Ceebees minor introduces tryout program
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.
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.
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.