CSHL Youth Hockey Program

Now that the CSHL is back up and running with weekly pick-up games, we can start to focus on a few of the initiatives that we were working on in the first part of 2020. With this in mind, we are excited to announce that we are taking (baby) steps to establish a youth hockey program in Charlotte!  The board has approved the establishment of the Charlotte Street Hockey Youth Program and we are moving forward with its development.
The goal of the CSHL Youth Hockey Program is to provide an accessible outlet for boys and girls ages 5-15, of all skill levels, to experience the joys of hockey in the greater Charlotte community. They will be able to develop and hone their street/ball hockey skills in a fun and nurturing environment while learning the value of sportsmanship and the spirit of competition.
Heading up this program is CSHL board member Josh Greco. Josh hails from Buffalo, NY and has been a part of the Charlotte community for 9 years. He is very excited to begin working on this initiative!
Clinics, games and other activities will be held at Waymer Park in Huntersville, NC. We are as excited as all of you to get this program up and running however we do ask for patience as the CSHL board only recently voted to resume activity for the adult organization.  We are balancing extreme caution and safety for your kids while at the same time chomping at the bit to get them out of the house and active!  We are targeting Spring 2021 for an official Youth League… and would ideally love to start hosting clinics/pickups before the end of 2020… more updates to come.
If you wish for your child to be a part of this exciting program, you can email our youth program directly at CSHLYouthHockey@gmail.com. Every week, an email will be sent to you with updates about our progress including important dates and upcoming events.  We plan on developing a weekly newsletter so that our updates can be succinctly communicated.
We have big plans for youth hockey in Charlotte and are grateful you all are a part of this from our inception!

Charlotte Street Hockey League (CSHL) Youth Hockey Clinic FAQ

What equipment is required?

  1. Hockey stick (CSHL is happy to let your child borrow a stick – we have donations available in all sizes)
  2. Helmet (is required during scrimmages and other competitive play.  Helmets are not required during drills and practice.  A bike helmet is absolutely ok)
  3. Sneakers (keep it simple.  Sneakers are more than likely to get scuffed up, please plan accordingly)
  4. Shin pads (are recommended.  Soccer shin pads are ok)
  5. Gloves (are required.  Hand protection is extremely important during competitive play… and especially nice to have during the colder months!)
  6. Mouthpiece (is recommended, especially if the helmet does not have a cage or face shield, ie. bicycle helmet)
  7. Athletic supporter or jock strap (is *highly* recommended for the boys!)

What about footwear?

–     Roller blades/skates are not allowed.  This is a “deck hockey” program dedicated to the original way we all first learned how to play the game – in the street!  With sneakers!

What if my child doesn’t have the proper equipment?

  1. The following equipment will be available for your child to borrow at the clinic:
    • Stick

How long does it last?

  1. Clinics are scheduled for 60 minutes.  If you plan on dropping your child off and coming back later, plan on returning 60 minutes after the clinic is scheduled to start.

What time should I show up?

  1. Please show up 15 minutes before the clinic is scheduled to start.  This will allow proper time for registration/payment.

What can my kid expect?

       –     Fun!  Our main goal with these clinics is to ramp up before introducing an official CSHL Youth League.  For now, clinics will be a mix of drills, honing of skills, and scrimmaging.

Who will be managing/overseeing the clinic?

       –     The Charlotte Street Hockey League (CSHL) is a non-profit organization in the greater Charlotte area.  We were established in 2018 with 5 voting board positions, and today there are 2 non-voting positions.  The youth program has long been in the works (slowed by the virus in 2020) and the 7 of us are happy to be moving forward with our plans.

       –     Josh Greco serves as the CSHL’s Youth Program Coordinator as Lou Harvatin serves as the CEO of the CSHL. 

       –     The clinics are overseen by CSHL board members as well as parents and volunteers who are screened via background check through CSHL’s volunteer background check program.

How can I be assured my child will be safe?

       –     There is risk of injury in the sport of hockey.  We will maintain safety precautions throughout the duration of our events and will promote and reinforce safe play during our activities. 

       –     The CSHL has gone through great lengths to plan for and execute covid-safe precautions.  We will remain in compliance with NC law, designating specific regions for standing areas (parents and spectators), and encouraging the use of a hand sanitization station. 

       –     Each child is encouraged to stay home, with total reimbursement if already paid, if he/she is showing symptoms of contracting the corona virus.  Each child will be subjected to a temperature check upon arrival with a handheld infrared thermometer and must register a normal temperature in order to participate.  CSHL reserves the right to protect other members of the clinic by denying access to a child showing symptoms and/or registering a high temperature.

What happens if my child gets injured?

       –     Your child will be attended to by a CSHL member or an approved volunteer.  A First Aid kit will be on hand to address minor bumps and bruises.

       –     If your child’s injury induces an ambulance ride and/or a hospital visit, please reference your health insurance for healthcare costs.  CSHL will not be liable for these costs.

