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5.0    HOCKEY TEAMS/PERSONNEL

5.1    Selection

·        Selection of team personnel (coach, assistant coach, managers, trainers) is overseen by ACFYHA BOD
·        All individuals desiring team coaching positions must apply for that position by submitting an application to the Coaching Director
·        A Coaching Selection Committee consisting of at least the President, the Vice President, Coaching Director and applicable Division Director will review the applications and make coaching selections
·        While the Head Coach will make the final selection of supporting personnel (manager, assistant coach, etc. )  they must submit and receive endorsement from the ACFYHA BOD, Coaching Director and/or Division Directors for their choices
·        The Coaching Selection Committee must, at first opportunity, present the coaching slate selections at an ACFYHA BOD meeting where they must be ratified by a simple majority vote
 

5.2     Accreditation

ACFYHA teams are required to adhere to the standards of accreditation as set by CHC and USA Hockey to insure eligibility for State play, and the development and safety of our Minor Hockey Program.
 

5.3     Team Personnel Roles/Responsibilities

Coach - Duties of Coaches
 Policy:
Avon Canton Farmington Youth Hockey Association Head Coaches are fully responsible for all the activities of their team.  Delegation of responsibilities to Assistant Coaches, Trainers, Managers and Parents is necessary, desirable and encouraged.  However, ultimate responsibility for these activities rests with the Head Coach.  Supervision over delegated responsibilities is a necessary function of the Head Coach, who may make changes in his staff in consultation with the Coaching Director and Level Director. 
It is the preference of AFCYHA to appoint non-parent head coaches to the A travel teams in each Division. Where this is not possible, a parent coach will be selected. Parent coaches will usually be appointed for all A1, B and C travel teams.
Coaches and Team Management are expected to:
·        Adhere to the Coaches’ Code of Ethics (Refer to Article 6.3)
·        Respond to directives of ACFYHA and operate the team within established policy and procedures
·        Respond to the needs and skills of individual players, ensuring that each player has the maximum opportunity to develop his/her potential
·        Recognize their responsibilities as leaders, educators and role models for young players
·        Conduct towards players, parents, officials and other persons should be based on mutual respect and be fair and reasonable.  Physical abuse, verbal abuse or profanity is not condoned
·        Be sensitive to parent concerns, and prepared to respond cordially when warranted
·        Establish regular communication with parents on games, practices, schedules, fund raising, etc. 
·        Recognize that, while hockey may be the major winter activity of the player, it is not the only activity.  In priority, it comes after family, religious obligations and educational responsibilities and reasonable accommodation of these other factors is expected
·        Select players to the team, where requested, based on direct observation of demonstrated skills, estimates of future developmental potential and perceived dedication to the        program (Annual team selection is done by the Tryout Evaluation Committee in conjunction with and overseen by the Coaching Director)
·        Commit themselves to the continued development of all players for the full season, once players are selected to a team
·        Deal fairly with players at all times.  Rewards or considerations to players or parents should be those reasonably available to all members of the team.  Coaches should not accept gifts, favours, or other consideration from players or parents or place        themselves in a situation where their actions may be compromised because of such considerations
·        Ensure proper supervision of the team before, during and after games and practices and accept reasonable responsibilities for the conduct, safety and well-being of their players
·        Develop a set of rules for the team which are clearly communicated at the beginning of the season and enforced equally on all players
·        Have a development plan for the season, which is congruent with the ACFYHA Development Program (As prepared by the Coaching Director)
·        Encourage and motivate their players toward enjoyment of the game, team concept, and skill development
·        Pursue objections to directives through appropriate channels and in a manner that is not detrimental to the team, league, or ACFYHA
·        Comply with normal administrative directives by:
o                   holding a beginning of season parent meeting
o                   completing a coaching application
o                   submitting a team directory
o                   prepare and distribute a set of team rules and guidelines
o                   completing a written summary assessment of each travel player to the Coaching Director to aid in the team selection process
·        Ensure that the team has adequate support personnel, at minimum we recommend the following:
o                   Head Coach
o                   Assistant Coach(es)
o                   Team Manager
·        When cancelling a game, the Division Director must be notified as soon as possible in order to notify the other team and officials
·        Any concerns regarding officiating of a game should be directed to the Division Director for presentation to the BOD
·        Notify the Division Director and Ice Scheduler a minimum of 10 days prior to ice changes.  This will ensure that no ice goes unused.
Team Manager – Duties of a Team Manager
Policy:
Avon Canton Farmington Youth Hockey Association Team Managers are directly responsible to the Head Coach, who shall be responsible for delegating specific duties.  In general, Team Managers should assume responsibility for most of the team organizational and administrative tasks, thus allowing the coach to concentrate on instruction and player development.
Team Managers are Expected to:
·        Respond to directives of ACFYHA and operate the teams within established policies & procedures
·        Ensure financial requirements of ACFYHA are fulfilled
·        Assist the Head Coach in monitoring off-ice conduct by team members and team followers to ensure that the team’s role as a community ambassador is maintained
·        Establish, maintain, and enhance communication with team parents and participates
·        Establish, maintain and enhance communication with BOD and Level Directors
Specific Tasks:
While the following is not a comprehensive list of all duties for Team Managers, it may serve as a guide for tasks, which the Head Coach may delegate:
·        CHC cards or team sheets
·        Gathering of relevant player history data, and establishment of a medical treatment permission waiver
·        Monitor, edit and approve all team communication and hand-outs
·        Organization of parent meetings
·        Participate in formulation of team objectives and rules
·        Supervise and monitor collection of money and fund raising
·        Maintain appropriate records to support collection and distribution of any funds for the team for parents and or BOD
·        Arrange team transportation, accommodation and subsistence
·        Arrange for additional ice
·        Notify Ice Scheduler a minimum of 10 days prior to any ice changes
·        Confirm officials for home games
·        Confirm scheduled away games
·        Organize and manage parents or parent committees as may be required from time to time
o                   team treasurer
o                   fund raising for team events
o                   team pictures
o                   team jersey and equipment orders
o                   statisticians, etc.
Assistant Coach / Trainer - Duties of Assistant Coach / Trainer
Policy:
The Assistant Coach-Trainer positions are to be filled by the Head Coach.  Duties are assigned by the Head Coach.   ACFYHA will, when requested by a Head Coach, appoint an Assistant Coach-Trainer. 
 

