Belmont Youth Hockey Association is dedicated to the character development of Belmont youth through teaching, coaching and playing ice hockey.

My my My my

BYHA Player Placement Guidelines

Following is a description of how BHYA assigns players to teams within our program.

These guidelines, which replace and supersede any prior guidelines relating to placements, were developed by the BYHA Board of Directors to:

  1. achieve the most accurate player placement
  2. provide players and parents of BYHA transparency in the process
  3. provide guidance to evaluators in order to create a more consistent process
  4. provide a known set of standards upon which players are measured to assure the highest possible degree of fairness and objectivity in the process

The Selection Committee puts in a tremendous amount of time and personal commitment to adhere to a process created by the organization’s Board of Directors. The Board recognizes that placements often cause a great deal of anxiety among players and parents. It is the hope of the Board to allay some of this anxiety by improving transparency and clarifying how the Placement process works. Any BYHA player or parent who has further questions should feel free to contact the President or Placement Director. While placements are ongoing, parents should refrain from speaking about the placement process to any other member of the Selection Committee. This will help ensure that the process is run in the most objective manner possible.

The BYHA Board will designate a Selection Committee. Generally, this committee consists of the current BYHA President, Vice President, Placements Director, applicable League Representative Directors (i.e., VHL or MYC), Coaching Director and/or others the Board deems necessary. The Placement Director shall be responsible for retaining and selecting player Evaluators and on ice instructors. The Evaluators will consist of a minimum of three individuals and will be non-members. The Evaluators MUST have a hockey background and experience in evaluating hockey skills. Members or coaches may assist the Evaluators during placements but only to help direct drills. Members will not provide input to the Evaluators.

Selection Committee Guidelines

  • The Board of Directors has set forth guidelines for the, Placement Director, Evaluators, and On-Ice Personnel to follow.
  • The Placement Director is responsible for ensuring every player’s thorough evaluation and proper team placement.

Schedule of evaluation and Placement

  • Midget, Bantam, Pee Wee, Squirt, Mites, U19, U14, U12 and U10 players generally will be evaluated and placed by the Selection Committee in or about the spring preceding the players’ USA Hockey Year.
  • Placement schedules will be posted as early as possible based on the scheduler’s knowledge of available ice times and final approval of the Board of Directors.
  • Every effort will be made to avoid conflicts with school vacations, tournaments, game and playoff schedules.
  • Placements will consist of two or three, one hour on-ice sessions with all players at each age level on ice at the same time.
  • In order to be considered for any team in an age group, a player must attend at least one of the scheduled on-ice placement sessions. Players are strongly encouraged to attend all of the sessions, as each session may have a different skill-point emphasis. Also, more on-ice time will better enable the Evaluators to properly place players.
  • Notwithstanding anything in these Placements Guidelines to the contrary, if a player cannot attend placements due to injury or other circumstances beyond the player’s control, provided that the player timely informs the BYHA President prior to Placements, other factors may be considered in placing that player on a team, including the opinions of the prior year's coaching staff. Board approval is required for a player to be placed on a team without having attended a single placement session. The Selection Committee shall be responsible for the placement of such player.
  • Should a player elect not to participate in the Placements (as opposed to missing Placements due to different circumstances) he or she will be placed on the lowest level team of his/her age group, provided that there are available roster spots on that team. Notwithstanding the minimum attendance requirement, the Board shall make every effort to ensure that a player will not be denied a roster spot simply because he or she was unable to attend placements.

Ice Usage and Selection Process
During the on-ice sessions, each player is rated on a variety of skills, including skating, passing, puck control/stick handling, shooting & game play. At the younger levels, basic skills are emphasized. At the older levels, more game situations are incorporated. The results of these evaluations, together with coaches’ evaluations for the most recent season, are the basis for team placements. The Selection Committee does not consider other factors, such as what players may be doing in summer leagues, with whom players played in prior years, or on what team a player prefers to play because of where his/her friends are placed.

BYHA is a skill-based program and players are evaluated annually on the criteria established herein. Promptly after the on-ice sessions have ended, the Placement Director shall compile the results of the on-ice evaluations and sort them in descending order (highest to lowest). Once the on-ice evaluations have been compiled, the Selection Committee and Evaluators will convene to review the results. Coaches’ Evaluations from the most recent season will be used as a secondary source to inform decisions. However, Coaches’ evaluations shall only be used to compare players from the same team. The Selection Committee will finalize the team selections based on the consensus of the Selection Committee.

