How do I get into playing sports in Calgary?

Are you new to getting into sports in Calgary? Do you have kids who want to play sports? Whether you want to play competitively or just for fun, there are many options! You also have some great choices for getting your kids involved in community sports. Though there are many sports available, hockey and soccer are the most popular. Keep reading this guide to find out how to get your active lifestyle in Calgary started!

Hockey

If you’re new to Canada and are excited to explore the country’s favourite sports, you should start with hockey! While hockey is usually played on ice, you can also play street hockey outside or floor hockey in a gym. Below are a few of the many options available for playing hockey in Calgary.

Discover Hockey

If you’re a beginner, Discover Hockey is a great program!

By registering, you get ice rink coaching and a classroom lesson on the rules of hockey. You will also get to play 4 games against other beginner teams. The program runs for about 2 months with all sessions taking place in the evenings.

The Discover Hockey program costs $469 (plus tax). If you register with two other friends, you will each receive a $50 discount.

If you’re interested, you can register online here: https://www.discoverhockey.com/register/

Adult Safe Hockey League

ASHL has a great program for beginners called the Adult Instructional League (AIL). AIL gives beginning adult players a chance to play real games while getting support from a trained instructor. If AIL interests you, contact Justin at jsherwood@icesports.com.

Calgary Hockey Adult League

The Calgary Adult Hockey League (CAHL) is good for those with hockey experience and who want to play more competitively. Team games can be played during the week (Monday-Thursday) or on weekends (Saturday or Sunday). These options make it easier to plan around your work schedules. Practices will depend on the availability of your team.

The league is divided into North and South based on the area of the city that you want to play in. There are also four skill divisions, with division I being the highest skill level.

To play in the CAHL, it will cost around $538. You can register online here: http://www.cahl.ca/site/3333/page.asp?Site=9919&ID=15533&LeagueID=9919

Team registrations close in September, but you may be able to register afterwards as a free agent.

Adult Safe Hockey League

The Adult Safe Hockey League (ASHL) has non-contact fighting regulations to keep the players safe. You may register either with a pre-made team or as a free agent. Using Hockey Finder, free agents can either look for a team to join or just a game to play in. The cost for free agents is $650.

ASHL is also divided into skill levels, so whether you are an expert or a beginner, there’s a team for you!

You can register with the ASHL here: https://bench.ashl.ca/blogin

Soccer

Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Calgary. There is a variety of options for recreational soccer in Calgary, ranging from competitive leagues to more casual ones. Because Calgary’s winters are so cold, soccer is played indoor during fall and winter, then outdoor for the spring and fall. Most clubs have options for both seasons, so signing up with one will usually give you the opportunity to play year-round!

The Basics

Calgary United Soccer Association (CUSA) has men’s, women’s, co-ed (men and women), and futsal leagues. Futsal is a type of soccer that is played with a smaller ball that bounces less than a regular soccer ball. Divisions in each league are based first on age, then on the level of competition.

CUSA offers indoor and outdoor programs, and you can play on up to 3 teams per season. For example, you can play on a men’s team, a co-ed team, and a futsal team all at once. However, you cannot play on two different teams in the same league (e.g., two men’s teams).

Registration

To become a CUSA player, you must register at the CUSA office, located at Suite 183, 2880 Glenmore Trail SE. You will need to bring a government photo ID that has your date of birth on it.

Fees at CUSA are charged by team and the team captains are responsible for determining the amount paid per player. It can cost you anywhere between $150 and $300 depending on the number of players, level of competition, fundraising initiatives, etc.

Check out the CUSA website for more information: http://www.cusa.ab.ca/cusahomemenswomenscoedfutsal

The Basics

The Calgary Sport & Social Club (CSSC) offers recreational leagues for a variety of sports. They offer four different soccer leagues: futsal, gym, turf, and outdoor.

Fees will vary depending on the league and how you register. Each league also has different seasons, so if you want to play in the winter you may have fewer options.

Registration

Depending on which league you join, there are a few different ways to register. For example, the gym soccer league allows you to register just yourself or a group of people. Check out the important dates and fees for the league you are interested in: futsal, gym, turf, outdoor.

One great thing about CSSC is that they have the option of registering as a sub. As a sub, you get to play for free and do not have to commit yourself to a full season. Sub registration only opens once the regular registration process has closed, and only if there are positions to fill. There is also no guarantee that you will be called to sub for a game.

Browse around the website for more information and to see other available sports: https://www.calgarysportsclub.com/

Kids’ Sports

There are tons of organizations that let kids play all kinds of sports in Calgary! Some are competitive programs, while others are community-based. Here are some options for you and your kids to explore in Calgary:

Sportball

Sportball is an organization that offers classes, clinics, games, and camps for kids aged 16 months and up. There are a variety of sports available, including soccer, basketball, volleyball, and more. There is also an option for multi-sport classes where the sports change with the seasons.

Parents will join their children aged 16 months to 3 years for their classes. Once your children are 3 years or older, they can join a drop-in program to work on their skills and gain some independence.

Programs vary between $100 and $215 per term, which includes one class a week for two months.

Programs take place at various locations all around Calgary, so take a look at the following link to see what works best for you! http://bit.ly/2zkpYEP

Calgary Minor Soccer Association

Calgary Minor Soccer Association (CMSA) is a competitive soccer association for kids aged 5 and up. All of Calgary’s competitive soccer leagues are members of the CMSA. To register your child, take a look at this list and pick a club in your area. Reach out to one and they will place your child on a team that works best for you! http://calgaryminorsoccer.com/page.php?page_id=24272

Hockey Calgary

Hockey Calgary is a competitive hockey association for kids aged 5 and up. All of Calgary’s competitive hockey leagues are members of Hockey Calgary. To register your child, click the following link and select your community. Reach out to a club in your area and they will place your child on a team that works best for you! https://www.hockeycalgary.ca/association

Help and Resources

Fair Entry

The City of Calgary offers a variety of sports and fitness programs for both children and adults. Programs usually cost between $100 and $200 per session. Rather than explain all the different options available to you, you can create your own program guide at this link.

The City of Calgary has fee assistance available for eligible families. Fair Entry approval is required to register for these programs. Find out more about Fair Entry at this link.

If approved, adults can register in one program every twelve months and only pay 10% of the program cost. Youth (17 years or younger) may register for up to 4 programs or to a maximum subsidy of $250 (whichever comes first) every twelve months and only pay 10% of the program cost.

YMCA

The YMCA is a recreation centre that has several locations around Calgary. Their locations usually have fitness centres, swimming pools, and gyms. They also have programs similar to those that the City of Calgary offers. The YMCA offers a membership at a lower cost for eligible persons. Check out this link to see if you might be eligible.

Because sports are such an important part of development, there are a few major grants available eligible families can receive so that all children are able to play sports in Calgary.

KidSport and Jumpstart

KidSport and Jumpstart are two programs that are proud to provide funding to eligible families so that their children can participate in sports. Apply online here:

KidSport: Click here 

Jumpstart: Click here

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

Thanks to Alexandra Hutchinson for help with this guide. If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.