Up-to-date schedule for for Conditioning and Evaluations will be available on the Clavet Arena website. The Arena website schedule is the official schedule so please check back often to be sure times have not changed.
Evaluations and Team Selection Process
CMHA has been using relatively the same process for many years and we believe it has served us well. While we don’t anticipate a need for changes to the process it’s good to be transparent and discuss the process. There is quite a bit of work that leads into some of the decision making within the CMHA executive the leads up to evaluation weekend and ultimately what forms our teams for the season.
- Registration opens in June and is due by July 1st so we can get an accurate representation early of how many of our members are returning, this gives us preliminary numbers for teams and planning around potential needs for other MHA’s to join us
- There are usually some decisions from our surrounding MHA’s to make a team, or decide they don’t have enough players to make a team and we will get some of the players that are released and this helps us fill out rosters adequately or in recent years in the younger groups we have generally been pretty full with our own members and don’t need or have room to add additional players. This can be a difficult balance and requires careful consideration in terms of creating teams that are not too big, or too small, and can accommodate the number of goalies we have, or in some cases the number of goalies we don’t have.
- Our tiering for SMHA interlock teams is determined by the SMHA grid for interlock teams, based on the number of teams we have (this grid can be found on the SMHA website). If we want to go off grid we must apply for a concession that SMHA may or may not approve based on the organizations historic level of wins/losses and goal differentials with that group of players, concessions are generally required to be submitted by September 5th of the current hockey season
- There are always players who must register in Clavet, but will ultimately tryout for a AA team or higher in U13 and up, players who make these teams are released to pursue the goals of competing at a higher level. These tryouts don’t occur until September, and we are generally receiving news of players who will be on our rosters or won’t be on our rosters throughout the month of September and we have to factor these changes into the process as well. We are always pleased to see our members make a higher level team and showcase the development that comes from our organization, this reflects well on us, but can also be difficult to plan for in some cases.
- We host our tune up skates in late September and encourage those wanting more than the two sessions offered by CMHA to seek out other options that are readily available.
Evaluation preparation and format
- In late August, we source and hire independent evaluators to conduct our evaluation process, we typically have one or two on-ice evaluators who run drills and the skill sessions, two evaluators observing skaters and one goalie evaluator. These evaluators are watching the players and determining skill level and player performance
- We typically will host two skill sessions and one scrimmage for the younger groups U11, U9 and U7 as we want to see the emphasis on skill development in these groups, and one skill session and two scrimmages for the older age groups U13 and up as we want to see skills and situational awareness for game play in the older players
- For U13 and up, players will choose the position they wish to evaluate at, for U11 and below position is not required as the teams should be determined based on skill level, aside from goalies who wish to try out at that position in U11
- Evaluations are usually hosted over the course of one weekend, usually the first weekend in October once all AA camps have been completed
- When players arrive at the rink, they will find their name and assigned jersey number and colour on one of the dressing room doors. That jersey number and color will be the jersey they wear for all the evaluation process, so finding the correct jersey is very important. The independent evaluators do not receive a list of the players names, they are noted by number and jersey colour, and the evaluators should have no knowledge of who the players are.
- The independent evaluators rank the players in order of performance and ability through the skill sessions and scrimmages
- Some players will be identified early on as higher caliber players and asked to not return to the evaluation process so the focus can be put on the mid level players, this can also be done with the lower caliber players if there is a need to reduce numbers, but we usually don’t take that approach
- The evaluators typically understand the number of players we want to have on each team as they work through the process, and we encourage them to focus heavily on the mid-level players to best attempt to evaluate players accurately in this group.
- In cases where we have an evenly skilled group of players in the middle of the pack, these players are considered “bubble” players
- Often times, there will be a mid-level bubble where a few players will be ranked the same in skill and ability from the evaluator’s perspective, and this is where a coach pick would be required later on in the process
- Another potential scenario where a coach pick may be required is if a player is injured and can not participate in evaluations, typically these players are placed in the bubble and become coach picks and the coach and CMHA executive will discuss this and determine the best path for the player. It is always best if the player is able to evaluate
- Once the players have completed all the skates for the weekend, they will leave their jersey in the dressing room on a hanger
Evaluation results and team formation
- Once the evaluators work is complete, the CMHA Executive meet to review the results and start the team formation process
- Player rankings are correlated back from Jersey number and colours to player names and placed on upper and lower tier teams, or drafted in order of ranking in a case where we want to make evenly skilled teams (i.e. U9 teams when we don’t tier)
- If there are bubble players, they will not be placed on a team until after the head coaches of the upper tier teams are determined
- CMHA Executive then reviews the coaching applications, coaches past performance, and works to identify coaches for all teams based on where the players have been placed. Once the head coaches are selected, they will be given team rosters, and asked to select players if there is a bubble. This is one of the most challenging aspects of the evaluation process, as the bubble picks are never easy decisions to make
- Our approach to this over the past several years has been to try and have this process completed by the end of day on Sunday of evaluation weekend so that the kids know what teams they are on, and parents can have discussions with there child prior to going to school on Monday morning
- Our expectation is that players who are placed on upper tier teams are respectful, humble and understand the privilege of playing at a higher level, and players placed on the lower tier teams understand that playing at the lower level is good for a players development if they did not achieve their goals of making an upper tier team for the season, and that there can be further opportunity for more playing time in a scenario where a player can be AP’d to the higher level.
If all goes according to plan, the teams are formed, and the head coach will start to put team staff in place and start practice immediately the following week.
As with any process, there will be adjustments and situations that require deviation from the best laid plans, but hopefully this gives you a bit of insight into the evaluation process we follow with CMHA. Evaluation weekend can be very stressful for kids and parents alike, and we want to prepare everyone the best we can. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to any of the CMHA Executive Members.