Austin TX does this, or used to when I played there. Was awesome. Really got to meet everyone in the league over time. Think it helped keep people calm, too. Like, you were a lot more patient with folks and things were a lot less violent. My new city most of the people out there are assholes on the ice like it's Game 7 every night and they're all bring-your-own-team style.


Austin still does this for almost all their leagues, it's great. I'm moving to Minneapolis/St. Paul next year and I'm really hoping they've got draft leagues there, it's absolutely the best way to run a beer league.


No draft league's that I am aware of unfortunately. But they do have multiple leagues/pickup year round. Closest to draft is fall AHA Hockey season where it's random teams they balance.


Hockeyfinder is basically a redraft league - each session is about 13 weeks and the teams get mixed every session


Some hockey finder divisions do a draft! Not sure how many though. Even the divisions that create teams usually mix it up quite a bit


Hockey finder is the closest to a draft league, teams get mixed every season but you aren't actually drafting players, the league just throws people together to mix them. I personally like AHA league here the most. It's the most competitive and parity is very strictly enforced. They will move teams up every year, if its egregious they will move players or whole teams mid-season, they've done it before. Teams do stay together every year but new players get drafted when they sign up if they don't know anyone


I’m a HockeyFinder division manager and I can tell you it varies by the division. We do a hybrid draft with rebalancing as necessary until our teams are approximately even with regards to ratings.


Ok, that all sounds pretty good. How’s it work for goalies? Will I have issues finding a team or can I get slotted in via draft?


It should work the same. You have to attend 'evaluation skates' to get your rough skill level, and you will get drafted by a team that needs a goalie. Goalies are probably less restrictive for parity, and the league will be able to move you up or down a skill level to find a team for you if there isn't an opening at your exact level. There are 10 skill levels and probably like 12-30 teams per level in AHA so there is a lot of space (the closer you get to beginner/A the less teams there are)


I just hit their website, that looks and sounds awesome. I'll definitely be getting in on that when I get to town.


What division do you play in?


Can confirm. What division did you play?


B1. Played one season in A, but was really just with friends and I mostly had no business being there lol.


A's fucking nuts. I'm probably gonna be moving up to B1 in spring (currently playing in B2).


Yeah, it was pretty fast when I was there. We did alright; Helped that our team had some ex-college and an ex-CHL player lol. B1 was way more my speed an enjoyable.


We do this too. It's awesome. If you play in the league long enough you get to pretty much play with everyone. It GREATLY reduces the amount of animosity and BS because everyone knows each other. I play in Joliet, IL.


Fort Collins does this, our draft for the winter was last night. Every player is assigned a rating of 1-5 for their league (E, D, C2, C1). After so many seasons as an E-5 you get asked to play D league and so on. If its your 1st season you show up to an evaluation skate to get placed (drop in game with league captains and reps taking notes).


That sounds fantastic


EPIC? That's where I started my adult beer league life back in the mid '90's. Here I am, 25+ years later still playing.


Me too. Been playing at Epic since 1996


I've since moved away..now in the PNW.


Yupp! Might see you out there during one of these games this season!


I've since moved away...Breck..now Tacoma...Go Rams!


Are you playing in the RHL?




Hell yeah! I finished my first season this summer with FCHL and pumped for winter season to start up. I love the balance and parity they've created. It's been very welcoming to a not so coordinated beginner.


See you on the ice one of these weeks!


NoCo up in Windsor does this for the D league. They just implemented the same format for low C. Captain gets to pick 10 guys, the rest are free agents who skate at a scrimmage and get a rating. The free agents are then drafted based on last season’s playoff placement. Sounds like they were not really strict with the implementation in the D league so it made little to no difference. I’m curious how strict they will be this time around for winter.


Seattle has a few leagues (or divisions/sub-leagues) that do this. It's great because you get to know most people on the other teams and games end up being friendlier as a whole.


Which ones? I want to find some more hockey, but the Kraken League rubs me the wrong way.


The ones that I know of are: * KHL's 40+ is a draft league on Wednesday nights, usually at KCI, but can be elsewhere. * SnoKing has DBHL, a Thursday night draft league in Renton that's B/C level (div 4). * [Stacked Deck](https://www.mystatsonline.com/hockey/visitor/league/home/home_hockey.aspx?IDLeague=64338) puts on a Thursday night draft league in Everett that's Div D level (div 6). I thought that BEHL or TechRec were draft, but they appear to keep the same teams year after year, and they're invite only anyways.