 5.4    Team Selection

Annual Tryouts:
The Coaching Director and Division Director will schedule sufficient time for team tryouts when scheduling ice time. Each Division shall select players for each team at annual tryouts which shall be open to all players of appropriate age. Tryouts are not optional. Any player that does not attend tryouts must notify the Coaching Director and/or Registrar in advance and will be placed on a team at the discretion of the Coaching Director in conjunction with the Division Director and, if applicable, prior head coach. Any player that registers after the tryout dates will be evaluated during a practice(s) within the age appropriate division. 

At the discretion of the Coaching Director and Tryout Committee, tryouts may include a warm-up night.  Please note that the designated warm-up night is just that.  Players will be run through the drills for the following tryout and no review or selection will be made.

 
Selection Criteria:
Tryouts shall consist of skill evaluation in the areas of skating, passing and receiving, stick handling, shooting, play making, stamina, and checking (if applicable). In addition Goaltenders will also be evaluated based on skill evaluation in the areas of skating, movement, angling, making saves and puck control. Players will also be evaluated in scrimmage or game situations to determine positional play and competitiveness. Players will be evaluated by the adults knowledgeable in the game of hockey appointed by the Coaching Director (“Tryout Evaluation Committee”). Final selections will be made by the Coaching Director in consultation with the Tryout Evaluation Committee, Division Directors, prior head coach assessment and, if known, the head coach of the respective teams. The Coaching Director will also take into consideration the prior team placement for any returning player within the same Division with the preference to not move players down a level.
On occasion there may be an excessive amount of player registration in a particular age or team bracket. Every effort will be made to place all players up to the maximum number allowed by CHC team registration rules. Travel Teams will consist of no more than twenty (20) players (including two (2) goalkeepers).
Tryout Procedure:
Every effort will be made to provide a fair and consistent approach to the tryout process. Players will be evaluated on the above Selection Criteria skill areas and weighting on individual skills will be dependent on individual division groups as defined by the USA Hockey and ACFYHA Division Skill Level guidelines for Mite, Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam and Midget. Tryouts staff will be selected by the Coaching Director and will consist of the following:
·        Mite and Squirt
o                   minimum of 3 evaluators
o                   1 on-ice drill instructor
o                   1 or 2 on-ice assistants as required
·        PeeWee, Bantam and Midget
o                   minimum of 3 evaluators
o                   1 on-ice drill instructor
o                   1 or 2 on-ice assistants as required
During the A team tryout sessions and where deemed necessary, the Coaching Director along with the Tryout Evaluation Committee may elect to identify the weakest players in any given level after the second tryout session.  Once identified, these players will be asked not to attend the final A team tryout session.  This process allows the Tryout Evaluation Committee to better evaluate the remaining players.  Players asked not to attend the final A team tryout session are expected to attend the following B/C team tryouts at their respective level. 
Announcement of Team Selection:
Final team selection and any subsequent changes to the team after Tryouts are subject to approval by the ACFYHA Board of Directors. All initial team player selections will be posted to the Avon Hockey website as soon as possible following such approval.
Tryout Feedback Mechanism:
Every effort will be made to provide a fair and equitable tryout process of all players involved. The selection process is based on input from the Coaching Director in consultation with the Tryout Evaluation Committee, Division Director, prior head coach assessment and, if known, the head coach of the respective team. In some cases the selection committee may vary between respective division tryouts. Should any player or parent have questions with regard to the individual team roster, the selection process or the tryout procedure, we would request that all inquires be addressed to the following individuals following the final day of tryouts:
o                   Coaching Director
o                   Assistant Coaching Director     
Only the above individuals should be contacted as no other individuals or Board Members will have full access to all of the individual team selection criteria.

5.5     Team Composition                                

Program Definitions
ACFYHA is a non-profit youth hockey association open to all individual girls and boys eighteen (18) years of age and under. Player team placement and eligibility is determined by their respective date of birth as of December 31st of the current hockey season. This is determined by the USA HOCKEY age classifications as posted on the USA HOCKEY Web site.
 
AGE CATEGORY
AGE DIVISION
 
 
 
