Resources for Parents

Each season, more than 600 boys and girls play hockey with Hockey West Island.
Children can join as of the age of 4, where they will play in the U7 (Under 7) division.
Our other divisions include U9 to U18 and Junior and Senior. Hockey West Island has Single Letter
as well as competitive Double Letter teams from U11 to U18 with the CHA Grizzlies.

The STRENGTH and SUCCESS of Hockey West Island depends on its VOLUNTEERS!

Many of our members are unaware how much volunteer work and fundraising is necessary to operate a
quality community hockey program for our players. The Association encourages ALL members to become actively involved
in the operation and SUCCESS of Hockey West Island. If you are not volunteering on your child’s team as a coach or manager,
there are many other ways that you can support your team and the Association.
From the HWI Community Day, to Pop-up Shops, to the HWI tournament, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities.
The time commitment is reasonable and the help is hugely beneficial and appreciated.
Please talk with your team manager or the HWI Director of Operations to see how you can help!

Be a positive hockey parent - CLICK TO EXPAND

All coaches and managers at HWI are volunteers and give hundreds of hours each season both on and off the ice. In order for each season to be fun and successful for all, parents and families need to be involved, offer positive encouragement, and support the coaching staff and players. Sportsmanship starts in the stands and we ask that parents lead by example.

Get involved. It is very important to attend the start of the year team meeting with coaches. 

7 Tips To Keep Hockey In Perspective

1. Hockey is about fun

On the ice, in the dressing room and on the drive home from the rink, hockey should always be fun. Even in the midst of a skating drill at 7 a.m., you’ll still see kids with big smiles. Do everything you can to ensure that continues.

2. Development is more important than winning

Equal playing time in younger age groups is a priority for a reason. It’s about everyone getting better, and sometimes that means losing when going with your best players might have given you a win. It all pays off in the long term.

3. It’s a marathon, not a sprint 

A kid’s future success in hockey and, more importantly, in life, is not decided by whether he or she makes the U11 or U13 ‘A’ team. Kids develop at different stages, and hockey has to be compatible with school, music, other sports, or missing a game to go to Grandma’s birthday.

4. Used gear is awesome

Kids grow fast, which means you need larger equipment – especially skates – far more frequently than you may ever have imagined. That just means there’s a whole lot of great used gear out there, so lean on Varagesale.ca, friends with older kids or the HWI Facebook gear swap page to keep those costs down. No 10-year-old needs a $200 stick, either. Entry-level sticks work just fine – it’s far more important that they’re cut to the right length.

5. Skating is (almost) everything

The best preparation for the first year of hockey is skating lessons of some kind. Kids who skate and who continue to pay attention to skating instruction, are at a distinct advantage. The game’s just a lot easier when you’re as fast, or as agile, as your rivals.

6. Parents need to stay positive

Kids make mistakes, referees make mistakes, and not all coaches are budding Mike Babcocks.  But they all deserve your support. If you’re about to lose your mind in the stands, go for a walk. We’ll all be better off, and that includes your kid.

7. Be a parent in the stands, or a coach on the bench, but not both.

Every effort should be made to NOT coach from the stands. Hearing different directions coming from the stands is distracting and confusing for both players and coaching staff. The stands are for enjoying watching your child play, and the companionship of other parents. If you want to coach, please consider obtaining your coaching certification and volunteering for a role on a team. 

At the start of the season, all players and parents sign a code of ethics. It is essential to respect and apply this code at all times.

Educate Yourself About Concussions

Children are more sensitive to the effects of a concussion and may need to have a longer period of rest prior to returning to activity and the sport. Don’t gamble on your kid’s ongoing health by ignoring the systems of a concussion.

Educate yourself by visiting Hockey Canada’s concussions information page. And consider adding the Hockey Canada Concussions App to your phone


These are kids
This is a game
Parents should cheer for and encourage everyone
The referees are human
You and your child do not play for the Canadiens
This is a zero-tolerance zone for abuse directed at officials, players, and fellow spectators.
Please be respectful and have fun!

Age Divisions for Single Letter Programs

The age and skill level of the players defines the seasonal plan. Hockey Canada skill-development programs are based on progressive steps and follow the appropriate allocation of time defined in the skill-development pyramid.


Frequently asked questions

U7 (Ages 4-5-6) CLICK TO EXPAND
Timbits U7 Age Division (formerly called Pre-Novice)

For kids aged 4-5-6

The MAHG-Initiation Hockey Timbits Program stands for Méthode d’apprentissage du hockey sur glace. This program designed by Hockey Quebec has been offered in all regions of Quebec since 1976.

Players wear full hockey equipment and practices are 50-minutes long. Players are on the ice 1 to 2 times per week (Saturdays and/or Sundays). Timbits game jerseys and socks are provided.

Goals for the Timbits U7 age division are:

  • Provide a positive environment for learning the FUNdamental skills of hockey
  • Stimulate interest and desire to continue playing the game of hockey
  • Develop basic skating skills and hockey stick/puck skills 
  • Increase opportunities for players to touch and handle the puck
  • Develop self-esteem through a sense of achievement
  • Teach the basic rules of hockey
  • Have FUN!

The MAHG program encourages an environment in which children can learn the FUNdamentals of hockey in a safe, fun atmosphere that doesn’t focus on winning. The MAHG program provides an opportunity for players to meet new friends while gaining a firsthand experience in the game of hockey. The volunteer coaches who partake in the Timbits program are encouraged to gain coaching knowledge through coach clinics.