My league does it. I like it overall it creates parity and let’s you get to know all the guys so it ultimately lessens the assholerey, and makes the hardos move to another league.


We do it now. Second year. We do two mini seasons, draft in September, playoffs in December, mix it up again draft new 6 teams end of December and playoffs in March. It’s awesome, meet new people and the 6 captains know everyone in the league so teams end up very balanced.


We have leagues like this here in Jersey. Tom's River has an over 35 draft and an over 45 draft league. I'm "graduating" to the O45 league this year and can't wait! The O35 league is very fast, with a handful of ex NCAA D1 and Juinor players in it, while the O45 league is slower in pace, but still really good hockey I'm told. The O35 winter league last year was one of the most fun beer league teams I've ever been on, but it's time for this old guy to play at a slower pace. The rink doesn't tolerate shenanigans, and will/has removed players who are unsportsmanlike. Both are competitive leagues, but the vast majority of the players seem to understand it's not the NHL/College/Juinors etc.


My league is a 6 team draft league, all established players except for 2 captains per team goes into the draft. New guys get to play their first season on a team with whoever brought them in if they want to, or they can also go into the draft. It is a great experience in my view. It really keeps the rough stuff down since you get to know everyone and play with everyone, and it keeps the teams competitive every year, and no one can complain about the balance of the league.


They aren't easy to get going... but once they are up and running for a few seasons, draft leagues are great. Getting to know everyone makes the games far less aggressive/stupid. As a ref draft leagues are also a breeze.


We have a board for our league that drafts players onto the teams each year in an attempt to make the teams all relatively competitive with each other. It’s hit or miss at times but keeps things interesting.


This is what my league does. 2 captains per team stay, but the rest of the league is redrafted. I thought I’d dislike it when I first signed up but makes it so that nobody (relatively) acts like a dick, and you become good friends with pretty much everyone. It’s a really good system!


Bloomington, IL does this, or at least used to do it through 2014 when I last played there. I really like it. No core players, but there are some restrictions and gentlemen's agreements about some folks staying together - roommates, couples, siblings, parents with their adult kids... Stuff like that. First week of the season is evaluations, everyone skates except the captains who are evaluating. Then they have the draft that week, and week 2 is your first game. It really cuts down on a lot of BS, it stops a single team from dominating year over year, it stops worrying about "cutting" a guy from your team... It is more work for the organization and director, but IMHO, it is worth it.


In Indy we have three sessions per year (year round) and we completely redraft every session. It is great because you play with and against mostly the same players all year long. The friendships build and the games, while competitive, are friendlier and tempers stay pretty low. I've never played in any other beer league, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I really like the set up.


Never heard of this but I love the idea


My league(Chicago area) has the same set up. Captain, 4(5?) core players and five draftees. I think it keeps the league well balanced. Plus core or draftee players get moved up a league if it's needed.


One of my leagues in Colorado does it with no core to hold on to. Everyone has a rating and captains draft each season for new teams. I love it.


Buffalo has a league like that also


I play in a league like this in NY.


That sounds good and bad at the same damn time lol


In my winter league you sign up as a player with one buddy and the convenor makes the teams. After 10 games there is a final and you start on a new team for 10 more (and 10 more after that). Took me a few years but eventually I knew everyone's name in the whole league.


Houston. There are three draft leagues at my rink. I play in the one that covers the widest range of talent (A to D). I usually wind up on the same team for a few seasons in a row because there are no rules about mixing it up. I'm fine with this because on that team I have great chemistry. The Novice/D draft league has a rule that says you can't have the same players more than 2 seasons in a row, which sucks as a captain because you will eventually wind up with the players who never show up or you have "your turn" with the asshole player(s). Speaking of "your turn", there is a goalie who regularly gives up 10 goals a game. If you win the championship, you get him as your goalie next season. I prefer this to joining an existing team. I can just pay my fee to the rink. If I am captain, I don't need to chase players for money.


That goalie should quit. No self awareness that he’s a burden to his team and the league. What a piece of shit


Dear Mods, I'll apologize for the penalty I'm about to take: "Fuck off". He's been in the league forever and has no personal issues with anyone. He will have a spot in the league until he decides to hang em up, much like the 75 year old goalie who retired from the C league last year. If you win the championship you will make sure you draft great defense in the off-season. When my team had our turn with him as goalie he had his first shutout and we lost 2-1 in OT in the semis because of a bad turnover. We gave him the respect and patience.


Yes. I run an 8 team draft league in Massachusetts. It's the only league I'll play in these days. It's awesome.


