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JMS Hockey Overview

Managing your JMS account.

  • What is parity hockey?

    In parity hockey, you will be playing with people at or near your own ability level. Newbies do not share the ice with former high school stars (except at our Community Sessions). At a parity hockey session, there should be neither "ringers" or "pylons." The play is tight because everyone has similar skills.

    The first goal of JMS Hockey is to provide a parity game. While you could choose to play at an open pick-up at your local rink, skaters on the ice will be a wide variety of skill levels--tending towards quite sophisticated. At JMS, we monitor players to make sure everyone is with a group that both challenges them and lets them contribute to the play.

    Some skaters demand to play above their peers under the idea that being on the ice with skaters who vastly outclass them will somehow rub off eventually. Other skaters want to take it easy and dominate the play, skating idly until they deign to take the puck at will and score at their leisure. Neither of the above scenarios is how JMS operates. By carefully evaluating players, we foster games that are fast and fun without being overwhelming.

    For more information about JMS manages parity between our different levels, please visit our How JMS Parity Works page.

  • How do I know what level I am?

    After logging into your account, click on the "Games" tab located on the top navigation bar. The default setting on the skate times page is set to display sessions you are eligible for - in other words - sessions that are your assigned level.  Your level(s) will be listed in the title of each session.  

    If you are wondering which level you should be, take the online assessment and answer questions with neither excessive pride nor modesty. Here is how some other hockey organizations' skill levels compare to ours:

    Level 1: New Players, AHA beginner school and D2, WHAM C3 and C2
    Level 2: AHA D2 and D1, WHAM C2 and C1
    Level 3: AHA C3, WHAM C1 and B2
    Level 4: AHA C2 and C1, WHAM B1
    Level 5: AHA C1 and above, WHAM A
    Level 6: Former high school and college players

    Note that placement is still on an case-by-case basis and may vary plus/minus a level from this model. 

    If you feel you were placed at the wrong level, please do NOT create a second account--use the change level request form.

  • What do the session labels mean?

    JMS uses shorthand to refer to its sessions:

    • Novice: Levels 1&2
    • Lower-level: Levels 1/2/3
    • Intermediate: Levels 3&4; or Levels 2/3/4; or Levels 2&3, depending on the individual session
    • Upper-level: Levels 3/4/5
    • Elite: Levels 4/5/6
    • All-level: Levels 1 through 5

    Note: Just because your level is eligible for a session, doesn't necessarily mean that you can sign up. 

    Players with permissions for more than one level will be directed into the appropriate mixed-level game; a skater with L2&3 perms is unable to sign up for an Upper Level (3/4/5) game, and a skater with L3&4 perms is unable to sign up for a Lower Level (1/2/3) game.

    Also, to ensure parity, we maintain quotas for each level that differ based on the session, and your quota may be full for a particular session. If needed, JMS occasionally relaxes the quotas to secure sufficient skaters to make a session happen.

  • How do I get started?

    3 Easy Steps:
    1. Fill out the assessment survey 
    2. Click the Add Money button in the user sidebar on the right side of the Games page. Fill out your Billing/Credit Card information and submit an amount.
    3. Go to the Games page and choose the session you'd like. Click it to see more information about it or to sign up. 

  • How does the assessment survey work?

    After completing it, you can sign up immediately for the level at which your answers placed you. JMS Hockey reviews all assessment surveys, and will often follow up with additional questions by e-mail to help better place you.

    Honesty is of the utmost importance while filling out the assessment. Do your best to avoid overestimation or modesty in your answers to ensure proper evaluation. Remember we want to hear about all of your experience - even if it was entirely outdoor. Your account may become banned or suspended if it is percieved, upon review of your survey, that you have intentionally misrepresented yourself. If you haven't taken the assessment you can find it here: If you feel you were placed at the wrong level, click here to read about changing levels.

  • Why do you need personal information like phone number, age, and sex?

    JMS Hockey LLC will never divulge your private information.