 
15 to 18
Midget
A
B
 
 
13 and 14
Bantam
A
B
C
Limited Travel
11 and 12
Peewee
A
B
C
Limited Travel
9 and 10
Squirt
A
B
C
Limited Travel
8 and under
Mite
A
B
C
In-House
All
Developmental
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Within each division both travel and/or in-house programs will be offered. The number of travel and developmental teams will be determined by the Board of Directors after consulting with the Division Directors based on the enrollment and the skills of each player within each division. In addition to the above five divisions, ACFYHA will also offer a developmental and In-House program providing sufficient participants are available within each enrollment season.
Philosophies and Guidelines for ACFYHA Playing Levels
·        All Levels:
The philosophy for all teams and programs in the ACFYHA is to help our players to become self-confident, team-oriented people using ice hockey as a means to support individual character development. The goal of ACFYHA is to enable all players to develop as people through participation in the team sport of ice hockey. With a foundation of self-confidence built on the ice, the players will gain a true love for the sport. This love will allow participation in hockey for many years to come, as players, administrators, referees and coaches. The ice rink is a place where they should experience fun, good sportsmanship and excitement.
While developing a competitive spirit is important to player character, the ACFYHA Board of Directors will continue to stress the importance of team and player development first, leaving winning and individual success as a secondary priority. Every attempt will be made to find well-qualified coaches who embody the spirit of this philosophy and recognize the impact they have on the players under their direction. ACFYHA coaches are not paid positions. Everyone associated with ACFYHA should look forward to their involvement with youth ice hockey, feeling good that they are involved with the "Coolest Game on Earth".
·        A Level:
At the A level, teams will be organized in line with the USA Hockey competitive team model. Coaches qualified to teach higher level skill development to players who have the desire and ability for a competitive experience will be sought. The preference of AFCYHA is to select non-parent coaches for A level teams. Where this is not possible, a parent coach will be selected. A balance of teamwork, sportsmanship, development of self-esteem and winning is stressed. Travel for competition should be reasonable, but may include tournaments several hours away. An objective is to become competitive with the top teams in the State of Connecticut.
In order to achieve the appropriate level of competitiveness the following guidelines will apply to A level teams:
o             Tryouts: There will be separate A level tryouts for any player wishing to be on an A team. By attending the tryout, the player understands that if they make the A team, they are expected to participate in that program in accordance with these guidelines..
o             Practices: Practice hours will consist of 55 to 65 on-ice hours with possible additional off-ice hours including organized chalk talks and dry land training.
o             Games: The target for games is 40 to 50 games including tournaments. A minimum of 30 games will be against CHC teams.
o             Travel: Can be throughout New York, New Jersey and New England based on the competitive level of individual "A" teams within it’s "A" bracket.
o             Playing Time: There will usually be between thirteen and fifteen skaters, and one or two goalies per "A" team. The maximum number of players (including goalies) is twenty. Playing time will be earned by the players at practice and determined at the coach’s discretion.
o             Player Fees: It is expected that the fees for "A" team participation will be more (exact amount each year will be determined at annual BOD meeting) than "B" and "C" teams. This will allow for additional games and full ice practice slots.
·        B Level:
