Here’s the deal, I am an awful school parent. Terrible. If I remember to get the boys to do their homework and pack a decent lunch for them, it’s a really good week. I show up to the parent teacher interviews. I sign and return permission forms mostly on time. Each report card that comes home is reviewed by me.
But that’s the extent of it. HockeyDad is the field-trip goer. He makes sure that they have their winter gear on. He puts them on the bus. HockeyDad does the heavy lifting when it comes to school.
As if that weren’t bad enough, I do not skate. I mean, I used to. I took figure skating for years but it is not like riding a bike and my aging body strongly dislikes wearing blades on it’s feet. So how’s a mom like me to contribute?
Team manager. That’s how. I dipped my toe in last year with Boy#3’s Initiation team and nothing blew up or fell apart in a major way, so this year I stepped up to the team manager role for Boy #2’s Novice team.
It didn’t take long to realize that I knew nothing about hockey. Novice hockey is a whole new world of games and rules and structure. One that I kinda-sorta knew about but made a lot of mistakes before I truly figured it out. Nothing teaches you faster than trial by fire. Thankfully, I’m lucky to work with very patient coaches who have a sense of humour.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, initially I panicked. Eventually that wore off and my first major task as team manager was to find tournaments that our team could participate in. Here’s what I learned about what you need to do to register for a tournament as a team manager:
- For our association, the standard is to participate in two local tournaments and one away. The number of tournaments a team can participate in is set out in the rules and regulations, so be sure to check before registering. Anything above the set number has to go through an approval process.
- Depending on the team, it may be less. In my experience, scheduling around regular season games makes it difficult to participate in more than three.
- The sooner you start looking, the better. Registration fills up fast for a lot of these things and the paperwork involved takes some time. Lucky for me, our Novice season didn’t really get underway until the end of October, so our tournament schedule was set before our regular season games got going.
- Start your search with your governing body. I started with Hockey Canada and worked my way down from there. Thankfully, one of the areas I was looking at had a Tournament Search engine to get the search started. I pulled out what weekends worked for the head coach and came up with a list of tournaments. From there I sent it out to our parents for feedback. I don’t like making decisions for a group, so this step was important to me. Some teams don’t work this way, it just depends on the personalities.
- Once you have registered and are accepted to tournaments the coordinators will advise you of rules, schedules and other administrative things related to the tournament itself. It is important to note that for out of boundary tournaments you might have to apply for a team travel permit. Be sure to double check your association’s rules as well as the team manager handbook if one is available.
After that it’s all fun and games. Literally. The administrative portion of registering for tournaments is done. Pour yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and enjoy. You earned it.
See you at the rink,