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Need To Know

What is the difference between the NYHA and Suburban?

The NYHA is a non-profit organization which administers and oversees several youth hockey teams—both house and travel levels and a ‘Learn To Play Hockey’ program. The NYHA is managed by an all-volunteer elected board who work throughout the year to bring hockey to the youth of the Novi and surrounding communities.
Novi Ice Arena is the primary home arena of the NYHA. Every
year, the NYHA purchases over 3,000 hours of ice at the Novi Ice Arena. Owned by the City of Novi, the arena is managed by the Suburban Sports Group.  
Suburban Sports Group is a private business entity providing full service consulting management and ice-sport programming services. Suburban Sports Group also operates Suburban Hockey which develops and operates instructional and competitive hockey programs.  
Suburban Ice – Farmington Hills is a privately owned ice arena and is managed by the Suburban Sports Group.

How can I, as a parent, enhance my experience this season?

Here are some suggestions to help enhance your experience this season. You can learn more about the Association by checking us out on our web site and reviewing the FAQ/Why portion of our site. It gives you insight into why and how the Association operates. You can get instruction about the game of hokey by checking out the parent part of our web site and also surfing the USA Hockey website to get more information on the parts of hockey that interest you. Get involved in helping out on your team. There are all kinds of things that need to be done, some of which require a hockey background, but there are many that do not. Ask your team manager what you can do to help out. Volunteer to help at the Association level. We are always in need of volunteers to help with Game Day.

What do the designations B, A, AA, and AAA mean?

At each youth hockey age group, there are three distinct classifications: B/BB, A/AA and AAA.

B or BB (Tier 3/House) is a recreational level with the following requirements.

  • No Tryouts
  • All players get equal ice time
  • Teams are formed by evaluation skates and a draft
  • Teams are limited to the number of second year players on a team according to the MAHA formula
  • Ages 15-18 are restricted to a maximum of 40 games before February 1st  (not including District playoffs)
  • Ages 9-14 are restricted to a maximum of 35 games before February 1st  (not including District playoffs)
  • Ages 8 and under are restricted to playing a maximum of 40 games per season

A or AA (Tier 2) is a competitive level with the following requirements.

  • Teams are formed by tryouts
  • Limited to players within their districts with a maximum of 3 players from outside their district (16U classification is allowed 6 players out of district)
  • Ages 9 and older are restricted to playing a maximum of 75 games per season
  • Ages 8 and under are restricted to playing a maximum of 40 games per season

AAA (Tier 1) is a competitive level with the following requirements.

  • This is a top level of play
  • Teams are formed by tryouts
  • Players can come from anywhere in the State and even outside the State
  • Ages 9 and older are restricted to playing a maximum of 75 games per season

My child has never played hockey before. How will he or she fit in on a team with experienced players?

For players that are 6U(Mini-Mite) 8U(Mite) ages, this is almost never a problem as there are many new players at this age and these programs are structured so that players are competing against others of similar ability. As the players get older it does become more difficult for a new player to keep up with the more experienced players. This particularly becomes a concern starting at the 12U(PeeWee) level, when increased body contact are introduced to the game. However, even at this age there are still many new players entering the game for the first time. 

To provide for an equal distribution of talent and a safe environment, all House players are required to participate in two pre-season Evaluation Skates where they are rated for basic skills ability and game awareness by all the head coaches in the player’s age group. If there are any players that are deemed to be a potential safety risk, either to themselves or to other players, then the NYHA House Director would speak with the player’s parents and recommend alternative programs such as an instructional-based Learn-to-Skate or Learn-to-Play program. If the parents choose to not participate (due to safety concerns and agreed to by the NYHA) in the NYHA House program, any fees they have paid would be fully refunded. In the end, it is the parent’s decision as to whether to continue in the House program or to pursue other alternatives. 

In addition, all House coaches are required to follow a “fair-ice” policy in which all players have the same opportunity to play (playing time may be withheld from a player for disciplinary reasons, but never for ability). In addition, coaches are strongly encouraged to create a team atmosphere that develops and values all members of the team regardless of skill level. Formal evaluation surveys are conducted at the end of the season to identify and resolve any problems with coaches that are not meeting these objectives.  

Our experience has shown that we almost never have a problem with new players fitting in. While there are some occasional challenges, the new players pick up the game very quickly and get a lot of support from their coaches and teammates.

What steps are being taken to prevent infectious diseases and viruses at Novi Ice Arena and in the Novi Youth Hockey Association?

Both the Novi Youth Hockey Association and Novi Ice Arena are taking every precaution to prevent the spread of the infectious diseases and viruses. The Novi Ice Arena cleans and sanitizes the arena on a daily basis, and follows the guidelines set forth by the Oakland County Health Department. The NYHA is proactively promoting to coaches, players, and families the steps that can be taken for prevention. Those steps include:

  • Avoiding contact with infected individuals whenever possible.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands.
  • Players should always wash their hands after each practice and game, and before eating.
  • Players should rinse out their mouth guard after each practice and game.
  • Staying up to date on immunizations.
  • Avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Staying home if you are displaying any symptoms.

How is parking handled when the lot is full?

In addition to the NYHA, the Novi Ice Arena is also the home of Novi High School, Northville High School, and the Skating Club of Novi. The Novi Arena also hosts tournaments and other special events. In some instances, this programming utilizes one sheet of ice and the other sheet is assigned to the NYHA. When the NYHA is aware of major events that will place, parking at a premium, we e-mail our members alerting them so that alternate arrangements can be made. Links to the high school game schedules and the Novi Ice Arena Web site are on the NYHA Web site so members can be apprised of events scheduled in the Novi Ice Arena.