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Discussion on Tiering in youth hockey

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11-25-2009, 11:40 AM
  #1
OCanada
 
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Discussion on Tiering in youth hockey

Just thought I would start a thread on Tiering youth hockey vs not.
In my region/association different youth levels of hockey are not tiered.
For instance we have Novice age 7/8 and atom age kids 9/10 all being lumped together in house league format for the age group. Now our league consists of one larger center and 4 or 5 smaller centers. Some of the smaller centers do not have enough kids to tier or make an A and a B team.
However, the larger center is able to house 5 teams in Novice and 4 in Atom. For these age groups there are some elite/further developed kids mixed in with some beginning players and of course the ones in between.
Basically each team of 11 kids has 2 or 3 high end kids. So, what we are seeing is these high end kids scoring 9 out of 10 goals and controlling the puck 95% of the time. THere is no maximum goals allowed per player so it is score at will.
I personally believe that tiering or age advancing would be a good thing for all kids involved. The higher end kids would then be challenged and the lower end kids would be involved. Plus some of the smaller centers might actually be able to compete. (some small centers can right now but not all of them)
However, the association voted against tiering because alot of parents felt that it would be to hard on their child to not make the higher end team. (that is just one of the reasons given but it is the main one)
Basically we are trying to force equality for everyone and yet it is just hurting kids development rather than helping imo.

What are your thoughts.

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11-25-2009, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
Just thought I would start a thread on Tiering youth hockey vs not.
In my region/association different youth levels of hockey are not tiered.
For instance we have Novice age 7/8 and atom age kids 9/10 all being lumped together in house league format for the age group. Now our league consists of one larger center and 4 or 5 smaller centers. Some of the smaller centers do not have enough kids to tier or make an A and a B team.
However, the larger center is able to house 5 teams in Novice and 4 in Atom. For these age groups there are some elite/further developed kids mixed in with some beginning players and of course the ones in between.
Basically each team of 11 kids has 2 or 3 high end kids. So, what we are seeing is these high end kids scoring 9 out of 10 goals and controlling the puck 95% of the time. THere is no maximum goals allowed per player so it is score at will.
I personally believe that tiering or age advancing would be a good thing for all kids involved. The higher end kids would then be challenged and the lower end kids would be involved. Plus some of the smaller centers might actually be able to compete. (some small centers can right now but not all of them)
However, the association voted against tiering because alot of parents felt that it would be to hard on their child to not make the higher end team. (that is just one of the reasons given but it is the main one)
Basically we are trying to force equality for everyone and yet it is just hurting kids development rather than helping imo.

What are your thoughts.
If there is 5 teams in novice and only 2-3 kids are "high end" there simply isnt enough participation for having house, minor, major.

Cant really tier unless you have the kids to tier with.

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11-25-2009, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadaBacon View Post
If there is 5 teams in novice and only 2-3 kids are "high end" there simply isnt enough participation for having house, minor, major.

Cant really tier unless you have the kids to tier with.
Sorry, I should clarify a bit. If they were to tier there would be a league for the higher end team to play in and the other 4 teams would be considered house league.

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11-25-2009, 03:27 PM
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Who would the top tier team play? Would they then travel outside your league?

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11-25-2009, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
Sorry, I should clarify a bit. If they were to tier there would be a league for the higher end team to play in and the other 4 teams would be considered house league.
There would only be enough kids for 1 team so it would have to join an existing league.

I can see both points of view, a kid can only develop so much in house, but a "rep" team is big bucks. But if they are only averaging 15 "high" end kids, thats not enough, imo, to keep a "rep" team going. Not enough competition to make the team

Keep in mind that some of these kids that are great in house might not do much in a higher level. House league can kind of give off an illusion that a kid is better then what they actually are. Its not that uncommon for a kid who is average or even below average to look stellar against some of the kids that play house (ie just starting, some kids just cant pick hockey up etc etc).

Someone with a tiered background would have to come in and judge if the level of play is there to even have a "rep" team. If it then why not? if it isnt then there really is no point in having anything other then house for the time being.


Last edited by CanadaBacon: 11-25-2009 at 03:42 PM.
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11-25-2009, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CanadaBacon View Post
There would only be enough kids for 1 team so it would have to join an existing league.