At the B level, teams will be organized in line with the USA Hockey recreational team model. Recreational hockey is the backbone of youth hockey in the USA. This program is designed to provide opportunities to play for enjoyment, fitness, relaxation and fellowship. Teamwork, sportsmanship, skill development and the development of self-esteem are stressed; winning games is of lower priority, it is not the top priority. The League may also at times field an A1 team which will operate with this "B" Philosophy.
In order to achieve the appropriate level of development the following guidelines will apply to B level teams:
o             Tryouts: A general tryout will occur for B and C level players.
o             Practices: Practice hours will consist of 40 to 50 on-ice hours with possible additional off-ice hours including organized chalk talks and dry land training.
o             Games: The target for games is 35 to 45 games including tournaments. A minimum of 25 games will be against CHC teams.
o             Travel: Throughout Connecticut. Tournament schedule may include additional locations outside of CT including MA, RI or equivalent.
o             Playing Time: There will usually be between thirteen and fifteen skaters, and one or two goalies per B team. The maximum number of players (including goalies) is twenty. Playing time for all players will be similar, if players are attending practices and conforming to team rules and requirements. In the last five minutes of a close game or during special teams play, playing time will be determined at the coach’s discretion.
o             Player Fees: A standard fee will be set for B level teams.
·        C Level:
At the C level, teams will be organized in line with the USA Hockey recreational team model. Recreational hockey is the backbone of youth hockey in the USA. This program is designed to provide opportunities to play for enjoyment, fitness, relaxation and fellowship. Skill development is of the utmost importance. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and the development of self-esteem are stressed. Winning games is of lower priority.
In order to achieve the appropriate level of development the following guidelines will apply to C level teams:
o             Tryouts: A general tryout will occur for B and C level players. Costs for this tryout are included in the registration fee.
o             Practices: Practice hours will consist of 40 to 50 on-ice hours with possible additional off-ice hours including organized chalk talks and dry land training.
o             Games: The target for games is 25 to 30 games including tournaments (16 to 20 for Mite Cs). Most games will be against CHC teams.
o             Travel: Throughout Connecticut. Tournament schedule may include additional locations outside of CT including MA, RI or equivalent.
o             Playing Time: There will usually be between thirteen to fifteen skaters, and one or two goalies per C team. The maximum number of players (including goalies) is twenty. Playing time for all players will be similar, if players are attending practices and conforming to team rules and requirements.
o             Player Fees: A standard fee will be set for C level teams.
·        In-House/Limited Travel Programs:
The in-house programs will be organized to give every boy and girl interested in ice hockey a chance to participate. This program is designed to provide opportunities to play for enjoyment, fitness, relaxation and fellowship. Skill development is of the utmost importance. Teamwork, sportsmanship, and the development of self-esteem are stressed, compared to winning games.
In order to achieve the appropriate level of development the following guidelines will apply to in-house level programs:
Tryouts: There will be no tryout for in-house programs. Players who are not participating at the A, B or C level can successfully participate in the in-house program. Attendance at tryouts for an A, B or C team is not required to participate in the in-house program.
o             Practices: Practice hours will consist of 40 to 50 on-ice hours
o             Games: The target for games is 10 to 20 games including tournaments.
o             Travel: Minimal and mostly local. Tournaments if any would be local to CT.
o             Playing Time: Playing time for all players will be similar.
o             Player Fees: A standard fee will be set for in-house programs.
ACFYHA reserves the right to not provide an In-House program. The Association also reserves the right to field multiple "C" level teams in place of an In-House program.

