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Programs Frequently Asked Questions

Forget the acronyms-- what’s the difference between “travel” and “club”?

Yeah, it’s confusing, and the terms aren’t totally accurate. As with many sports, “travel” hockey refers to a league that selects its players through tryouts, plays at a more competitive level, and requires a significant time commitment. However, “club” hockey teams also play in a competitive league, participate in tournaments, and “travel” to other rinks to play games. The difference is that the time commitment is generally lighter than “travel,” and there is a wider range of player skill levels, from beginner to experienced.  

NoVA Ice Dogs has retired the term “house” in referring to our CCHL programs. Traditional “house hockey” programs (there are several in the area) divide players into even teams and they play each other at the home rink, “in house.” In contrast, our club teams do travel to area rinks to play other teams, exposing them to different levels of competition.  

Who are the coaches?

All Ice Dog coaches are volunteers; many are parents of players or former players. Most play or played competitive hockey themselves.

All coaches complete USA Hockey certification for the age level they are coaching. They are also SafeSport certified and provide a background check.

Ok, I’ve got all the stuff, how do I get it on my player? 


The NVHC is committed to player, team and family safety. We comply with local and state public health recommendations and embrace USAHockey’s protocols for player safety.  Click HERE to read more about USAHockey player safety

Click HERE for NoVA Ice Dogs safety page

What is SafeSport?

SafeSport is a training program to prevent misconduct and abuse in sports. USA Hockey requires that ALL coaches, assistant coaches, managers, board members, volunteers, and players over 16 have current SafeSport certification. This requires takin a 90-minute online course. In addition, all adult volunteers who have interaction with younger players provide a background check.  

Hockey is a hands-on sport and parent volunteers are always needed to manage teams, keep the scorecard, run the clock, man the penalty box, monitor locker rooms, etc. The more parents who are eligible to take on these jobs, the lighter the load! Please get your SafeSport certification so you can be a part of the action!