I can see both points of view, a kid can only develop so much in house, but a "rep" team is big bucks. But if they are only averaging 15 "high" end kids, thats not enough, imo, to keep a "rep" team going. Not enough competition to make the team

Keep in mind that some of these kids that are great in house might not do much in a higher level. House league can kind of give off an illusion that a kid is better then what they actually are. Its not that uncommon for a kid who is average or even below average to look stellar against some of the kids that play house (ie just starting, some kids just cant pick hockey up etc etc).

Someone with a tiered background would have to come in and judge if the level of play is there to even have a "rep" team. If it then why not? if it isnt then there really is no point in having anything other then house for the time being.
Alot of other associations are tiering and there are leagues close by. This particular community has some of the best Novice aged kids in the province. When I am saying high end, I do mean high end for the province. This rep team would be extremely competitive. Thats the problem, you have top players for their age running over beginners. IT isnt a team game this way and the lower end players never touch the puck. Put the top players on the top team and allow them to play other teams of equal abilities and then let the lower end players play and even the playing field.

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11-25-2009, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
Alot of other associations are tiering and there are leagues close by. This particular community has some of the best Novice aged kids in the province. When I am saying high end, I do mean high end for the province. This rep team would be extremely competitive. Thats the problem, you have top players for their age running over beginners. IT isnt a team game this way and the lower end players never touch the puck. Put the top players on the top team and allow them to play other teams of equal abilities and then let the lower end players play and even the playing field.

Why havnt these kids been taken by other teams yet? Surely some of the tiered teams would have taken a look at them no?

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11-25-2009, 04:14 PM
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They can't. The players have to stay within in their association. These players should be aged advanced at the very least but thats not happening either.
It is unfortunate because some teams in the league are getting beat horrendously. I am not talking 10-0 or even 20-0, i mean worse. What do you do, tell the kid he can't score or cant enter the other teams end etc. Its not fair to the good player, its not fair to his teammates and its definately not fair to the opposition.

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11-25-2009, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
They can't. The players have to stay within in their association. These players should be aged advanced at the very least but thats not happening either.
It is unfortunate because some teams in the league are getting beat horrendously. I am not talking 10-0 or even 20-0, i mean worse. What do you do, tell the kid he can't score or cant enter the other teams end etc. Its not fair to the good player, its not fair to his teammates and its definately not fair to the opposition.

oh

I moved between playing in Brampton and Mississauga all the time.

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11-25-2009, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
They can't. The players have to stay within in their association. These players should be aged advanced at the very least but thats not happening either.
It is unfortunate because some teams in the league are getting beat horrendously. I am not talking 10-0 or even 20-0, i mean worse. What do you do, tell the kid he can't score or cant enter the other teams end etc. Its not fair to the good player, its not fair to his teammates and its definately not fair to the opposition.
Where exactly are you living? I can't believe that a league would disallow players in it's region to play at a higher level elsewhere. Even if the next closest rep tier league is an hour away, if the kids are truly "provincial talent" then a team would gladly give them a free ride and only force them too pay for their own travel expenses.

My brother who is 9 currently plays AA. I'll frequently watch AE and house league for his age group and the difference in competition at this level is astonishing. The top house league scorers are often called up to be reserves in AE (These are kids who score 3+ goals per game) and they struggle in AE. Why? Because house league is comprised of players still learning the fundamentals. So any player with atleast one above average skill (Hockey sense, skating, shooting, etc.) will often dominate in house league. But in rep the ability to skate through a whole team is lost, an the individual efforts 9/10 will result in turnovers. Even the most balanced rep players have a hard time bringing a comparable level of success as they did in house league unless they have years of rep experience and can learn how to adjust their game to playing at that level (Ex. rep requires more battling, positioning, strong skating, passing, quick thinking etc.).

Now of course, it's a detriment to everyone if high skilled players are being forced to play with beginners. No one benefits. Here for example, if a player is good enough, they can try out for any team they'd like, age or location. If they make the tryout, it's now their responsibility to make it to the games. If they are being that restrictive in player movement, it's likely due to a lack of players. In order to have enough teams to make a league, player movement through age groups would likely be disallowed in order to prevent one age group from loosing their league. Also, depending on the area, that league may have an agreement with other local leagues that anyone within their jurisdiction, can only play for that league, in order to keep hockey alive there.

