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Why is it mandatory to volunteer with CMHA?

In the past, much of the work to run the association generally, and divisions in particular, is carried out by the Executive Board and a few dozen consistently reliable and hardworking parents.  The same people tended to always step up and help out.  But being an Executive Board member is very time consuming as it is (can be up to 20 hours a week in busy times), and the Board decided that we needed to ask for assistance from our members to even out the load.

It is mandatory because we would like to ensure that all member families donate their time.  All families have challenges that make volunteering difficult to fit in, but the important thing is that if we have all the work laid out and spoken for, we can be more efficient in getting it done and planning our activities.

Are the required hours per parent?

No, they are per FAMILY. The number of children in the association does not increase your ASSOCIATION hours.  However, you are expected to volunteer for all teams and tournaments you belong to.

My life is so busy.  I don't have time to volunteer.

This is true for all parents in CMHA, but the work must get done regardless.

I/my spouse have a serious illness/disability/financial difficulties.  This makes our time very strained and we are just not able to help out.  Are there any exemptions allowed for special circumstances?

Yes, some exemptions may be permitted on a case-by-case basis and under the following reasons only:

1) medical issues

2) financial hardship

The exemptions request will go before the Executive Board at the end of the season after the reconciliations are completed.

How does CMHA make sure that the cheques being correctly cashed?

CMHA has a multi-step process to ensure that every single cheque is being correctly deposited into the Foundation Fund.

Here are the steps:

  1. Volunteers go over the master registration list and cross-reference with the volunteering reports. 
  2. Names not identified with volunteering will be sent to that family's division coordinator for review, to ensure that these findings are correct.  Names vouched for by the DC's will be marked as complete and removed from the list.
  3. Names that are still on this list, will be then sent to team managers for the same reason as #2, and again, names will be marked complete if identified as such by the manager.
  4. Remaining names on the list will be emailed, notifying them they have been found to be non-compliant, to ensure families have an opportunity to present any volunteering they just didn't record if that is the case.
  5. If there are names still remaining, those families are presented to the Executive for approval to deposit the cheques.  Exemption requests will be discussed at this time.

Whose idea was this anyway?

This type of policy is common practice in many amateur sports organizations and private schools.  Many local groups use a mandatory volunteering system.  Some go so far as to charge an upfront fee of $500, to be returned at the end of the year.  CMHA’s Board decided to take a more moderate approach in requiring a deposit instead.  In May 2017, the question of continuing with the Volunteer Policy was put to the membership at the AGM and it was approved.


Why do I have to submit a deposit?

We ask for a deposit for the Volunteerism requirement for the same reason we do so for returning jerseys – to ensure it gets done.  The Executive Board feels that a deposit is the only way to remind parents how seriously we feel about parents sharing the workload – without having to follow up on parents who are not taking on volunteer sign ups.   Remember, it is NOT a fee.  It is a deposit cheque, post-dated to April 1st.

What happens to my cheque if I complete my hours?

It will be destroyed, like the jersey deposits.

Can I opt out of all volunteering and just have my cheque cashed?

No.  We do not allow opting out, or paying out.  The reason is, not everyone has the option to pay $150 to avoid volunteering.  Therefore, it would be those who were not able to opt out that the work would fall to.  The GOAL of this policy is to encourage ALL parents to play a role in the running of the association. We would rather have the help than the money!

Can I donate goods in lieu of volunteering my time?

As much as we appreciated donated goods for tournaments and other events, not all parents have this ability.  In order to ensure that all parents are on the same level playing ground, we insist that time is the currency we use to determine if the volunteering requirements have been met.  If you donate your professional services, that will satisfy your requirement.

What if I don’t submit a deposit?

If you don’t submit a deposit, and you don’t complete your hours, you will have a $150 assessment added to your account that must be paid when you register for the following season.  It will go into the CMHA Foundation Fund.

I did all my hours before the season started.  Do I have to still submit a cheque?

Yes.  There is very little time at the beginning of the season to cross-reference who has, and has not, completed hours.

What if I don’t complete my hours?

Your deposit will be given to the CMHA Foundation Fund.


I'm the manager on my team.  A parent is saying that they refuse to score-keep or time-keep, or do anything, etc because they fulfilled their "hours" during tryouts.  What should I do?

If a parent refuses to do tournament shifts or team-based duties, even though they have done their association hours, sanctions to address this are at the discretion of the Team (Coach/Manager) and can include, within the policy; application to the Executive Board to suspend player eligibility, holdback of team fees refund, or additional fines levied by the team.

If I am a coach or manager, does my family still need to do volunteering hours?

Coaches and Managers (and their spouses) are exempt from tournament shifts, and have fulfilled their association and team based volunteering requirements.

I'm a manager and having to chase people for their deposit cheques is a pain.  Why is this being added to my workload? 

The only part of the Policy that we request the Managers' help with is the collection of the cheques, which are due the same time as, and will be submitted with, the jersey deposits to CMHA.  There is no obligation to "chase" parents.  You are not responsible for their association volunteering.  If you do not collect a volunteering cheque from a family, we have other methods of enforcing the policy that we can use.  There is nothing further for you to do.

I'm a manager and I have unfilled positions on my team.  Parents are saying they will be a ________, but I have too many of those and yet have other important jobs that need to be filled.  What do I say?

