Coaches Guidelines (Streetsville Hockey League)

PrintCoaches Guidelines


S.H.L. House League Coaches Guidelines

(Includes House League Select Hockey)


So, you want to be a coach!

The S.H.L. recognizes and appreciates that all our House League Team Officials are volunteers. We also acknowledge that our Team Officials make a significant commitment of their time, energy and resources to support our community’s young athletes.


However, all our Team Officials and Coaches in particular, must recognize that it is both a privilege and a major responsibility to be afforded this opportunity. Coaches must, in all aspects of their conduct, reflect and support the S.H.L.’s values and set the appropriate example for everyone they are involved with:


“To play our game as a team, both on and off the ice, at all times with a

  • sense of fair play, consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship,
  • with dedication and commitment and in the spirit of friendly competition,
  • while being gracious in victory as well as defeat.”


The following information is provided to assist you in evaluating your interest in joining our Coaching ranks and to provide some guidelines on enjoying a successful season as an S.H.L. House League Coach. These guidelines are not all inclusive but are intended to provide a good idea of what is needed to be successful in the role.


At all times remember that our primary responsibility as a League is to provide a safe and enjoyable hockey environment for every player within our House League. To support that responsibility our decision making criteria, combined with the established rules, will be to consider what is in the best interests of the majority of our players, not necessarily for a single individual (player, coach, official or parent).




Coach Guidelines

Streetsville Hockey League

House League Coach Guidelines

Including: Appendix

“A”     Player’s Bill of Rights

“B”     Code of Conduct

“C”    Bullying Harassment and Abuse






Revised 2017


Overview of Guidelines


  1. At all times keep a cool head and use common sense.

One of the primary responsibilities of any team official, especially the “Head Coach” is to provide a behaviour model for their players, parents and other team officials. Coaches should not get involved in heated discussions with Convener(s), spectators, other coaches, players, parents or on or off ice officials.

As a Coach, you are a representative of the Streetsville Hockey League and are expected to conduct yourself in a manner consistent with that responsibility, These expectations apply both on and off the ice, as well as when in Streetsville or representing Streetsville in another centre.  

2. You are required to be familiar with and adhere to all policies, procedures, rules of operations and regulations relevant to the S.H.L., including:

Ø  The Players’ Bill of Rights Appendix “A”

Ø  The League’s Code of Conduct Appendix “B”

Ø  Anti Bullying, Harassment and Abuse, “Speak Out” policies Appendix “C”

Ø  The S.H.L. Rules of Operations including the supplementary Playing Rules

Ø  The guidelines established in this document


3. Coaches are also expected to be familiar with the basic rules of hockey (Hockey Canada, O.H.F. and G.T.H.L.) in addition to the S.H.L. “Rules of Operations”.

Note: The S.H.L. rules are intended to supplement the Hockey Canada, O.H.F., and G.T.H.L. playing rules to reflect any additional regulations of the League. It may not always be explicit in covering all situations and may end up “dated” relative to changes implemented by parent / partner associations or by our own Executive Committee.

Conveners, Coaches and other Team Officials and participants must realize and accept that its application and interpretation will be towards the best “interests” of all players as outlined in the values presented earlier.

4. All coaches must comply with Hockey Canada, O.H.F. and G.T.H.L. risk management requirements or other regulations as stipulated from time to time by those associations or by the S.H.L. At this time there are two key risk management requirements.


  1. The GTHL policy on Safety and Risk Management requires that “All on-ice Coaches, Trainers, Assistant Coach, Assistant Trainer or Volunteers will be required to wear C.S.A. approved helmets during all on ice activities”.



Conveners and other league officials will be provided with the appropriate forms and empowered under this policy to provide written notice to cover non-compliance. Subsequent infractions will lead to escalating suspensions as stipulated by the G.T.H.L.

Remember, this regulation is for your protection and can affect possible insurance coverage should there be an unfortunate incident. As the Head-Coach you are ultimately responsible for the actions of your hockey team and the compliance of all on-ice volunteers.


  1. Hockey Canada has mandated that as of December 31st, 2001all coaches or individuals involved in any dispute resolution process must have completed the “Speak Out” anti bullying, harassment and abuse training program.


