Each of the San Fernando Valley's four hockey leagues comes with its own set of rules, requirements and perks.
Though all require helmets and heavy padding, the use of face masks and eye shields varies from league to league.
The skill level also varies. The National Novice Hockey Assn. has traditionally been associated with beginners, whereas the Los Angeles County Hockey Assn. has a reputation for fielding more advanced players. But both leagues have moved into each other's territory. The NNHA now has Hockey America, an advanced league. The Los Angeles County Hockey Assn. started L.A. Novice last season for beginners.
League fees, which do not include the cost of equipment, are from the 1988-89 season. Most league officials said the fees will probably increase this year because of hikes in insurance rates and ice rink rates.
What follows is a guide to the four leagues.
National Novice Hockey Assn.
The NNHA was organized in 1980 in Washington and moved to the Los Angeles area in 1981. Local membership, including Hockey America, totaled 663 last season. The season runs from October through April. Beginners take part in eight training clinics and play eight games. Intermediate and advanced teams play 20 games. All members must be 21 or older. The cost for membership for all teams was $284 last year, with a $25 registration fee. An additional $100 was charged for team jerseys and socks.
Health insurance is required. Beginners and intermediate players are required to wear face masks. Games are played at the Ice Capades Chalet in North Hollywood, the Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank, the Pasadena Ice Skating Center and the Culver City Ice Arena. For information, call (800) 446-2539.
Los Angeles County Hockey Assn.
The association was organized in 1983. Membership, including L.A. Novice, totaled about 500 last season. The season runs from October through April. Beginners take part in four training clinics and play 20 games. Checking and senior non-checking teams play 25 games. The age requirement is 19 for beginner teams and advanced checking teams, and 25 for senior non-checking teams. Last year, beginners paid $325; others paid $310. There was a $15 registration fee. The teams are required to purchase their own jerseys, although the association helps teams find sponsors to help cover the cost. Health insurance is not required. Only beginners are required to wear eye shields. Games are played at the Pickwick Ice Arena in Burbank, the Pasadena Ice Skating Center, the Ice Capades Chalet in North Hollywood, the Culver City Ice Arena, the Olympic Ice Arena in Harbor City and the Norwalk Ice Arena. For information call (818) 894-1190.
Valley Hockey Assn.
The association was organized in 1969. Membership is restricted to about 120, at least 18 years old, for eight teams, and replacements are chosen from those who play local pickup games. All teams play in one division. Face masks and eye shields are not required. The 22-game season runs from October through May. The cost last season was $360, including jerseys and an end-of-the-season banquet. There is no registration fee. Health insurance is not required. All games are played at the Ice Capades Chalet in North Hollywood. For information call (818) 769-1600.
Conejo Valley Adult Hockey Assn.
The association was organized in 1987. Last season, the membership totaled about 300 players. The age requirement is 18. The season runs from October through April. Teams can opt to play four or five games a month. Members are charged a monthly fee; last season it ranged from $60 to $65. Members are responsible for purchasing their own team jerseys. Teams are divided into four divisions, from beginner to advanced. Only beginners are required to wear eye shields. All games are played at the Conejo Valley Ice Skating Center in Newbury Park. For information call (805) 498-6671.