All in all, in an ideal world, yes kids should be able to move around according to their talent level. But not knowing your situation, it's hard to comment. And on a side note, when watching low tier hockey, it's easy to overrate talent. Keep in mind at the pre-pubescent age groups, rep is a whole knew entity all together. Houseleague at that age is generally, 1-2 kids on each team who can score and everyone else just battles in the neutral zone for the puck. If you compare it to an NHL style of play, it doesn't seem like hockey. But even at AE for 9 year olds, you'll see dump and changes, screens, hitting, outlet passing, special teams, cycling and other skills that are all too common in the NHL. Again, I'm not debating that the high level kids you're watching are all house leaguers, I'm simply saying be aware that poor competition can make a marginal kid with one above average hockey attribute look like a star.

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11-25-2009, 10:09 PM
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I hear you but the association will not allow players to move up or give them a release to play double A. they say its a numbers thing, I say its a power thing and lets hold this kid back so as to not make him look better than another. These kids excel in AAA spring as it is so I know they are high end and I agree they stand out stupidly in house but even still they are not trying hard because they don't have to. In my opinion the association should get with things and tier their players like other associations do but there are too many bleeding heart parents that think it will make their little Johnny look inferior. I guess they don't watch the same games we do......all they see is puck hogs lol.

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11-25-2009, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
I hear you but the association will not allow players to move up or give them a release to play double A. they say its a numbers thing, I say its a power thing and lets hold this kid back so as to not make him look better than another. These kids excel in AAA spring as it is so I know they are high end and I agree they stand out stupidly in house but even still they are not trying hard because they don't have to. In my opinion the association should get with things and tier their players like other associations do but there are too many bleeding heart parents that think it will make their little Johnny look inferior. I guess they don't watch the same games we do......all they see is puck hogs lol.

I have never heard of a kid needing a "release" to play at a higher level. Is it through Hockey Canada?

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11-25-2009, 11:21 PM
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THat was a release for a higher level in a different association. You absolutely need a release from your association for that here.

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11-25-2009, 11:25 PM
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THat was a release for a higher level in a different association. You absolutely need a release from your association for that here.
Is it through Hockey Canada?

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11-27-2009, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCanada View Post
Just thought I would start a thread on Tiering youth hockey vs not.
In my region/association different youth levels of hockey are not tiered.
For instance we have Novice age 7/8 and atom age kids 9/10 all being lumped together in house league format for the age group. Now our league consists of one larger center and 4 or 5 smaller centers. Some of the smaller centers do not have enough kids to tier or make an A and a B team.
However, the larger center is able to house 5 teams in Novice and 4 in Atom. For these age groups there are some elite/further developed kids mixed in with some beginning players and of course the ones in between.
Basically each team of 11 kids has 2 or 3 high end kids. So, what we are seeing is these high end kids scoring 9 out of 10 goals and controlling the puck 95% of the time. THere is no maximum goals allowed per player so it is score at will.
I personally believe that tiering or age advancing would be a good thing for all kids involved. The higher end kids would then be challenged and the lower end kids would be involved. Plus some of the smaller centers might actually be able to compete. (some small centers can right now but not all of them)
However, the association voted against tiering because alot of parents felt that it would be to hard on their child to not make the higher end team. (that is just one of the reasons given but it is the main one)
Basically we are trying to force equality for everyone and yet it is just hurting kids development rather than helping imo.

What are your thoughts.
Been involved at the various levels of youth hockey for over fifty years, player thru administrator.

There seems to be an issue at each of the following levels of the association in question.

Administration.How were the try-outs conducted and the teams put together. From the observations posted between the original post to date it does not seem that an in depth evaluation of player skills were made and no effort was made to put together balanced house league teams.If you had a standard draft then the experienced coaches at the level had a distinct edge.Was an effort made to balance the teams per skill level and age?

Coaching. There seems to be an assumption that you have coaches capable of coaching a rep or travel team. Many would like to but few can, as evidenced by your posted house league results. Overall, kids playing with stronger players should improve simply by osmosis.This does not seem to be happening. Also does the organization have a skating/power skating coach available for all teams, a goaltending coach available for all teams?

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