AGM Minutes (Western Ontario Girls Hockey League)

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2024 WOGHL AGM Meeting Minutes

May 30, 2024 via Google Meet @ 730pm


Attendance: President Aaron Brooks, VP Cindy Foster, Treasurer Jodi Edwards, Secretary Jenn Skevington, Scheduler Jason Arnott, Brendan Kennedy, Christine S., John Fife, Len Perdue, Matt Dale, Jenny Smale, Scott Snider, Todd McCann, Kyle Lake, Darryl Wharram, Shawn Macdonald, Ryan Taiariol, Sarah Glavin, Bryan Minten, Jeff Adam, Adriana Allair, Andrew Miller, Sean Cameron, Jocelyn Aarts, Brad Leibold, Pat Grobe, Rick Tokarz, Scott Storey, Jason Schneider, Amy, Jesse Bondy, Lynn Bannister ( up to 36 in attendance)

Recap of 2023/24 Season:

·       There was discussion and feedback of the season including the addition of the B loop. Aaron stated that any hiccups that came up were able to be resolved quickly. Pat Grobe of Kitchener Rangers, Jesse Bondy of Southpoint Stars, and Rick Tokarz of Waterloo Raven both shared their positive feedback as a parent and coach. There was a possible scare of travel with there being such a large geographical area. Pat stated that the mid-year reseeding was extremely well received by the parent group. Jesse expressed some challenges with the method for the ice scheduling. Some groups used Google Sheets and Aaron and Jason will look at it as a possibility for next season. Sean Cameron of Stratford Aces shared that it is now mandated that all B-loop teams are to be with WOGHL as it is the best format with a lot more hockey than what is available out there. Rick suggested a future possibility of Semi format being a “First to 4-points”. There was later discussion on this. Jason Schnieder of Lakeshore shared that the WOGHL layout for both a parent and a coach was a great tool to help motivate players to achieve goals, see results, and was able to be successful while being more competitive. They were able to see what level they were able to have a better idea of where they were placing in the league. Also suggested that if any teams were worried about travel, it is possible to play all 4 teams down that way if teams are willing to do over the weekend.

·       U9 Division is overseen by Cindy Foster and Jason Arnott. There was discussion about the setup of the unique division. Some teams did some regional exhibition games during the half-ice time. The teams were reseeded after the full-ice play for the U9 Championship that St. Marys hosted. There was participation from 30 out of the 31 teams in the league. There were some teams that chose to do the U9 Championship over Provincials due to the different levels and awards. Some teams chose to participate in both Championships and Provincials. Brian Minten of Bluewater Hawks had some great suggestions especially with regards to getting more information out to the coaches since many or most of them are brand new to coaching or hockey. WOGHL has been great with keeping the scores and scheduling, but we are finding that many coaches are using the scores that they see on the ice and not so much about the play of the game which left teams reseeded incorrectly. Another suggestion that was brought up to Aaron was to keep the teams geographical only for the half-ice portion. The more WOGHL grows and more teams join, we can work on a better format for a more consistent grouping of the teams at both half-ice and full-ice times before the U9 Championships. Cindy Foster brought up that all associations handle the U9 teams differently depending on how many register and how they deal with ice time. This is the biggest struggle with the half-ice section of the season. Once they hit full-ice, then everyone can play based their skill level. This is also heavily dependent on coaches filling out the survey properly to assist in the proper reseed grouping since we don’t get to see all the teams. Cindy would like to see it more regionalized so the kids don’t have to travel so far.

·       For the remaining levels and age groups, there was not much feedback. Aaron touched on how Jason and him work hard to keep it as balanced as possible and the feedback he has had from last season so far was positive. Jeff Adam of Wilmot agrees with all the feedback that has already been shared of last season.

