Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When does registration typically start?

Registration begins some time in May with the Board always working to get it started as early as possible. We normally wait to calculate next seasons ice, referee, and insurance costs for the upcoming season before opening up registration and offer an early bird price until a determined date in June. Our goal is to keep the league as economical as possible. As the league continues to grow and more ice times are needed, this is all calculated for our registration costs. For the 2023-24 season fees were less than $600.

How much does the season typically cost?

Registration for the 2023-24 season was less than $600. There are also deposits required for Fundraising, jersey use, and volunteering. If you fulfill the requirements on each of those three those deposits are returned. If we fundraise well enough, and this has been the case usually, most other costs like tournament fees are covered. Travel around the area does require gasoline and who knows what the price of that stuff will be moving forward. Equipment can also be pricey, however, we encourage grabbing used gear for kids as they grow like weeds and most used equipment is in very good shape which can really keep the costs down.

Do you have a refund policy?

Yes we do!

Fees will be refunded in full LESS the administration fee ($50) if the registered player cancels registration from the Cochrane Recreation Hockey League (the Cougars) prior to first ice time.

Fees will be refunded half if the registered player cancels registration from the Cougars anytime between first ice time and December 31.

Fees will not be refunded after December 31.

My child has never skated. Can they play?

Heck yes. Our league is built for everybody. If you are concerned about the skating skillset you can register in a number of summer skate programs. If not we will get them going.

When does the season start?

The hockey season starts early October and ends mid-march. We have ice every Friday and every other Saturday at home in Cochrane. On Saturdays where we don't have home ice we schedule road games with other rec teams in this area of Alberta. For the 2023-24 season we played Didsbury, Kneehill, Cremona and Sundre with the occasional in Rocky Mountain House. Since we also had three Cochrane teams per division we had a lot of games against the other Cougar teams.

When do games start?

Games are scheduled as teams are ready and ice is available. We typically like to practice for the month of October and first half of November before having games scheduled. As most of the season is one practice and one game per week, more practice up front is important for the rest of the season.

What equipment should my child have starting out?

Hockey is a fantastic sport but there is a lot of gear - it can get pricey. In that regard, don't overlook second hand gear which, especially for skates, is sometimes a better option. Below is a list of must haves to play in the Cougars League and in order as you would put them on!

Under gear - this is a personal preference depending on the player. Some players go bare skin others go full on body suit. This is also dependant if we are playing outside and it is cold. Many sport stores carry all sorts of different types of under gear. Pick what is most comfortable for your child. Let them decide.

Jock strap - get this new obviously. Find one that has either velcro or clips for hockey socks to attach.

Skate Socks - Skate socks are good for protection against potential blade cuts. These cuts are few and far between but you want to try to find the style that are long up the back of the legs for older kids and made out of material like kevlar. For the youngsters, sometimes soccer socks work really well as a trainer if you can't get something that fits properly.

Shin pads - your knee cap fits right in the centre and the pad extends down to just above the skate boot. Don't want too long or your skate might push it out of position. Used shin pads work well.

Hockey Socks - Cougars provide these with registration. You should have velcro or clips extended from your jock to keep these up. Sock tape also helps hold everything on.

Hockey Pants - They fit nice and loose while tightened at the waist. The key is at the back you want those high enough to protect the kidneys. Can find these used everywhere.

Skates - Skates usually fit smaller than a shoe - sometimes a full size. For kids, look for used skates that are in decent condition. They are usually broke in well which helps avoid the new skate blisters. New skates are great and if you go that route have your child wear them every day and move around in them to get them broke in. Guard em up so you don't slice your carpet. Sharpen as your child would like. 1/2 is usually good for first time skaters.

Shoulder pads - new or used work here. You can usually get a couple of seasons out of shoulder pads.

Elbow Pads - another bit of equipment that should last a few seasons. Make sure the elbow is well protected.

Jersey - a light practice jersey is good to have. Cougar jerseys are passed out every game and collected after the game. You don't want something too big so you have to Gretzky your jersey to avoid the butt end of your stick! A nice comfortable fit.

Neck guard - A good neck guard will last multiple seasons.

Helmet - This is super important. Even if you think your kid is going to the bigs they need their brains. Protect that head. This is the one place where a well fitted new helmet is best. You can usually get a couple of years out of helmet, especially ones that are easily adjusted. All kids also need the face shield as well.

Gloves - Another piece of equipment that is based on comfort. Most gloves are standard fit. Whatever your child feels is best will work.

Stick - Sticks are a very personal choice. The main thing to know with your kid, especially if it is their first season, make sure you know whether they are left or right handed. If you don't know get a straight blade stick - your child can flip and use what is comfortable. Length is where things get dicey. The best place measurement is to cut the length so when you child is in their shoes the stick is just under the nose. When you are in skates it should be just under your lips. As your child grows make sure that stick is a length they can use and are comfortable with. Some people like it longer. Some like it shorter. Forwards like it shorter, D like it longer for that dreaded poke check. Let your kid shoot the ball around all summer with different length to figure it out. The more comfortable they are with the stick the more confidence they have on the ice.

Water bottle - wrap some coloured tape or name it so there is no confusion on the bench.

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