House League General Information (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

PrintHouse League General Information

This page provides general information on the setup, structure, and scheduling of the Oakville Rangers House League.

The House League stream, formerly known as Recreational House League, is a structured semi-competitive level of play offered to players from U10 to U18. The season typically starts in October and concludes in early April with the playoffs and Championship games. Players playing House League in U10 to U15 will have one (1) practice and one (1) game per week. Players playing House League in U16 and U17 will have three (3) games bi-weekly. Players playing in U18 will have one (1) game per week that is 90 minutes in length instead of the traditional 1-hour. Listed below is detailed information regarding the:

  • House League Schedule
  • Preseason: U10 to U15
  • Preseason: U16 to 18
  • Tiers and Placement
  • Team Formation and the Drafting Process
  • Becoming a Volunteer
  • Additional Links

The House League Schedule

The ORHC works hard to post the House League schedule as early as possible and our goal is to have it posted to the ORHC website by the end of August or early September each year. With thousands of players on well over a hundred House League teams, on the ice an average of twice a week, and scattered across 8 arenas and 17 ice surfaces... Creating this schedule is a massive, lengthy project with many factors and several moving parts that all must be taken in to account. Please note that once the schedule is posted it will be tentative and subject to change without notice until October 31st.

The House League season typically begins in early October and runs until early April, with Evaluations and Pre-Season being held in mid to late September. The typical House League season can be broken down in to four components:

  • Preseason (month of October)
  • Drafting and Team Formation (late October)
  • Regular Season (November to March)
  • Playoffs and Championships (following March Break)

Click Here to view the most up-to-date House League Schedule

Preseason: U10 to U15

At the U10 to U15 age groups, the Preseason allows players to shake off any rust from the summer and to also showcase themselves to the coaches. It is also a way for coaches to evaluate players to determine their personal rankings and on who they want to try and draft to their teams for the season. It is very important that players attend as many Preseason skates as possible so the coaches can view all players.

The Preseason for U10 to U15 will feature a mix of Evaluation Skates and Exhibition Games. The Evaluation Skates will allow coaches to evaluate players as they go through drills. These drills will focus on skills like skating, stickhandling, passing, shooting, etc. The Exhibition Games will allow coaches to evaluate players in game-like scenarios. Players will be assigned to a random team for the Preseason and play with these teams for the duration of the Preseason.

The objective of the Preseason is to provide a fair and impartial assessment of a player's total hockey skills. The goal is to ensure that players have a reasonable opportunity of being selected to a team appropriate to their skill levels. We provide coaches with the opportunity and flexibility to build a team based on their own coaching philosophy and knowledge of player skills and attitude, and our coaches understand that they must form teams that maintain balanced and competitive play where the kids can develop and participate equitably and have fun playing hockey.

All Players will be emailed prior to the Evaluations with your exact Dates, Times, and details and the information will also be posted on the ORHC Website – check back regularly for updates. If your Division’s evaluation is within 48 hours and you have not received an email advising you of your exact details please contact the ORHC Office for assistance.

You must be registered for the current season to attend the Evaluations!

Preseason: U16 to U18

At the older age groups such as U16, U17 and U18, the Preseason is much more condensed than it is for U10 to U15. These age groups no longer have practices and is just gameplay. The ORHC provides these age groups with one (1) or two (2) ice-slots that can be used as Evaluation Skates and or scrimmages.

All Players will be emailed prior to the Evaluations with your exact Dates, Times, and details and the information will also be posted on the ORHC Website – check back regularly for updates. If your Division’s evaluation is within 48 hours and you have not received an email advising you of your exact details please contact the ORHC Office for assistance.

You must be registered for the current season to attend the Evaluations!

Tiers and Placement
Depending on the number of registrants in each Division, some House League Divisions are broken down into Tiers:

  • Tier One: Red
  • Tier Two: White

Typically, Red (Tier One) are the more advanced players and White (Tier Two) is intermediate, but it does not always work out that way. The only real difference between the Red and White divisions is quite simple – when the coaches are drafting their teams, the Red teams are picked first. All tiers all get the same jerseys and socks, they play the same amount of games and have the same amount of practices. One division does not get "better" coaches or referees than the other. As a result of this, the Red division does tend to be a higher skill level than the White division, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the "best" players are in the Red division.

