive individual schedules, looking ahead to the next 4-6 weeks, about a month in advance. Some of this is unfortunately out of the WEHL's control as we are dependent on the Bytown association for our game schedules.

Please click here to read more about our programs.

I'm concerned we'll miss a lot of games/practices. Can my child play part-time?

West End does not offer part-time registration. That said, it's not unusual for House League players to miss some games and practice. It will come down to an assessment in your family of the value of the experience for the time your player is able to participate. Keep in mind that teammates and coaches get more out of the experience when they can create that bond that makes sports teams more fun, rewarding, and often, successful.

Where are the games and practices?

For the WEHL, our home rink is JA Dulude. We also get ice at Tom Brown, Barbara Ann Scott and McNabb. Practices and home games will be at these arenas (predominately JA Dulude), while away games will be at the arenas for OCMHA, OEMHA, CHA and SEMHA. Each of the other associations in the Bytown League have their own home arenas, where most of their home games (our away games) are played. Other arenas include:

  • Ottawa Centre: Brewer Arena
  • Ottawa East: Sandy Hill Arena
  • Canterbury: Brian Kilrea Arena
  • South End: Jim Durrell Recreation Centre