What can I do upon arrival?

       –     Parents are welcome to volunteer.  However, you must notify CSHL ahead of time and you must pass a volunteer screening examination and background check (administered via weblink) in order to become a Youth Program volunteer.

       –     Parents are welcome to stand in the designated standing area to watch the clinic/event.  You are also welcome to drop your child off and come back to back him/her up later.    

What if I/my child can’t make the time?

       –     There will be other clinics!  We plan to have multiple clinics per month.  We try to schedule clinics at a day/time when the most number of parents/kids can attend.

CSHL Youth Hockey Clinic: 1/9/21

The CSHL is proud to announce our first youth hockey clinic will take place Saturday, January 9th, 2021! We all are witnessing the methodical growth of this program as we go from a conceptual idea to working through issues like registration links and volunteer screening to being just 3 weeks away from putting words to action! This is very exciting and long overdue.

The mission of the CSHL Youth Hockey Program is to provide accessible outlets for kids of all ages, genders and skill levels to experience the joys of hockey in the greater Charlotte community. The program leadership to embrace the excitement and the spirit of hockey to set an example for all Youth Program members. They will also provide both group and 1-on-1 coaching by continually identifying coachable moments including but not limited to winning/losing gracefully, altercations with other youth members during practice and play, and general tips and strategies intended to make children better hockey players and teammates. We feel this will bring together children and parents from all walks of life and backgrounds to develop lasting friendships within the Charlotte community.

Youth Hockey Clinic FAQ

Program Location:
Waymer Park Tennis Court
14200 Holbrooks Rd
Huntersville, NC 28078

Program Fees:
1 child: $10
2 children: $15
3 children: $20

Activities will be announced closer to the date of the clinic.

How to pay:
PayPal (to account “charlottestreethockey@gmail.com”)
By cash or check on the day of the clinic.

We have created a registration link through Mailchimp (https://joshuargreco.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ced707aa912ec658ddf74a9c1&id=934fe2d793). This will allow us to be as organized as possible so thank you for registering this way.

Be assured that this clinic will take place using all of the recommended safety protocols that the CSHL has implemented and has been following since August of this year.

2020 Almost Winter Classic sign-up details!

Greetings all!
Below are the details regarding sign-ups for the 10th annual Almost Winter Classic tournament “Back to Waymer”.

As noted in our previous post, spots will be very limited due to the restrictions on outdoor public gatherings (currently 50 persons). As a result, we will be limiting goalie positions to 6 and runners to 30. This will allow for guests of players to come to the tournament (these totals may be adjusted as the weeks go on).

Invites will be sent out (via Opensports.net) to goalies first this Monday evening 11/2 at 8pm. Runner invites will be sent 24 hours later on Tuesday evening 11/3 at 8pm.

Rules and format will be shared the closer we get to the tournament date.
We do ask that due to the limited amount of spots open, please only sign-up ONLY if you are absolutely sure that you can play on that date to ensure that all that want to play are able to.

If you are new and have not joined the league on Opensports.net, use the following link and sign up so that you can receive the invite.

Be sure your notifications are on so you don’t miss out!

2020 Almost Winter Classic!

We are happy to announce that the 2020 Almost Winter Classic will be held on Saturday, December 5th!
If you are new to the CSHL, the AWC is our annual (free) tournament to commemorate the very first pick-up game we played in 2010. This year will mark our 10th anniversary and what better way to celebrate than to take the tournament back to our roots…Waymer Park in Huntersville, NC. As usual, there will be a cook-out/pot luck food & drink. A separate sign-up will be posted for anyone that would like to bring something.

There are some caveats to this tournament however. Due to NC COVID-19 restrictions on the maximum number of people allowed to gather outdoors (currently 50), the number of players will be limited as will the total number of guests. We realize this is a big change from previous years as we usually encourage players to bring their families and friends, but unfortunately our hands are tied when it comes to these restrictions.

As in the past, goalies will have the opportunity to sign up first (time and date will be relayed so that all potential goalies will have as equal of a chance to sign up as possible) and the next day runners will be invited via Opensports.

Keep in mind that restrictions may change between now and then in regards to the pandemic so adjustments may have to be made in regards to number of players, postponement, etc.

Keep your eyes peeled on Opensports and Facebook this weekend for more info regarding when the invites will be sent out.

Looking forward to a fun tournament!

2019 Fall Baller Street Hockey Tournament!

Fall Baller

Mark your calendars!
The 1st annual Fall Baller tournament will take place on Sunday, September 15th at Waymer Park!
Format will be 4v4 Ironman style (team roster 4 runners +1 goalie). You can register as a team or if you cannot find or form a team, you can register as a free agent and we will try and make as many house teams as possible to accommodate those players.
Registration kick-off date to be announced soon but start working on those teams today!