When the teams are being drafted the coaches are not picking from a pool of kids that have been specifically marked as "Red" or "White". They are looking at the entire selection of kids available in the age group and making their selections from there. They are not necessarily picking the 15-17 "best" kids available – they are picking 15-17 kids to create what they feel will be a strong team. Coaches are allowed to, can and will pass over players with a higher rating to select the players they want on their team. That is a combination of forwards and defence, of left and right-handed shots. Kids that have played together before and have a good chemistry, kids with attitudes that work well for the room. The evaluations and the individual skill of the players is only one small piece of the puzzle. Each coach has their own logic and values to help them decide who they select to build the team structure that they are looking for.

Depending on the number of registrants it is also possible that some Divisions will be amalgamated. For example, it is common that U16 White and U18 White are merged together to form a single Division. It is also likely that a division will not be tiered, for example the 2023-24 season did not feature any tiering. 

Team Formation and the Drafting Process
Teams are drafted shortly after Evaluations are completed. The draft schedule will be posted on the website, and you will also be notified of when your Division is drafting in the same email that advises you of your evaluation schedule. You will be contacted by your coach within 48 hours of the draft letting you know which division and team your child has been selected to.

What Division will my child be placed in?

It is impossible to answer that question prior to the draft. It all comes down to who the coaches chose for their teams, and skill is only one small part of that selection. We will not know what division they are in until the teams are drafted, and the coaches have made their selections.

What is a Protection? How does this impact the draft?

Some of you may have heard the term "protection" before. There is a lot of misconception out there for what a protection is and how it impacts the draft. Have you ever heard the claim that a coach "has all the best players because he protected them" or that "non-parent coaches get to hand pick their teams"? That is not the case! That is not what a protection is, and that is not how they work.

A protection is the child of a parent who has been designated to be a part of the bench staff for a particular team. Each coach is allowed a max of three protections, including their own child, and a protected player MUST BE the child of a parent that has COMMITTED to volunteering on their Bench. Not a manager, not a tournament coordinator or anything like that. Bench Staff only. "Okay, but what if all three of them are the top three kids in the division?". That is also not allowed. Without getting too deep in to the nuts and bolts of how the draft works, we can break it down like this:

  • Prior the draft, each player is assigned a rating (that is part of the Evaluation process)
  • An "auto-draft" is run prior to the real draft – this auto-draft gives us a rough idea of what round each player could be drafted in
  • For each coach, the round their protection is drafted in gets filled by that protection based on their projection from the auto-draft
  • For example, let's say that Johnny is one of Coach Mike’s protections, and the auto-draft shows him in the sixth round. When Coach Mike is drafting his team, his 6th round pick will automatically be Johnny – the coach has no say in it
  • If two of the protections are shown to be in the same round the coach will have the choice of either dropping one of the protections or moving one up to a higher round (only up, not down)
  • If the overlap is in the first round the coach MUST drop one of the protections/li>
  • A goalie can only be protected if they are the child of the Head Coach, and the same coach can not protect both a goalie and a first round selection

Become a Volunteer!

Volunteers are the lifeblood and backbone of the Oakville Rangers. We are always looking for people to help out on the bench, during practice, as a Manager or Game Day Staff, and more! You can help an hour or two a week, or you can really dive in and pick up some of the heavy lifting – it’s up to you! And you don’t have to be a "hockey person" to help – there are roles that need some hockey knowledge, of course, but there are administrative and managerial roles as well. If you are interested in volunteering, thank you!!

Click Here to fill out and submit the Volunteer Application. We will get in touch with you soon to talk about how and where you can help out!

Click here for a listing of the House League Coaches and Key Contacts

Click here to download the complete House League Manual

Click here for information on the Select Program

Click here to submit a Friend Request or a Specific Coach Request

Click here for information regarding the Withdraw & Refund Policy

Click here for Additional Registration Information