After team selections are determined, the preliminary team rosters are forwarded to the Board of Directors for review and approval.

Because of the uncertainty as to the number of players that will commit to BYHA at a particular level or team, it is possible that a preliminary team roster will be issued without the final complete player count. This means that in some circumstances, a player may be moved from the initial roster notification to a different team. Absent compelling circumstances, players will not be moved from a higher team to a lower team, once a preliminary roster is approved. This process allows for teams to be more balanced and to allow BYHA to identify the proper number of teams at each age level based on the number of committed players.

Evaluation and Placement Criteria
Players will be asked to exhibit the following skills in a series of drills, small area games, and full ice scrimmages:

  • Skating: Stride, Starting, Stopping, Edges, Speed, Crossovers, Forwards & Backwards Skating
  • Puck Carrier: Puck Handling, Shooting, Passing, Control
  • Support Player: Playing Position, Getting Open, Play Making
  • Effort: Small Battles, Fore-check, Back-check
  • Tenacity: Pursuit of the play
  • Game Play: Effective and appropriate situational play

Guidelines for team creation and Coach Selection

  • The goal is to limit roster size to a maximum of 15 skaters and one goaltender. Overall numbers may impact the program's ability to achieve this goal.
  • Every player attending placements will be evaluated and considered for placement on the highest team, regardless of prior season team placement or age.
  • If two players are being considered for the last spot on the same team and both have been evaluated and determined to be of equal rankings, the 2nd year player will be placed ahead of the less senior player.
  • We recognize that every player is unique and that his or her development curve may jump ahead or lag behind his or her peers. Player placement is not lockstep from year-to-year. For example, returning A players are not guaranteed A placements. Players may be moved down a level (i.e. A to B or B to C) from year to year, particularly when the number of players increase in any given year at a specific level. This philosophy holds true for the goalie player position, as well. No goalie is presumed to have this "spot" established for any team regardless of whether he/she is returning to the same level or moving up.
  • There are always many quality players competing for a limited number of roster spots. Any member concerned about a player placement may contact the BYHA President or the Placement Director. The circumstances surrounding a member’s concerns will be reviewed and a response will be provided. A member is entitled to know how his/her player was rated and where improvement is indicated. Members are not entitled to review other, specific player ratings. Any rating information provided is at the discretion of the Board.
  • A roster position is only secured by making timely payment by the deposit payment deadline (typically 30 days after preliminary rosters are announced), except if an extension is sought and granted for hardship reasons.
  • Final roster adjustments, if any, will be made as soon as practicable after the deposit payment deadline so as to notify players of adjustments as soon as possible. All deposits made towards the total tuition payment are non-refundable.
  • A player must be a member in good standing to be placed on a team.
  • BYHA welcomes players from other towns to join BYHA and participate in placements, subject to roster availability.

Post-Placement Policy
After placements have occurred, players wishing to join BYHA will be accommodated to the extent possible. The Placement Director and the applicable League Representative Director will consider roster additions to the team determined appropriate given a player’s skills and only if the existing roster size permits an addition. In some instances, this may mean that BYHA will be unable to accommodate a player after placements. It is possible that such a late registrant could be accommodated as an alternate (for a team designated by the Board), in which case he or she would be allowed to practice with his or her designated team and play games should the need arise for an additional player. All such accommodations for late registrants will be done with the best interests of not only the individual late registrant in mind, but also of the players and the coaches of the set teams and BYHA.

Parents & Guardians
BYHA understands that the placement process can be stressful and or result in an outcome that may be disappointing to the player or their family. Some general guidance as to how we recommend working through the process if there are concerns.

  • Help your player deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard, and have fun, will do more to promote a positive experience than anything else.
  • Understand that the Placement Process is inherently imperfect. At times, evaluators make difficult decisions. The Board of Directors has created what it believes to be a fair process that relies on qualified, thoughtful, and fair volunteers doing the best they can.
  • If you have any questions about your player's placement, please contact the BYHA President or Placement Director for further discussion.
  • As is the case in most youth sports, what particular team level a BYHA player plays at as a 7 to 13 year old rarely affects their later years. In fact, in most cases the relative ability ranking of players in a sport changes over these years, so no single placement for a given season should be, nor is, creating a “destiny” for a child. The high school and college rosters of all sports are filled with players who played at a broad range of levels early in their careers. The most critical factor for later years is – to keep playing! Children will keep playing as long as the adults do not take the fun out of the game.
  • A reminder that the mission of BYHA is to be dedicated to the character development of Belmont youth through teaching, coaching and playing ice hockey