SPMHA Player Evaluation Policy

1.1 OVERVIEW

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.

1.2 HOCKEY PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

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.

1.3 EVALUATION PROCEDURES

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

  • Schedule “A” – U7
  • Schedule “B” – U9
  • Schedule “C” – U11
  • Schedule “D” – U13
  • Schedule “E” – U15
  • Schedule “F” - U18
  • Schedule “G” – Female (for those Female teams that do not following the male Divisional Evaluation Processes)

1.3.1 GENERAL EVALUTION POLICIES:

(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.

1.3.2  RELEASES FROM SPMHA

When determining the number of teams in each division each year, the Association’s Divisional Directors, in conjunction with the appropriate Vice President shall work to structure as many viable teams as the number of registrants will permit recognizing that too few players on a particular team will create a team that may not be viable. Teams will not be set with insufficient players to be a viable team. It is recognized that, the number of players required to form a viable team will increase as the age of the players increases. Best efforts will be given to having a minimum of 15 skaters plus a goalie for all teams. However, if during the registration and evaluation process, the number of registrants in a particular category do not permit the creation of a number of viable teams that would allow all players to be placed on teams, decisions regarding the release of one or more participants will be made under the following guidelines:

A.  The Divisional Director will communicate to all participants as soon as practical in the evaluation process if the Association anticipates having to release any participants at that level and determine whether any of the players are willing to voluntarily be released to another minor hockey

B.  If the need to release players remains despite voluntary releases, priority for placement on teams will occur in the following order:

  • Priority of placements in the Association will be assigned to participants based on the greatest number of years such player has been registered with the Association as a proportion of the total number of year a player was able to play hockey (excluding the Discovery Program) including SPKAC with those players with the lowest portion of registered years with the Association to be the first to be released. For clarity, a second year Atom player who has played with the Association for 2 years would have a proportion of 33% calculated as 2 years in the Association/6 years of hockey eligibility (2 years of Initiation, 2 years of Novice and 2 years of Atom).
  • If after taking into account the relative number of years’ players have been registered with the Association as set out above, there are a number of players with equal time spent in the Association priority will be assigned to participants based on the date of registration for the current season, with either the Association or SPKAC, and having either paid or made arrangements to pay for such registration, with the earlier registrants receiving priority over later registrants.
  • If after considering the factors above, players have equal time with the Association and registered at the same time the Divisional Director, in conjunction with the VP, will do a random drawing of those names that are tied with the above

1.3.3  EVALUATION OF PLAYERS RELEASED FROM SPKAC

The Association recognizes that due to the nature of the SPKAC program the timing of releases from that program are somewhat unpredictable due to the effect of releases from teams outside of the SPKAC program such as other AAA teams and Junior level teams. As such, players released from SPKAC may miss and be unavailable for some or all of the Association’s evaluations for a particular level. Effective communication and collaboration between the SPKAC hockey operations (head coach, evaluators and divisional director) and SPMHA hockey operations (VP Sr, VP hockey operations and divisional director) is key to the successful placement of released individuals.

The Association has developed the following guidelines for communicating with and the evaluation of SPKAC players.

  1. Prior to August 1 of the then current hockey season the Association’s President and VP Senior shall meet with SPKAC to determine a cut off deadline for U15 (the “U15 Cut-Off Date”) and U18 (the “U18 Cut-Off Date”) in accordance with this section. In regards to U13, SPKAC shall complete its U13 evaluations prior to the commencement of the Association’s Peewee evaluations and as such the policies set out herein are not applicable to releases from the SPKAC Peewee program.
  2. SPKAC shall inform all released players that they must contact the Association’s VP Senior and the appropriate Divisional Director within 5 days of their SPKAC release date of their intention in regards to playing with the Association and must appear in the next grading session following such The provisions of this section1.3.3 shall not be available to any player that does not provide such notification within such 5 day period or does not appear in the next grading session following such notification.
  3. If a player is released by SPKAC prior to the commencement of the Association’s evaluations for such division commencing then such player shall be ONLY evaluated pursuant to the Association’s evaluation procedures for such division.
  4. If a player is released by SPKAC before the final grading game evaluation the player shall be evaluated during such remaining grading game evaluation ice time. Provided the player attends such grading game evaluation, the VP Senior and the applicable Divisional Director shall utilize such grading game evaluation as well as feedback or comments from SPKAC evaluators and coaches in determining which initial grading team such player should be placed. If such player does not attend such grading game evaluation ice time, this section 1.3.3 shall no longer be applied to such player and they shall be treated like a regular Association registrant that missed grading sessions.
  5. If a player is released by SPKAC prior to the final grading game evaluation of the Association’s top 2 tiered teams (ie. U18 Tier 1 and 2) but prior to the U15 or the U18 Cut-Off Date, as applicable, the VP Senior and the applicable Divisional Director shall utilize such final grading game evaluation as well as feedback or comments from SPKAC evaluators and coaches in determining which initial team such player should be placed for the season. If said player or goaltender is considered to be a “final cut” (ie. last 1-2 skaters or goaltenders to be released) the expectation is that they shall be placed for the season no lower than the B level
  6. If a player is released by SPKAC after the final grading game evaluation of the Association’s top 2 tiered teams (ie. U18 Tier 1 and 2) but prior to the U15 or the U18 Cut-Off Date, as applicable, the VP Senior and the applicable Divisional Director shall utilize feedback or comments from SPKAC evaluators and coaches in determining which initial team such player should be placed for the season. If said player or goaltender is considered to be a “final cut” (ie. last 1-2 skaters or goaltenders to be released) the expectation is that they shall be placed for the season no lower than the Tier 2 level team.
  7. Notwithstanding all of the above, if the SPMHA and SPKAC hockey operations directors advise and recommend that such player is placed in a position other than as determined by this policy such applicable SPMHA Divisional Director shall be entitled to place such player according to such
  8. Following the U15 Cut-Off Date and the U18 Cut-Off Date, as applicable, any further SPKAC releases will be placed in accordance with the Association’s prior policies and they shall be treated like a regular player registrant that missed
  9. For clarity, players released from SPKAC Major and Minor shall be treated independent of each other meaning when comparing placement releases from Major will be compared to previous Major releases and players released from Minor shall be compared to previous Minor
  10. In the event the Association needs to release players from its program in accordance with section 1.3.2 above, released players from SPKAC shall be treated the same as all other Association registrants in determine which players are released.