Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled some general information to help answer some of your questions.  Should you have additional questions, please feel free to email and your question will be directed to the appropriate Board member who will respond to you with an answer.


Is MLHA a member of PAHL?

MLHA is a member of the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League (PAHL) whose territory reaches as far as Erie, PA (North), Morgantown, WV (South), State College, PA (East) and Youngstown, OH (West). PAHL falls under the guidelines of the Mid-American District of USA Hockey. You can find out more information on PAHL or the Mid-American District by visiting their websites.


How do you select your teams?

Each amateur organization holds tryouts for their teams the Spring before each upcoming season. MLHA holds tryouts shortly after the National Championships are complete in April. MLHA also typically holds
division level skates prior to tryouts to give participants a chance to prepare and skate with their peers.


How are teams divided?

Amateur hockey divides teams up by both age and skill. Age is determined by birth year (Jan. 1st – Dec. 31st).

Within the 10U Squirt – 18U Midget divisions, there are various teams that are placed by skill level. The placements are set by PAHL in September based on player history. Placements may be adjusted after completion of the pre-season placement games which occur in September - October.

Skill divisions are as follows and there may be multiple divisions within each level:

  • AAA
  • AA
  • A Major
  • A Minor
  • B


When does the season start?

For 10U Squirt and above, official team practices start in August, and placement games occur during the months of September and October. Competition for the amateur hockey regular season typically runs
from October through the end of February with the PAHL playoff season occurring at the beginning of March. Games are only played on weekends.

  • 10U Squirt plays 6 placement games and 14 regular season games.
  • 12U Peewee – 18U Midget play 2 placement games and 20 regular season games. Weekly practices for the current season typically run through the end of PAHL playoffs.


Where are practices held?

Most MLHA team practices are held at the Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center. Each team at MLHA will have at least one weeknight practice and various weekend practices offset by games. Games are only held on


What is the practice philosophy?

Practice focus varies by age, and the MLHA goal is to progress using the following breakdown:

  • 8U Mite 100% Skill Development
  • 10U Squirt 90% Skill Development / 10% Team Tactics
  • 12U Pee Wee 80% Skill Development / 20% Team Tactics
  • 14U Bantam 70% Skill Development / 30% Team Tactics
  • 16U Midget 60% Skill Development / 40% Team Tactics


Where are games played?

Since MLHA is part of PAHL, games may be played at any of the PAHL organization’s rinks (PAHL Association List). In addition, some teams may decide to enter hockey tournaments throughout the season. This will be at the discretion of each team, and is not covered as part of the standard fee for
playing at MLHA.


8U Mite Hockey

8U Mite Hockey follows USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) that incorporates small area games and practices by breaking the ice into stations.

Games are played in a “Cross Ice” jamboree format that encourages more action, decision making, and touches of the puck. There are no standings, scorekeeping, or playoffs.

8U Mite teams are limited to 10 Jamborees (games) per PAHL regulation. Jamborees take place on Saturdays and/or Sundays within the same PAHL territory mentioned above.

8U Mites have a dedicated weeknight practice (typically Mondays) as well as various practices on Saturdays or Sundays throughout the season.

The 8U Mite season runs from September through March. 8U Mite teams may enter into tournaments at the team’s discretion (up to 3). Tournament participation is optional, and tournament fees are not covered as part of the standard MLHA 8U Mite fee.

For more information on the ADM program for USA Hockey, visit ADM KIDS.


I have questions on the season fees - how do I know when to pay?

MLHA does allow season fees to be paid in installments and offers multi-player family discounts. Please reach out if you have additional questions on paying your season fees.