There are plenty of opportunities in Northeast Ohio to be a part of the hockey community, and the Cleveland Monsters are proud to work with the CSHL, AAA teams, High School Teams, Adult leagues and more to promote the sport. The Monsters hold youth hockey camps and offer different youth hockey programs to help make memorable experiences. The Phil Simon Memorial Fund is a division of the Monsters Community Fund that supports Youth Hockey in the Northeast Ohio Community. For more information about Youth Hockey in NE Ohio, contact our Monsters Youth Hockey Specialist.
In coordination with certified Learn to Play (LTP) programs in the area, the Cleveland Monsters Learn to Play Program will help you and your child learn the basics of the sport in a controlled and professional environment. LTP programs across the area are for kids ages 4-8 (with some select programming offered to older kids) and each LTP partner must meet certain criteria for inclusion. Check out our Learn to Play page for more detailed program information, the answers to some frequently asked questions and a map of local partners.
The Tour with the Monsters Presented by University Hospitals Sports Medicine makes a return this year with stops at rinks in your local communities. The Tour gives fans the chance to watch the Monsters practice, and then get out on the ice with the team afterwards for autographs and pictures.
The Monsters practice for an hour at an area rink, and then have a 30 minute open skate and autographs with the players ( must have skates to go on the ice with team). Check out where the tour will be headed this season. Click on the rink names for more info on locations. Rinks will have skates available for rent. This event is FREE* and open to the public.
Elyria North Park Ice Rink – Tuesday, October 17th, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Mentor Civic Arena - Tuesday, November 7th, 6:00 PM -7:30 PM
*Ice skates rentals do have a fee typically at the rinks.
Hockey in Northeast Ohio
Youth hockey in Northeast Ohio begins with the Cleveland Suburban Hockey League (CSHL). With over 150 different teams in various age divisions and 19 youth hockey associations involved in the CSHL, there are plenty of opportunities in Northeast Ohio to be a part of hockey.
The different age levels range from:
- Mites (5-8 years old)
- Squirts (9-10 years old)
- PeeWees (11-12 years old)
- Bantams (13-14 years old).
For those hockey players that look to develop their skills to the next level, there are different programs in Cleveland to continue to grow as a player. The Cleveland Barons AAA hockey program from Mites to Midgets and are one of the more competitive programs in the country, based out of Parma, OH. For more information about the Barons AAA program, Click Here.
The Barons now also field a Mite and Squirt house league program based out of Strongsville’s OBM Arena. For more information about the Barons association, Click Here
The Cleveland Jr. Jacks are another area AAA hockey program, based out of Cleveland Heights. For more information about the Jacks, Click Here
High School Hockey
There are 46 OHSAA sanctioned high school hockey teams in the Greater Cleveland area. The Monsters work with these teams in terms of coordinating games at the Q, team-building events, community relation events, donations and fundraising. 38 of the 46 programs compete in the Greater Cleveland High School Hockey league (GCHSHL) which is broken up into three talent divisions: Red, White, and Blue.
Eight other teams comprise the Great Lakes Hockey League (GLHL) and consists of St. Ignatius, St. Edward, University School, Lake Catholic, Gilmour Academy, Padua, Holy Name, and Walsh Jesuit. Collectively these programs have 20 Ohio State championships and feature some of the most prolific and historic programs in the state.
The North Coast High School Hockey League (NCHSHL) involves club hockey programs in Northeast Ohio who do not have a varsity high school program or as an alternative to the two other leagues in NE Ohio. This league, USA Hockey sanctioned for High School hockey, annually sends teams to the National Championships for High School hockey with some of the best talent There are 9 teams in the NCHSHL who compete against teams across Ohio and the Midwest, and this league is the HS hockey division of the CSHL youth hockey league.
Junior Hockey in the United States is the next level above High School hockey and highest level of amateur hockey for players under 20 years of age.
There is one area Junior hockey teams in the Northeast Ohio area:
The Wooster Oilers of Wooster, OH, a Tier III junior hockey team in the North American Tier 3 Hockey League (NA3HL).
College hockey is broken down in different talent levels going from the highest NCAA Division 1 hockey to NCAA Division III. There are only three NCAA Division I programs in Ohio: Ohio State, Miami University and Bowling Green. There are no NCAA Division III programs in Ohio.
The highest level of competition outside of NCAA in college hockey is the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA). Founded in 1991, the ACHA is one of the most respected college hockey organizations with over 450 programs in the United States. This is also separated by three divisions: ACHA Division 1, 2, and 3. The ACHA continues to be a competitive and valid option for players looking to extend their hockey careers after high school or junior hockey and pursue an education.
Here are a list of area ACHA programs:
- University of Akron (Division 2)
- Bowling Green University (Division 2)
- Cleveland State University (Division 1)
- University of Cincinnati (Division 2)
- University of Dayton (Division 2)
- John Carroll University (Division 1)
- Kent State University (Division 1)
- Miami University of Ohio (Division 2)
- Ohio University (Division 1 and 2)
- Ohio State University (Division 2)
- University of Toledo (Division 2)
- Wright State University (Division 2)
- College of Wooster (Division 3)
- Case Western Reserve (Division 3)
- Youngstown State (Division 3)
There are a number of adult hockey recreation programs as well as competitive programs in the Northeast Ohio area. Almost every area rink has a sponsored adult league, some of the biggest being Hockey North America (HNA, play out of area rinks in the west-side of Cleveland), IceLand Adult Hockey (Strongsville and Winterhurst), Cleveland Heights Adult Hockey (Cleveland Heights), The Pond Adult Hockey (Chagrin Falls), and Mentor Adult Hockey(Mentor).