Roster Placements

The Newton Youth Hockey (NYH) Board recognizes that roster placement can cause anxiety and uncertainty among players and parents. The following is intended to minimize anxiety by providing transparency and clarifying the process.

The Roster Placement Process

The roster placement process consists of five steps.

  1. 2+ coaches’ season ratings
  2. On-ice evaluations at tryouts
  3. Current season team level in the Valley Hockey League (VHL)
  4. Board initial team placement
  5. Coaches’ roster review

The first three items provide numerical rating data used for initial stacked ranking. The last two are qualitative adjustments to make sure the math makes sense.

2+ Coaches’ Season Ratings

The coaches’ ratings carries the most weight. With five or six months of experience behind them by the time of their evaluations, coaches have the most comprehensive sense of the players’ abilities and teammate qualities. We have mandated that at least two coaches participate in the ratings to prevent one extreme relationship from being unfairly influential.

On-Ice Evaluations at Tryouts

Next comes the tryout ratings. This season (2015-2016) included four independent evaluators from ProAmbitions (or Mass Crease for goalies) plus the age group level head. Tryouts and coaches’ ratings account for the bulk of the input to roster placements.

Current Season Team Level in the VHL

We also consider the Valley Hockey League competitive level as a factor to differentiate between players moving up in age group. For example, a Peewee playing on the top NYH team in the Elite division will gain preference in this category over a returning Bantam third team player that was on the 113th out of 151 VHL Bantam teams. Compared to the previous two factors, this receives a modest weighting.

Board Initial Team Placement

The VP – Travel is responsible for roster placements. They make the first pass based on the numerical rating data as described above. Various Board members may review the initial rosters with input likely from at least the Coaching Director and the President but may include others with knowledge about specific players.

Coaches Roster Review

The sending and receiving (where applicable) coaches get a chance to review the team placement and comment. Obviously there is no individual within the organization that knows over 300 players individually so getting qualitative input at the end is essential. Major changes are rare at this stage, but players on the bubble are occasionally moved up or down.

At the end of the process, the following input has been received:

  • 2 coaches (scores averaged)
  • 5 tryouts evaluators (scores averaged)
  • 1 VP – Travel (stack ranked scores)
  • 2+ Board members (qualitative input)
  • 2 coaches’ review (qualitative input)

While some of the evaluators above are involved more than once, there are up to 12 different input opportunities factoring into the roster placement. No individual can significantly affect roster placement.

Roster Placement Principles

  • Every player trying out will be evaluated and considered for placement on the highest team, regardless of prior season team placement or age.
  • If two players are being considered for the last spot on the same team and both have been evaluated and determined to be of equal skill, the second year player will be placed ahead of the younger player.
  • Due to shifting numbers of players in a given age group and the talent level of the incoming, younger age group, a player may remain stationary or in some instances drop down

A Note to Parents

  • Help your child deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard and have fun will do more to promote success in hockey and beyond than moving up one team level.
  • Understand that the Roster Placement Process is subjective. Each evaluator values hockey attributes differently. Those involved in the placement process must make difficult decisions at times. The Board has made every effort to create a fair process that relies on volunteers doing their best.
  • Rosters are structured such that there is some room for upward mobility at the beginning of each season. Each time most often needs to add one or two skaters, and there is a process for calling up the best players from the team below. Encourage your player to commit to being the best they can be when that opportunity presents.
  • Newton Youth Hockey is a town hockey program comprised of volunteers. We prioritize players having fun, wanting to return next season, and  improving hockey skills in that order, and that is independent of team placement level.
  • If you have a question about where your child was placed, please contact the Vice President – Travel.

PWA1 Win Pepsi Tournament of Champions

The Newton PWA1 boys won the Pepsi Tournament of Champions held at the New England Sports Center April 15-17.  Newton finished the tournament undefeated, 4-0-1, outscoring their opponents 25-10 over three days.

PWA1
Pepsi Tournament of Champions at New England Sports Center

The Pepsi tournament hosted teams from all over New England and the team won the final game 5-3 against the strong club team Rinx from New York.  Strong defense and shared goal tending from Brennan Redmond and Neil Seth guided the team to victory.   The tournament win follows the division championship in the Valley League and runner-up placing in the Frank Bell Tournament held in February.

Peewee A1 Team Wins the North National Championship!

