Millwoods Hockey Evaluations and Team Selection Guide

Objectives of Player Evaluations and Team Selections

  • Abide by the procedures and bylaws of the Millwoods Hockey Association relative to player evaluations and team selections
  • To provide a fair and impartial assessment of a player's total hockey skills during the skating and scrimmage sessions
  • To ensure that players have a fair and reasonable opportunity of being selected to a team appropriate to their skill levels as determined during the on-ice evaluations of the current year
  • To provide coaches with the opportunity and flexibility to build a team based in part on the players ability as demonstrated during the evaluation process, their own coaching philosophy and knowledge of player skills and attitude in various situations
  • To provide uniformity and consistency in the evaluation process such that a player and parent expectations are consistently met from year to year as players move through the various levels of the association's programs
  • To form teams to maintain balanced and competitive play where the athletes can develop and participate equitably and have fun playing hockey during the season
  • To provide feedback to coaches in order to develop players with regards to individual skill needs

Player Evaluations – Frequently Asked Questions

The following list addresses many of the most common questions that arise regarding the player evaluations and the overall process that is undertaken in order to place players on balanced and competitive teams.

  1. When are the player evaluation sessions?
    • Millwoods Hockey primarily conducts player evaluations during the month of September. Under certain conditions the evaluations could begin in the latter part of August. The category directors will be very clear in communicating to players and parents when skate times are a part of a formal evaluation.
  2. My child is an Initiation player – do they undergo evaluations?
    • There are no player evaluations conducted for the U7 Discovery/Jr/Sr programme. All players that are eligible to play in those categories are assigned directly to teams.
  3. Where can I go to find information about evaluation schedules?
    • The dates for evaluations will vary from year to year for each category. Evaluation dates will be communicated to players and parents as early as possible. The Category Director(s) and their off-ice administrators will assist with getting this information distributed. The Millwoods Hockey website (http://www.millwoodshockey.ca) is an important location that parents and players should visit frequently in order to stay up to date on evaluation activities and schedules. Player skate times will be shared directly with the parents/players in order to ensure that no player misses a scheduled skate time due to a breakdown in communication. The schedule may be shared via email and/or posted on the website.
  4. How many evaluation sessions will there be?
    • U9 / U11 / U13 Categories
      • Typically, 1 skating skills session
      • Followed by 3 - 4 gameplay scrimmages
  5. Who will do the evaluations?
    • There are 3 key groups involved in the evaluations:
      • On-ice coaches to take players through the session
      • Off-ice evaluators who will be responsible to evaluate every player on the ice during the time allotted
      • Off-ice administrators who will be responsible for tracking evaluations, contacting parents, players and scheduling sessions
  6. What should my son/daughter wear to the evaluation?
    • Full equipment is always mandatory. This includes:
      • Protective cup
      • Shin pads
      • Hockey socks
      • Hockey pants
      • Skates
      • Shoulder pads
      • Elbow pads
      • Hockey gloves
      • Neck guard
      • CSA approved helmet with a full face shield
      • Mouth guard (recommended, not mandatory)
      • Hockey stick
  7. When do I need this equipment?
    • Players must wear full equipment whenever they are on the ice. This includes shinny sessions, evaluations, practices and all games. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Players will not be allowed onto the ice if they are not wearing a full set of equipment.Parents are reminded to check the fitting of all hockey equipment prior to the start of evaluation sessions. As well, if new skates have been obtained prior to evaluations it is often a good idea to give the player an opportunity to try the skates on ice prior to the start of evaluations. As evaluators are very much focused on skating skills it is important to recognize the impact that a pair of new skates can have on a player’s ability to perform. One or two practice sessions (prior to evaluations) with a new pair of skates can make an important difference in the ability of the player to feel comfortable on the ice.
  8. What do I do when I get to the arena?
    • Players are asked to show up at the arena at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled skate time. Players will check-in at the registration desk and the registration staff will provide each player with a numbered pinney and cover any final instructions prior to the on-ice activities.