    Phone number: in the event of either the rink or JMS Hockey canceling a session, we would contact you by phone to save you a trip. JMS Hockey does not solicit by phone.

    Address information: Since we know where you are - we know where to schedule our sessions. You wont be receiving any junk mail from JMS hockey.

    Age: JMS Hockey is an outlet for adults (18+).  Age also helps us get a picture of your skating history. Are you an 18 year old kid who just finished playing high school hockey, or are you a 45 year old who hasn’t played since you played high school hockey. Age does make some difference, but it is certainly not the most important piece of information. Skaters often petition to skate at a higher or lower level due to age difference.

    Sex: Occasionally JMS will become informed of men’s or women’s skating opportunities, and in the interests of avoiding the oversaturation your inbox we contact only those for whom the message is applicable.

  • I have never played hockey before; should I come anyway?

    Yes. In fact, you are not going to find a more comfortable opportunity for a first timer!  Level one is an amazing place!  Everyone there is thrilled to be playing and learning.  You will feel included instantly regardless of your inexperience.

  • What does it cost?

    Skaters:  $13-$15 per session (usually $15) for 90 minutes of pickup hockey
    Goalies:  FREE!!

  • Can I sign up as a skater and as a goalie?

    Yes! All you need to do is fill out a second assessment for your profile. First sign into the site, and then, in the user sidebar on the right side of the screen, click the Survey button next to the position for which you'd like take the survey.

  • JMS Terms and Conditions

    All 90-minute JMS sessions are not refereed; like other pick-ups, players police their own behavior. There is a captain at every session to balance teams and handle any misbehavior issues should they occur (which is rarely). Please contact the session captain with any concerns. 

    By registering with the site, you acknowledge that hockey is a physical sport and injuries sometimes occur. You agree not to hold me, JMS Hockey, or the session captains responsible for injuries you sustain on the ice. You also agree to pay for any icetimes you register for. If you cancel less than 48 hours before a session begins, you can be responsible for all or a portion of the skate time you promised to attend.

  • Cancellation policy

    You may cancel up to 48 hours before icetime and the funds will immediately be re-credited to your account. If you cancel less than 48 hours before icetime, you may be responsible for some or all of the cost. 

    If you have to cancel less than 48 hours before icetime, the sooner you do it, the sooner the Notify List can alert interested people. If you cancel less than 48 hours before icetime, but up to 20 minutes after signing up for the session (the Immediate Cancellation leeway window), your account will immediately be re-credited. 

    If you cancel less than 48 hours before icetime, but more than 20 minutes after you signed up, your refund is contingent on the session filling; when that happens, your account will be automatically refunded. 

    You may be refunded, if you are canceling to join another session on the same night. This refund will have to be handled manually; e-mail for details. If you cancel more than 48 hours before icetime, you will always get a refund, no matter how many are signed up for the session.

  • Do goalies have to show up for games if they sign up for a net?

    Yes. We expect goalies to show up for the nets they take. There is a lot of competition for nets at JMS and we can't give those nets to demonstrably unreliable goalies. We understand that emergencies happen, but we also have an obligation to the skaters at a game. 

    If a goalie no-shows, his or her goalie signup permissions will be temporarily or permanently revoked depending on the situation.

  • What is a Community Session?

    Community Sessions give players a chance to mix with friends at different levels. With these games open to players of any level, the Community Sessions will give all players more opportunities for icetime.

    The Community Sessions are a more laid-back environment for social hockey. Sometimes, you want to get your exercise in a tough but rewarding run... and sometimes you want to get your exercise walking around the lake while you chat with a friend. Community Sessions are like that: working your body, but not hard, and more about fun than fatburning.

    Community Sessions will always have a local watering hole indicated so participants can decamp to drink, talk, network and brag. We want these to be an opportunity to get to know other folks in the JMS community. 