PWA1 North National Champions
PWA1 North National Champions

The Newton PW A1 team won the North National Championship defeating Brookline 4-1 in the finals on Saturday.   The team finished the season overall, including parity rounds, with a record of 27-12-4, scoring 159 goals (60 more than the opposition).  Jeremiah Poole scored six goals in the team’s three game playoff run including a hat trick against Hyde Park in the semi-final.  The team’s defense only allowed four goals in the final six games of the season including three straight shut-out victories.   Gage Tereau logged the game winner in the final on an end-to-end single-handed effort which was the second season in a row he scored the winning goal in the final contest.  Great season for the PW A1 team!!!

Player Evaluations Update – 2016

In response to member feedback from last season, we’re making a couple changes to the player evaluation process this season. A key theme was to reduce the opportunity for familiarity and / or parental bias when it comes to player evaluations. We’ve taken two steps to address this: multiple coaches’ input on the player evaluations and third party on-ice tryout evaluators instead of NYH coaches.

Coaches’ Player Evaluations

Simply, we’ve added the requirement that the head coach and one or more assistants collaborate on the year-end player evaluations. The intent is to prevent a situation where a single coach-player relationship unfairly affects the evaluation results.

Third Party On-Ice Tryout Evaluators

We are going to employ four Pro Ambitions staff to evaluate the players on-ice. Each age-level head (or proxy) will lead the sessions for their respective age group. Four independent evaluators and one NYH representative will provide the composite evaluation results.

The third party evaluators option is a test run for NYH. It comes at a cost and needs to show commensurate benefit.

The coaches’ evaluations remain the most heavily weighted component of player evaluations. Coaches have been involved with the players for more than five months at the point when feedback is submitted. The isolated skills of tryouts or an exceptionally strong or weak showing during the evaluators’ brief glimpses do not take precedence over a much larger body of work that includes the whole player experience such as coachability, participation, being a good teammate, and other “intangibles”.

Goalies

Goalies will continue to be evaluated on-ice by the Eklund organization, Mass Crease Goaltending.

 

The Best Time to Yell at Referees?

A thoughtful article for parents from the Farmington (MN) Youth Hockey Association titled “When to Yell at Referees“. Consistent with the PCA framework thinking that parents’ primary role is to support the player.

Short answer:  Never.

Good reminder for us all.

Yes, referees will definitely make mistakes, miss calls, or call the game more loosely / tightly than you might want. For parents there is no reason to speak to the referee. It is best to attend the game and support your team. Remember, these players [and referees] are learning.

The article is here – http://www.farmingtonhockey.org/news_article/show/601041?referrer_id=2024960

Hockey Stick Length Explained – Coach Peter Russo

Coach Peter Russo has some good, smart hockey stuff. Stick length comes up all the time. A lot of support for his approach.

The short version: Lower your flex and cut your stick. Stick length should be around the collarbone while standing on skates.

He’s got pictures of many of the greats–Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby, Ovechkin, etc.–demonstrating their stick lengths. Read all about it at http://coachprusso.com/2015/05/06/hockey-stick-length-explained-why-i-carry-a-hacksaw-to-lessons/

No-Check Bantam League 2016-2017

GAUGING INTEREST

NYH was approached about eliciting support for a No-Check Bantam League for next season. This would be a supplemental team providing an opportunity for kids that want to keep playing but do not want to check. NYH will continue with the current Bantam format regardless. The subject was discussed at the Board and Member Meeting on January 5, 2016. The Board is interested in learning the level of interest amongst the membership. Please cast your vote in the poll at the top of this post.

If you’re interested in coaching or otherwise assisting in the effort, please let Jennifer Lo know at JLo@sll-law.com.

Below is some information provided by the organizers.


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

What: We are recruiting teams to participate in the opening season of non-check travel hockey for Bantams. Body contact only hockey has proven to be very successful in Canada and is approved by USA Hockey.

Where: Participating towns in Eastern MA and Southern NH. We plan to play in Valley League.

When: 2016-2017 Hockey Season

Program highlights:

  • Body contact only: This program was developed specifically for the following subsets of players, but all Bantams are welcome and eligible.
    • Kids who have sustained previous concussions and should not play full checking
    • Those who have tried checking and prefer body contact only to full checking
  • Co-ed: Allows teams to continue as co-ed through older age groups
  • Travel opportunities through our partners in Canada and Europe

Who are we?