  9. Do the evaluators know the players’ names?
    • The evaluators are only provided with the players’ pinny numbers. They do not receive any information that directly identifies the players by name.
  10. How are the players notified of their standing within the process?
    • Players will be informed by the off-ice administrators who are responsible for tracking evaluations, contacting parents and players and scheduling sessions. Players will not typically be informed at the rink regarding their next scheduled skate time. Following analysis of the evaluation session the off-ice administrator will contact each player to inform them of their next skate time. Category directors will inform parents how skate times will be communicated. This may be via email or posted on the website.
  11. Will the player be evaluated in a skill and game environment?
    • In order to give each and every player a fair opportunity to exhibit the range of skills that they possess they will be evaluated in a game and skill environment.At the younger age levels a greater emphasis will be placed on the evaluation of skills - as the players get older the game or scrimmage sessions will have a greater overall impact on the player’s placement within the Millwoods Hockey programme.
  12. I notice that my son/daughter is playing evaluation games with many of the same players – have the teams already been determined?
    • The team selections do not take place until all evaluation - skills and games - have been completed. In order to evaluate the differences between all players it is important to showcase them in many different playing situations and against a variety of competition. Players are being evaluated on a “per player” basis thus the concept of team does not factor into the process. Players will be tested in many different combinations throughout the evaluation period – sometimes with players they haven’t played with before and sometimes with players that were together on past teams.Participation in an exhibition game or group practice prior to the official selection of teams should not be construed by the players or the parents as a guarantee of a position on a certain team. Until the teams are officially selected, players are NOT registered with, or assigned to, any specific team. No inference should be made about a player’s placement with a team until the official team selection has been completed.
  13. I notice that my son/daughter is playing evaluation games away from their teammates from last season – if they all played together last year shouldn’t they all be grouped together for evaluations this year?
    • The team selections do not take place until all evaluation - skills and games - have been completed. In order to evaluate the differences between all players it is important to showcase them in many different playing situations and against a variety of competition. Players are being evaluated on a “per player” basis thus the concept of team does not factor into the process. Players will be tested in many different combinations throughout the evaluation period – sometimes with players they haven’t played with before and sometimes with players that were together on past teams.Participation in an exhibition game or group practice prior to the official selection of teams should not be construed by the players or the parents as a guarantee of a position on a certain team. Until the teams are officially selected, players are NOT registered with, or assigned to, any specific team. No inference should be made about a player’s placement with a team until the official team selection has been completed.
  14. How soon after evaluations will the team selections take place?
    • Team selections will typically take place within a week of the final evaluations wrapping up for a given category. The Category Director(s) and their Off-ice Administrators will assist with getting this information distributed. The Millwoods Hockey Website (http://www.millwoodshockey.ca) is an important location that parents and players should visit frequently in order to stay up to date on team activities and schedules.
  15. How will the evaluation information be used?
    • The evaluation information is used as a key indicator of player skills and potential. It is used throughout the team selection process in helping to determine the appropriate level of play for a given player. Hockey Directors, Category Directors and Coaches all rely on this information as they work to complete team selections.
  16. I’d like to provide some input to the evaluation process – how do I put forward some of my observations or suggestions?
    • Millwoods Hockey will often conduct on-line surveys following the completion of the evaluations and team selection processes. Through the survey you will have the opportunity to let us know what went well with the evaluation and team selection process and where we can improve for future years.Whether or not there is a formal survey, we also encourage parents to speak directly with our Category and Hockey Directors, and their assistants, to ensure that we hear your comments on these critical aspects of our hockey operations.