  1. Hockey Canada has mandated as of October 1, 2017 All team officials must have taken Transgender Inclusiveness Training.


  1. Hockey Canada has mandated that effective for the 2017-18 season that half ice or cross ice games be used in all hockey games for 6 years and under. It also recommended all coaches and instructors that coach Initiation program player (5 and 6 year olds) must be coach 1 – Intro to Coach-trained.


  1. Hockey Canada has mandated for the 2018-19 it be mandatory that all coaches at the IP ( 5 and 6 year olds) and Novice (7 and 8 year olds) be coach level 1 – Intro to Coach-Trained; and all head coaches at Atom, Peewee, Bantam and Midget levels community sport streams be coach 2 – Coach level-trained and it is recommended that all assistant coaches be trained to these levels as well.


  1. Hockey Canada has mandated that as of the 2019-20 season it will be mandatory that all games played at the Novice level be cross-ice or half ice games.


5. You are also expected to display good sportsmanship at all times and act in a manner that is consistent with supporting the values of the League.

Prior to the Season

6. Make your intentions known.

Identifying and selecting coaches for all the SHL’s teams’ is a difficult and time consuming challenge. The sooner there are enough qualified candidates for a division, the sooner teams can be awarded, and successful candidates can then plan their season. (Coaching applications are available on the SHL web-site.)

7. Recognize certification requirements.

Based on GTHL regulations any team wishing to participate in Tournaments or Exhibition games with teams outside of their local association MUST have a GTHL travel permit. This requires both a certified coach (NCCP or CHIP as appropriate) and HTCP certified trainer.

The Coach and Trainer roles must be filled by separate individuals.

Any individual being identified as a Team Official in any capacity on an S.H.L. team must have current GTHL certification appropriate to their role (NCCP or CHIP for Coaches or assistants and HTCP for trainers or Assistants) and must also have received Speak Out certification.

8. Security Clearances

The S.H.L. requires a current Security Clearance for every team official.

If you have any concerns about your ability to qualify on this basis, contact the President for a confidential assessment.

The S.H.L. has registered with the Peel Regional Police to have all volunteer coaches checked through police records that will include a national as well as local records check.

The appropriate form (Criminal Record Check) authorizing this check is available at the S.H.L. office at the Streetsville Arena/Vic Johnston Community Centre.

These checks are free for all residents of Mississauga and Brampton; but you must use the S.H.L. police check form and letter. (There may be a fee charged is finger prints are required)

Please note that these clearances will be given to you directly and NOT to the S.H.L. It is your responsibility to ensure that these clearances are submitted to the S.H.L. This procedure allows you the opportunity to deal on a confidential basis with any issues that may arise.

During the Season

9. On-site Conveners.

The S.H.L. is represented at every game by the Divisional Convener. Coaches must follow the direction of the Convener with respect to basic playing rules, game times, rink instructions and general division operating issues. There MUST be an identified Convener on-site for every game. Normally this will be the assigned division Convener. However; in the event, that the division Convener cannot be present, a clearly identified replacement must be arranged and in attendance prior to the game.

Note: The Convener represents the coaches’ official avenue to raise issues or concerns with the SHL. (Unless there is a concern with the Convener’s actions, In that case, the matter should be addressed through the Director of Conveners, or in the absence of that individual to the Vice President, House League).

Concerns will NOT be addressed unless this process is followed.

10. Arrive on time (early).

Arrive at the arena with plenty of time to prepare for your game (ideally at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start). Upon arrival, check-in with the Convener to pick up any updates or information, let the Convener know if there are any potential issues or concerns with your team that may need to be shared with the other coach(s) and, or game officials.

11. Game Sheets.

Game sheets are now prepared by the Programs Manager as part of the electronic game sheet format.

Only players in uniform and authorized team officials are allowed on the bench. Our House League policy is to allow a maximum of three (3) team officials on the bench at any one time.

Ensure that only players in attendance are listed, that their numbers are correct and that any suspensions being served are clearly indicated. Normally the visiting team will complete the game sheet first and the home team second. Remember that the game sheet represents the official record of the game and will be used as the reference source with respect to any issues that may come up. Technically, improper or incomplete game sheets (including missing team official signatures and certification numbers) are potential grounds for forfeit and, or suspension. While coaches should appreciate that these details may not be rigorously enforced during regular House League play, it is important to realize that they can be challenged in tournament or exhibition play.

