Cee­bees mi­nor in­tro­duces try­out pro­gram

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

The Cee­Bees Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion is grow­ing, and with that growth is bound to come change.

For the 2012-13 sea­son, the as­so­ci­a­tion has in­tro­duced a try­out sys­tem for it’s A, B and C teams, which is sep­a­rate from the nor­mal house league prac­tices that run three times-a-week for each division at the be­gin­ning of the year.

It is a change from the reg­u­lar se­lec­tion process, which saw teams se­lected af­ter the house league pro­gram fin­ished its run in De­cem­ber.

Play­ers would then be as­signed to one of the three teams.

How­ever, that changed this sea­son when the ex­ec­u­tive im­ple­mented a new pro­gram that saw ex­tra ice time al­lot­ted for tryouts nearly two months ahead of the usual time.

The ex­tra ice time came at a cost of $20 per player who wanted to try out.

“We charged only as much as the cost of the ice,” said Cee­Bees mi­nor pres­i­dent Wendy Pen­ney.

Pen­ney said the ex­ec­u­tive had been kick­ing around the idea of a try­out process for a lit­tle over a year.

The pres­i­dent said there was de­bate backand-forth con­cern­ing the ad­di­tional fee be­cause par­ents pay only a base fee to reg­is­ter their chil­dren in mi­nor hockey.

“We didn’t want to take the prac­tice time that they paid for, be­cause some kids aren’t even in­ter­ested in try­ing out,” said Pen­ney. “All of sud­den, they’re los­ing their own prac­tice time be­cause half of the play­ers want to try out.”

Pen­ney said the as­so­ci­a­tion had a num­ber of ex­tra hours of ice time avail­able and de­cided to use them for the new try­out sys­tem. If they weren’t used, the as­so­ci­a­tion would’ve had to give them back to the sta­dium with no guar­an­tee they would come back.

“Those are seven or eight hours we would need af­ter Christ­mas when tour­na­ments started,” she said.

Mak­ing it eas­ier on coaches

Coaches were com­ing to her say­ing it was dif­fi­cult to prop­erly eval­u­ate all of the play­ers when as many as 60 are on the ice at the same time.

“(Coaches) were com­ing to me and say­ing, ‘How are we go­ing to pick 15 out of this,’” said Pen­ney.

The new sys­tem could see most of those 60 play­ers choose not to try out.

“The num­ber could be cut in half,” said Pen­ney. “It gives coaches a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to view kids.”

An­other prob­lem came when play­ers, who were se­lected for a travel team, told coaches they did not want to be on the team, in­stead

Cee­Bees mi­nor hockey pres­i­dent Wendy Pen­ney.

only play house league or a lower level. Coaches were forced to shuf­fle the deck.

“You have kids who are prob­a­bly skilled enough to be on the A team, but don’t want to be there,” said Pen­ney.

This al­lows ath­letes who do not want to play A, the op­tion of try­ing out for the B team. Sim­i­lar to other cen­tres The Cee­Bees took a long look change be­fore im­ple­ment­ing it.

“We just didn’t pluck this idea out of the air,” said Pen­ney.

She spoke with peo­ple from other as­so­ci­a­tions with sim­i­lar reg­is­tra­tion num­bers and they all have sim­i­lar pro­grams. The Cee­Bees have over 300 play­ers reg­is­tered this sea­son, up from 286 reg­is­tered this time last year. The Bay Arena Mi­nor Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion in Bay Roberts has sim­i­lar reg­is­tra­tion num­bers and charges $50 for a pos­si­ble six try­out prac­tices.

How­ever, the other pro­grams fall un­der the all-star ban­ner, while the Cee­Bees will not be call­ing it an all-star pro­gram any time soon.

“We don’t want to give our kids that mes­sage, ‘ Oh, I’m an all-atar and you’re not,’” said Pen­ney.

Par­ent feed­back

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Pen­ney said some of the feed­back from par­ents has not been pos­i­tive.

“Some par­ents were ap­pre­hen­sive at first; no­body likes change,” she said. “When you’re grow­ing like we are, you have to change. It makes it eas­ier on the coaches and the as­so­ci­a­tion.”

Many took to the as­so­ci­a­tion’s Face­book page to voice their con­cern over the ad­di­tional fees and change in cul­ture.

They were re­quested to email the as­so­ci­a­tion di­rectly and the Face­book page has since been taken down.

Pen­ney has a sim­ple mes­sage for par­ents who are not pleased with the changes in the as­so­ci­a­tion.

“We’re do­ing it for the kids and the kids are ex­cited,” she said.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo by Matt Mol­loy/ Transcon­ti­nen­tal Me­dia

In this file photo from the 2011-12 sea­son mi­nor hockey sea­son, Ryan Pet­ten (white) of the Bay Arena pee­wee A Rovers is pur­sued by Adam Dawe of the Gan­der Fly­ers. Pet­ten has since moved to the ban­tam division.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

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