1. What are the different levels of competitive hockey available to my child?
In Sarnia, Competitive (BB/MD) Hockey starts at our U8 and U9 and is the highest level of hockey until U10 when there are three levels of competitive hockey available to children.
All minor hockey centres in Ontario are classified based on the size of population, hockey enrollment, etc. within their designated boundary. The classifications are AAA, AA, A, BB/B, CC/C, D.
The Ontario Women's Hockey Association (OWHA) has Competitive hockey exclusively for female minor hockey players from U7 ages up and there are several local associations running programming.
- AAA is the highest level of competitive hockey in Sarnia.
- The AAA program is offered in Sarnia only by the Lambton Junior Sting for U10 to U18 players.
- There is one team per age group made up of players from across Lambton County.
Seeded Hockey (AA/A)
- Seeded Hockey is the second highest level of competitive hockey available in Sarnia.
- Seeded Hockey is offered by the Sarnia Junior Sting for U10 to U18 players.
- The Sarnia Junior Sting have one team made up of players from across the city.
- All Seeded teams play each other until December and then are declared either “A” or “AA”
BB/MD Representative Hockey
- BB (Formerly MD) hockey is first level of Competitive hockey and is available to U8 to U18 players.
- For U8, there is only 1 level of MD hockey. For U9, we field MD1 (Tier 1) and MD2 (Tier 2) teams.
- BB/MD is the highest level at U8 and 9.
- The local association offers one BB/MD team per division where registration numbers and player development allow it.
- BB/MD teams can play Hockey Canada/ US Hockey BB/B 'Rep' and 'A' level tournaments and exhibition games outside of the Alliance.
- At the 2022 Alliance AGM, a motion was passed to change the MD Classification to BB. For clarity, BB is aligned with MD Tier 1 and B is aligned with MD Tier 2. All MD teams will now be referred to as BB. Alliance MD teams were re-classed to BB/B because the OMHA felt that Alliance MD teams were are too strong to compete at the OMHA MD level. The OMHA also eliminated their 'AE' level and those teams will be classed based on the respective centers size (BB/B/C) This now aligns with the OMHA as OMHA Minor Development (MD) is now a lower level division.
2. What is “Seeded Hockey”?
- As mentioned above Seeded (AA/A) hockey is offered by the Sarnia Junior Sting.
- All seeded teams within our area (i.e. Sarnia to Burlington) play each other until December and then are “seeded” or declared as either an “A” or “AA” level team based on their wins/losses etc. After the “seed”, the teams only play teams that are within their designation:
- The AA teams play in the ‘Constellation League'
- The A teams play in the ‘Bristol League'
3. Does a player have to tryout for AAA Levels if they really wish to play A/AA/B/BB/MD?
- No, players can start at A/AA tryouts (or MD for U8/U9).
- We encourage players to tryout for higher levels to ensure players are playing at their optimal skill level.
- However, it is important to understand that there are added travel, financial and time commitments required to participate at Higher Levels to BB/MD.
4. When are tryouts?
- Many Sarnia Junior Sting tryouts are in the Spring, but some have been moving towards September in many age groups.
- CHECK WEBSITES FOR CURRENT TRYOUT AND REGISTRATION INFO
5. Is competitive hockey more expensive the house league hockey?
- Yes, there are additional costs associated with competitive hockey.
- Competitive teams are on the ice more often than house league teams and have other team expenses. The associations charge a competitive surcharge to cover ice and other costs provided by the association.
- Teams may wish to purchase additional ice or go on tournaments. These costs would also be covered by the team.
- Many competitive teams fund-raise to cover some or all of these additional costs.
6. What is the time commitment?
- Generally there are 1.5 to 2.5 hours of practice time per week and 1 to 2 games.
- There is also more travel, as some of the teams you will play will be outside of Sarnia (like London, Woodstock, Stratford, Brantford, Burlington, Cambridge, KW area).
7. Are playoffs during March Break?
- Yes. Playoffs for BB/MD and Seeded hockey are during March so you could potentially miss key games if you are away. Each team's coach will set expectations.
8. What if we are away during tryouts?
- The association provides ample notice of tryout times.
- It is important to have your child at some of the tryouts to benchmark him/her with the other players to ensure he/she is placed appropriately.
- We need to evaluate your child’s individual and team skills.
9. I have just moved to Sarnia, how do I register for hockey tryouts?
- Please contact our Registrar ASAP to assist you with your transfer.
10. When will Sarnia Junior Sting Competitive Coaches be announced?
- For Spring tryouts, Head Coaches are typically announced in Late April and for Fall tryouts they're announced in the summer.
11. What Division is my child in?
- The competitive divisions are based on birth year. The naming is based on the age that the players will start to be turning after New Years.
12. When does "checking" hockey begin?
- Checking hockey begins in U14 Seeded and higher levels in the Alliance. Body Checking Clinics will introduce these players to contact.