Dear Reach Forth Youth Hockey registrants:
We are very excited to return to the rink again this fall after another season cut short by COVID.
Behind the scenes things are starting to get busy as we navigate our way back to what we hope will be a fantastic, fun and full season at Reach Forth Youth Hockey!
Although we don’t know right now all the details of our return to Youth Hockey, we have implemented at least one rule change for the upcoming 2021/2022 season.
We have removed the option of player requests from the registration for youth hockey.
This decision has been made for a number of reasons:
- It allows the convener and coaches much more flexibility in putting together fair and balanced rosters.
- It helps us create a less cliquey environment on each team.
- Allows for new players, or players with less acquaintances in the division, to feel more a part of a team than if they joined a team where everyone else knows each other, except for them.
- This puts all the teams on the same level to start each season, everyone has to get to know everyone else.
- Reach Forth Youth Hockey is a Sport Ministry! We need to be more intentional in creating team environments where new players feel more welcome, and where lesser known kids don’t slip through the cracks.
- It’s very healthy to change things up! Many players, coaches and parents have been greatly blessed by getting to know kids and other parents who they have never played with before!
- It is common practice in city house leagues to not allow player requests for most of the reasons stated above.
- It limits the impact on one team when a large group of friends are unable to make it to a game because of outside commitments (youth retreats, birthday parties, holidays etc).
Frequent Push Back Points From Parents and Kids:
Q: “Our kids carpool together to the games! How will we manage this if there are no player requests?”
A: All divisions play their games in one of two time slots that occur right after each other. It may be that you will need to come an hour early or stay an hour late, but each ice time is only 1 hr. It is a reasonable ask to have some parents get a bit creative with carpooling in order to make all the teams fairer and the job of the organizers and convener much easier. It is often also the case that even on the new team there are opportunities for carpooling.
Q: “We have a group of friends who always play together! It’s not going to be as much fun as in past years if we can’t guarantee player requests!”
A: This is about allowing all the kids to have a great time, not just those who have lots of friends.
Having lots of friends increases the chance that you will still be on a team with some of your buddies , even without player requests.
This also allows for kids who have never had friend requests to play with kids they may have never had a chance to play with in the past!
New friendships will form and the league will be stronger because of the new relationships and respect among all players/parents/coaches. You will still see your friends each week, and sometimes you will get to play against them too (which is also a lot of fun!)
Q: “My kid is shy and doesn’t make friends easily. He/she will not like playing unless it’s with their friends.”
A: This is understandable, please let the coaches know if your child is shy or needs extra care feeling comfortable and we will do our best to ease your child into the new team. On most teams there is a variety of personalities and comfort levels, generally kids adapt to the new team and make new friends pretty quickly.
- Player requests will be honoured only when siblings are playing on the same team in any one division.
- Coaches will be able to have their child play for their team.
Teams will be put together using evaluations and either a random or physical draft with adjustments made after the first few games if necessary.
Head coaches are allowed to request an assistant coach (max 1 assist coach per team) and their children will be guaranteed to play together. Both head and assistant coaches MUST register at http://reachforthsports.sportssignup.com/site/
We hope you can understand our position and will work with us to ensure that every child’s experience at Reach Forth Youth Hockey is a positive one in 2021/2022!
God bless and hope to see you at the rink soon!