SPMHA Player Evaluation Policy


Sherwood Park Minor Hockey Association (the “Association”) recognizes that the evaluation process is important to players, parent/guardians, evaluators and the Association. All efforts are directed to ensuring that the evaluation process allows a player to demonstrate their hockey abilities and skills.


The objective of the evaluation process:

(a) To provide as fair and impartial an assessment of a player’s total hockey skills as possible during the skating and scrimmage sessions. This ensures that players have a reasonable opportunity of making a team appropriate to their skill level as determined during the on-ice evaluations.

(b) Although it is impossible to eliminate all subjectivity, or previous coach/player experiences, the selection process will attempt to only reflect on-ice performance during the evaluation period. Again, as an Association, our goal in team formation is to have players of similar ability playing together to maintain balanced teams where the athletes can participate equitably and have fun playing hockey during the season.

(c) The selection criteria developed at each level will be the same for all players at that level, from Initiation to Bantam and the evaluations will be documented. This ensures consistency in the evaluation process, and provides consistency in player and parent/guardian expectations from year to year as players move through the various levels of SPMHA’s programs.

(d) A primary goal of the evaluation process is to form teams to maintain balanced and competitive play where the players can develop and participate equitably and have fun playing hockey during the season.

(e) Evaluations are documented and remain confidential. Individual evaluation scores and rankings are not released, as our purpose is to form teams, not to rank players on their individual skills. Under no circumstances will evaluation results be released to parent/guardians or players. The evaluation sheets and the ranking criteria are only made available to the Evaluation Committee and the President of SPMHA. The Evaluation Committee at each level will be comprised of the Vice President of Hockey Operations, Vice President Senior/Junior (as applicable), Development Director (Player), and the appropriate Division Director. In the event the Development Director (Player) is unavailable for a particular division’s evaluations they may be replaced by the Development Director (Coach).

(f) A member of the Evaluation Committee will remove himself from any discussions or decisions that are required to be made regarding his or her own child. Members of the Board of Directors will not release evaluation data. However, the Evaluation Committee may release general evaluation statistics such as average times, upper and lower level times of a tier, median times Adopted June 13, 2016 and such other general statistics to provide the Association information to better understand evaluations.

(g) Any injury, illness or other absence which prevents a player from completing the evaluations will be dealt with by the Evaluation Committee. The Evaluation Committee shall be entitled to utilize prior season evaluations, prior season level of play and prior coach reviews in making a determination of placement. Please note however that all players are strongly encouraged to make every effort to attend evaluations as relying on previous season information is not as accurate and may result in your child being placed in a lower tier than expected.


All Evaluation Procedures are as outlined within this document and within the Divisional Evaluation Processes as identified in the following Schedules:

  • Schedule “A” – Initiation
  • Schedule “B” – Novice
  • Schedule “C” – Atom
  • Schedule “D” – Peewee
  • Schedule “E” – Bantam
  • Schedule “F” - Midget
  • Schedule “G” – Female (for those Female teams that do not following the male Divisional Evaluation Processes)


(a) All registration and evaluation fees (if applicable) must be paid in full, or arrangement made to pay by payments prior to the player attending evaluations.

(b) Subject to the availability of ice players may receive one or more non-evaluation skates prior to the evaluations.

(c) In the event timed drills are utilized in a Divisional Evaluation Process reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that either independent technology such as laser timing gates are utilized or, in the event manual stop watches are utilized, at minimum two timers are used on each player with neither be a parent/guardian or relative of such player.

(d) During evaluations players shall be assigned a number and evaluations shall be completed utilizing that players number to identify them. Every effort should be made to ensure player remain anonymous to evaluators during evaluations.

(e) All non-timed evaluations such as small area games, skill evaluation and grading games shall utilize a minimum of four (4) evaluators. The Association will make every effort to utilize evaluators without children in the division being evaluated but, should this be unavailable for any reason, the Evaluation Committee will make every effort to ensure the evaluators utilized are unbiased and unrelated to the players being evaluated. Adopted June 13, 2016

(f) Evaluators must have an appropriate background to effectively evaluate player skills and performance. Preferable background characteristics can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Experience with player evaluation and performance systems;
  • Suitable background in hockey either as a player or as a coach;
  • Knowledgeable persons that are not stakeholders in the division being evaluated;
  • Players or coaches from other levels of hockey programs;
  • A willingness to evaluate players in categories in which they do not have a child registered.

(g) As much as possible there should be a consistency of evaluators for a given age group or division. This continuity ensures that the players are being observed by a group of evaluators who have a benchmark for performance and knowledge of the overall ability of the group that they are observing. Further evaluators should:

  • Review all of the drills and skills to be observed so that you are clear on the on ice process
  • Review the evaluation criteria prior to the process to ensure that all evaluators are evaluating the same skill with the same intent
  • Stay separate from the spectators and parents during the entire on-ice process
  • Make sure that all evaluators have the same evaluation page with the same tryout numbers and colours
  • Review your marks at the end of the session to ensure you have not made any entry errors
  • Evaluation documents should be gathered by a member of the Evaluation Committee at the completion of each ice session
  • Evaluation shall not share comments or opinions with any players/ parents or other interested observers
  • Evaluation shall refer questions, comments or complaints that they may receive to the Evaluation Committee without offering comment on the question or complaint.

(h) The evaluation format will consist of timed skills evaluation only at the Initiation Level and a combination of timed and/or subjective skills evaluation and grading game(s) at all other levels.

(i) Goaltender evaluations will only be at the Atom Level and above, and will consist of separate goaltender specific skills evaluation sessions and the full team scrimmages.

(j) All questions concerning the decision of the Evaluation Committee shall be first directred to the Evaluation Committee via the Divisional Director. Player evaluation and placement is not subject to the right to appeal. Any deviation from this Policy will be dealt with in accordance with the SPMHA General Policies and Procedures.

(k) The Association shall review this Policy on an annual basis prior to the next hockey season to ensure the procedures and practices contained herein in accordance with the principles of the Association in regards to evaluations. (k) The Evaluation Committee shall be entitled to adopt the initial Divisional Evaluation Process for each Division and modify or amend the Divisional Evaluation Process for a particular Division with approval of the SPMHA President provided such is completed by August 1 prior to the commencement of a season. Once adopted in accordance with this provision such Divisional Evaluation Process shall be attached to and form a part of this Evaluation Policy.