Youth (Squirt-Midget) Hockey Manager Checklist


  • USA Hockey Registration: Team Managers are required to register with USA Hockey as an Ice Manager/Volunteer. There is no registration fee for team managers.
  • SafeSport Program Training: The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent, non-profit organization focused on ending all forms of abuse in sport. SafeSport Training is required for all team managers. As of 4/1/20 SafeSport Program Training needs to be completed yearly. Completion certificates must be emailed to    
  • AHAI Website: Team Managers are required their team's roster into AHAI website after teams are established. You can do this at the website below.
  • Prepare to Schedule Seeding Round: Obtain blackout dates for goalies and coaches, as well as if any girls are double rostered. You will need to work with their other team manager to avoid any overlap.
  • There is a MANDATORY MEETING, typically held in mid-September in Schaumburg, on scheduling. Prior to the meeting, you will be given six (6) home ice slots from your ice scheduler. A NIHL representative will give you an envelope indicating which teams you have to play and whether you will play them at home or away. You must talk to the other team managers present and, using a combination of their and your ice times, schedule the games NIHL is requiring. You can't leave the meeting until you've scheduled every game and turn in a form for each home game scheduled to the NIHL representative.
  • Prior to the scheduling meeting, we recommend that you:
  • Know your coaches/goalies black out dates.
  • Bring a calendar noting tournaments or other conflicts.
  • Schedule distant location FIRST and on weekends.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of potential opponents rinks (e.g., rinks that are close should be scheduled last and may be scheduled on a weeknight, if necessary)

  • Set up Team Operations: Solicit volunteers from the team to fill the roles of Treasurer, Social Chair, and Tournament/Trip Coordinator.
  • Treasurer: Manages team finances from slush fund: paying the team bills (tournaments, dinners, gifts) and any other accounting that needs attention.
  • Social Chair: Arranges social events for team including: team parties throughout season, team bonding activities, and end of season party.
  • Tournament/Trip Coordinator: This person arranges events/activities for down time at tournaments and plan goody bags, door signs, etc.

  • Establish Slush Fund: Ask each family to donate for the slush fund. Approximately $300 is a good starting point. These funds pay for the tournament registrations, coaches hotel rooms and gas fees during tournaments, social events at tournaments, coaches' gifts, etc.

  • Schedule Tournaments: Tournaments fill up quickly, so book early in September and get the deposit paid by the team's Treasurer ASAP. A total of three (3) tournaments are standard per season: one (1) tournament in October/November, one (1) local tournament over Thanksgiving weekend, and one (1) tournament over MLK weekend in January. Please send all Travel Permit requests to Drew Srichranda, WHA Registrar. You are responsible for disseminating the information about the tournament and hotel block to your team. *Note, tournaments are typically "stay to play" meaning you must stay "as a team" at one of the hotels that they choose in order to play at the tournament.

  • AHAI Player Declaration: A player may play for a maximum of two (2) AHAI organizations during his or her AHAI career (this applies only to the winter season, as the spring and summer hockey don’t count). This form is used to document a player’s understanding of this rule and record their choice of organization. Once they leave the first organization, that organization is not obligated to accept that player back if they subsequently wish to return. Make sure all your players NEW TO THE CLUB (or any 1st year Squirt) has made their declaration.

  • Weekly Emails: Communicate any upcoming events or changes. “The Week Ahead” emails on Sundays have worked well in the past. This is a good time to coordinate who will be running the clock and scoresheet for any upcoming home games.
  • Arrival Times: This is a good to time also reiterate the standard arrival time for players on game days. It is expected that players arrive 45-60* minutes before the puck drop to allow ample time for dryland warm-ups, changing and a coach chat with the team. *Double check with your coach about exact time.

  • Roster Stickers:
  • Three (3) roster stickers are needed for each game. These go on the scoresheets. You should plan to create these on Avery label template #5163, which seems to work best.

  • Season Kick Off Party: Arrange for a start of the season team bonding event or team dinner.

  • Referees: NIHL will schedule referees for the initial schedule (i.e., seeding round and regular season play). If a game is rescheduled, referees will need to be requested.


  • Locker Room Assignments: Home games are self-explanatory, as they are posted upon entry. Away games are similar but they sometimes require a driver’s license or set of car keys in exchange for the locker room key at a front desk. The manger is expected to leave it clean and locked up.

