AA Hockey allows for the development of athletes in the "competitive" system within Hockey Alberta at a regional level, acting as a “feeder system” for Elite hockey. Player opportunity and movement is done in recognition of the needs of the player and the MHAs involved. AA Hockey 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.
PRINCIPLES OF THE AA HOCKEY MODEL
The principles of AA Hockey 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.
- A standardized Province-wide system of hockey that creates a competitive balance at the U13, U15 and U18 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.