    We have discussed multi-level sessions for years, but the main arguments against them were that people would use mixed level sessions to demand access to a level they really should not have, and also that making sure everyone "plays nice" is tough. I think we can address these challenges now.

    As non-parity games, we will not make any parity evaluations at the Community Sessions, nor will we make any level changes as a result of a Community Session. With such a wide spectrum of players, we just can't make accurate parity assessments, so we'll exclusively leave those for the parity sessions.

    Level distribution will be controlled, so the session won't have ten L5s and ten Level 1 players; a Community Session may have three roster spots open, but if the Level 5 quota is already reached, then Level 5 players won't be able to sign up for the skate. We want to keep things balanced.

    With a variety of levels, skaters at both ends of the continuum will need to remember to play nice and that the objective is having fun. This means the Level 5 player not going coast to coast incessantly and scoring 17 times, but it also means the Level 1 player should not get huffy and hacky when the puck is stolen off his stick. 

    Because this is JMS and we expect participants to remember our motto: Hockey for Everyone. We will be monitoring the sessions and if someone demonstrates he just can't play with this range of abilities, and remember the point is for everyone to have fun, then we will return him to the parity-only sessions. Skating the Community Sessions is a privilege.

  • When are new session times posted?

    JMS Hockey posts games a month in advance. Sessions are posted at midnight for the date four weeks from that day.

  • Why can't I sign up for the session I want?

    There are a few reasons why the skate times page may tell you you are unable to sign up. 

    Does your account have funds on it? Follow the instructions to put funds on your account.

    Have you taken the assessment survey to place in to the correct level? If you have not, you can do this by logging in to your account and then following this link to the survey: . 

    The final reason you may be ineligible for a session is because you have taken the assessment survey and placed in a specific level. The assessment survey is used as a benchmark to determine which level fits you as a player, however, if you feel you have been improperly placed in to a level you can submit a change level request form. 

  • The game I want is full; can I be notified if someone cancels?

    YES!  There is no comittment to sign up and you don't need funds in your account to get on the notification list.

    Here's how it works:

    If someone cancels, and someone almost always does, you can be notified by e-mail and sign up right away.  Follow these steps to get on the list:
    1. Click/tap the name of the game you want form the main Games page.
    2. Check the box at the top that says "Get notified when a skater slot opens up."
    That's it! When a spot opens, you will receive an email at the address you've specified on the Account page on the Notifications tab.

  • My teammates and I need practice; can we play on the same team at JMS?

    JMS Hockey is not a substitute for team practices. JMS exists so adults of varying ability levels can play pick-up in a fun and friendly format.  This practice scenario would result in a lopsided pick up game which does not deliver the product JMS players expect.

  • Can my daughter or son sign up?

    Usually, no. JMS Hockey LLC exists so adults who would be over their head at other open pick-ups can play with people of their own skill.  There are lots and lots of places where kids of all ages and abilities can get more icetime. JMS is for adults.

  • Can a guest sign up?

    Yes, but you will need to contact JMS Hockey to make arrangements.  Send an e-mail to If this person is here from out of town and will be skating only once or twice, JMS Hockey will add them to the roster as a JMS Guest. If it's a friend, trying out JMS, they should create their own userID (both for placement purposes with the online skills assessment, as well as having a record of all their JMS sessions, going back to this very first one).

  • Can I play two sessions in one night?

    Usually, no.  JMS Hockey has an interest in helping beginner adults get more icetime to advance their skills.  In the event a session is very low on players, and only when parity is maintained will this arrangement be considered.

  • How do the quotas work?

    Quotas set restrictions on the individual levels that can sign up for a game. JMS uses this as a way to manage the parity balance within a game itself. 

    Once a quota is reached, no signups of that particular level will be allowed for that game. You can see the status of each quota by looking on the right hand side of any game page. 

    Your level may have quota spots still open even though the session is full--that's because the quota spots add up to more than the total number of skaters. We put this little "give" in the numbers so we aren't waiting for any one level to fill up the game. 