12. Assigned Dressing Rooms.

Check with your Convener and use your assigned dressing room.

13. Be ready on time and stay on time.

Make sure you and your players are ready to begin on time. It is not fair for games later in the time block to be shortened or curfew because an earlier game did not start on time. Notify the Convener of any delays or problems that may affect the schedule.

All game and or practice schedules allow reasonable time to complete regular games as well as provision for flood times. “Curfew” times may be assigned to stay on that schedule. Conveners are challenged to get the most playing time available out of our scheduled ice blocks. Game times are 3x 15-minute running time games with a provision for stop time in the last two minutes if the goal differential is two or less. To help avoid issues, have your players and team officials leave the ice immediately upon the conclusion of your game or practice.

While every attempt is made to avoid curfew situations, recognize and accept that your game may be shortened or curfew based on delays and, or injury.

If your game or practice time is shortened or curfew recognize the reason(s) for this and accept it with good grace.

During the game

14. Set an example.

As coach you are responsible for the actions and behaviour of your players.

Lead by example. Demonstrate the type of attitude, composure and sportsmanship throughout the game that is consistent with our values. As a special note, particularly at the younger levels, remember that we are trying to develop officials as well as players.

Calls will get missed, or not go the way you think they should. Recognize that whatever you say or do that behaviour is magnified through your players and is also picked up on and often embellished by spectators in the rink.

15. Fair Play.

You are responsible for ensuring that fair play practices are followed for your team.

Fair play applies both in terms of playing time and the use of the fixed playing structure. Lines should be played in rotation, and ice time equalized for all players.

With no buzzers divisions, there will clearly be variances within shift lengths subject to the flow of the game. However, over the course of a full game these should “even out”. For example: in a 30minute House League game with a full bench, each player should ideally receive 10 minutes of ice time. As a “rule of thumb”, recognizing the variances that do happen our expectation is that each player should receive approximately 10 minutes plus / minus up to 20%, or 8 to 12 minutes of ice time.

Under our fair play principles, players should not “miss” shifts, nor should the same player(s) regularly get “short shifted” in penalty, injury or other bench management situations.

Coaches are reminded that all teams are required to follow the “Fixed Playing Structure” as laid out in the Playing Rules –

Coaches will establish their own objectives and practices regarding shift lengths and line changes. However, these practices must be applied equally to all players / lines. This also implies that teams should not employ “power play” or “penalty killing” units as these tactics are not consistent with our fair play and skill building philosophy.

Coaches not adhering to these principles are subject to game forfeiture or forced replay and, or suspension. Should you have concerns in this area, refer the situation to your Convener.

Under no circumstances will this type of behaviour be ignored or condoned.

Coaches must also recognize that this is not a perfect system and mistakes and discrepancies will occur. It is neither financially justifiable nor reasonable to expect that all games will be monitored. However, Conveners are expected to evaluate their games on an ongoing basis and forward any concerns.

Should there be continued abuse of the fair play rule in any division, the league reserves the right to revert to a “buzzer” system at any time!

16. Stay on Time.

Maintain a quick tempo during the game to maximize ice time utilization. Quick line changes and period transitions will help to ensure that your team gets their maximum playing time and potentially permit longer games.

Period transition “coaching” breaks and “time-outs” are NOT allowed in House League play.

Referees will be instructed to assess a bench minor “delay of game penalty” for abuse of this rule.

17. Risk Management - Play Safe but Be Prepared.

In the event of an injury or accident, the coach / trainer must be prepared to support the implementation of an “Emergency Action Plan”. The Convener is the person in the rink in charge from the S.H.L. perspective. However, in most cases, the trainer of the team involved will likely be the “Person in Charge” as defined by the "EAP".

The Convener will ensure that there is access to a telephone and that he / she will have all the appropriate emergency numbers (Police, Ambulance, Fire Department). The Trainer should ensure that he / she has this information for any facility used for games or practices either at home or when travelling out of town.

"Call Persons" are reminded that emergency calls for assistance "911" should always be made where possible from a land line and not a cell phone. Land lines allow for a more accurate and efficient dispatch process from the Emergency Response Teams as well as guard against lost or dropped signals.

