Phrequently Asked Questions
- What league are the Youngstown Phantoms in?
- Junior hockey, what's that? Are these kids? Is this a minor league? Are the Phantoms a 'farm team'?
- How much do the players get paid?
- Where do the players live and go to school during the season?
- Are they allowed to fight?
- How big is the league?
- How many games do they play in a season?
- How are the playoffs run?
- Can players be traded?
1Q. What league are the Youngstown Phantoms in?
1A. The United States Hockey League (USHL). The USHL is the nations only Tier 1 junior hockey league.
2Q. Junior hockey, what's that? Are these kids? Is this a minor league? Are the Phantoms a 'farm team'?
2A. Junior ice hockey is a developmental competition for players age 16 to 20, with occasional players as young as 15 years and limits on the number of 20 year old players. USHL teams do not have any other league affiliations.
3Q. How much do the players get paid?
3A. Nothing. They receive free equipment and room & board. US junior hockey programs, including the USHL, retain a strictly amateur status to allow players to move to NCAA college hockey.
4Q. Where do the players live and go to school during the season?
4A. Players live in the homes of local volunteer families, called a billet family. In the US, these families receive a stipend to offset costs. Underage players attend local high schools, the Phantoms ususally attending Ursuline.
5Q. Are they allowed to fight?
5A. At no level are players 'allowed' to fight. You mean to ask if, like the NHL and other high level North American leagues, are players not given additional suspensions or penalties outside of 5 minute major penalties. As of the 2014-15 season, USHL players assessed a fighting major will be given an additional 10 minute misconduct penalties. Referees are given a wide range of discretionary actions to impose penalties on players deemed to be aggressors, instigators or for continuing/starting another fight after the refs have deemed the fight over. Fights deemed not to be part of the natural game, or 'staged' fights will result in a game misconduct. Fighting is also considered a 'violent' penalty as is kneeing, elbowing and a few others and after accumulating a set number of these penalties a player will receive a game suspension.
6Q. How big is the league?
6A. The league is 17 active teams as of the 2014-2015 season, in 2 conferences (9 Eastern 8 Western). Youngstown is the farthest Eastern team and the Tri-City Storm, located in Kernsey, Nebraska is the westernmost team. The Fargo Force (North Dakota) are the farthest north and the Lincoln (Nebraska) Stars are the farthest south. The Indiana Ice are still officially a league franchise but are dormant for the 2014-2015 season due to a lack of an arena.
8Q. How are the playoffs run?
8A. The top 4 teams in each conference proceed to the playoffs which consist of 2 rounds of conference eliminations, best of 5 games per series. The conference winners play a best of 5 games for the Clark Cup as league champions.