·       The Day of Champions feedback. There were 19-21 games played between the Clinton and Zurich facilities that day. Jesse of Southpoint stated that it went really well. They enjoyed the Championship portion of the season. There was a more competitive playoffs, and even end to the season. Reiterated about a potential multi-game semi-finals. Aaron stated that with almost doubling in size from the year before in Komoka, Huron Heat did a fantastic job hosting in the two facilities. It went really well with the balanced managing of the facilities. The only other feedback Aaron has heard from other teams was to hopefully see it more centralized in the future. There have been mixed feedback regarding medals vs. banners for the players. We went to Championship and Runner up. We are looking for some feedback to see if arenas and facilities are able to hang these banners up again. We don’t want to invest in them when they cannot be up on display. Rick stated that his daughter was excited to get a different award than just another medal to add to all the other medals the have collected over the years. Possible that medals be for the younger groups and while mini banners or “Queen of the Rings” championship ring, a “Stanely Cup Trophy” as a few ideas. Something to change it up moving forward. Aaron stated that they are looking into different ideas. Huron Heat would like to host again next year. Aaron is thinking more centralized like Strathroy if Bluewater is interested. He has already tentatively booked the ice.

·       U9 Championship Weekend- St. Marys is interested in hosting it again next year. All feedback has been positive and they have the double pad to help accommodate all the games that are needed to play.

·       Central Perth and North Middlesex have hosted the All-Star games the past two years. North Middlesex did an absolutely amazing job with the bar upstairs, BBQ out front, and the experience for the girls with the banner and red carpet that allowed girls to take lots of pictures and share them with friends and family on social media. If we grow again, we may have to look at a more centralized centre with a double pad. North Middlesex expressed interest in doing it again next year. We did 8 games last year and ran from 8am to 9-930pm the same day. Aaron was looking at changing the timeline of when the invites go out possibly through the Christmas time. He has also received some tips of how others have done an All Star game and some of the tools they use to select players, etc. Aaron clarified for Christine that the All Star games include players from U11- U18 for both C and B loops. If we grow again, it will include the BB loop as well. Amy stated that her daughter and her as a parent had a fabulous experience at the All Star game. Her only feedback was to have the coaches bring the girls together possibly before the game somehow do some ice breakers to help ease the girls nerves and let them be more comfortable with the players so they can play more confidently in the game. Some coaches did do that as Brendan Kennedy of U11 did for his team. Aaron has booked the Strathroy ice for the All Star game as well so we have the option of a central double pad rink. There are not many options out there. He has also suggested that Aylmer, Dorchester, Woodstock, Tillsonburg that also have double pads and centralized. BAD is interested in having a discussion about hosting All Star Game.

New Business:

·       Treasurer’s Report- Jodi Edwards-  Financial year runs from June to End of May. Opening balance of June 2023- $16,174.37

Revenue for the year- $48,841.45

Expenses for the year- $36,057.73

Closing balance of May 2024- $28,958.09

We do carry bonds for all associations which are about $5,600.00. We are currently waiting for one outstanding invoice from North Middlesex for the All Star Game that needs to be paid for. There is also the payment sent out for Municipality of Bluewater for their ice time in Zurich that has not been cashed yet – roughly $2,000. There were 169 teams this year which is up from having 100 teams from the prior year. Jodi said that there was an overpayment of about $500 that came in from parents and associations for the All Star game as there was confusion of who was paying the player fees when the invitations went out. The payments were all over the place from different avenues, and had to chase for some payments. She will need to do a deep dive to track down where this money needs to be refunded. Pat Grobe asked if we had considered building in a fixed fee to the Association fee to help ease this confusion of funds and it will all be collected at once.

