Orillia Hawks Ice for 2024-25 Season

Apr. 02, 2024

Hello, Hawks!

I thought it might be helpful for everyone in our club to understand the process by which we obtain ice, and how we allocate it.

Regular Season Ice Requests

Our requests for regular season ice are made to various rinks in the late winter/early spring every year before the following season.  We regularly ask Orillia, Rama, Bala, Gravenhurst and every other rink within 80km of Orillia.  We generally only get ice at the 4 rinks mentioned above.

We submit what our ideal ice is for each location, and then are assigned slots based on what each rink has available.  Ice allocation policies and timelines are different from rink to rink, but generally we don't know what ice we have at every rink until late July at the earliest.  This is why our practice schedules are generally not posted until August.

Throughout this time (late winter early spring) we are in contact with every rink regularly, and end up with a comprehensive picture of what ice is available in the region.  This past season there was no vacant ice during weeknights between Huntsville to Barrie (if you saw some, it is likely that a club booked it, and didn't use it).

Ice Allocation for Regular Season Practices and Games

Once we have all of our ice in place, we then start to draft the regular season schedule.

For practices, we follow these guidelines generally;

  1. All House Leage teams practice in Orillia, ideally on weeknights, ideally not on Friday nights
  2. Some HL teams can expect to share ice
  3. For rep teams, the youngest teams will get as much ice in Orillia as we can manage, ideally on weeknights, ideally not on Friday nights
  4. For older rep teams (U13+), we will attempt to get them weeknight ice in Orillia, but we are usually out of ice by the time we get to them
    1. Older rep teams can expect to have practices out of town (Gravenhurst, Bala, MASK, possibly other pads if they are available)
    2. What out-of-town rinks teams are assigned to depends on the geographic location of players for each team and a discussion with the head coach before the schedule is posted (i.e. we try to minimize driving as much as possible on a team-by-team basis)

We like to avoid Friday nights because of tournaments; many teams will miss 2+ Friday's/season for out-of-town tournaments, and the city of Orillia generally takes 4+ of our Fridays from us from other events.

For games, we follow these guidelines generally;

  1. All House Leage teams play home games in Orillia as much as possible, with some games at MASK possible
    1. The HL schedule is produced by a central body, to whom we give available ice slots for each team
  2. Rep home games will be in Orillia as much as possible, but games at MASK and Gravenhurst should be expected

Spring Ice

Requests for ice from April-September are made separately, sometime around January.  We need Spring Ice for Rep teams that are moving ahead to finals/championships, as well as tryouts and clinics.

Generally speaking, it is difficult to get good ice after March 31st.  Most rinks in the province take their ice out around March break, and if there are many teams from other clubs that still need it, it is a struggle.

2024/25 Season

We have been given our allotment of ice from the city of Orillia early this year, as they are using a different system for allocating it, due to Orser being shut down. As far as we know, the city still intends to close Orser and not reopen it next season.  Members of the exec have been to meet with the mayor twice this season to voice our opinion of this; the $12m renovation for that rink seems like a waste of money, and shutting it down for one or more seasons when every club needs more ice doesn't make sense. 

We have been given the following ice in Orillia for next season;

  • Wednesdays, Rotary Green, 5:15-10:05 PM
  • Fridays, Rotary Green, 4:45-9:35 PM
  • Sundays, Rotary Blue, 10:00-11:50 AM
  • Sundays, Rotary Blue, 2:00-6:50 PM

With 10 hours of practice ice for 12+ teams (we usually need 21 hours, but might need 23 or 25 hours next season), older rep teams can expect to practice out of town.  With nearly 7 hours of game time on Sundays, we should be able to do all HL games in Orillia.

What's Next?

Over the next couple of months as our ice requests come back, we'll put together a practice and game schedule for the season.  This will involve a lot of emails, phone calls and meetings with several rinks and executive members, as well as the rep head coaches.  We hope to have a draft schedule posted as early in the summer as possible, so that people know when their practices will be.

If you have suggestions about ice and scheduling, or want to help out, please attend our AGM on May 7th and let us know.




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