AA Hockey Model
In 2014, at the direction of the Hockey Alberta Board of Directors, a committee was formed with the intent of reviewing Minor Hockey, below the Elite level, and developing a process that would enable Alberta’s hockey athletes to compete at a level that is fair and equitable for the specific skill level of each athlete. The focus of the process deals with the “competitive” system within Hockey Alberta and provides for the development of athletes at a regional level, acting as a “feeder system” for Elite hockey.
This AA Hockey Model provides guidance and direction so that player opportunity and movement is done in recognition of the needs of the player and the MHA’s involved. The philosophy behind this model is the agreement that responsible decisions would be made in order to act in the best interest of the athlete. This model further recognizes and supports that each athlete has the right to consider his/her options and should be provided the opportunity to access a level of hockey that is consistent with the skill level of each player.
This document is based on five (5) principles that support the philosophy in order to create a system that better meets the needs of the athletes as they progress through the system of development. This document creates a development system targeted to providing a positive experience for all participants through improved communications and a better understanding of the principles.
PRINCIPLES OF THE AA HOCKEY MODEL
The principles of the AA Hockey Model are as follows:
- The best philosophy for developing players is to create an environment where similarly skilled players are able to compete together and against each other. This AA Hockey Model provides a structure where players are provided the opportunity to access the level of hockey they are capable of playing at.
- A standardized Province-wide system of hockey that creates a competitive balance at the Peewee, Bantam and Midget levels. It provides players with a "developmental" system that focuses on skill development and acts as a "feeder" system bridging the gap between grassroots hockey and Elite (AAA) hockey.
- A "Regionalized" Hockey System that provides opportunities for players to access the "AA" level of hockey within a reasonable distance of travel from their Resident LMHA. The "AA" Hockey Model is designed to balance the needs of the player with that of the LMHA and family.
- The AA Model uses established criteria to determine the appropriate number of teams within the Province as well as the terms and conditions under which these teams operate. Identified AA Teams provide opportunities for all the players within their "Recruitment Area".
- The AA Hockey Model is the only system of hockey at this particular level within Alberta and is designed to provide an option for players without negatively impacting the local Minor Hockey Associations with respect to player movement of provincial categorization.