League Resources

The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) is home to 30 teams at the U18 AAA, U18 AA, and U15 AA levels, providing a competitive platform for young aspiring female athletes to enhance their skills. A collection of 12 host associations around the province are committed to the growth and development of AAA and AA female hockey. The member associations include: Airdrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Leduc, Lethbridge, Lloydminster, Okotoks, Olds, and Red Deer. Through dedicated staff and volunteers, the AFHL offers opportunities for female athletes to receive mentorship, off-ice education sessions, female specific coaching, post-secondary exposure opportunities, academic & billet programs, and a competitive skill development atmosphere.

Since its inception in the 2016-17 season, the winner of the Esso Cup (Canada’s female U18 AAA national championship) has come out of the AFHL, as the St. Albert Slash have become champions over the past three seasons consecutively.

If you have questions about Alberta Female Hockey League operations, please look through the links below to better familiarize yourself or contact your local minor hockey association.

League Structure

Important Dates

June 15                      Signing Period begins for U18 Female AAA

July 1                         Deadline for Elite Player Movement Applications | Deadline for Exceptional Player Status Applications

August 15                  “AAA” Try-Outs can begin

September 1              AA U18 and U15 Try-Outs can begin

October 1                   All Second Try-Outs for AAA must be completed | AAA Regular Season schedule can begin

October 15                 All Second Try-Outs for AA must be completed | AA Regular Season schedules can begin

December 15             Deadline for MHAs to file Affiliation

January 10                 Final date to Register a Player to or Release a Player from a Team

March                         Provincial Championships

April                            Pacific Regional Championship (U18 AAA) |  Esso Cup (U18 AAA)

AFHL Recruitment Areas

There are no established Draw Zones or Recruitment Areas for teams categorized as U18 AAA. All players are eligible to try out for any of the teams within this category.

In order to make it fair and equitable for all AA U18 and U15 Teams, Recruitment Areas have been established. These Recruitment Areas ensure there is an opportunity for all players that want to, and have the skill to, play within the AA category the ability to do so.  The Recruitment Areas establish a consistent development system for players of all levels throughout the Province.

  • Recruitment Areas for each team do not overlap;
  • Entire Minor Hockey Associations are within specific Recruitment Areas and not split;
  • Each Recruitment Area has had a Host Minor Hockey Association identified within it and this Host MHA is responsible for operating the AA Team(s) as identified for the area, in accordance with this Female Hockey ADM.
  • Recruitment Areas are based on registration numbers, geographic location and travel time to the Host Minor Hockey Association.

For information pertaining to which Recruitment Area you are a part of, please click here.

AFHL Player Movement

Elite Player Movement Application >

U18 AAA – As there are no defined boundaries for U18 AAA teams, players are eligible to move to access their first try out with any team that is defined and approved to operate within this Female Hockey ADM.

  • Players will obtain the necessary permission from their Resident LMHA (if required), in accordance with the Notification of Try Out Procedures.
  • Once a player has declared a U18 AAA team they wish to play for, upon being selected and registered to that team, the player is not permitted to move onto another U18 AAA team without first obtaining an Elite Waiver form and permission from their last registered team (this includes movement from one season to another).

U18 and U15 AA – Players are expected to try out for the Recruitment Area Team that draws from the Local Minor Hockey Association the player is resident in.

  • Players will obtain the necessary permission from their Resident LMHA (if required), in accordance with the Notification of Try Out Procedures.
  • Players will not be considered “Import” Players to the Recruitment Area Team in which their Resident Local Minor Hockey Association is located.
  • The Players’ Resident Minor Hockey Association may not refuse to give permission to a player that wishes to try out for his/her Resident Recruitment Area Team.

Players are only permitted to try out within a Recruitment Area that is not their Resident LMHA’s Recruitment Area with special permission from the Female Elite Hockey Committee.

