Our league re-tiers towards the end of April each year. This is to even out the competition level of each division and make the league even more enjoyable for everyone. It is a huge process to undertake, that is why we are one of the few leagues in Canada to do this. It involves a completely new schedule. Doesn’t sound like much on the surface, however we have over 900 ice slots spread out over various city of Edmonton Arenas. One must take into consideration appropriate times for age groups. Referee assignments is another situation that has to be rescheduled as well.
Some things to keep in mind when registering a team so that we can offer this benefit for teams:
The use of underage players should be avoided if possible. We take this into consideration when re-tiering. For example if your team moves up a division, that underage may be playing against players 3 years his senior. This would occur when a team moves up a division and another team from an older division moves down into that same division with the underage player. The simple solution is to have the underage player find a couple of friends and play in his own age group.
We also have requests to have an overage player play on a team. The same thing would apply if this team would be moved down. The league might deny a request to move down if we feel it would be unfair to do so. In most cases these players are not impact players. Usually they are the same calibre as the players on the team but a little bigger.
The league is non contact at all levels so that is not a factor. The older teams are respectful of the younger teams that have been moved up. This does not give the younger team any special consideration on how the game is officiated.
The fact that the schedule has to be reworked is also a huge factor. For example if we create too many divisions with odd numbers of teams this requires more ice. Usually, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our ice allocation continues to improve every year, in regards to times and locations. However for example we have one week with 73 ice slots and another with 28, so scheduling is a challenge to say the least.
The process for selecting teams to re-tier is based on stats, directors personally watching teams and input from all coaches. We only re-tier once per year, so it is hoped that we get it right. This is not an exact science. It is our hope that we can accommodate everyone in this process. Accuracy of information when registering is a key part of this process as well, in regards to level of hockey played as well as all other information on the registration form.
We as always, listen to all suggestions provided by our members. Just send them along to the firstname.lastname@example.org