Dear Parents, Players, and Volunteers,
On Behalf of the Board of Directors, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 2013/2014 Hockey Season at FHHA. This will be the 54th year providing amateur hockey to our community. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome back our returning players and extend an especially warm welcome to those who are joining our Forest Hill family for the first time.
This season has seen our enrollment hit another record high, filling our ever popular Learn to Play program, 40 house league teams across 6 divisions, a record 14 Select teams including our first ever Tyke team, and for the first time in our history an "A" level GTHL team in Peewee.
In regards to our ever increasing number of registrants, we are becoming victims of our success. This year we had nearly two dozen returning players leave registration to the last minute and there was no room for them. This is heartbreaking but avoidable. Remember that all returning FHHA players have priority for a certain time period, so when registration starts in April 2014, please make sure you register early. Once that period ends, registration is open and spots are filled on a first come first served basis.
On the heels of the major renovations at Larry Grossman Forest Hill Memorial Arena completed last year, a new trophy case has been installed on the wall near the snack bar. The contents are a testament to the longevity and success of our organization.
Your Board of Directors has undergone many changes since last season, and has been extremely busy working to take FHHA to the next level. I have taken over as President from Hersh Forman who did yeoman's work for the last 7 years and to whom a great debt is owed. His hard work has left our league in a great and enviable position moving forward. I want to personally thank him for helping me transition into this important position.
The Board has been responsible for the implementation of a new "Code of Conduct" for all coaches and volunteers; a clarification of the attendance rules; new protocols for the selection of coaches in house league and Select; and the creation of a new position known as the "Director of Player Development" who will be working with all our players and coaches, house league, Select and GTHL, to improve the overall hockey experience. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Birch, of Gunner Hockey, to that position. There will also be a concerted effort to improve the officiating by providing ongoing referee development and training as well as supervision with Seth Kirshenbaum, head of referees at the NYHL.
Another position has also been created, the position of Ombudsman, to serve as an impartial link between the Board and members of the FHHA family. This position is currently open and anyone interested can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of our biggest ventures this year will be the "WINTER CLASSIC II". Last year we ran the "WINTER CLASSIC" with great success. This year's "II" will be a league-wide endeavour which will provide ice time at RICOH coliseum like last year. However, this year's event also includes the Toronto Marlies coming to Forest Hill Arena to hold a practice, autographs session, and other exciting activities. All proceeds will benefit our "HOCKEY4EVERYONE" program that provides kids in our community with the ability to play our great game where they might otherwise not be financially able to do so. The COO of the NYHL has graciously helped by providing the ice at Forest Hill Arena - and so I am pleased to announce, on behalf of the Board and MLSE, that the date for this event will be Monday December 2nd, 2013. Stay tuned!
As with any league, our success depends on our volunteers and generous sponsors and we are fortunate in this regard. Most of our sponsors are businesses in our neighbourhood or FHHA community. We encourage you to support them as they support us. Please check out our sponsors list at http://www.fhha.org/fhha/sponsors.aspx
To all our dedicated volunteers, who serve tirelessly on behalf of our kids as coaches, managers, conveners, and committee and Board members, we are grateful for your time and dedication that provides our kids with experiences that they will cherish for a lifetime.
There is a parking problem at the Forest Hill Arena and we have gone to the city with requests for relief to no avail. We ask that you do not park on the median on Chaplin Crescent as you WILL
be ticketed. We recognize that grandparents, parents and siblings all want to watch their budding stars play, and suggest that families look at carpooling to help alleviate the congestion. Above all, be respectful of others by parking in one spot and not blocking others.
With select tryouts already underway, our hockey season will be starting before you know it. The house league season will begin SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28th with our "SUNDAY SKILLS" and "LEARN TO PLAY" programs starting on SUNDAY OCTOBER 13th. For house league, players should be contacted by their coach by the end of the week leading up to September 28th. If you do not hear from them, please email the appropriate division conveners found at the bottom of the "Contact Us" page on our website at www.fhha.org
. Our website also contains the links to all contacts, schedules, standings, rules, and just about everything else you need to know.
I look forward to seeing you at the rink!
Dr. Michael Cohen
Forest Hill Hockey Association