For the upcoming
2016-2017 season, we will be combining the ‘06 and ‘07 age groups of Atom and Minor
Atom into one group with two pools.
Our goal is to have all the kids engaged more in the game. During the 2015-2016, Peewee (‘03) and Minor Peewee (’04) were combined with positive results.
This method will allow us to establish teams for kids at different skill levels and stages of development. By placing kids in the blue or white pool, we can ensure that the range of skills on a team is much narrower, and that kids are playing with and against other kids of like ability. This method has been used for many years in many other Minor Hockey associations and has been overwhelmingly positive from a development and team balance perspective.
There is a negative, however, and that is the tendency to equate this program with “trying out.” It isn’t. There are no “cuts” or “releases”. Every kid registered for Minor and Major Atom is going to play on a team, and all are playing house league hockey. This is just a process of sorting kids into categories by skill and stage of development. Some anxiety is probably unavoidable, but we urge you as parents to do what you can to take the pressure off. Explain that this process is not a tryout, and that the goal is to ensure that kids have the best time possible playing at the right level.
As for the process, the convener and the coach group will assess the players as usual at evaluation skates. Player evaluation has an unavoidable subjective element. The first important thing to remember is that all the decisions are made with the input of the whole coaching group, after evaluation skates (and subsequent hours of discussion). The second important thing to remember is that this group of volunteers is likely much better placed than you are to make an objective assessment of your child’s ability.
This is not to say that parents are discouraged from discussing questions or concerns with conveners. Contact information has been provided below. Reasoned approaches, informed by an understanding of the aims and the process, are welcome. Whatever the result of the discussion, hopefully you will come away with a better understanding of the process and the goals we are aiming for. At the end of the day we are all working together to ensure that our kids have the best possible experience playing hockey, and open communication is a big part of that.
Patricia Thompson, Director of House League Myte to Atom
Original Post May 20th