Frequently Asked Questions


How exactly does the Bulldawgz travel team program work, and is my child eligible to play?

Bulldawgz is a member of the North American Youth Roller Hockey League and enters many teams at each age level to play each season, depending on the number of players in the program at each of those levels. The Bulldawgz typically holds tryouts, run by the coaches, for all levels of play in the Fall of each year looking ahead to the following season beginning in April. Any child trying out for a Bulldawgz team should reside in the southwest Pittsburgh area.

When are tryouts held?

Traditionally, tryouts are held the Friday after Thanksgiving (or around that week), for the next Bulldawgz season. We haven't yet determined fees/deposits for the tryouts (leaning toward deposit), stay tuned...

What are the available age groups for the kids/teams?

The age group you can play for is determined by the age your child was at the end of Last Year. So, for the 2017 season, it is the age your child is on December 31, 2016. NAYRHL and the Bulldawgz provide teams at the 8u, 10u, 12u, 14u, 16u, and 18u age levels.

What are these wacky AAA, A Major, A thingies?

Each age level provides multiple SKILL levels. From Awesome skill to merely Great Skill, goes as follows: AAA, AA-Major, AA, A-Major, A. These skill levels change from year to year, depending on the skills of the teams entered in the NAYRHL.

Can my child tryout and play for 2 different age levels?

Yes. A player may play for 2 different age levels (no more), as long as the skill level is the same or one LESS than the upper age level. For example, a 12a Major player may play for a 14aa team, a 10a player may play for a 12a team. A 14aa player MAY NOT play for a 16a Major team.

How much of a difference is there between school (PIRHL) and travel hockey?

There are many differences when a player transitions from school to travel hockey. Put simply, the skills are much higher. Travel teams play between 2 and 8 games EACH weekend from April thru June. In addition, because of the 2-3+ weekends away from home, travel hockey requires a stronger commitment from players and their families than does school hockey.

How much does it cost to play on a Bulldawgz team?

For PRIOR Players (have played Bulldawgz anytime in the past), the cost is $375 per player.

For New Players it costs $425 for a player to play on one team.

Goalies are $212 new ($187 returning).

For each additional child in your immediate family that plays, it is $100 off. So, $425 for child 1, $325 for child 2, $225 for child 3, and for the really crazy - $125 for child 4.

Also, if your child plays for a second Bulldawgz team, it costs 1/2 for the 2nd team.

> For new players to Bulldawgz, there is additional cost of $225 for Home and Away Jerseys, plus pants ($55 for each item).

How can it be so inexpensive?!? (More about NAYRHL league play)

Simply, the games and the season length are shorter (so, less practices). A NAYRHL season consists of 24 total games, 12 home and 12 away. League games typically begin in early April and continue through the end of June. Games are played on weekends in sets (2) games in close succession. Games consist of (2) 12 minute stopped clock periods. Teams will have several travel weekends, typically to Philadelphia. There are multi-divisional playoffs at the end of each season typically in mid to late June. Playoffs are handled in Tournament fashion and are typically played over the course of an extended weekend.

How far do you travel when you play on a travel team?

For NAYRHL, Pittsburgh and New York teams meet in the suburbs of Philadelphia to play games. There are 3 travel organizations in the Pittsburgh area. So, most away travel games (12 or less) are 5 hours away or less. These 12 games are typically done in 2 weekends. When away in Philly, we get a team hotel for 1 or 2 nights and enjoy the ambiance of the suburbs of Philly (they ARE actually quite nice!). This does not include any regional or national tournaments in which your team chooses to participate.

Do we need to get RHA or AAU Insurance?

INSURANCE IS NO LONGER NEEDED separately, a portion of the agreed league fee now covers insurance for participants. For tournaments and other leagues, however, RHA or AAU insurance will be required.

I'm a coach, how the heck do I organize my team to play in a tournament?

Tournaments are separate from the Bulldawgz. Although you can call yourselves the "Bulldawgz" and wear the shirts and have all your players play in the tournament, it is up to you as the organizer, to determine who you want to invite, etc. Once players are selected and agree, the coach registers the team for the tournament (click here for tournament websites) and pays a downpayment (amount varies). Tournament schedules are usually posted 5 days or so before the tournament begins. Coach can collect money before or during tournament, then pay the remaining amount to tournament folks. Make sure birth certificates are available for each player (image on Phone is good enough), fill out player waivers before 2nd game and you are in a tournament.

Tournament team competition is a step above travel team competition, so bring your best game!

I'm a coach, how do I organize and pay for RMU and my practices?

The Bulldawgz organization (board members) will take care of that bit for you. We will work with you to sign-up for RMU (or adult league) and determine practice times and locations. Your Bulldawgz fees include NAYRHL, and a combination of RMU League and practices.

I have more questions!

Please feel free to call, text or email Mike Smith at (412) 720-6962 / msmith@bulldawgz.org.


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