The North York Knights Hockey Association takes pride in providing the opportunity for players to participate in various levels of hockey, consistent with each player’s level of skill and interest. Our Association offers several programs: a Learn To Play program that channels the younger players into House League hockey – essentially a recreational level of play – as well as the more competitive Select program via the North York Hockey League (NYHL) and its member clubs. In addition, the North York Knights Hockey Association is affiliated with the North York Knights of the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) which offers players participation at the A and AA divisions, each offering an increasingly competitive brand of hockey for the players. These programs are briefly described below.
Learn To Play
The Knights Hockey Association has been teaching Learn To Play hockey in Toronto for over 50 years with the original sessions at the historic St. Michaels College Arena (Bathurst and St. Clair). The program has grown to include sessions at the York Mills and Pleasantview arenas. The Learn To Play program has been recognized as one of the best in Toronto allowing the players to progress to the House League, Select or GTHL level of hockey depending on their skill level.
The various learn to play hockey and learn to skate programs operated by the Knights Hockey Association share the same philosophy of quality introductory skating and hockey instruction in a fun, supportive and nurturing environment. The programs are run by experienced coaching staff, and have established a strong continuity of drills and progressions as the children move from level to level in preparation for house league and Select hockey. The program is structured by grouping children with their peers in skill level after several weeks of careful assessment and skill evaluation. This enables the children to advance over the course of the year through pre-determined progressions from basic skating to hockey skills to hockey games, in preparation for House League and Select hockey in the U7 and U8 divisions.
Extended Learn To Play
This program is intended for players aged 8-14 who can already skate to some degree but who have never played organized hockey. Skills are developed in a fun and low stress environment. Most players enter House League the following year. Some stay in the program for a couple years, and in some cases, where the player develops quickly and there is room within house league, a player may be moved up to House League during their first year of play.
The House League program is primarily intended to provide players aged from U7 (formerly Tykes) to U18 (formerly Midget SR) years old with the opportunity to play purely recreational hockey. There are no tryouts and all players receive an equal amount of ice time, without regard to ability or experience. Each player is assigned a team in the appropriate age division and all games are then scheduled weekly on Sunday evenings against other North York Knights Hockey Association teams within the same age division. All House League teams, with the exception of the Midget division, are also scheduled for a practice each week. Practices are generally scheduled on Saturday mornings or afternoons.
U7- U9 (formerly Tyke-Novice)
The U7 – U9 (formerly Tyke and Novice) age group will follow the Hockey Canada mandated Initiation Program (IP) moving forward. The intention is to have practices for this age group on Saturday mornings and to schedule games on Sunday in the late-afternoon/early evening for the entire season. Games will have players as fully equipped goaltenders with a weekly rotation expected amongst the players; and there will be bumpers to divide the ice according to the modified ice guidelines.
A more detailed explanation of what is recommended in the Initiation Program for the various ages can be found at the following Hockey Canada address: Initiation Program
Click here to go to HOUSE LEAGUE.
Teams are made up of House League players and represent North York Knights in competitive play against the Select teams drawn from other house league hockey associations. North York Knights Select teams play regularly in the North York Hockey League (NYHL), and participate in various tournaments throughout the season. Select teams are, in effect, All-Star teams, comprised of House League players. Team members are chosen from the House League teams through tryouts. Tryouts are open to all registered North York Knights House League players only. Players chosen for a Select team must continue to play for their House League team as well as their Select team. This means that these players will be scheduled for a Select game and a Select team practice each week in addition to their regular house league game and practice. Select games are generally scheduled on week nights and Select practices on Sunday mornings.
For more information regarding the NYHL and its hockey program, please click here to be redirected to the NYHL website.
Click here to go to SELECT.
Competitive Development Stream (CDS)
The Competitive Development Stream (CDS) program focuses on long term player development in accordance with the Hockey Canada and Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Player Development Model and the GTHL Initiation Program.
The CDS program is an extension of House League available to registered HL players from 6-8 years old on a tryout basis. Information on the OHF Player Development Model and the game play structure discussed below may be found here. Information on the GTHL Initiation Program and the benefits of modified ice hockey may be found here.
In addition to the House League, players in the CDS program participate in one or two additional practices per week and play approximately one weekly development game (20-22 games per season) against CDS teams from neighboring hockey associations including Leaside, North Toronto Scarborough, Don Mills and Forest Hill. As well, CDS teams may participate in tournaments or festivals throughout the season.
CDS games follow the game play structure of the OHF Player Development Model as follows:
- Rosters of 18 players (16 skaters, 2 goalies) for U7 and U8 teams. U9 will have 17 players.
- Goalies rotate in U7 and may be designated in U8/U9.
- During game play teams are divided into two squads of 9 players (8 skaters, 1 goalie). After Jan 15, U9 teams play 5 v. 5 full-ice format.
- Two games are played simultaneously in a 4 v. 4 format, including goalies, using appropriate rink dividers. Teams transition to full-ice 5v5 format in the second half of the U9 year.
- U7 games are played in a cross-ice format. U8 games are played in a half-ice format. U9 games are played half-ice until early January and then on full ice thereafter.
- Modified ice games will be 44-minutes run-time consisting of two 22-minute periods.
- Line changes on 2 minute buzzers.
- Games are officiated and penalties are called.
- No formal scores, standings. All teams participate in a year-end festival in April.
- Competitive Development Stream development games begin in October after Thanksgiving and are not scheduled over holidays.
The North York Knights Hockey Association is affiliated with the North York Knights who operate teams playing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL). The GTHL hockey is geared toward the most serious and competitive players and begins at U10 (formerly Minor Atom) level. The teams in the GTHL play in one of three divisions based on the caliber of the team’s play: the divisions are A, AA, and AAA; A the lowest, AA in the middle and AAA the most competitive. The North York Knights have teams in both the A and AA divisions from the Minor Atom to the Midget Senior level. GTHL players are not permitted to play on a House League, Select or any other GTHL team. GTHL try-outs are held in the month of April each year for the following season starting in September. The GTHL age groupings are listed below.
Click here to go to GTHL Knights.
GTHL’s Division & Age Bracket (as of December 31st in the season)
|GTHL’s Division & Age Bracket|
|U10 – FORMERLY MINOR ATOM (Up to 9)|
|U11 – FORMERLY ATOM (Up to 10)|
|U12 – FORMERLY MINOR PEEWEE (Up to 11)|
|U13 – FORMERLY PEEWEE (Up to 12)|
|U14 – FORMERLY MINOR BANTAM (Up to 13)|
|U15 – FORMERLY BANTAM (Up to 14)|
|U16 – FORMERLY MIDGET (Up to 15)|
|U17 – FORMERLY MIDGET JR (Up to 16)|
|U18 – FORMERLY MIDGET SR (Up to 17)|
For more information regarding the GTHL and its hockey program, please click here to be redirected to the GTHL website.