Any serious injuries must be reported via the Hockey Canada Injury report. Coaches must ensure that this form is completed promptly and returned to their Convener. This report must be completed and “delivered” to the S.H.L. office within 48 hours of an injury incident – do not send it directly to the G.T.H.L. Make sure you are familiar with this form. Copies are available from your Convener or through the Hockey Canada web site.

It is strongly recommended that any player who is removed from a game or misses any ice time due to injury, (whether hockey related or not) provide the coach/trainer with a doctor’s note authorizing resumption of play before that player is allowed to participate in any on ice activity.

At the end of the game

18. Review the Game Sheet.

Review your copy of the game sheet to determine that it has been fully completed. Ensure that you make note of any major penalties or suspensions and that you understand what has been assessed and the impact of those calls.

Clear up any confusion immediately with the Convener.

Remember that once the game sheet has been signed off by the game officials it constitutes the official record for that game.


19. Playing Rules – Game Suspension Policy.

Coaches are reminded that the S.H.L. operates under the auspices of the O.H.F. and the G.T.H.L. and is therefore governed by their rules. (Minimum Suspension list – posted on the web site)

All game sheets indicating suspensions will be forwarded to the Programs Manager for information, confirmation and tracking purposes. Minimum suspensions attributed to physical infractions, or non-physical suspensions are not subject to review or appeal. Unless it falls under the Supplementary Discipline rules.

Coaches should clearly understand that any carryover or “outstanding” game suspension penalties incurred in Tournament or Exhibition play MUST be reported and served in subsequent league play regardless of any games already served.

It is important that the full extent of any suspension is served i.e. any suspensions not completely served in subsequent tournament games must be served in league play.

Failure to report or comply with this rule will result in additional game(s) suspensions for both the coach and player(s) involved. Any games played with an ineligible player as per the above are also subject to forfeit.

20. Dressing Room Rules.

1.      Once your team has finished playing, vacate the dressing room as soon as possible.

2.      Leave the room in good shape (clean) for the next team.

3.      Trashing dressing rooms will not be tolerated and will lead to discipline or suspension.

4.      In addition, coaches should clearly understand that any facility damages caused by their team will be charged back to the team.


G.T.H.L. guidelines require that all dressing rooms for players under 18 years of age be supervised by two adults at all times. This applies for both game and practice situations. No coach should leave a dressing room unsupervised nor should he or she allow themselves to be put into the position where they are alone with a player or player(s). The “Two Deep” rule as reinforced in the Speak Out program is there for everyone’s protection! Please observe it.

At the start of the season, coaches should establish and clearly communicate to parents their dressing room “rules”. In many cases, coaches identify the ten to fifteen minutes prior to game time and, or the five minutes immediately after the game as “their time” with the players and restrict access to the dressing room for that period. For older age groups (once players can “dress” themselves), many coaches also follow a “no parents in the dressing room” policy.


21. Effective Practice Programming (Non- Communal Sessions)

Perhaps the most difficult and challenging aspect of your role as an S.H.L. Coach is to design and execute an appropriate and effective practice program. For a lot of Coaches the philosophy is that “games are for fun, and practices are where you learn”. However, in order for productive learning to take place, players must be actively engaged in the process. Practices must be both enjoyable and challenging to the players to keep them interested and involved. The content must be appropriate to the age and experience level and delivered in a manner that encourages understanding and improvement. Coaches that accomplish this are usually rewarded with well-attended practices and invariably teams that perform well in games.

General Practice Principles

The following points are intended as some “best practices” for planning and executing an effective practice program. Besides dealing with “engaging” the players, these points are intended to address the fact that ice time is limited and expensive. Use it wisely!

  • Plan your practices in advance. Don’t show up at the rink and “wing it”. Knowing what you want to do and how you want to do it will save you valuable time at the rink and on the ice. There are a number of resources available to help you plan your practice. There are a number of Internet sites with practice and drill related information.


  • Establish a standard warm-up / cool down process for your players so that they all know what to do when they hit the ice. This will save time that you can better use for teaching.


  • Establish and enforce clear practice “rules”. For example, no shots after a whistle, one whistle means stop, two quick whistles mean gather on me. This will also save time if players know what you want.