  • Can I be added to a game if my level is full?

    No, sorry. The quotas as they are set already add up to more than 21 skaters, so the "give" is already built into the system. If the quota is full, then we can't add any more skaters at that level without disturbing the balance and changing the experience that we have promised to all skaters.

  • ​If I have access for more than one level, can I sign up for a Community Session under my other level?

    The system does not look at the level you have "on paper" -- it does not look at the fact that you have permission to play both Level 2 and Level 3. The system looks at your actual level: if you have been skating Level 3 for the past six months, the system sees you as a Level 3 player, which you you are. While you have permissions for Level 2 and while there are Level 2 spots open at the Community Session, you just wouldn't be a Level 2 skater at the game--you wouldn't be that much slower or less dextrous. The bottom line is that you are a Level 3 skater and the system sees you as such and treats you as such for the purpose of Community Session allocation.

  • Do you ever cancel a session?

    Sometimes — we book ice up to 8 months in advance, so sometimes our forecasting is off. We rarely cancel due to weather; rinks almost never close, so if the rink is open, the game is on.

    If we do cancel, JMS Hockey will always refund your money or help players find an alternate session. JMS Hockey is very proactive in searching out replacements for last minute cancellations and openings.

    If we cancel a session, we will: 
    1. Remove the game from the JMS Games page.
    2. Post an announcement in the right part of the Games page
    3. Send an e-mail to all players signed up for the session, to the address they listed on their JMS account.
    Because many games fill surprisingly close to icetime, we try to balance keeping the session open for signup as long as possible (to give it every change of success) with notifying people if we must cancel. If we must cancel, we will do so between two hours and 90 minutes before icetime.

    Remember: if the session numbers are low, the best way you can help the game happen is to sign up. If everyone waits for someone else to sign up first, then no-one signs up and not one of those skaters gets to play.

  • What does it mean if I signed up for a game that is not booked?

    If you've signed up for a game that is not booked (a "placeholder" game), this means that you are purchasing a reservation for a game that isn't booked yet, but when it does become a scheduled game, you will automatically have your spot reserved. 

    In the event that the game does not get scheduled, your money will be immediately be refunded back to your JMS account. 

  • Can I cancel from one game and move to another the same night?

    If you cancel from a game with MORE skaters than the game you are moving TO, then we will refund your account. Please submit a support request by clicking the blue Get Support button in the lower-right part of the screen.

    If you cancel from a game with FEWER skaters than the game you are moving TO, then your refund will process per usual cancellation policy (ie, if the session fills completely).

  • Immediate cancellation

    We provide 20 minutes leeway for signups and refunds, even within the 48-hour pre-icetime locked period. If you sign up for a session the afternoon before a game that same night (ie, within the 48-hour pre-icetime locked period) and then suddenly remember you have other plans, you have up to 20 minutes to cancel and have the fee automatically re-credited to your account.

  • How do AHA or WHAM levels compare to levels in JMS?

    JMS Hockey has its own level system which does not match up perfectly with AHA or WHAM.  The following is a general comparison of the leagues’ levels of play; however you may find your placement to be plus or minus one level.

    Level 1: New Players, AHA beginner school and D2, WHAM C3 and C2
    Level 2: AHA D2 and D1, WHAM C2 and C1
    Level 3: AHA C3, WHAM C1 and B2
    Level 4: AHA C2 and C1, WHAM B1
    Level 5: AHA C1 and above, WHAM A
    Level 6: Former high school and college players

  • What happens with the feedback that I give after a game?

    After your game, you may notice a dialog that looks something like this:

    We use this feedback as a way to gauge the quality of our games. It's a good way for us to tell at a glance if something happened that we should look into (such as there being a rink malfunction, or a goalie no-show, or something of that nature).

    We do not examine individual responses - we only look at aggregate information - so at a glance JMS can tell the % thumbs up very simply (we just see something like 95%, not the list of each player that has rated one way or another).