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Affiliate

Affiliate Report June 2014

The 2014 USA Hockey Annual Congress was held from June 4-7 in Colorado Springs, CO.  

Registration – PVAHA player registration for the 2013/14 season was 19,586.  This was an increase of 282 players over the 2012/13 final player registration number (19,304).  Our Affiliate player registration goal for the 2014/15 season is to top the 20,000 player registration number.  Female registration within PVAHA was up by 145 players for the 2013/14 season (1903 vs 1758).  Adult registration was up by 154 players over last season.  Adult registration within PVAHA continues at 43% of the total player registration.  More than 3,500 players registered within PVAHA last season were not claimed by ay Association.  Local Associations have to make sure that they claim all players participating in their organization to receive credit for those players.

 Southeastern District player registration for the 2013/14 season was 46,643(+538).    The District player registration number for last season was 46,105. Overall the Southeastern District ranks as the 6th out of 12 USA Hockey Districts in player and total registration. 

USA Hockey player registration for the 2013/14 season was at an all-time high of 519,417.  This was an increase of 9,138 players (1.79%) over the 2012/13 player registration number.  The total registration of players, coaches and officials for 2013/14 was also a USA Hockey record at 598,841.  The USA Hockey registration goal for the 2014/15 season is to top 600,000 players, coaches and officials.  Based on prior registration trends USA Hockey is anticipating a post-Olympic increase in registration for the 2014/15 season.  When non-participants (administrators, team managers, volunteers and parents) are included in the registration number USA Hockey registered over one million individuals during the 2013/14 season. 

Unfortunately the number of registered officials within the Affiliate continues to drop.  There were 706 officials registered within the Affiliate for the 2013/14 season compared with 725 registered officials for the 2012/13 season. The decline in official registration over a 10 year period is significant when compared with the increase in player registration over that same 10 year period.  Current player registration is at 19,586 compared with 12,776 players registered in MD, VA and DC during the 2004/05 season.  During that same time period our registration of officials has decreased from 797 in the 2004/05 season to 706 registered officials during the 2013/14 season.  There is obviously significant demand for officials during the height of the season. All programs want the best officials to work their games.  At some point will the decreasing number of officials limit our ability to grow the game?  There are several reasons for the continued decline in registered officials.  The lack of respect that players, coaches and parents/spectators show our officials is certainly one factor in the decline in the number of officials.  All clubs/associations need to address zero tolerance issues in player, parent and coach meetings to make sure that there is a better acceptance of the zero tolerance policy in our hockey community.  Our shared goal is to provide a better hockey experience for our members.  We are all part of the same team working to meet that goal of a better hockey experience. 

The USA Hockey 2013/14 Season Final Registration Report is available online at:

 https://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0039/9585/2013-14_Final_Report.pdf . 

8 & Under Registration – The 8 & Under Registration report has already been sent to many Associations.  The complete Affiliate report with a breakdown for each association is available at: https://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0056/9454/PotomacValley2013-14Report.pdf

 Nationally USA Hockey saw a 1% increase in 8 & Under player registration for the 2013/14 season. The 103,961 registered players at the 8 & Under age classification was the 3rd highest total in USA Hockey history.  The USA Hockey 8 & Under registration goal for 2014/15 is 109,121.  Our Affiliate numbers at the 8 & Under registration classification were down 1.3%.  We had 2458 registered 8 & Under players during the 2013/14 season compared with 2490 registered last season at that age category.  The Affiliate Goal for the 2014/15 season is to register at least 2582 players at 8 & Under.  

The 8 & Under Membership Report shows how each Association within the Affiliate did in relation to the 2+2 Challenge.  The 2+2 Challenge is a big part of the USA Hockey campaign to increase 8 & Under registration numbers.  Each Association registering youth players has the goal to acquire 2 additional 8 & Under players compared with their prior year 8 & Under registration and also to retain 2 additional 8 & Under players compared to their 8 & Under retention from the prior season.  Our PVAHA decrease of 32  8 & Under players was made up of a decrease of 19 new players and a decrease of 13 retained 8 & Under players.  In PVAHA girls represent 11% of the 8 & Under player registration numbers.  On a National basis girls make up 15% of the 8 & Under registration. 

The 2+2 Challenge focuses on three areas to build registration at our base – retention, acquisition and conversion.  September 15-21, 2014 is Welcome Back Week.  Local Associations are asked to make phone calls to unregistered players to invite them back for another season.  On August 26th USA Hockey will send an email reminder to unregistered players that they need to register for the 2014/15 season.  On September 3rd unregistered players will receive recorded phone calls from Olympian or NHL players inviting them back for the season.  The Associations are asked to do follow up phone calls to unregistered 8 & Under players during September 15-21.  Try Hockey for Free Days can help with the acquisition element of the 2+2 Challenge.  This season the Try Hockey for Free Days are November 8th and February 21st.  PVAHA will cover ice cost for rinks and associations hosting a Try Hockey for Free event. The application for reimbursement of ice cost for a Try Hockey for Free event is available at https://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0057/1870/1415_TryHockeyforFreeDays.pdf  .

For new children participating in the November 8th Try Hockey for Free event USA Hockey will provide a membership code that allows new players between the ages of 7-12 a no cost USA Hockey membership for their first season.  Those players must register with USA Hockey before December 31st to take advantage of this program.  

USA Hockey emphasizes that the final element of growing 8 & Under registration numbers is to have a low cost, low commitment conversion program to easily transition families from trying hockey to participating in our programs.   

