Oakville Rangers Hockey Club
Pre-Season Structure and Information
***** PLEASE NOTE *****
The following information only applies to players in
Minor Atom (2010), Atom (2009), Minor Peewee (2008), and Peewee (2007)
The following information is in regards to the Pre-Season being run by the ORHC for House League player in Minor Atom, Atom, Minor Peewee, and Peewee.There is a lot of information important information on this page that, if you have a child in one of these age groups, you will need in order to understand what the pre-season is and how it works so you can plan and prepare appropriately.
What is the Pre-Season?
The Pre-season will be implemented for all the Divisions between Minor Atom and Peewee, inclusive. In our year-end survey last season 77% of our respondents were in favor of a pre-season and emphasized a strong desire for better balanced divisions. We will be starting the pre-season 3 weeks before the regular season begins. In this preseason each player will participate in multiple practices and games with each of the division coaches. The rosters will be shuffled each week – each of the coaches will be given an opportunity to get a good, close look at every single kid in their division, as well as the kids whose ratings show them to be sitting on the line between Red and White. The idea here is that this time will allow the coaches to be very familiar with the kids in their division, which should make for an informed Draft and truly balanced teams following the Draft. With creating balanced teams as the central focus, many hours and ideas came in to play to develop this concept, and we are confident that this approach is going to create a fun and challenging, healthy competitive environment for you child to enjoy in the upcoming season.
This is a pilot project…
What does that mean? It means that we may not get this dead on right the first time around. There will be pieces that work well, there will be parts that need to be tweaked, and there will be times when we’ll need to make modifications and adjustments on the fly to keep the ball rolling as we learn what works and what doesn’t. It will be a learning experience for all of us, including you – the parent. This concept is not going to be universally popular – there is no such thing. There will be those that don’t see (or don’t care about) the value this brings and will push back, and that is okay. Everyone’s feedback counts. This concept was put together and is being implemented in direct response to your feedback. Even if the non-supporters are being the loudest voice, we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that this is what you, the majority of our Membership, wants and has asked for.
What to expect in the Pre-Season?
The pre-season will consist of a series of practices and exhibition games, starting potentially as early as September 7th and wrapping up by September 22nd . Scores and stats will not be tracked during these exhibition games. The season will officially kick off as normal on Rangers Day, which is on September 28th this year.
The pre-season schedule is still being built and can not be finalized until mid-August. You will receive your pre-season schedule by no later than August 26th . If by August 27th you have not received your pre-season schedule please email Sebastien Comella ([email protected]) right away. Your pre-season schedule will let you know each of the dates/times/locations for your child’s specific practices and exhibition games, and which coach they will be reporting to for that session. The first session will be no earlier than September 7th . Goalies will also be evaluated during the pre-season – there will be no separate evaluation session for goalies like you see in the older age groups.
Each session you will be reporting to a different coach for the game or practice. There will be different kids on your “team” for each session. Some of the parents that we’ve spoken with as we were developing this concept commented that having different teammates for each session will make it difficult for the kids to get comfortable with each other. That is actually by design. We consider that to be an unfortunate but good thing. I don’t want to see little Johnny get comfortable playing with Jimmy through the pre-season, just to have them drafted to different teams. The kids will have lots of time to get to know each other and build their bonds once the teams are drafted and the season begins.
Jerseys and socks will not be handed out until the first game of the regular season. The coaches will have either Pinnies or Practice Jerseys for you to use during your practice or exhibition game with them, but for the pre-season we would ask that you try and both a light colored and dark colored jersey with you to each of the practices and exhibition games if you are able. Nothing to panic about if you don't have both a light and dark jersey - just come with what you have.
