Unlike many other school sports, hockey is not regulated by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA). Youth hockey is regulated by USA Hockey, which is the national governing organization and the Atlantic District which is the local USA Hockey affiliate. Atlantic District in tern is responsible for sanctioning regional leagues and tournaments.
More information about Great Valley hockey can be found on our teams page. Our Elementary Team plays in the Ice Line Elementary School League. Our Middle School team plays in the Ice Line Middle School League. In both of these leagues, Great Valley plays against teams from neighboring school districts. High School hockey is organized by the Inter-County Scholastic Hockey League.
Beyond Scholastic Hockey there are a number of different opportunities for your son or daughter including Club/Travel Hockey, limited Travel/Developmental Hockey and House Leagues. See below for more information:
Club Hockey offers a great opportunity for players to develop their skills and play in competitive games against kids of a similar age and skill level. There are different tiers and levels of club hockey.
Tier I hockey (AAA division) requires a greater financial and time commitment than other Tiers/Divisions, and often requires longer-distance travel for games. Local Tier I clubs include the Junior Flyers, Valley Forge Minutemen and Philadelphia Little Flyers. These teams recruit elite players, require tryouts, and cut players that do not make the team. They play against other Tier AAA teams within the region and across the country. The AYHL is the league that the local Tier I teams play in.
Tier II programs offer multiple divisions (AA, A and B). While less expensive than Tier I, Tier II programs also provide excellent opportunities for your player to develop and play in additional competition. Local clubs area include Team Philadelphia, Quakers, Exton Kings, Valley Forge Colonials. These teams play in the Delaware Valley Hockey League (DVHL), which is a Tier II league sanctioned by Atlantic District. Games are generally played in PA and DE, although teams may travel to other states for tournaments or non-league games. There are other Independent teams, which are not members of the DVHL. Tier II teams in PA generally have Evaluations to determine which team your child will be placed on. Teams try to take as many kids as possible, but sometime will need to make cuts.
The MAWHA offers Tier I and Tier II leagues for girls. Note, girls choose to either play on co-ed youth teams, or play on a girls team.
There are a number of other hockey leagues, which may local teams may also participate in.
Great Valley has a number of players who have played for different travel clubs. If you are interested in learning more about club hockey or a particular team, please let us know. We can try to put you in touch with a family that has experience with that club.
If you are not ready to make the commitment to full travel, a limited travel or developmental team might be an option you. These programs are generally less expensive than full travel, and also require less of a time commitment.
Limited Travel/Develop is perfect for those players who are transitioning out of Learn to Play, players who are looking to supplement scholastic hockey, or for older players who are looking to learn to play that may not want to play with younger players.
Local rinks offer a variety of in-house leagues. All of the games are generally played at that rink. The are generally less expensive, but may not offer as many practices or games as club or development programs.
Since our Middle School, Elementary and Spring League teams are organized and played primarily out of Ice Line, they are considered to be House Leagues. In addition, local area rinks may offer Spring and Summer leagues that create mixed teams of players from different teams/programs.