Sault Senior Men’s Hockey League is looking to add a 60 and over division for the looming 2023-2024 season, Hockey News North has confirmed.
A call for players, team reps and sponsors has been launched by SSMHL president Joe Della Savia.
As one of the longest running rec hockey programs in town, the 12-team league has continued to age and is ready for much needed change, according to Della Savia, who is also a player and a team sponsor.
At any rate, players who are 60 years and older will have a new opportunity to compete in their own division under the SSMHL umbrella for the upcoming ’23-24 season.
“We were down to 11 teams last season in the 45 age division, partly because the older players are aging out and finding it tough to play against players 10 to 20 years younger,” Della Savia relayed to Hockey News North.
“This is a pilot project, we are asking players who left the league to come back, and current players who are 60 and over to play in the older division. I am putting out a city wide call out for competitors in both divisions … the 45 and older and the 60 and older. My goal is to launch four teams in the 60 and older division and 12 teams in the 45 and older,” said Della Savia.
“60 year old players are still allowed to skate in the younger division if they choose,” Della Savia continued. “I am designing this league to play at our level and not as aggressive as the younger division.
“This will be a league with referees and score keepers and matching jerseys where we will still be in a game and not afternoon shinny or pickup hockey. The demographic in Sault Ste. Marie tells us there are enough able players in town to house this many teams,” Della Savia added.
Della Savia noted that “the SSMHL will remain under the Canadian Amateur Recreation Hockey Association aka CARHA, which brought us the World Amateur Hockey Tournament in 2012. CARHA is nationwide non-profit organization that provides members with flexible and cost-effective options for comprehensive insurance coverage and a rule book for recreational hockey.”
The senior men’s 60 and over league will play its games at the new Northern Community Centre on Tuesdays and Sundays. The season will begin in early October and run through March, with a goal of 28 game schedule, said Della Savia, who added that “so far there has been good reception to the new division.”
Interested players can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.