RED DEER - While there is some uncertainty regarding the 2020-21 season, the AFHL is remaining optimistic that the hockey season will begin as scheduled, and is working to stay as prepared as possible for when a decision is made by Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors, in conjunction with public health officials. Check out our FAQs to ensure that you are prepared for a return to hockey:
What is the AFHL/Alberta Female Hockey League?
The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) is home to 30 teams at the U18 AAA, U18 AA, and U15 AA levels, providing a competitive platform for young aspiring female athletes to enhance their skills. A collection of 12 host associations around the province are committed to the growth and development of AAA and AA female hockey. The member associations include: Airdrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Leduc, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Okotoks, Olds, and Red Deer. Through dedicated staff and volunteers, the AFHL offers opportunities for female athletes to receive mentorship, off-ice education sessions, female specific coaching, post-secondary exposure opportunities, academic & billet programs, and a competitive skill development atmosphere.
Since its inception in the 2016-17 season, the winner of the Esso Cup (Canada’s female U18 AAA national championship) has come out of the AFHL, as the St. Albert Slash have become champions over the past three seasons consecutively.
If you have questions about Alberta Female Hockey League operations, please check out our resources page or contact your local minor hockey association.
What does the League Schedule look like?
The U18 AAA Division teams play a 30-game regular season schedule that consists of playing each opponent six times throughout the season; three home and three away.
The U18 and U15 AA Division teams play a 26-game regular season schedule. Each AA Division has been separated into two conferences based on geographical location: North and South. Each team will play their Conference opponents four times, two home and two away, resulting in 20 conference games. Additionally, the remaining six games will be out of conference play with each team playing each other once. Teams in the “AA” Division will participate in “Crossover Weekends” throughout the season to help ease travel for the out of conference games.
How do I know what Draw Zone/Recruitment Area I am in?
While U18 AAA operates without boundaries or draw zones, players interested in playing U18 AA or U15 AA are expected to access their first tryout with their Recruitment Area Team. The Recruitment Area team that a player is eligible for depends on your Resident Minor Hockey Association (not the one the player was last registered with). The breakdown of Recruitment Area Teams can be found below:
Recruitment Areas >
Can a player access a U18 or U15 AA try out elsewhere?
U18 AA and U15 AA players are expected to access their first try out within the area that has been identified by the Female Elite Hockey Model for their Resident LMHA. However, if extenuating circumstances warrant a move, a player may use the Elite Player Movement Application process to move to access a program outside of their identified area. Elite Player Movement Forms must be completed and submitted by July 1st.
Elite Player Movement Application >
Who can sign a Player Agreement Form?
A Player Agreement Form is for players selected to play for a U18 AAA, U18 AA, or U15 AA Team within the AFHL. All “AAA” and “AA” players must sign a Player Agreement Form prior to the start of the regular season. Underage players are not eligible to sign a Player Agreement Form without gaining approval through the Player Acceleration Process.
By signing this document, the player is agreeing to register and play for that specific Member Club for the upcoming season. This document is viewed as binding and it is the expectation of both parties, the player, and the Member Club, to uphold their portion of the agreement.
Can I sign a Player Agreement Form prior to the start of the season?
Each “AAA” Member Club can formally sign up to six players (five skaters and one goaltender) to early Player Agreements between June 15 to August 15th. This is done through the completion of the Player Agreement Form, signed by both parties. “Commitments” made without a written agreement are considered “verbal” and can be viewed as non-binding by either party. Players who have not signed a Player Agreement prior to the beginning of the season are encouraged to attend multiple tryout camps to keep all their options open.
If I played AAA last year but would like to play for a different AAA team this upcoming season, is there something I need to do before I change teams?
If a player signed a Player Agreement and was registered with a AAA team for the 2019/2020 season and would like to play for another AAA team for the 2020/2021 season, the family will need to request an Elite Waiver from the Previous Registered Team. The signed waiver, complete with rationale must be submitted to the Female Elite Hockey Committee prior to the start of tryouts.
What is an elite waiver?
An Elite Waiver is used for two different purposes in the Female Elite Hockey Model;
- Players who played “AAA” last season and would like to tryout/sign with another AAA club are required to have a completed Elite Wavier prior to the start of Tryouts.
- A player who is cut from a U18 AAA, U18 AA or U15 AA team and wishes to pursue the opportunity to try out with a second team. The player would need a completed Elite Waiver from the association that released them from the tryout process. A family would appeal to the Female Elite Hockey Committee by providing the Committee with a competed “Notification of Tryout Form” and Elite Waiver Form. The Female Elite Hockey Committee will review the application and provide the family with their second tryout option.
Elite Waiver Form >
Do I have a choice of a second tryout?
At the “AAA” level, yes. The family and the player may choose a second team to try out for. This information needs to be submitted, alongside the Elite Waiver to the Female Elite Hockey Committee prior to moving onto your second tryout.
At the AA Level, no. The Female Elite Hockey Committee works with all the Member Teams during tryouts to understand if there is a need at a certain position (not enough defense at tryouts, no goaltender) amongst the teams. While travel is a consideration in the decision, the Female Elite Hockey Committee will offer a second tryout option that would give the player the best opportunity to make a team. To be placed for your second tryout, please contact the appropriate Division Director with a completed Notification of Tryout and Elite Waiver from your first tryout.
When do tryouts begin?
The actual start date for tryouts may differ across associations, please ensure you are connecting with that association/team to find the proper dates.
Due to COVID-19, tryout dates will be posted when the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, in conjunction with public health officials, deems it safe to resume sanctioned activities.
Do I need any paperwork to attend a tryout?
All players trying out for a “AAA” or “AA” team that is outside their Resident Minor Hockey Association needs to have a completed Notification of Tryout Form signed by their Resident MHA.
NOTIFICATION OF TRYOUT FORM >
Is there a deadline to hand in my Notification of Tryout Form?
Notification of Tryout Forms need to be handed into the association players are accessing their first tryout with prior to the start of tryouts. “AAA” Players who prefer their second tryout can state their second tryout directly onto the NTO form.
Do I have to find a billet if I move away from home?
Each Female Elite Hockey Member Association has a billet program in place. They can assist you in finding a billet home while you play hockey. Fees may differ across associations and should be discussed with the Member MHA.
How much does this cost a year?
Each program is different (amount of ice, travel, team apparel etc). The association you would be able to give your family a more accurate breakdown of the financial obligations.
Who do I contact if I have questions?