CLICK HERE for the complete Timbits Hockey Canada M7 Program and cross-ice game information.

U9 (formerly Novice)

For kids aged 7-8
U9 builds on the basic hockey skills players learned in U7, but players do NOT have to have taken U7 to join the association. Everyone is welcome! U9 makes sure that the game is a safe and positive experience, introducing, reviewing, or refining basic skills. Players learn and practice:

  • Puck handling
  • Shooting and passing
  • Basic hockey rules
  • Basic hockey strategy
  • Building friendships and learning teamwork skills

In U9 players are classed in groups 1-4 and play against other Minor Hockey Associations in our league (Central Hockey League (CHL)) which includes Lakeshore Hockey, Pierrefonds Hockey, Dollard Hockey, Association Hockey Mineur Ile Perrot, and Association Hockey Mineur Hockey Vaudreuil-Dorion. Practices may be held Friday early evenings, and Saturdays and Sundays as early as 7am. The schedule changes weekly.

CLICK HERE for complete U9 and half-ice game information.

➡️ Playing with peers of the same level fosters an environment where the chances of success are balanced, reinforcing confidence and exploring social dynamics.
➡️ This approach ensures that the child remains engaged, motivated and happy in their sporting journey, where the exploration of skills and social relationships co-exist in an enriching way.
➡️ In a training session or lesson, grouping players according to skill level also makes the coach’s job much easier, since he or she can more easily adapt the level of difficulty of exercises according to the players’ skills.

U11 to U18 (Ages 9 to 17) CLICK TO EXPAND
U11 for kids ages 9-10
U13 for kids ages 11-12
U15 for kids ages 13-14
U18 for kids ages 15-16-17

U11 and U13 programs can have Classes A-B-C. U15 and higher usually only have A&B Classes.

Teams in Divisions U11, U13, U15, and U18 play against other Minor Hockey Associations (MHA) in the Central Hockey League (CHL) which includes Lakeshore Hockey, Pierrefonds Hockey, Dollard Hockey, Association Hockey Mineur Ile Perrot, and Association Hockey Mineur Hockey Vaudreuil-Dorion.

Junior(Ages 18-20) CLICK TO EXPAND
Junior (Ages 18-21)

Junior includes players from the age of 18 up to 21 within the calendar year, with a maximum of 4 players aged 21 as of December 31 of the current season. HWI only participates in the A-B Classes given that the AA Class is a Provincial league structure. Junior teams play in the Lac St-Louis regional league vs. other Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) of the Lac St-Louis territory.

Senior (21 years old - 25) CLICK TO EXPAND
Senior (Ages 21-25)

Senior includes players from the age of 21 up to 25 as of December 31 of the current season. Senior teams play in the Lac St-Louis regional league vs. other Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) of the Lac St-Louis territory.

I'd like to register!

How does the evaluation process work?

Evaluation tips for parents

Evaluations take place at the beginning of the season to ensure that players are grouped according to their ability and to ensure that the player is placed in the best possible position for success.

Parents can often feel unproductive during tryouts and assessments, which can lead to anxiety, frustration, and other negative reactions. During the evaluation process, it is crucial that coaches and evaluators are given the opportunity to go through their process and that players are removed from any negativity as much as possible. The role of parents during the evaluation process is to be positive and supportive of the player. This materializes by having good habits, having a good routine before the sessions, and helping the player to understand and decode what is happening when he decompresses or prepares. Examples include enforcing good sleep and rest patterns, providing appropriate nutrition to replenish energy and promote recovery, and helping to manage and reduce the player’s stress and frustration which can lead to decreased performance and increased fatigue. All players want to reach the highest levels and parents often want to support them in this effort. The best way to do this is to reinforce a growth mindset, to be the best you can be at any level, and to keep learning how to improve.

Players, parents and coaches who can make the most of their situation, no matter what, will ultimately have the most fun, learn the most, and have the best experience possible. Ultimately, the enjoyment of the sport and the skills a player can build on and off the ice are the most important outcomes of this process. If the parent can support and amplify these concepts, the player will experience the optimal benefit no matter where they are rated or what team level they are selected for.

What equipment is needed?

Hockey West Island provides goalie equipment for U7 and U9 goalies who wish to try it out during the season. 
We also have a limited number of items available for older players. 

While hockey equipment *can* be very expensive, there are many ways to save costs including buying good quality used equipment from sites such as VarageSale, and Facebook Marketplace, used sports equipment stores, or from HWI members. 

New to hockey? It’s important to wear your equipment properly!

Hockey tape should also be put on both the ‘butt end’ and blade of the stick.
Skates ‘out of the box’ are NOT sharp. They will need to be sharpened prior to the player’s first on-ice session.

To report a complaint, two (2) platforms are available: the orange button (operational complaints) and the Je Porte Plainte button (complaints of abuse, harassment, negligence or violence).



Hockey West Island uses the TeamSnap sports management service for clubs and leagues. TeamSnap is used to sort players during evaluations, for team and association communications, and for full team practice and game schedules. Members will need a (free) TeamSnap account if you do not already have one. Sign up online and/or download the app on your device. 

We’ve taken the RCM pledge.

Nous avons signé l’engagement du MER.


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