We appreciate that everyone has lives outside of hockey. If you need to miss a session due to a previous commitment than it is what it is and we’ll manage. But we would ask that everyone please make the effort to be at all of your sessions. Missing sessions means that your child may not get properly evaluated which could in turn impact the draft and the balance of the teams. While practices and exhibition games may seem like a “low priority” it is actually quite critical for the success of the program and the entire season that as many kids as possible make it out to as many sessions as possible. If you are going to miss a session please be sure to let your Convenor and Division Manager know with as much notice as possible – their contact info will be provided to you along with your schedule on August 26th .
What Division Will My Child Be Placed In?
Before I dive in to the answer to that question, I want to take a moment to explain the difference between the Red and White divisions. There is a lot of rumor and conjecture out there about how the split between these divisions is accomplished and what it signifies, and the vast majority of that conjecture is inaccurate to say the least. In the end, the only difference between the Red and White divisions is really quite simple – the Red teams pick first. That’s it. That really is it; that is the only difference. They get the same jerseys and socks, they play the same amount of games and have the same amount of practices. One division doesn’t get “better” coaches or referees than the other. The only difference is that when the coaches are drafting their teams, the Red teams are picked first. As a result of this, the Red division does tend to be of a slightly higher skill level than the White division, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the “best” players are in the Red division. That is almost never actually the case.
When the Red teams are being drafted the coaches are not picking from a pool of kids that have been specifically marked as “Red” or “White”. They are looking at the entire selection of kids available in the age group and making their selections from there. They are not necessarily picking the 15-17 “best” kids in the age group – they are picking 15-17 kids to create what they feel will be a strong team. Coaches are allowed to, can and will pass over kids with a higher rating to select the kids they want on their team. That is a combination of forwards and defence, of left and right handed shots. Kids that have played together before and have a good chemistry, kids with attitudes that work well for the room. The evaluations and the individual skill of the players is only one small piece of the puzzle. Each coach has their own logic and values to help them decide who they select to build the team structure that they are looking for.
So, to answer the question – what division will your child be in? It is impossible to answer that question now. It all comes down to who the coaches chose for their teams, and skill is only one small part of that selection. We will not know what division they are in until the teams are drafted and the coaches have made their selections. The Drafts have been scheduled as follows:
You will be contacted by your coach within 24 hours of the draft letting you know which division and team your child has been picked to.
- Minor Atom : Sunday, September 22nd
- Atom : Monday, September 23rd
- Minor Peewee : Tuesday, September 24th
- Peewee : Wednesday, September 25th
What is a Protection? How does this impact the draft?
Some of you may have heard the term “protection” before. There is a lot of misconception out there for what a protection is and how it impacts the draft. I have heard many people claim that a coach “has all the best players because he protected them” or that "non-parent coaches get to hand pick their teams". That is not what a protection is, and that is not how they work. A protection is the child of a parent who has been designated to be a part of the bench staff for a particular team. Each coach is allowed a max of three protections, including their own child, and a protected player MUST BE the child of a parent that has COMMITTED to volunteering on their Bench. Not a manager, not a tournament coordinator or anything like that. Bench Staff only. “Okay, but what if all three of them are the top three kids in the division?”. That is not allowed. Without getting too deep in to the nuts and bolts of how the draft works, let me break it down like this:
- Prior the draft, each kid is assigned a rating
- An “auto-draft” is run prior to the real draft – this auto-draft gives us a rough idea of what round each kid could be drafted in
- For each coach, the round their protection is drafted in gets filled by that protection based on their projection from the auto-draft
- So, lets say for example that Little Johnny is one of Coach Mike’s protections, and the auto draft shows him in the sixth round. When Coach Mike is drafting his team, his 6th pick will automatically be Little Johnny – the coach has no say in it
- Lets say two of the protections are shown to be in the same round. The coach will have the choice of either dropping one of the protections (leaving that kid exposed to be drafted by another team) or he can move the kid up to a higher round (only up, not down)
- If the overlap is the first round the coach MUST drop one of them
- A goalie can only be protected if they are the child of the Head Coach, and the same coach can not protect both a goalie and a first round selection
Questions and Comments?
If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact Sebastien Comella at [email protected]