  • Get your players to arrive early if you can. That will give you some time to stretch / teach before going on the ice.


  • Explain what you want to do and how – in the dressing room – before the practice. In this way you can save time on the ice and have more time to “practice”.


  • Give your players diagrams and descriptions of the drills you want to cover so they can see what they are expected to do. This can be accomplished in many ways, e.g., in a handout at the beginning of the season, after practice or game the week before, in the dressing room or hung on the glass. Remember to keep in mind the age and experience level of your players.


  • Describe – demonstrate – do. It is critical that everyone understands what they are expected to do. Try it once, correct as necessary and do it again. Use your assistants to work with players who need additional instruction or to minimize group size.


  • Relate activities to results. It is important that players understand the objective and how it will improve their capabilities, the “what’s in it for me?”


  • Break it up, both in terms of groups and activity. Use your assistants and break up into smaller groups for more personalized instruction or more role specific work (forward / defense).


  • Build from the basics – Start with a simple concept and add progression / complexity as the players master the current level. ex., basic skating without, then with a puck, simple pattern then more complex, without, then with a puck etc.


  • Work with your goalie(s) – keep him or her actively involved – they are not there as simply targets. See if someone on your team has goalie “expertise” or interest and involve them as your goalie coach.


  • Don’t beat it to death - don’t stay with any drill or activity too long (4 – 8 minutes) and other than your quick warm-up program, don’t do the same things every week. Always consider how well something works for you and watch what works for other coaches.


  • Be responsive to your players – watch for and understand their reactions to what you’re doing and respond appropriately. If they are not ‘engaged” they won’t learn – you’ll see it, find out why and fix it.


  • Plan your breaks – players cannot go full out for fifty minutes. Plan your water breaks (make sure water is available) or other interruptions to work into the flow of your activities.


  • Ask for help and advice – nobody knows it all and good coaches are always looking for and finding ways to improve their programs. Get someone to come out with you and either run your practice or assist. Offer to do the same for them.


  • Use the ice – Regardless of whether you are using full or half ice, use it all. With shared ice it often makes good sense to work together “full ice” for at least part, if not all of the practice time.


  • Use “scrimmage” carefully. Simply scrimmaging is not practice. It can become an expectation for your players and cause them to “resent” any other practice activity. Treat it as a reward and monitor and use it as a teaching experience.






Appendix “A”

Players Bill of Rights


All children participating in the hockey programs of the Streetsville Hockey League enjoy the following rights and are entitled to the protection of these rights.


SPORTSMANSHIP: You have the right to participate in a program in which sportsmanship, honesty and integrity are the cornerstones.

RESPECT: You have the right to the respect of your coaches, your team-mates, the coaches and players of the opposing team, the referees and spectators and each of them has the right to expect the same of you.

PARTICIPATION: You have the right to participate fully and equitably in the activities of your team.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT: You have the right to learn about your sport and develop your skills to the maximum of your potential.

FREEDOM FROM ABUSE: You have the right to say no to physical contact or interaction with any member of the coaching staff or any other person in a position of authority or influence.

FREEDOM FROM BULLYING: You have the right to participate fully in the activities of your team free from harassment and bullying in all its forms.

FREE SPEECH: You have the right to speak freely without fear of recrimination.

FAIR TREATMENT: You have the right to be treated fairly and with impartiality.

FUN: You have the right to have fun. Hockey is about fun and we all have a right to share in it.


Appendix B

Code of Conduct

All members of the S.H.L. and all invitees, including spectators, shall abide by the following code of conduct. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary measures, including suspension and/or expulsion, being imposed by the League.