CSHL Update: It’s (almost) official!

As some of you know, there has been a dedicated effort going on behind the scenes to improve the league and its status in the community. We would like to take a little time and update the masses on our efforts.

In January we rebranded ourselves as Charlotte Street Hockey League (formerly Charlotte Street Hockey). Along with this subtle name change came the refocusing of our group to an actual ball hockey league instead of a primarily pick-up league (and the occasional tournament). This was implemented to allow us a revenue stream in order to tackle various initiatives.

First on the agenda was to move us from just a random Facebook group to a legitimate organization. To that effect, we’d like to announce that we are now registered with the State of North Carolina and the IRS as a non-profit organization! This will change the dynamic of the league itself as we now have a board and board members making decisions instead of only one person. This is our current board structure but there will be other board and committee positions available in the future based on need and any initiatives we launch:

Chief Executive Officer – Lou Harvatin
Chief Operating Officer – Sean Colas
Chief Financial Officer and Secretary – Imran Farooqi

Additionally, with our non-profit status, we will be able to secure sponsorships, participate in community outreach programs in order to strengthen our ties to the area (and as a result build membership), and have a bit more credibility when presenting proposals to local governments for better ball/street hockey facilities (more on that below). I would like to give a huge thanks to league member Imran Farooqi for donating a lot of his time to the legal work that goes into such a process!

Next up on the docket is the biggest and most common challenge that we’ve faced in our 8 plus years of existence. That is (let’s say it all together now) finding a place to host league games! I know what you are saying, “but we have pick-up games at the YMCA, why can’t we hold league games there?” Unfortunately, the YMCA does not rent out their facilities to outside leagues or programs (our pick-up games are kind of a cooperative between the league and the YMCA). We have been playing in Huntersville (Waymer Park) off and on since our very first game in 2010 so naturally, this seemed like a good place to start. Recently a few representatives of the league met with the Huntersville parks and recreation department. In short, it went very well. They were very receptive and have a high interest in our concept for improving Waymer Park to make it more conducive to hosting league games (adding fencing to full enclosure of the court, adding sport court surface, etc.) We even recruited one of the maintenance representatives to play with us! This is a huge step forward for the league and we could be just a few sponsors away from getting things done. I would like to thank league member Rob Bini for taking the initiative to draw up the proposals and presenting this to the Huntersville P&R. This will pay huge dividends for us in the future!

The future….(cue the freaky electronic music)

Once we have a better facility to host our league, the sky is the limit! A better surface will attract more players as their equipment won’t wear excessively, as happens on the current asphalt. Full enclosure of the court will allow more fluid game play as well (i.e. those pesky corners, behind the goals and the player bench area). And while this is all well and fine for us old goats, as Whitney Houston sang, “I believe the children are our future”. A major initiative that we would pursue would be holding youth hockey camps (think “learn to play hockey” programs) and eventually hosting something like a 12U league. With the leadership we have in place and a genuine facility to play in, this will be entirely possible. Lagrange Street Hockey in our neighbor state of Georgia has a focus on youth programs and introducing kids to the greatest sport on the planet. You never know where the next great USBHA or even NHLer will come from!

I do want to take the time personally like to thank each player in our Winter 2019 league for taking the leap with us and getting things started. Your league fees went directly to the non-profit application process! I would especially like to thank all 4 of the captains, who happen to be a few of the senior members of the league: Drew Cswaykus, Rob Bini, Jerry Janiga and last but certainly not least, Darren Monaco. Without your help, this first season of the CSHL would not be possible! I would also like to thank all that have volunteered their services this season, be it the thankless job of refereeing, score and timekeeping, or helping set up the court for league games. This has been a true team effort and I love seeing members step up and take initiative!

In summary, we are in a great position right now and the future looks bright for the CSHL and street hockey in Charlotte. Let’s keep the ball rolling!


Lou Harvatin
CEO Charlotte Street Hockey League

CSH(L) Update:

Lots of things going on behind the scenes here at Charlotte Street Hockey of late.
The non-profit application process has begun. This will make us a bit more of a legitimate organization which will allow us to do many things (fundraising, charity work, etc.) along with presenting potential venues with an established league….
…which dovetails nicely into announcement #2 which is that we are working to establish an actual league, run by us, played (initially at least) at Waymer Park. We are shooting for January/February start date. There will be more details at the Almost Winter Classic…
…which leads to the third announcement which is that we are changing the name up a bit and moving from a group page to a more “business” like page. The name change is obvious as we want to present ourselves more as a league going forward and the move to business page is mostly for much better analytics and further reach than a regular group page.
I’ll need everyone on here that reads this post to “like” our new CSHL page (click here for link). The changeover will be officially January 1st (the group page will be “closed” and new visitors will be referred to the new page.) I’ll be posting in both pages until that date.
Thank you all for your cooperation during this transition and keep your eyes peeled for league info soon!