Hockey Nova Scotia
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I Want to Play! :: What You Need To Know

How old do you have to be?

You must turn 4 years old by December 31 of the year you are registering.

What are the age groups?

Initiation Program           
4-6 years old      
Non-competitive, no structured games.



7-8 years old      

Non-competitive, structured games permitted but no standings kept.


9-10 years old   

Competitive levels, structured games with standings, non-checking.

11-12 years old
Competitive levels, structured games with standings, non-checking.

13-14 years old  
Competitive levels, structured games with standings and levels of checking.

15-17 years old  
Competitive levels, structured games with standings and levels of checking.

18-21 years old  
Competitive levels, structured games with standings and checking.

Senior/Adult Rec              
20 years and over

Are there different skill levels?


Initiation Program is open to all players 4-6 years old and for first time players is totally focused on teaching the basics of skating and becoming familiar with the ice, equipment and the basics of the game of hockey with no organized games.

Novice players are divided into three levels, Beginner, Intermediate and Advancing so players may continue to learn the game with players of a similar skill level.

From Atom to Midget there are a minimum of 5 levels for players to fall into, from the advanced competitive level of AAA down to House or Recreational hockey which is less competitive, non-checking and designed for participation over competitiveness.

Levels of Play (Atom – Midget)

House/Recreational (non-checking)

Can girls play? Do they play with boys?

Yes, Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Canada strongly encourage young girls to participate in hockey. At the younger age groups, depending on numbers, boys and girls are mixed, but starting at the Novice level Hockey Nova Scotia recommends all girl teams be formed and we will accommodate any girl who wishes to play on an all-female team.

We have one level of female hockey at Atom and 2 levels from Pee Wee through Midget, AA and A with all levels being non-checking.

How much does it cost?

The cost per season varies depending on where you live and the level you play, the fee can be affected by the cost of ice in your area, its availability and the frequency of ice times for your team.

The average cost for a season averages $400-$600 for a season.

How long is the season and how often do you play?

The normal hockey season runs from October to the end of March and the frequency of play depends on the level of play and varies from 2 times a week to 4 or 5 times at the advanced, competitive levels.

Is body checking allowed in all hockey?

No. Checking is only permitted in about one third of all hockey played in Nova Scotia. There is no body checking permitted in the Initiation, Novice, Atom, Peewee and all House/Recreational (C-level) and Female hockey.

Body checking is introduced at the Bantam level and all players wishing to play at the competitive level in Bantam and above must take an introduction to checking clinic.

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

Hockey Nova Scotia, its 33 Minor Hockey Associations and our three Female Hockey Associations are run by volunteers and our over 1000 teams are coached by volunteers. You can volunteer with your local Minor Hockey Association by offering to assist administratively, coaching, managing or by being a trainer. All volunteers must pass a screening process. For further details, contact your local Minor Hockey Association.

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