About the TCHL

What We Do

The Thornhill Community Hockey League is proud to have been in the community since 1960. Over the years our focus continues to be providing fun and safe hockey to the children and young adults involved within our hockey association.

Our philosophy of providing children a solid foundation of hockey fundamentals before integrating game experience develops better hockey players over the long term. The Thornhill Community Hockey League offers two program streams – House League and Select which provides our players and their families with a hockey experience that meets their commitment and competitive needs.

The Thornhill Community Hockey Leagues strives to:

  • Maintain and increase the interest in the game of hockey.
  • Develop physical skills that will give them a lasting desire to play sports.
  • Provide an opportunity for every person who wants to play hockey regardless of their ability.
  • Develop the spirit of good sportsmanship.
  • Use hockey to create good citizens
  • Set good examples for our children

Our History

The fall of 1960 was when they moved practically next door to Doublerinks. As the number of teams expanded and ice time became an ever more difficult squeeze, the parents added Maple and Markham arenas to their itineraries.

Sponsors became an important part of the league in 1970. Among the businesses who offered their early support are Golden Star Restaurant who are still with us today.

The League introduced Select hockey on a limited basis in 1973 and the idea soon spread to all divisions. The teams played exhibition games against other centers with each group arranging their own matches whenever they could. No conflict was permitted with regular House League participation.

1974 saw the metamorphosis of the original Church League into the Thornhill Community Hockey League. In those early days the League drew freely from both sides of Yonge Street welcoming players from Vaughan and Markham without regard for residency. Later, the issues would get complicated between Vaughan and Markham policies. Concerns about where a player lived got politicized by the shortage and rising demands for available ice.

In 1974, the League had grown to over 800 players. The proud new venue was the Thornhill Community Centre.

A busy time. Thornhill was preparing to launch a new hockey league formed from among congregations of the community’s churches.

In those early days, Lloyd Davis and Don Macdonell were instrumental in putting the organization together. But by December of that year, parents were loading equipment and kids into cars on Monday nights and driving them up to Aurora. The games were underway.

The Aurora rink burned down after that first season and the intrepid Thornhill parents drove on to Bradford. The Church League played there until 1964

1974 also marked the introduction of The Mayor’s Cup, since rededicated as the Tony Roman Memorial Tournament. First presented to council as a softball competition, the hockey enthusiasts soon purloined the idea for their own sport.

The concept of a cross-town competition to bring the three communities together in a spirit of fellowship and friendly competition was embraced by the house league operations in Markham, Unionville and Thornhill. The idea certainly had legs as this year we will be enjoying the 40th year of the tournament. More than 2000 players participated in the competition that first year and more than 2600 are anticipated this season.

Tony Roman was a friend and strong advocate for the minor sports groups across the town and it is a fitting tribute to him that this event bears his name.

Long before it was politically correct, the TCHL ignored the gender barriers that existed in some leagues. Girls were welcomed as players on our house league and select teams and the number of females interested in playing hockey grew in the TCHL environment. In 1976 there were enough females playing that a four-team girl’s division was formed. Although the numbers have not held up over the year’s, the TCHL continues to welcome interested players regardless of gender.

Thornhill began hosting its own select tournament in 1978. From those early beginnings, the tournament has grown to be one of the most sought after tournaments in the Select Calendar.

The Thornhill Community Hockey League currently has in excess of eight hundred players registered on 54 teams ranging in age from 4 to 17 years old. We have a number of Select teams playing in the North York Hockey League as well as exhibition games and tournaments.</>

The TCHL draws most of its players from the Thornhill-Markham area, however, where space is available we also welcome players from outside the catchment area.

The TCHL is registered with the Greater Toronto Hockey League. Our insurance is arranged and tournaments sanctioned by that governing body.

Our league is governed by an elected Board of Directors. Meetings are chaired by the President.

The Vice-President House League is assisted by the Conveners in each division.

The referees are managed and supervised by a Board-appointed Referee-in-Chief. Referees apply prior to the season and attend regular clinics as required.

Timekeepers are trained and scheduled by a Timekeeper Coordinator appointed by the Board.


Thornhill Community Hockey League registration begins mid April. Registration is done online through the Hockey Canada. Registration is based on the player’s birth year and divisions are age specific.

Select tryouts cannot start until after the OHF Championship weekend in April. Select tryouts will be held during the month of May.

Whenever you register your child with the TCHL you are issued a receipt at the time of payment. This is your official tax receipt. Please keep this receipt in a safe place as the TCHL cannot issue you with a replacement.

To receive a refund, a family must request this in writing to the office with a clearly stated reason for the refund.

Sept 1st to Oct 1st: Full Refund less $75.00 – After Oct 1st & before Nov 1st: Full Refund less $150.00 – After Nov 1st: No Refund. **$20.00 will also be deducted for credit card registrants**.