·        Developmental and Learn-To-Skate

In addition to the above programs ACFYHA will offer a Learn-To-Skate and Developmental program providing sufficient registration at the beginning of each hockey season.
·        Learn-To-Skate (LTS)
The LTS program is for children 4 years of age and older who are interested in learning the fine art of skating. This program will consist of 3 separate on-ice session with the primary focus being that of developing an interest in on-ice activities with the possible future migration into an organized ice hockey program. This program is primarily to no-skaters and most of the time will be spend developing this through fun and games. Very little is any hockey skills will be introduced within this program. Program cost will also include all necessary on-ice equipment including skates, helmet, face cage and gloves. Following the LTS program session the players can either move up to the Developmental Program or return back to the next available LTS program. (For an additional fee) Annual cost for this program will be determined at the start of each hockey season and may vary from year to year depending on the changes in the included equipment cost.
·        Developmental Program
The Developmental program is for all young boys and girls interested in improving their skating skills and develop hockey fundamentals. This program will emphasize a format designed to provide player development through a combination of practice, in-squad games and possible games with other developmental programs in the immediate area. For games against other programs, equal time will be provided to all players regardless of individual skill levels. Individual lines consisting of players of comparable age and skill will be coordinated as best as possible for all situations.
As the season progresses, those skaters that develop the necessary skills may be allowed to move up into the In-house recreational programs or the applicable “C” travel team. All such moves are subject to final approval by the appropriate Division Directors, Coaching Director and respective team coach.
 

5.6     Team Rules and Guidelines

The following rules and guidelines have been adopted to ensure that all players benefit from their hockey experiences, to provide adequate direction for members, parents, coaches and Directors, and to ensure that the Association operates consistently with the requirements of it’s governing Association (CHC and USA hockey). All players, parents, coaches and spectators are expected to conduct themselves as civilized human beings without profanity, heckling, other verbal abuses and/or gestures. Violations of this rule will be subject to penalties as required by governing associations and/or as the ACFYHA Board of Directors deems appropriate.
·        No player will be allowed to participate in on-ice activities without full and proper equipment as required by our insurance policies. All players must wear a neck guard during practices and games.
·        All players and Coaches are subject to CHC and USA hockey rules where applicable. It is the responsibility of the coaches and directors to know the rules and to inform the players and parents as necessary.
·        Only those players whose team has been assigned the allotted time should be on the ice during practice hours. Coaches may, however, use players from other teams to assist in demonstrating skills.
·        When a substitute player is required, a coach may select a player from the next lower level within that age division. The player selected shall be chosen based on the need identified by the coach. Prior to notifying the player’s parents, the coach must confirm with the coach of the lower team, the Division Director and the Coaching Director. If a conflict between schedules exists, the decision as to which team the player will play with rests with the Coaching Director. No player will be required to play at a higher level without their consent. CHC and USA Hockey rules may limit the number of games a player can play with an upper level or older age team and still maintain eligibility on their current team. The Coaching Director and /or Registrar will notify the player’s parents, coaches and Division Directors of any eligibility issues prior to the player playing up.
·        During the regular season (September 1st through March 31st) no team will be allowed to purchase additional ice time without the approval of the Division Director.
·        Individual statistics may be maintained for A Level teams, however team accomplishments should be released to players and parents with care to ensure appropriate credit to all players and team contributors. No individual statistics should be distributed for any B and C Level teams. Individual player accomplishments should not be posted to a public web site or other public forum that includes any full disclosure of players name, age, address, picture or other related information. All of this should be done with the utmost care in maintaining the player and families safety and security.
·        The Division Directors are responsible for scheduling all practice sessions and games. 
 