  1. Win or lose, players shall congratulate their team-mates and coaches as well as the p layers and coaches of the opposing team in a genuine and positive manner. Derogatory comments are absolutely forbidden.
  2. The referees are in charge of the game. Only the captains and alternate captains of the team shall address the referees and then shall do so only in a civil tone. Use of foul or abusive language is absolutely prohibited. While explanations of a referee's call may be legitimately sought, questioning the referee's judgment is forbidden. Accept the call and get on with the game.
  3. Spectators shall provide only a positive encouragement for the players, coaches, and referees. Derogatory comments aimed at any player, coach, or referee from a spectator shall be addressed with a strong warning on the first offence at any game. Upon the commission of a second offence by the same spectator, that spectator shall be removed form the Arena and forbidden re-entrance during the game and spectator's identity shall be properly noted. Should any spectator be removed from any three games, that spectator's removal shall be accompanied by a (one-month) ban from attendance at any games held by the S.H.L.  Upon a fifth offence, that spectator shall be banned for the balance of the season.
  4. The coaching staff shall lead by example and shall adhere in all respects to this code of conduct. In addition, coaching staff shall address their own players the referees and the coaching staff of the other team only in a civilized and respectful tone. Coaching staff of the team may not address the players of the opposing team except to provide positive encouragement or congratulations. Discouraging or humiliating remarks, gestures or other communications to players, referees and the opposing team shall be absolutely forbidden. In addition, coaching staff shall at all times, both in practices and games, treat their own players with respect and dignity. Humiliation, belittlement and embarrassment through words, actions or conduct are inappropriate forms of punishment and ineffective instructional methods and shall be absolutely prohibited.
  5. Each child is entitled to the benefit of constructive criticism and instruction in order to develop his or her skills to their maximum potential. Coaching staff must carry out performance appraisals in an impartial and objective way based solely on an evaluation of technical skills, play, leadership, sportsmanship and the adherence of the children to the core values of the S.H.L. Favoritism, actual and perceived, must be always avoided.
  6. No player shall use performance enhancing drugs or other substances from time to time listed on the banned or prohibited substances list prepared by the International Olympic Committee and no member of the coaching staff purchase, sell, supply, administer or otherwise participate in the use by any player of any performance enhancing drugs or such banned substances. Any player or coach in breach of this rule shall, on a first offence, be banned from participation in hockey programs of the


Code of Conduct con’t…

S.H.L. for a period of one year and upon a second offence shall be banned for life from participation in the hockey programs of the S.H.L.

  1. Play hard but play fair. Hockey by its nature is a physically tough game; it shall be played with maximum effort in a sportsmanlike manner within the rules from time to time endorsed by the Ontario Hockey Federation. Players shall not set out to intentionally maim or injure another player and the coaching staff, by their actions, words, conduct or inaction, shall not encourage or endorse such behaviour.
  2. Players and coaches alike shall participate in the game of hockey with honesty and integrity. Any player who intentionally participates in any conduct which results in the intentional violation for the rules of eligibility from time to time governing the S.H.L. or otherwise intentionally circumvents the rules of eligibility shall be subject to an immediate one year suspension from participation in all hockey programs run by the S.H.L. Any person committing a second offence shall be subject to a lifetime suspension from participation in the hockey programs of the S.H.L.
  3. The coaching staff shall at all times honor the Player's Bill of Rights and ensure that these rights are upheld and afforded to each and every child participating in the S.H.L. programs. Each member of the coaching staff shall have a positive obligation to expeditiously report to the executive of the S.H.L. any instance of a breach of the rights of any player of which he has specific knowledge or which he has reasonable grounds for believing has occurred.
  4. The coaching staff shall strictly adhere to the policies and procedures for coaching staff established from time to time by the S.H.L.

Appendix C

Bullying, Harassment and Abuse

When a young person is bullied harassed or abused by an adult occupying a position of trust, the impact can be devastating. A major hurdle to healing the wounds that inevitable result is non-disclosure: in order to recover, victims must be heard and believed.

Harassment is understood as encompassing a very broad range of prohibited behaviour, including discriminatory conduct, physical and sexual harassment, emotional, mental, physical and sexual abuse.

The S.H.L. believes that any hockey player should have the ability to discuss any concerns that might be classified as harassment.  The S.H.L. also believes that false allegations can be devastating to a person's career and personal life.

In view of the incidents of harassment that have affected the sport of hockey, we believe that there is a need for a concerned player, to be able to talk in private and confidentially with our organization.

We do not encourage minor or frivolous concerns’ which may result from frustration or anger to be reported or acted upon, however, we are available to talk to your request.

Neil Painchaud, Past President and Life Member of S.A.M.H. A. is the appointed "Ombudsman" to hear your concerns.

Please feel free to contact Neil Painchaud at (416) 418- 9654 if you believe there is a need to discuss any incident that, in your opinion, is an issue of harassment.