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FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS

New to the Arctic Foxes? New to travel hockey in general? We understand you might have questions. We have answers. 

Q:  What is the Arctic Foxes Hockey Association?

A:  The Arctic Foxes Hockey Association (AFHA, or "The Foxes", for short) - est. 1995 - is the premier youth ice hockey organization in Western Pennsylvania! We are a Tier II recreational program, fielding teams from the Squirt (10U) to Midget (18U) age levels.

Q:  Where does AFHA practice and play their home games?

A:  Our home facility is the RMU Island Sports Center on Neville Island, where we have access to 3 sheets of ice!

Q:  RMU - Does that mean you're affiliated with Robert Morris University, or their in-house youth program?

A:  Great question! AFHA is an independent amateur organization, separate from the university or the RMU in-house program. We are simply a tenant at the facility.

 

 

Q:  I don't live on Neville Island or in the immediate surrounding area. Can I still play for The Foxes?

 

A:  You sure can!! Unlike scholastic-based teams and traditional community sports leagues, The Foxes are open to anyone who is able to make a team!

Q:  At what competition level do the Foxes teams play?

A:  As mentioned above, AFHA is a Tier II recreational organization. We have teams playing from the 'B' level up through 'AA'.

Q:  Do you have to try out, or can you just sign up and be on a team?

A:  The AFHA endeavors to welcome any young athlete who wishes to play and enjoy the great sport of ice hockey. That being said: Yes - our teams are built through an annual tryout and evaluation process.

Q:  My child plays other sports and participates in other activities. Is that ok?

A:  Of course! The Foxes fully support their members taking advantage of all opportunities both athletic and non-athletic that are available to them, and encourage their young athletes to participate in multiple sports in order for them to develop their full athletic potential. WITH THAT SAID: Each of our 20+ teams expect to be highly competitive within their divisions each season. Each roster is made up of only 17-20 players, and competition for these roster spots is sometimes fierce. We ask, in the interest of fairness to all involved, that if you accept a roster spot on one of our teams, you make every effort to be as present as possible at ALL team events (practices and games).

Q:  Who do the AFHA teams play against?

A:  AFHA is a member of PAHL, the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League. PAHL is made up of 28 different organizations spread throughout the Western Pennsylvania area. These organizations range from as for north as Erie, PA, south to Morgantown, WV, east to State College, PA, and west to Youngstown, OH.

Q:  What kind of practices do The Foxes run?

A:  We provide a number of different practice formats that take full advantage of the resources available to us. Teams can expect to participate in full-ice, half-ice, split-ice (where one team comes on for 20 minutes of full-ice, then shares with another team for 40 minutes, then leaves the ice for the 2nd team to get 20 minutes of full ice), and skills-based practices. Additionally, we also provide power skating instruction with renowned skating coach Maryann Watkins, and goalie practices with former NHL goaltender JS Aubin! And if that weren't enough, we provide all of our members with unlimited access to the RapidShot shooting lane! No other organization in the area can provide this level of practice, training, and development!

Q:  How long is the hockey season?

A:  After forming our teams at the tryout process in the springtime, our individual coaches will typically begin contacting their teams throughout the summer for meet & greet events and off-ice workouts. On-ice practices usually begin in late-July or early-August, pre-season and PAHL placement games are generally conducted throughout September, and the PAHL Regular Season is in full swing October-February, with playoffs leading into March for some teams.

Q:  Will we get to play a lot of games? How many will our team get?

A:  Don't worry - you'll get to play plenty of hockey! Generally speaking, co-ed PAHL teams will each get 20 regular season games. There will be 2 pre-season "placement" games as well, that help to determine which division each team is placed in (this is adjusted to 6 placement and 14 regular season games at the Squirt level).  Additionally, each team is permitted to make their own determinations on how many other "scrimmage" games they want to play or travel tournaments they wish to participate in.

Q:  Do you have boys' and girls' teams, or co-ed teams?

A:  The Foxes form both co-ed and all-girls teams. 

Q:  Can my daughter play on a girls' team AND a co-ed team?

A:  The Foxes do allow girls to play on co-ed and all-girls teams at the same time. However, we expect our all-girls teams at the older age groups to be highly competitive, high-achieving teams with chances to compete at the district and national level. These teams expect to be full-time/full-commitment teams, and we would recommend giving that team your full attention if you choose to be a part of it.

Q:  I understand hockey comes with a deeper financial commitment than most other sports. Do you do any sort of fundraising to help out with the costs?

A:  We absolutely do! The Arctic Foxes participate in several fundraisers throughout the season, generally offer at least one unique organization-wide opportunity each month, and allow for individual teams to conduct their own fundraisers as well (with the approval of the AFHA Fundraising Committee on a case-by-case basis). 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to info@arcticfoxeshockey.org with any other questions!

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