NIHL Seeding Round

Scheduling Round Expectations

NIHL will set a seeding round scheduling meeting to kick off the the 23-24 NIHL season. This year it the meeting will be September 9 in Aurora, IL.

Attendance by the Team Manager/Scheduler is mandatory. If you are not able to make it, you will need to send a team representative to handle scheduling. This is when all home and away games are scheduled for the NIHL seeding round.

Prior to the meeting, you will be given your possible home game slots for the seeding round from our ice scheduler. You will need to write your possible home game ice slots (at least 6) on a NIHL Scheduling Worksheet (may be downloaded from This will help other teams who need to travel to you, find a game slot.

When you get to the meeting, there will be tables set up with signs on them. The age level and the metallic level listed will be listed on the signs as well as the team names from that respective level. Sit at the table where you see your team's name.

A NIHL representative will give you information that will tell you which teams you have to play and whether you will play them home or away. You must find and talk to the other team managers present and, using a combination of their ice times and your ice times, schedule the games NIHL is requiring. Prioritize scheduling your AWAY games first and keep in mind your home game ice slots so that you don’t schedule an away game when you have a home game slot. If you have your home game slots on a scheduling worksheet, you can leave that on the table as managers from other teams who need to travel to Bloomington, will be looking for that. You cannot leave the meeting until you have scheduled every game. Any of your home game slots from your worksheet that are left over will be returned to the ice scheduler. The Ice Scheduler may need to take an ice slot from your team in order to accommodate other Thunder teams.

After the initial NIHL schedule is set at the NIHL Scheduling Meeting, sometimes teams or coaches frequently discover that they have conflicts of one type or another. If your team has the conflict, you need to contact the other team’s Manager to arrange for another mutually convenient time AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If it’s the other team that has the problem, their Manager will contact you. In either case, be sure to check with your coach and the Ice Scheduler before agreeing to a revised date. Each season has a specific time frame and ALL seeding round games must be played within the scheduled window and the same goes for the regular season. ALL NIHL GAMES MUST BE PLAYED. THERE ARE NO FORFEITS,

Peoria Rule

Peoria Rule: 8U, 10U, and 12U can be “Peoria Ruled”. 

What this means:

IF a team does not want to come to Bloomington, you have to play your home games at their rink. This means they pay for the ice, the refs and do the scoreboard, and scoresheet. ALL YOU DO IS SHOW UP FOR THESE GAMES AND WEAR WHITE JERSEY, TAKE THE HOME BENCH, NOTHING ELSE. If they ask you to do any other duties - remind them they "Peoria ruled" you so you do not have to comply.

You DO have to bring a scoresheet with you for these games since these ARE our home games.

Best Practices

Before you leave the meeting:

  • Double-check your schedule and your game forms.
  • Give the Thunder Ice Scheduler in attendance a list of your home & away games
  • Give the Thunder scheduler any home ice slots that you are not using

As soon as you get home from the meeting:

  • Games need to be entered in 2 places - NIHL StatMgr and Crossbar.
  • Crossbar - new this year...the Thunder Ice Scheduler will input ALL home and away games in Crossbar. The Thunder Scheduler will provide a spreadsheet to all Team Managers for all games to be entered when you get home from the scheduling meeting. This must be done ASAP for the Thunder Scheduler to load them on Crossbar so they show up on your team schedule.
  • NIHL StatMgr - Team Managers are responsible for entering all HOME games in StatMgr. Information on StatMgr will be presented at the managers meeting and can also be found on the NIHL Website under “Manager Forms and Information.” After you return from the scheduling meeting, you will be expected to enter your HOME GAMES using the login information given to you at the meeting. Do not lose this login info as you will need to use it throughout the season. You will also receive an email notification each time an opposing team’s manager enters a game in which you are the visitor. Check those emails for accuracy.

Comments and suggestions for the NIHL scheduling meetings:

  • You must be on time. Your team will be at a severe disadvantage if your opponents have started scheduling before you get there, and the organization can be fined if you are not in attendance to schedule your games. 
  • Know what dates and times your coach will be unavailable for games. Know whether players have any vacations or other events scheduled which would prevent them from playing in a game (you don’t want to play shorthanded or without a goalie!).
  • Know what dates your teams plan to use for tournaments. Before scheduling, if you have an idea of those dates, you will submit them to the Bloomington Ice Scheduler so that home game slots are not scheduled.
  • Bring a calendar on which you’ve noted your home ice times, tournaments, and coaching/player conflicts.
  • For Midget teams, consider making note of the local high school Homecoming football games and Homecoming Dance.
  • Know going into the scheduling process that there is NO possible way you can accommodate every family request and still find time for every hockey game. Do your best with the ice slots you’ve been given. How to be prepared for your specific team

Before setting up your team’s schedule, consider the following factors and consult with your coach:

  • Keep in mind any tournaments that you have scheduled. NIHL games take precedent over an outside tournament.
  • Best ice times go fast: Your primary concern is the away games. For home games, the other teams’ managers will simply come to your worksheet and sign up.
  • Schedule distant locations first and on weekends. Consider travel route, time of year and time of event when scheduling. (You don’t want to battle traffic to make a 6:00 PM game in Joliet on a snowy Tuesday in January.)
  • When offering home game times, be considerate of the other teams coming to your rink to play – you never know when you may need them to give you a break in the future.
  • Keep in mind the time frame when scheduling games. The following NIHL rule (3.5) applies; NIHL consists of numerous member organizations, some located near each other and some located several hours away in travel distance. NIHL Seeding Round, Regular Season and Tournament games (for single-elimination Tournament games hosted by the higher seeded team) may be played on weeknights or on weekends. Games played on weeknights (Monday through Friday) must start between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Games in Midget divisions may start as late as 9:30 p.m. on weeknights. Games played on Saturdays must start between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Games played on Sundays must start between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, teams of “Affected clubs” (as defined in paragraph 4.18.1); are not required to play such games on weeknights (Monday through Friday); Saturday and/or Sunday games shall not be scheduled to start before 9:00 a.m. and Sunday games involving such teams shall start on or before 3:00 p.m.(This is for Peoria Ruled teams) Participating teams may voluntarily agree to start times outside this rule but are not required to do so. This Rule does not apply to Tournament Round Robin, Championship, or Consolation games.


  • Creating a Team Manager Binder helps keep things organized - Team Manager notes; blank scoresheets/roster stickers; gamesheets; tournaments; AHAI rosters
  • For home games at away rink, email the other team manager prior to the game that week to confirm you are HOME bench/locker room, and they are providing the scorekeeper/clock.
  • If you have female players on your teams, make sure they have a locker/space to change on game days. You can work with the team manager prior to gameday for this request.
  • Get current list of teams that cannot Peoria Rule us.

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