Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association
The Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association (SMHA) was officially incorporated as a non-profit entity on February 6, 1974. The Saskatoon Hockey Association as it was known prior has a much longer history in Saskatoon.
In October 1952, the Saskatoon Playgrounds Hockey League was founded. The Playgrounds Hockey League provided the youth of Saskatoon the opportunity to play organized hockey through the school system. The original Commissioner of the Saskatoon Playground Hockey league was Robert J. Macdonald. The Playgrounds Hockey League provided grassroots opportunities for youth to play hockey. The Playgrounds Hockey League operated until 1968.
Three other leagues operated during this time period as well. These leagues served the more elite players. The Saskatoon Minor Hockey League had six midget teams and six juvenile teams in its leagues. The Kinsmen Bantam League operated with six bantam teams in it. The Special C's League had six Peewee teams.
The Saskatoon Hockey Association began operating in 1968-1969. 242 teams participated that season using three City of Saskatoon rinks - Kinsmen, Lions and Exhibition - along with Rutherford Rink. 12 outdoor rinks were also used to run the leagues.
Moving to the present, the SMHA had 277 teams participating in its leagues in 2010-2011. The SMHA offers hockey programs for children from the age of 5 to 18 years of age. Beginning in 2011-2012, the SMHA will be offering a Junior "C" League that will be for players from age 18-20. The SMHA is proud to offer programs for players of all abilities. With three or four levels of hockey for each age division, players of all abilities can compete and enjoy the great sport of hockey.
The SMHA is one of the few minor hockey associations in Canada and the only association in Saskatchewan to offer complete Non-Contact Hockey Leagues for players in the Peewee and older age groups. The SMHA has offered such programs for almost 20 years. The SMHA's area of emphasis will always be ensuring its grassroots programs offer opportunities for today's youth to participate in hockey. However, the SMHA is proud of the development opportunities that it has provided over the years to players of elite ability. For a relatively small sized city, the SMHA has continually developed a great deal of players that have moved on to play at higher levels such as AAA Midget, Junior, College and professionally.
As with most team sports, the SMHA is most proud that participants in minor hockey tend to become better human beings and better citizens based on the many life lessons that sport, especially team sports, contribute to a young person's development. The SMHA thanks the many, many volunteers, past and present that have contributed to the organizations success.