5.7      Uniforms/Equipment

Players are responsible for paying the costs associated with their team uniform (team jerseys and socks, home and away). Players are responsible for ordering their team uniform through the ACFYHA website. These uniforms are to be used for all league, playoff and exhibition games. Only jerseys purchased though the ACFYHA website will be allowed. ACFYHA will not be responsible for costs associated with re-ordering of jerseys not purchased through the ACFYHA website.
Players are responsible for purchasing the rest of their equipment. ACFYHA recommends that players wear black helmets and black hockey pants.
Any equipment assigned to the team will be assigned to each coach in accordance with established procedures.  The Coach is responsible for in season care and return at season’s end.  Any needs or concerns regarding equipment/uniforms are to be brought to the attention of the Equipment Director
 The official association colors are predominantly Green and Blue and White.  While style and supplier are optional, any team jacket, sweaters, etc. should utilize this colour scheme.
Jersey Numbers - The program recognizes that players usually prefer to select their own jersey number, and to retain the same number throughout his/her years of participation in the ACFYHA. ACFYHA recognizes that conflicts could arise when two (or more) players with the same jersey number are selected to play on the same team. In order to avoid jersey number conflicts the process for number selection is as follows:
·        The ACFYHA Equipment Director will manage jersey number assignments. The Equipment Director will establish methods for assigning jersey numbers and, as necessary, resolve jersey number conflicts.
·        In a player’s first year of a competition and before purchasing a jersey the player will inform the Equipment Director of his/her preferred number. The Equipment Director will assign numbers according to the following rules:
o             Returning players assigned to the same team – the player with the most consecutive years of participation on ACFYHA travel teams will retain his/her jersey number. If all returning players have the same number of consecutive years of participation on ACFYHA travel teams, and the players cannot resolve the conflict amongst themselves, number selection will be made by a method determined by the Equipment Director. The Equipment Director’s determination shall be the final decision in the resolution of the conflict. ACFYHA will pay a jersey alteration allowance for the player(s) who do not retain their number. The current alteration allowance is $20 per jersey.
o             Conflict between two new players – if an older sibling of one of the players has used the same number (family number), the number will be assigned as a family number. If older siblings of both players used the same number, the family number concept will not apply and number selection will be made by a method determined by the Equipment Director. The Equipment Director’s determination shall be the final decision in the resolution process.
o             Three or more new players request the same number – the selection will be made by a method determined by the Equipment Director. The Equipment Director’s determination shall be the final decision in the resolution process. The family number concept will not apply in this instance.
 

5.8    Imports

While ACFYHA operates programs for local residents, there are conditions for which ACFYHA policies and procedures allow the registration of non-local residents. 
Membership in the Association is open to players subject to restrictions as the Board of Directors may impose to ensure that adequate services are provided to the membership. The Association may not accept as a new member, any player at the PeeWee level or above unless that player is considered capable by the Division Director, Coaching Director and coach, if playing on a travel team. The BOD reserves the right to not provide services for any division where there is not sufficient membership (coaching or players) to support a competitive team at any level.
If the BOD must limit membership the following order of priority shall be used:
·        Members from the previous season
·        New members from towns of Avon, Canton, Farmington and contiguous towns on a first come, first serve basis.
·        New members from other towns on a first come, first serve basis.