  • Players should only request this movement for extenuating circumstances (i.e.  Considerably closer for travel, move without parent transfers).
  • Players file an application, using the AA Player Movement Form and supporting documentation, through the Hockey Alberta office prior to July 1 if they wish to request this “special permission” to move.
  • The Committee reviews the application and renders a decision on or prior to August 15.


Notification of Try Out Procedure

Any Player may try out for the team(s) for which the Player is eligible, based on the Player Movement section outlined above, provided that:

  1. a)      the player has filed a completed Notification of Try Out (NTO) form with the host LMHA;
  2. b)      the team has been approved to participate, by Hockey Alberta, in the Female Hockey ADM.

AAA Teams must allow all Non-Resident Players the opportunity to try out and register with the team. AA Teams must allow all Non-Resident Player from outside the host LMHA’s boundaries, but within the teams Recruitment Area, to have the opportunity to try out and register with the team. The top, eligible, players should be selected for each team, regardless of where they reside. 

It is incumbent upon the Host LMHA to ensure they have a plan for accommodating non-resident players. This would include preparing information related to the following:

  • Living arrangements for players that need/want to be billeted if they make the team
  • Schooling so the player can maintain their academics
  • Tryouts scheduled appropriately to ensure out of town players can properly participate

Players wishing to try out with a U18 AAA or U18/U15 AA Team must first complete a Notification to Try Out Form and submit it to their Resident LMHA (the LMHA within whose boundaries the player resides), and the applicable host LMHA of the Team that the player wishes to try-out for. Note – If the team the player is wishing to try out for is hosted within the Player’s Resident LMHA they are not required to submit this form.

AAA – A player may choose a maximum of two (2) U18 AAA teams to try out for by naming both teams on their Notification to Try Out form. If the player does not make the first team they are trying out for, they have the following options:

  • move onto the second U18 AAA team they requested to try out for by obtaining a AA Waiver form;
  • return to their Resident LMHA in order to obtain permission to try out for a AA program;
  • return to their Resident LMHA to access other minor hockey programs.

AA – A player must try out for the team in the Recruitment Area where the player resides (unless previous approval has been obtained through the AA Player Movement process). If the player does not make their Resident Recruitment Area team they have the following options:

  • request that the Female Elite Hockey Committee direct them to move onto a second AA try out by attaching a AA Waiver form to their original NTO;
  • return to their Resident LMHA to access other minor hockey programs.

Players will not be afforded the opportunity to access more than two (2) try outs within a specific category of hockey. A player making any designated AAA or AA Team will receive permission to play for the season and will be returned to her Resident LMHA at the end of the season.

AFHL Player Acceleration

AFHL Player Acceleration Application >

One objective of the Female Hockey ADM is to develop players within their specific age group, and not to displace players from their age Division by facilitating the movement of underage players. Underage players will only be considered if they are deemed to be an “Exceptional Player”.

Only second year U15 players will be considered for acceleration to U18 AAA; there will be no acceleration permitted for U13 to U15, or U15 to U18 AA under the Female ADM.

Members hosting U18 “AAA” Teams can apply for an underage player to receive “Exceptional Player” status.  Applications must be submitted to the Female Elite Hockey Committee on or before July 1.

  1. Applicants must fill out, in its entirety, the Female Elite Hockey Player Acceleration Application Package and provide all the necessary documentation requested;
  2. Applications will be evaluated by the Elite Committee, in consultation with Team Alberta program staff;
  3. Underage players, should they be granted a tryout, must tryout with the association that is closest to their permanent residence. No underage players will be granted a second tryout at the accelerated division;
  4. Decisions will be communicated to the player and applicable Host MHA(s) in writing on or before August 1.

AFHL Player Agreements

In order to be eligible to play during the regular season and playoffs/provincials, all players must sign a “Player Agreement” form with the team that wishes to register them. Between June 15 and August 15, each U18 AAA team has the ability to formally commit to a maximum of five (5) skaters and one (1) goaltender. All commitments must be made formally by using the “Player Agreement” form.

Please note that underage players are not eligible to sign a “Player Agreement” prior to try outs as their participation must be approved in accordance with the Player Acceleration process.