Figure out how many ___________ etc you need.  Whoever signed up first through their volunteer portal can fill those jobs. The rest will have to choose one of the jobs that are unfilled.

I have an Executive Board Member on my team and they tell me they are exempt from tournament shifts and box duties.  Is this true?

Yes, this is true.  While this may seem unfair, the reality is that EBM's do an incredible amount of work all season long - even in the spring and summer.  There are dozens of hours per year spent just in Board meetings alone.  During tryouts and evaluations, EBM's are at the rink for hours running check-ins, equipment checks, and providing general oversight.  It is not an exaggeration that EBM's spend upwards of 400 hours+  a year doing volunteer work for the association.


What are "association" hours?

"Association" hours is volunteering that assists the Association in its operations.

This volunteering is in ADDITION to:

  1. any tournament shifts you are assigned to do, AND
  2. team duties such as time-keeping, score-keeping, or any other task your manager needs you to do. 

Fulfilling your Association hours obligations DO NOT replace tournament shifts and helping your team!  There are only 3 roles that satisfy all 3 levels of volunteering obligations (Association, Tournament, & Team): Coaches, Manager, and Executive Board Member.

Can I use time-keeping, score-keeping, running the music at my child’s game as my volunteering hours?

No.  This is because without parents doing these tasks, it has a direct effect on their child playing.  With association-wide volunteering, it is less clear to parents when these tasks are, or are not, getting done, and it has a less direct effect on their child playing.  We would like to encourage parents to look outside their team.  Please see the charts below to see what qualifies.

Volunteering Chart - What are association hours?

I have completed my Association hours, do I still have to help on my team?

Yes.  Team duties must still be completed.  It is not fair to expect your manager to do all that work.  The point of the volunteerism requirement is to encourage a broader scope of association volunteering, not to replace team duties (excluding Coaches, Managers, and Executive Board Members).

I am not a coach, manager, tournament committee member,  or Executive Board Member, but I have completed my Association hours.  Do I need to still do my division's tournament shifts (50-50, raffle table, score-keeping, time-keeping)?

Yes.  Those shifts are required of all parents (excluding coaches, assistant coaches, managers, and tournament committee members, and Board Members), regardless of other volunteering.    THESE SHIFTS DO NOT FULFIL THE ASSOCIATION HOURS REQUIREMENT.

I volunteered during tryouts/evaluations, and now my Division Coordinator is asking me to cover another task.  I thought it was only 3 hours??

The association hours are considered a MINIMUM.  If your DC requires more help, they are within their rights to ask.  Feel free to look at it this way - if the 3 hours were a maximum, then people like managers, coaches, Executive Board Members, and Tournament Coordinators would only need to do 3 hours worth of work as well.

I signed up for something, but was never contacted and did not complete the sign up.  Now my cheque is getting cashed!

The Volunteer Director is responsible for providing sign ups and reporting on the hours at the end of the season.  There are over 650 families in CMHA.  It would be a full-time job to follow up on every family's obligations throughout the year.  Therefore - it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that if you sign up, you complete the hours.  If you aren't contacted or have not heard back about when/where, please email the Volunteer Director with a CC to your Division Coordinator.  If there is no record of this attempt prior to the end of the season, your cheque will be given to the Foundation Fund.

Will my manager find volunteer spots for me?

No.  You must use CMHA’s sign up page to register your requests.

My manager said that _______ job qualified for association hours.  Why is my cheque being cashed?

It is your obligation to ensure that what you sign up for is approved for fulfilling association hours.  If it is not in the list, it is not approved.  If you are unsure, please check the grid.


How many hours do I need to do?

We are looking for effort, not necessarily a specific number of hours.

What if there aren’t enough jobs to fill my hours?

If the Volunteer Director reviews the participant reports at the end of the season and finds that all jobs were filled, and that each family signed up for something, then of course the requirement will be fulfilled and you will not be penalized.  It is CMHA’s responsibility to either ensure adequate signups for the necessary hours, or to be satisfied with the fulfillment that was available to parents.  This has never happened yet, as we do not put maximums on some events, allowing for an unlimited number of volunteers.

I chose a job tracked hourly.  How will I know when and where to show up for it?

Most of the hourly jobs are during evaluations and try-outs.  Those sign ups will be available to claim sometime in August and will have the date and times listed.  They will be in 2 hour chunks of time.  If you have signed up for a job and you have not been contacted, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up!!

How are my hours tracked?

The sign up software creates reports that tracks each participant's sign ups.  You have your own profile that will show your hours that you can log into.

Can I sign up for more than one spot?

No.  Please sign up for one spot only, as it will probably include several hours of work.  We also want to make sure that all parents have access to spots.

I didn't sign up during evaluations, but somehow my name was added to the volunteer schedule.  Why was I added without being consulted first?

Your Division Coordinator must have needed more help.  Some evaluation volunteering is TBD - meaning, the spots must be assigned when releases are made or players are re-assigned, and therefore the pool of parents change.  These schedules must be released sometimes the day of the next batch of sessions.  There is no time to check with parents first, but the assumption is, that the parents will be at the rink with their child anyway and so they are not being asked to go out of their way.


I have a question that is not answered here.  Who can I contact?

If you have read through this FAQ thoroughly and still have a question, by all means email the Volunteer Director.  BUT READ THIS FAQ FIRST!  Emails to the Volunteer Director will be replied to with: Have you read the FAQ first?


Updated May 2019


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