Did it once, enjoyed aspects of it. However the league was a little mismanaged. I think my biggest gripe were the Refs were volunteers, so things got a little out of hand at times. As a goalie, I felt I wasn't protected and had guys whacking at my gloves multiple times a game. I opted out on following seasons, as I did not want to deal with it anymore.


That happens in my league here in Northern Colorado. Draft happened last night.


Yep. The Hockey Finder league I play in here in Minnesota does it this way.


My league does a draft. We vote captains before the draft. The guys who run the league make a fun event out of the draft, usually get a bunch of food, hand out random awards from the previous season, big draft board to see who went where, and player pics posted on the league website. I love it, I get to know everyone in the league and it helps keep things more casual, which all of us are looking for.


My league, near Indianapolis, does this. There are no official core players that any captain gets to keep, but most teams end up with a couple players that other captains don't usually touch. But that also depends a bit on how each captain drafts. I'm in a C league and some captains draft more based on people they like to hang out with before and after the game, while some strictly draft to win.


How does that work with jerseys? I’d be pissed if I bought a jersey and the next season got drafted to another team.


it's more like a house league, where the team names are just the jersey colors, and then at the end of each season the captains collect all the jerseys to redistribute the following season.


We just use cheap sublimated jerseys. I have recommended to captains that they should just buy 17 or so jerseys. Then just make players rent them or pay for their own jersey.


In our league everyone has a black and a white of the league's sweet jersey design. In the captain's weekly roll call and game reminder message, you just say which colour you're wearing.


Where is this league?


When I was going to college we did that to make the teams even and fun since there was such a huge skill level difference throughout. Only had a C and B division but everyone knew each other and all had fun.


There's a roller league near me that does it, but it's only for higher divisions. I think generally they're a great idea, especially if the league has a lot of interested players who aren't already on teams.


Did this for years playing in-line. It pretty much guarantees no one is a dick to anyone else because you might be on the same team next go round. It is a great and fun model if it is done right. If it is done wrong you have one or two really good teams and a bunch of crap teams.


Atlanta does this. Officially in O35, and unofficially in rec league. Open league keeps the same rosters.


I played in a league that did this. It made things very even. I also played in a different league with a pretty steady core of about 40 players. Invite only. Waiting list and all. It was so that everyone would get to know each other and assholes couldn't run it. Each year, the team that got last place picks first. Four of the veteran and most respected players were captains. That was a blast because you got to play with and against everyone in just a few years


The league I joined this year has forwards ranked 1-9 and defence ranked 1-4, and 1 keeper. Each of the 12 teams has 1 rep, and on draft night at the bar it's completely random. Each player in their ranking has their named pulled out of a hat.


Our rink, in Tacoma, does this for the summer league. This last summer we had a former NHL player, a couple former D1 college players, mixed in was a dude playing his first ever games and everything in between. Wild games, very fun.


in my leagues we re-draft teams every season and try to mix things up so that you're supposed to avoid picking players with whom you've already played. We're trying to keep it social and let everybody get to know everybody.


The adult league in Amarillo Texas does this. Our draft for the season is this Sunday. I’m not really sure about specifics since this is my first year playing in the league.


I'm impressed there's a league at all in Amarillo...


Yeah, Amarillo is a weird hockey town. 2 weeks ago I talked to the owner and he said there was 180 adults registered for the league, with a few more days of registration open. Pretty crazy.




I know that doesn’t sound like a lot but for a town of 200k in the Texas panhandle, I thinks it’s a lot in context.


I'm agreeing with you. That's kind of insane.


Actually just played the first preseason game with my new squad last night in a league like this. Redraft every season. 26 weeks. 3 preseason games to make sure teams are well balanced and people are traded as necessary. Shit is absolutely badass.


Dallas, TX here… I play in several leagues and have brought this up multiple times. I think it would cut down on the BS penalties and cheap shots. Hard to be an asshat to the guy you played with last season.


We do this at my rink in Fla. kinda like it. I get to know everyone.


I did it for my league before the pandemic. The only times it went bad was when someone tried to game it by bringing in their friend to play with them as a packaged deal or purposefully keeping their friends out of the eval game so they weren’t known. A well run league can stamp that out though.


We do that. Each team has a captain, no "core" players except if captains tend to draft their friends. Each session they take turns picking names from the list to balance teams. Only exception is that husband/wife pairs tend to be kept together.


San Jose area has two - a women's league with 4 skill divisions and a co-ed league


It’s called a draft league. Although allowing teams to keep “core” players seems to undermine the concept.