Assigning Players to Teams – Frequently Asked Questions

The following list addresses many of the most common questions that arise regarding the assignment of players to specific teams.

  • When will team selections take place?
    • The date for team selections will vary from year to year but will usually occur within a week of the evaluations wrapping up for a given category. Team selection dates will be communicated to players and parents as early as possible. The Category Director(s) and their off-ice administrators will assist with getting this information distributed. The Millwoods Hockey Website (http://www.millwoodshockey.ca) is an important location that parents and players should visit frequently in order to stay up to date on team activities and schedules.
  • What criteria are used to determine the number of teams within a given category?
    • Prior to team selection each Category Director, in conjunction with the Hockey Director(s), must determine the total number of teams that will be formed. In addition, it must be determined how many players/goaltenders will be allowed onto each team. These numbers (both team and player counts) can vary from year to year depending upon the total number of players registered in a given category.
  • Who is in attendance at the team selections and what are their roles / responsibilities?
    • The team selection process is executed by the Head Coach, the Hockey Director (and his/her assistant) as well as the Category Director (and his/her assistant). Ultimately the Hockey Director is responsible for, and has the authority, to ensure that team selections are done in accordance with procedures and bylaws of the Millwoods Hockey Association.
  • How are players assigned to teams?
    • Millwoods Hockey prefers that all players in a particular age group be tiered from top to bottom. Based upon the results of the evaluations (skills and scrimmages), players are ranked from 1 to X. The top 10 ranked players are automatically assigned to the first team.Coaches then select from the next 10 players in order to round out their team roster (they are free to select in rank order or, through the use of evaluation results, select players that have specific skills or abilities that are key for the coach).The remaining players are then re-ranked with the top 10 players being automatically selected for the second team. The coach then selects from the next 10 players in order to round out their team roster (they are free to select in rank order or, through the use of evaluation results, selecting players that have specific skills or abilities that will be key for this team). The process continues until the players for the final two teams in a specific category are up for selection. Depending upon the relative skill level of the players the process will be completed as for previous teams or, the final two teams will be evenly split skill wise (based upon evaluation results and input from the Hockey and Category Directors) in order to field competitive teams at every level.
  • Can players be moved between categories?
    • Strict guidelines are in place regarding player eligibility. Millwoods Hockey adheres to the guidelines as written by Hockey Edmonton. In general, player movements to either higher or lower categories are very rare and must be approved by Hockey Edmonton.
  • Who is the final authority for player assignments / selections to specific teams?
    • The final authority is the Millwoods Hockey Director.
  • What happens after the teams are selected?
    • The coach for each team will contact the players / parents directly. During the first contact, which may be via phone or email, the coach will:
      1. Introduce themselves
      2. Welcome the player to their team
      3. Communicate the date for the first meeting with the parents and players (if known)
      4. Introduce other coaches (if already known)
      5. Provide the upcoming practice schedule (if known)
      6. Provide the upcoming game schedule (if known)
  • I have some questions about the evaluation process or the placement of my son/daughter. Who should I speak to?
    • Specific concerns regarding evaluations or the team selection process should be directed to the Category Director(s) first and then to the Hockey Director(s). The Directors will do their best to answer your questions. Specific details related to the evaluations or player selection process (i.e. evaluation scores, player rankings, coach selection criteria) are considered confidential and will not be disclosed to players or parents.
  • Can I appeal my son/daughter's placement to a specific team?
    • As in a court of law, the grounds for an appeal are limited; an appeal should be heard only if the selection was not made according to the rules or process, if the selection committee or coach were biased or if the decision was grossly unfair or unreasonable. The merit or substance of the decision is not a valid ground for an appeal. The Millwoods Hockey Association evaluation and team selection process is focused on placing players on teams where they are competitive skill and ability wise and where they are best able to grow and improve throughout the hockey season. Listed below are some of the ways in which we ensure that our evaluation and team selection process is fair:
      • We abide by the procedures and bylaws of the Millwoods Hockey Association relative to player evaluations and team selections
      • We are objective with respect to the evaluator process, its participants and its administrators. Where possible conflicts may exist we exclude certain evaluation scores from a players rating and we will disallow any input to the team selection process
      • We use standard criteria for evaluating player skills, attitudes and potential. We maintain oversight throughout the evaluation process by conducting spot audits on player results and evaluation team groupings.
      • A selection committee oversees the team selection process so that a coach does not have the opportunity to stack his/her team nor can they arbitrarily select players (outside of a narrow talent range as identified by the selection committee)
      • The Hockey Director has the authority, and mandate, to ensure that all relevant Millwoods Hockey selection processes are followed correctly and is the final authority with respect to appealsParents are advised that if an issue is escalated in such a way as to bypass or circumvent the responsible Millwoods Hockey Category Director and/or Hockey Director that the next level of governing body (i.e. SEERA and/or Hockey Edmonton) will automatically redirect the issue back through the appropriate Millwoods Hockey Association Director channel for follow-up or resolution.
  • I’d like to provide some input to the team selection process – how do I put forward some of my observations or suggestions?
    • Millwoods Hockey will often conduct on-line surveys following the completion of the evaluations and team selection processes. Through the survey you will have the opportunity to let us know what went well with the evaluation and team selection processes and where we can improve for future years.Whether or not there is a formal survey, we also encourage parents to speak directly with our Category and Hockey Directors, and their assistants, to ensure that we hear your comments on these critical aspects of our hockey operations.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Millwoods Hockey wishes to recognize the contributions of Hockey Canada (and numerous other parties) that helped develop the initial framework and standard content for this document.