·       Association Fees- Aaron Brooks- originally there had been previous discussions to increase the fees to $200 this next year. With going through this All Star process this year with about 340 kids playing, the payments got scrambled. This will allow us to keep funds streamlined as we continue to grow as a league. Aaron put forward a motion to increase the Association Fees to $300 per team to assist in the coverage of the All Star games for all teams involved, as well as the Day of Champions, and our help with the U9 Championships. Lynn Bannister seconds the motion. There was a vote that 26 in favour of the 36 members in attendance. It was noted that OWHL charges $300 in Association fees and you get much less hockey opportunities and may not even get to play in the playoffs. Todd McCann of Huron Heat suggested that each Association could then collect from parents to recoup those fees if they decide to go that route. Amy asked what the breakdown was to determine how many go from each team. In a perfect world the teams that had 6 in their group got to send 1 defenceman and 2 forwards from each team. Then it was broken down into the rankings based on the standings. Higher teams in the standings sent 3 players while the lower teams sent 2 players. Aaron is looking at different tools/ways to help him streamline the process and save time. He spent 40+ hours and over 125 emails just to get it sorted and get invites out. Each team got to send a minimum of 2 players. Goal tending is another component on top of that. Aaron used Survey Monkey last year where the coaches got to vote the top 3 goalies in each division before Christmas.

·       Interest in BB- Loop- Aaron Brooks has been receiving many emails of all age groups expressing interest of adding a BB Loop to next season. It would be ideal to get approximately 10 teams per age group to make it a viable loop. This was the experience from last year. Jason Arnott suggested that we can make it work in a few different ways whether there are 2 divisions or possibly even a bit of a crossover but it depends on the numbers. The biggest push is coming from the U15-BB group with seeing the OWHA rules go back to 10-12-12 games and how we ran things last year. This depends on centers having ice time as this can change from year to year as to how much ice is available based on age group, category, and level. Aaron spoke with WOAA at how they play their periods in each age group. There were discussions about ice time struggles as some centers had the ice time to play longer periods and teams did not want to play it which caused a lot of burned up ice time. Then there are many centers that do not have the ability to have the extra ice to allow for the longer games. WOGHL had 10-10-15 last year where OWHA played 10-12-12 for B and C loops. Jeff Adam of Wilmot stated it is easier for some centers to accommodate a mandated ice time than others. If we go BB loop, it is suggested that U11BB- U13BB play 10-12-12 and U15BB – U18BB play 15-15-15 with or without a flood. Darryl Wharram of Woodstock Wildcats stated that as we have grown as an association, doing a mandated 15-15-15 for the U15BB the ice time is just not there. Brad Leibold suggested that if there are centers that can play those ice times, then we should use it to allow the girls the opportunity to develop during the regular season. Jeff Adam and Aaron Brooks both feel that it is fair. Amy feels that it should be communicated to the coaches ahead of time as to what centers play the longer games so they can prepare their teams. This will still be discussed as we move forward through the summer with the BB loop.

·       Aaron would like all Association Reps to fill out a simplified version of the preliminary ITR so that we can get a better understanding of who has interests and we can get a head start on setting up the next season over the summer. We can look at the number of teams for each division in each of the age groups. Jason will follow up with an email out to all the reps that we have on file. We are hoping to get this in the next week or 2 to get a forecast of what we are dealing with for next season. Jason stated that around September 1st, the full version of the ITR will be available to include coaches’ information, etc. Jodi Edwards clarified that once we get the final ITR from each association, she will generate and send out an invoice to each association for clear communication as to what the Association fees are.

·       Important Dates-

June 15, 2024 – Preliminary ITRs are due- allows the planning process to start

Sept 1, 2024 – Original ITRs will be available

Sept 15, 2024 – Final ITRs Due – changes can still be made until Sept 29

Sept 29, 2024 – Final Day of Exhibition Games and Final changes to ITRs

Sept 30, 2024- Final Divisions/Loops Released

October 1, 2024- Scheduling games starts online

October 4, 2024- Scheduling completed, Regular Season Games begin

October 6, 2024-Have all the games entered in by the Ice Schedulers

*This will all be emailed out to the reps

March 28-30, 2025 – U9 Championship weekend * Tentative Date

----If St. Marys hosts, will need to move it to the following weekend to get the double pad ice time required.

April 5, 2025- Day of Champions

April 6, 2025- All Star Game

·       Regular Season- 12-14 game Regular Season (Oct 4 to Early/Mid- January)

We are looking at segmenting levels into 3 or 4 divisions (East, Central, West). This will add another playoff stream, and allow teams to see each other. It should work out better for travel as well.