Our committee is comprised of youth hockey parents and board members, including: a USA Hockey Board Member; Directors from MA Hockey; a local Director of Hockey Operations; all who are actively trying to keep kids in the game.

Want more information? Contact us at: 978-764-3511; email: info@nenchl.com


BOSTON GLOBE STORY BEHIND THE INCEPTION

Link to the Boston Globe story requires scrolling down to “Hitting on an Idea”.

HITTING ON AN IDEA

No-check option has its purpose

Nicole de Moulpied of Dunstable had a dilemma. Her son Brenner likes to play hockey. But outside of the sport, he has suffered two concussions. The first injury, which his parents didn’t know was a concussion right away, left him with headaches, nausea, and sensitivity to light. Doctors have concluded that patients diagnosed with multiple concussions are at greater risk of sustaining more.

Per USA Hockey guidelines, boys 12 and under play no-check hockey. This changes once they turn 13, when they are eligible to begin body checking. Brenner, now 12 years old, is on the threshold.

De Moulpied is in a tough situation. She does not want her son to suffer more head trauma. But she also isn’t keen on denying the oldest of her three children the opportunity to play a sport he enjoys.

So she is trying to launch a no-checking option for boys like Brenner.

“He loves the game. He wants to keep playing,” said de Moulpied. “When I see him playing, after games and after practices, he’s so excited. It’s so much fun. So it motivates me to make this happen.”

“He’s pretty realistic. He has some big career aspirations, like being a pilot or a scientist. He understands he would be better off in a no-checking program.”

In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended all boys 16 and under play no-check hockey. Dr. Alan Ashare, chief of the division of nuclear medicine at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, serves as chair of USA Hockey’s Safety and Protective Committee. Ashare doesn’t agree with across-the-board no-checking, but he believes there should be no-checking options for bantams and midgets.

“We don’t want the coaching to be any less,” Ashare said. “We want good coaches. The only thing missing would be the body checking.”

De Moulpied’s initiative began with an inquiry to USA Hockey about creating a no-checking division for boys 13 to 17. USA Hockey allows any house league to prohibit checking at any age. But parents like de Moulpied would have to start their own leagues.

Through word of mouth, de Moulpied’s initiative is gaining traction. Players from five towns in the Dunstable area have expressed interest in creating a no-checking league. An existing local league has offered to host de Moulpied’s program.

The objective is to expand the game to retain players like de Moulpied’s son, who don’t have other options. But in her research, de Moulpied has come across parents whose children started hockey late. They didn’t have enough time to develop foundational components such as skating, puck skills, and hockey sense to play safely in checking leagues once they turned 13. So they left the sport.

With a no-checking alternative, perhaps more kids would stay in the game.

“There’s kids who don’t like checking,” de Moulpied said. “They’re smaller than their peers. When checking starts, it’s a little less fun for them. So there’s quite a few kids excluded from hockey between 13 and 17.

“When you look at the big picture, there’s so much hockey being played without checking. There’s no checking until 13. For all the guys who play in rec leagues, there’s no checking. So it seems a little odd not to have that option.”

Positive Coaching Alliance Workshop

John Wenz from West Hartford, CT presented the PCA “Second-Goal” Parent Workshop to a small group of NYH parents at the Newton South Auditorium on December 1. John is passionate about the mission of PCA which emphasizes “Better athletes. Better people.” His presentation was full of pertinent facts and entertaining multi-media clearly demonstrating examples of productive versus unproductive means of parenting a youth athlete.

A key takeaway regarding the Better Athletes, Better People model was a framework to define youth sports roles:

  • Youth Sports Leadership – shapes the culture of the organization
  • Second-Goal Parent – emphasize teachable moments and help kids absorb the life lessons available through sports. Leave winning to the coaches
  • Double-Goal Coach – emphasize both winning and life lessons
  • Triple-Impact Competitors – work to better themself, their teammates, and the game

There was clear emphasis on player skills and character development over a win-at-all costs mentality at all levels with the intention of creating lifelong value in favor of a short-term “victory.”

NYH purchased several copies of the PCA book by Jim Thompson titled “Positive Sports Parenting – How ‘Second-Goal’ Parents Raise Winners in Life Through Sports.” It’s an easy read at about 60 pages and full of thought provoking information.

If you would like a copy of the book, please let Tom Dallaire know at TomDall@Verizon.net

Check out the PCA website.