  • Home Team Responsibilities:
  • Referees: Managers should receive an email from NIHL the week prior to any home games. Double check the game times, rink locations and assigned referees to confirm. Make sure referees are present (check referee locker room 20 mins before game time).
  • Time Keeper: You must provide a parent volunteer for all home games. There are scoreboard instructions in each scoring booth. The North Shore Ice Arena clock can be a little confusing at first. Rink managers or Zamboni drivers are the point of contact for major scoreboard issues.
  • Score Keeper: Before the game, find the other team's manager and get three of their roster stickers (for away games, you will need to give the other team three stickers). The top sheet is the Home Team's copy, middle sheet is for the visitor and the last sheet is to review at the end of the season in case of discrepancies (put it in your folder/binder). Make sure you give the visiting manager their copy at the end of the game. A parent volunteer can keep score during the game.
  • Posting Final Score: The final score must be posted to your NIHL webpage within 24 hours of the game, otherwise the club will be assessed a fine).


  • Confirm Fall Tournament (including hotel block): Make sure fees have been paid, print the team roster from the AHAI site, print tournament permits from WHA Registrar, make sure hotel rooms have been booked, including coaches rooms. If possible, reserve a conference/party room for the team to gather on an off-time.
  • Beginning of NIHL Season: At the end of the seeding round, you will need to schedule the regular NIHL season games. It has been done remotely, which makes it a bit easier. It works similarly to the seeding round scheduling in that you will get a list of who you will be playing and if the games will be home or away. Many have found that a Sign-up Genius works well for scheduling these games. You will list your home ice on the Sign-up Genius and send it out to the managers in your bracket. The other managers will do the same, sending you their home ice, giving you the opportunity to take what works best.

  • Prior To The Scheduling:
  • Know your coaches and goalie(s) black out dates.
  • Schedule distant location FIRST and on weekends. Consider travel route, time of year and time of event when scheduling (e.g., you don’t want to battle traffic to make a 6PM game in Joliet on a snowy Tuesday in January).
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of potential opponents rinks (i.e., rinks that are close should be scheduled last and may be scheduled on a weeknight if necessary).
  • The Thanksgiving tournament is typically booked directly through the WHA club. Verify that is the case with the Youth Travel Director.
  • Schedule regular season games in late October (typically done remotely).
  • Plan a holiday party prior to the winter break.


  • Confirm Tournament for MLK Weekend:
  • Make sure fees have been paid, print the team roster from the AHAI site, print tournament permits from WHA Registrar, make sure hotel rooms have been booked, including coaches rooms.
  • If possible, reserve a conference or party room for the team to gather in off-times.
  • Be sure to send out a detailed outline of the weekend's activities and schedules so families know where they need to be and when.

  • Prepare for Post Season Tournament
  • NIHL Tournament: This tournament will either be a round robin or a single elimination tournament for the top teams in NIHL. The format varies from year-to-year and within each age division and level based on the number of teams involved and how they were arranged in tiers.
  • Play Down Process: A separate tournament is held for each age group/level. Each tournament is hosted by a different NIHL club at its home rink. Finals for each level are held in one location.
  • State Tournament: Around the end of the NIHL season, various teams (one for AA, one for A) are invited to play in a tournament sponsored by AHAI. The WHA will pay the initial entry fee for each travel team. If the team reaches the final group of eight teams, the Team must pay that tournament fee.
  • Seeding Process: In late December/early January, the coach will fill out a form rating the other teams you’ve played against. This will determine ranking for the State (AHAI) Tournament
  • Invitation: Sometime during January, you should receive an invitation to play in the State Tournament (all teams registered are invited). If you do not receive the invitation by the middle of January, contact the AHAI Representative.
  • Elimination & Play-Down: At the end of January/beginning of February, you will be given your seeding position for the State Tournament. Typically, the first phase is played in a single game elimination. Depending on how many teams enter, the top teams may get a “bye” for the first round. Eight (8) survivors go on to play in the “round robin” phase. The elimination phase will take approximately 1-2 weeks and games are played on the home rink of the higher seeded team. The cost of ice time and referees is split between the two teams. The “round robin” is played over a single weekend at a neutral location. There is an initial fee for the elimination phase, and a second (higher) fee if your team makes it to the final 8 team round robin phase. The top TWO teams (determined by points earned in the round robin) play for the state championship.


  • End of Season:
  • Check Slush Fund: Confirm with your Treasurer that the slush fund balance is up to date and ask them to “true up” the fund with parents.
  • Final Party: Start to plan and end of season party (e.g., outdoor skate, pizza party, etc.) knowing how much you have to spend from the slush fund.
  • Coaches Gifts: Lavish team gifts are unnecessary and discouraged. Approximately $100 per coach at the winter break and at the end of the season should be sufficient to convey a proper sense of appreciation.
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