Belmont Youth Hockey Association
July 9, 2007
I. Call to order
Jim Wooster called to order the meeting of the Belmont Youth Hockey Association (BYHA) Board at 7:00 pm on July 9, 2007 at Jim’s home.
II. Roll call
The following persons were present: Jim Wooster, Curtis Cole, Janet Liddell, John Curran, John Myers, Larry Christofori, Steve Nally, Doug McLaughlin, Lisa Pargoli, Brian Quirk, and Mark Shapiro. Absent from the meeting were: Kerry O’Donovan and Andy Papathanasiou.
III. President’s Report
a) Jim began the meeting by welcoming the new board members. He briefly reviewed excerpts from the BYHA Guidelines stating the purpose of the BYHA.
b) Open Issues/Summary of Discussions. Jim outlined the following major issues, priorities and goals of BYHA board for the coming year.
Retention – One of the biggest issues over the last few years. There is a perception among families that “Select” programs are better than the BYHA program. Discussion ensued regarding the need and means to keep the kids in our program.
Competitiveness – Has bearing on retention. BYHA needs to strike a balance between competitiveness and inclusiveness. The “Out of Town Player” rule was changed in 2006 to allow out of town players to attend the general BYHA tryouts and place on the appropriate team level according to ability. Below the Midget level each team is allowed three (3) “out of town players” before a waiver from the Mass. Hockey Association is needed.
Team Sizes – Again this year, the PeeWee level is faced with team sizing and player ability issues. Tryouts were held in the Spring, 2007. Three (3) teams at the PeeWee level have been organized. However, approximately six players from Arlington have not fully committed to playing for Belmont. Jim and Curtis Cole are actively following this issue and will keep the board apprised of their findings. The goal is to field teams with comparable playing ability.
Ice Times – There was much discussion about the availability and appropriateness of ice times at area rinks including Belmont, Watertown, Daly (Brighton), Fessenden (Newton), Harvard, and Belmont Hill. BYHA is working with town Recreation Department and High School Athletic Department to make better use of available resources. Approximate costs of ice per session range from $150 (Belmont) to $200 (Harvard).
Communication – Level Coordinators have been established for boys’ teams. Board will ensure four general meetings of the members as outlined in the BYHA Guidelines, and Coaches Meetings will be conducted throughout the year.
Coaching – One of the highest priorities of the BYHA board is to identify, attract and retain good coaches. Board members discussed need to enhance communication and involvement of coaches in team decision making and players’ skill development.
Committees – Three (3) committees have been developed to address broader BYHA involvement. The Feeder Program committee, under the direction of Curtis Cole, will work to attract and develop future hockey skaters/players. A Future Directions of BYHA committee will work with other town programs (i.e., Watertown, Arlington) regarding common program issues. The Community/Social/Fundraising committee will work to strengthen the hockey community for all members.
IV. Position Reports
Jim and John Curran met to review finances and transfer operations. Will work to determine member dues for next season.
John Myers reported that the registration letter for Fall 2007 will be posted on-line. On-line registration for Squirts, Mites and Girls Hockey is on the BYHA website. A postcard will go out to families announcing registration and directing them to the website.
Greater Boston League (GBL)
Larry Christofori reported that GBL is trying to release the schedule for all league hockey games earlier this year. There was discussion about the GBL team realignment after the first third of the seasons games are played. Teams are assigned to the North (most competitive), South, East and West divisions. Teams with win/loss records out of sync in their current divisions are evaluated and moved to a more appropriate competitive level. The BYHA board would like to meet with and receive input from the coaches when these realignment decisions are made.
Jim Wooster met with the Recreation Commission on June 4, 2007. He is exploring Skills training with TEAM Training, Wright Hockey, Greg Carter. He has contacted the director of the Fessenden Rink, and will coordinate with Watertown. Once ice has been procured Jim will hand off Ice/skills to Doug McLaughlin for scheduling.
Discussion about trying to replace the Marlboro tournament with a tournament that all teams can play in at the same time. Board will explore and present tournament options for discussion at the coaches meeting.
Much discussion about how to reach out to a broader hockey community to attract and retain players. Mark Shapiro will explore the use of postal mailings, banners, website information and frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, equipment retailer recommendations, and second-hand (used) equipment options such as “Zwickers” in Bedford, MA.
Jim adjourned the meeting at 9:30 pm.
Minutes submitted by: Janet Liddell, Secretary
Minutes approved by: Vote