·       Round Robin Playoffs- 8-10 game Playoff Season (Mid-January through March Break)

Travel should be more localized for this round as well

·       Championship Round-

1 game Quarter Final (3 weeks before Provincials)

          *Depends on team # in the playoff division

1 game Semi Final (2 weeks before Provincials)

1 game Final *Day of Champions (1 week before Provincials)

·       Period Lengths- Aaron is working hard to align our period lengths with OMHA and Alliance as the game grows with girls hockey and now with the growth of PWHL. He is pushing for the girls to have equal ice time and removal of curfews from competitive hockey. HL will remain status quo. WOGHL will recommend the alignment of the structure of the periods to be 10-12-12 vs the 10-10-15 to eliminate the confusion for the B, C, and HL divisions with the preference of no curfews. It must be acknowledged and communicated before the game if the game will be curfewed or not. Curfew is to be discussed between the home and visiting team. If the game is slated for a curfew, it must end at a stated curfew time regardless. The timekeepers are to sound the horn/buzzer for curfews, not the arena staff. You cannot play a game and not know when the end of the game is. This will not be determined by the score or how much time is left. Cindy stated that it is put right into RAMP from a computer or laptop. Ice schedulers should be able to enter that in when entering the games, but it needs to be followed. If there is a change that night and facility will allow them to play it out, this still needs to be communicated prior to the game to both coaches. Arena staff and the home team will be in communication prior to the game and the home team will communicate to the visiting team if the game is to have curfew or not and the end game time. The regular season rules on the website have been updated to reflect this. This is the same for playoffs. There are no curfews in playoffs for WOGHL. If it is curfewed, it is also grounds for protest. There were many complaints of this last year. Curfew is not up to the facility folks because the game needs to be previously determined whether it is curfewed or not. All playoff rules are listed on our website. If we have a BB loop, we will come together with each age group to figure out what the period lengths will be.  U18BB will be 15-15-15 no matter what. The home teams shall decide the game lengths if it is to be longer than the minimum based on their ice availability. Again, this needs to be communicated by the home team to the visiting team prior to the game.

Open Discussion

·       Christine asked for clarity on what a full roster size is. Aaron informed that it is 17 skaters and 2 goalies for minor hockey- 19 players.

·       Pick Up the Player Rule- We went from 30 pick up a player forms to low-80s in the last season just in playoffs from U11-U18. Not sure if this increase was due to a busier schedule or picking up the B loop. WOGHL allows this rule as we do have rosters that have 10 or 11 kids. This allows teams to continue to play with full rosters due to injuries, vacations, illnesses, etc. It was easy for people to send in the forms. Aaron would read them and approve them as quickly as possible to send them back. The player being pick up does not have to be registered with WOGHL they must be registered with OWHA to be eligible. This was briefly missed on the forms last year. The only stipulation when you cannot use Pick Up a Player is for a WOGHL Playoffs/Provincials game- the players cannot play up. All of this is outlined in the rules on our website. Amanda from Windsor Wildcats asked that these forms are properly filled out by all the coaches as there was no signatures from the coaches on a form. We will took the form submissions from one week or 2 out from the game with a minimum of a few hours. Its tough. Aaron tries to read and approves them as fast as he can. If he is on the bench, he would not be able to get to it asap. All these are streamlined in the RAMP. This is unique to our league. Coaches will be able to see the player that has been added.

·       Final BB Loop Note- A deadline of August 23 to know if there is possibly going to be BB with WOGHL so we can get some meetings going with each age groups between Aug 26-30. You still have until Sept 30 to lock in what you will play. Hoping to see a consensus of groups of BB on the preliminary ITRs.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Executive at

Aaron Brooks- [email protected]

Cindy Foster – V. President – [email protected]

Jason Arnott- Ice Scheduler- [email protected]


Meeting adjourned at 9:15pm.