Thornhill Community Hockey League follows the GTHL qualifications for all rostered staff. Thornhill Community Hockey requires all individuals involved with our teams to have a current police check on file and Speak Out.

Parents can always help out their child’s team as an on-ice helper. For this position, each parent is required to have taken the PRS (or Speak Out) and, have a current police check on file with the office. For these individuals there is an insurance fee that must be paid to the office before they can step out on the ice. This fee is set by the GTHL and must be paid prior to Dec 1st of each year.

Required Equipment

  • Neck Protector
  • CSA approved Helmet with full cage
  • Skates
  • Pants
  • Gloves
  • Shin pads
  • Jock/Jill
  • Elbow and shoulder pads
  • Socks (game socks are provided)
  • Stick
  • Hockey bag
  • Elbow and shoulder pads
  • Game jersey will be provided by the TCHL for the start of the season.

Important things to remember:

  • Kids cannot go on the ice without all the above equipment.
  • Make sure the equipment fits properly. If it doesn’t, it won’t protect and your child will struggle unnecessarily. Any sports store can help you with this, to ensure proper fitting for maximum protection.
  • A stick should come up to the child’s chin on skates. If you don’t know which way your child shoots, most stores offer straight sticks that will be sufficient until they decide for themselves?
  • Skates that are too small may result in sore and cold feet.
  • Blade Sharpening
  • New skates do not come sharpened, so get them done before first ice.
  • Frequency of sharpening depends on frequency of use. (~once per 4-6 ice times).
  • If your child walks on concrete without guards, their skates will need to be sharpened immediately.
  • Make sure your child comes to practice or a game with a bottle of water.

We really do appreciated hearing good things whether it’s about a particular experience with a volunteer or any positive feedback you have about our Association. Please send your emails to admin@tchl.org.

For some, the difference is minimal, while others believe it to be substantial. Simply speaking the Select league is a competitive league that a player must tryout and qualify for while players wishing to play house league are guaranteed a spot on a team no matter their skill. While both leagues enjoy the sport at its fullest, Select team players tend to be more skilled and tend to travel further distances for games. Select team players also are required to pay an additional Select fee over and above the base registration fee that house league team players pay.

Thornhill Community Hockey is a non-contact league

Details of Play

All players are required to wear the following equipment at all times when on the ice.

  • CSA approved helmet with full face cage or shield
  • Neck guard
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Jock (males)
  • Jill (females)
  • Garter belt or shorts with velcro to hold up socks
  • Hockey pants
  • Shin guards
  • Skates
  • Gloves
  • Stick

Mouth guards are not mandatory but optional.

The TCHL will provide to every player a team sweater and socks.

The TCHL expects and requires all participants to adhere to the following rules of behaviour:

  • Participants will arrive at least at least 20 minutes prior to game time, and be prepared to participate at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the game.
  • Participants will be physically and mentally capable for full participation during scheduled events.
  • Participants & members of the TCHL shall not engage in any activity or behaviour which interferes with any player or team’s preparation for a competition, or which endangers the safety of others.
  • Participants will treat other participants with respect and consideration.
  • Participants will wear all equipment as issued by the TCHL, without modification or alteration.
  • Participants will abide by all TCHL rules, and rules established by TCHL affiliate organizations.
  • Participants of the TCHL shall refrain from comments or behaviour’s which are disrespectful, offensive, abusive, racist or sexist in particular, behaviour which constitutes harassment, abuse or bullying, will not be tolerated.
  • Participants & members shall be drug and alcohol free at all times.

Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action, including but not limited to, suspension or permanent expulsion from the TCHL.

The TCHL is committed to a safe environment for all participants at all events. To ensure such an environment exists, the TCHL strongly supports and enforces a Zero Tolerance Policy that protects participants from any form of harassment or abuse.

The TCHL condemns any actions of harassment, abuse, or violence by or against players, team officials, game officials, volunteer, league members, or spectators, at any event that is organized, sponsored, or attended by TCHL members.

Profane or discriminatory language that is directed at any other person or is related to any sanctioned hockey activity, including any such language that is posted on internet chat lines, on social networking internet sites such as “Facebook”, “Flickr”, “Instagram”, “Myspace”, “Twitter”, “Tumblr” or via text messaging or other forms of electronic information transfer.

Anyone violating the Zero Tolerance Policy will, at the discretion of league officials, be ejected from the event, and be subject to further action by the TCHL Board of Directors.


There is still more to learn about the Thornhill Community Hockey League! Take a look through one of our photo galleries or peruse our videos. Or, maybe you’d like to get involved! Sign up to play if you’re a kid or sign up to help if you’re an adult. Anyone can take part in the TCHL.
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