This opportunity includes the possibility of a player share program with our neighboring communities such as Thorsby, and others that would have many positive impacts.
I encourage you to read the Q&A below and please bring your questions to the meeting.
Q: What is being proposed?
A: Over the past eight weeks, the boards and committees of CMHA and Surrounding municipalities have been in discussions on different ways to work together to provide more and better opportunities to hockey players in our region.
Q: Why do we want to establish player share programs and other long-term options?
A: Our Board and Coaching leadership strongly believe this is what’s best for all our hockey players. We can solve many challenges that currently exist. We can reduce what is a growing unhealthy competition, ensuring multiple teams at all levels providing opportunities for all our players. We can pool our coaching and officiating resources. Offer more outside skills development and instruction.
Q: What are the benefits?
A: There are many. Large organizations can have a place for every player, regardless of development level. Allowing greater flexibility for players, coaches and team creation because we’ll have a broader player base. We will be in a position to enhance the player development programs, coaching education, and offer higher value to our associations' families.
Q: What is the timeline?
A: The coming weeks
Q: How will this affect my player/team?
A: The Novice and Atom age groups will be the most affected by the merger. Novice and Atom could see the formation of three or more teams. The Teams would practice and play out of the Town that the majority of players are from. Try-outs will be held in each age group. All players within an age group will try out together. Teams will be formed based on ability. Once your child has been offered a position on a team, he/she (based on known information like team travel demands, dedication level, coach, training location), will be able to accept or decline the position. If decline, the player will be offered on the next team in line.
Q: What are the cons of the proposed player share program?
A: We don’t see any hockey related cons to the program. Understanding that this program is only to benefit the kids involved with minor hockey, everyone currently playing for all associations will be able to play on a more balanced and appropriate skilled team, ensuring that all games and practices allow for greater skill development and more fun! While we cannot foresee how many kids will show up to tryouts in any given age group, we hope to be able to form multiple teams. If you are only concerned about your child’s place on a specific team or believe you/your child will be negatively impacted by not being able to say he/she plays on a particular team, your family may be adversely affected by this merger.
Q: Why didn’t board members let members know what was going on until they had already made a decision?
A: No decisions have been made. The boards voted to bring a proposed player share program to the members. It’s up to all associations to vote yes or no to the player share. If all associations agree with the player share, great. If one or both doesn’t, we stay separate.
Q: How will you assign coaches? What factors will you use to determine who coaches where?
A: We look at coaching credentials, playing experience, communication, player and parent management, ethics, sportsmanship, and their ability to work with other coaches. All coaches will undergo a thorough background check and have references checked. The current DOC’s will work closely to place coaches where they feel in the best interest of the players and the coaches.
Q: How many players will be on a team?
A: The goal is to have 13-15 for Atom, Novice, and Peewee while 15-17 for Bantam and Midget.
Q: If I have children on multiple teams, how does that benefit us?
A: All your children will benefit from the pooled resources of both associations. Having multiple children playing hockey already has its challenges. We believe the benefits of the program will outweigh the negatives. There will be additional training sessions run by paid coaches. You kids will be part of a hockey environment where everyone in our region is working together rather than what goes on now.
Q: Does this mean I will have to drive further to get to the rink?
A: Possibly. The teams will be hosted where the majority of players are from. However, it will be a team decision working through the team manager and associations ice coordinators.
Q: What is the competitive reason for the proposed merger?
A: We’re not proposing the merger because we’ve focused on competition. We’re focused on providing opportunities for our players, better development conditions.
Q: The decision seems rushed - why the hurry on the decision and plans for implementation?
A: We feel that this season is a great time to start this program with the changes that Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta have adopted at the Novice age group. The senior teams have already been experiencing a player share program over the last couple years, and we feel that it is time to acknowledge the program and help establish a stronger support structure for our players.