Information on the USA Hockey 2+2 Challenge Program is at http://www.2and2challenge.com/

Contact Debbie Moon for additional information.  

The One Goal Equipment purchase program is now run through Total Hockey.  Information is available at www.onegoal.totalhockey.com   . 

The Girls Hockey Weekend is October 11 & 12, 2014.  Girls Hockey programs should look to hold events during that weekend that will introduce hockey to new female players. 

Disabled Hockey – It will be a busy year in the Affiliate for Disabled Hockey activities.  USA Hockey will be hosting a Disabled Hockey Workshop within the Affiliate.  The tentative date is the weekend of October 3-5.  The specific schedule and location will be provided later during the summer.  The plan is to have the USA Sled National team in town during the weekend of the Disabled Hockey Workshop.  The Sled Hockey Classic will also be held in PVAHA around the end of November.  The specific dates and schedule for the Sled Hockey Classic will be provided when available. 

Safesport – Online Safesport training will be required of all coaches for the 2014/15 season unless the coach did the online training last season.  Completion of the Safesport training will be reflected on the USA Hockey rosters.  The Safesport training is free and is available online at  http://www.usahockey.com/page/show/909009-safesport-program-training-

Club administrators, team managers and volunteers may access the Safesport training once they have registered with USA Hockey (no cost registration).  Safesport training takes approximately 90 minutes.  Coaches will have to recertify their Safesport training every 2 years.  USA Hockey is working on a shorter Safesport recertification program that will be available for coaches next season.  Safesport is a US Olympic Committee program that is required of all National Governing Bodies.  USA Hockey has made the most progress of NGBs in implementing the Safesport program.  

Coaching Education – The online age modules are currently being reviewed and modified.  The online age modules will be available around September 1.  They are working to try to remove some of the duplication in the online modules.  Completion of online modules will be reflected on USA Hockey rosters and in the coaching database.  Coaches must have the online modules completed for any age level they are coaching for the 2014/15 season by December 31st. 

Registration – The new registration season began on April 1st.  The Cyber Sport Software program that USA Hockey has used in the past will no longer be used for registration.  For the 2014/15 season USA Hockey will be transitioning to a web based registration program.  Later during the summer each association registrar will be furnished with a user name and pass word to access the registration program web site.  Users will be able to access the registration software by PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone.  The software will have an online roster management tool.  Contact Beth Lenz or Bob Otte with any questions on the new registration system. 

High School – The 2015 High School National Championship will be March 19-23 in Chesterfield, Missouri.  The America’s Showcase High School tournament will be held April 9-13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA.

 Safety Issues – I had sent information on the Look Up Line proposal to many associations and rinks before the Annual Congress.  USA Hockey adopted a policy that authorized rinks that want to utilize a Look Up Line to paint that safety orange border on the rink surface.  USA Hockey did not mandate or recommend a Look Up Line, but rather authorized that marking as a permissible rink marking.  The Safety Committee did recommend further study of location and circumstances of spinal cord injuries and an increased emphasis on the Heads Up Don’t Duck program.  

A proposal was adopted for USA Hockey to create a position of National Safety Director.  The original proposal was that each Affiliate/Association have a Safety Director.  The Safety Committee felt that requiring each Affiliate or Association to have a Safety Director was putting the cart before the horse. 

 Another proposal passed at the Congress requires that each Affiliate adopt a concussion management program.  The program must at a minimum satisfy the USA Hockey Concussion Management Policy.  State legislation may require additions to this program.  In anticipation of the adoption of this policy the Affiliate has posted the USA Hockey Concussion Management Policy, the applicable MD, VA and DC code provisions and the USA Hockey CEP video on concussions on the Affiliate web page.  http://www.pvaha.org/page/show/1249127-concussion-information

 Junior Hockey -  Two Junior Playing Rule proposals were adopted dealing with fighting in Junior Hockey.  At the Tier III Junior level a major plus a game ejection penalty will be assessed on any player who engages in a fight.  A player who is deemed to engage in a staged fight will be assessed a major plus a game misconduct penalty.  A player deemed to be the instigator of a fight will be assessed a game misconduct in lieu of the game ejection penalty for fighting.  At the Tier I and Tier II Junior level a major plus a misconduct penalty will be assessed on a player engaged in a fight.  Any player who is deemed to engage in a staged fight will be assessed a major plus a game misconduct penalty.  A player deemed to be the instigator of a fight will be assessed a game misconduct penalty in lieu of the misconduct for fighting.   

Other Legislative Proposals Adopted & Defeated -  In recent years a number of leagues have emerged that have teams from multiple Affiliates.  Questions have arisen over jurisdiction over these leagues.  A proposal was adopted that requires leagues with teams from multiple affiliates  to enter into a sanctioning agreement with one of the Affiliates within the Multi-Affiliate League geographic area.  The Multi-Affiliate League and the sanctioning Affiliate must have an agreement that defines discipline and appeal authority for games played within the jurisdiction of the league.  Since the CBHL now includes girl’s teams from North Carolina we may need to draw up a specific sanctioning agreement for the league.

 The ADM practice plans and literature refers to 6 & Under and 8 & Under.  To better track some of the wording of the ADM principles a 6 & Under age category was added to the USA Hockey age classifications.  For the 2014/15 season Mite teams can either be classified as 6 & Under or as 8 & Under.  A team with players in both the 6 & Under and the 8 & Under age category would have to register at the age of the oldest players.

 Proposals to increase the number of players that could be registered on a Midget 16 or a Midget 18 team during the regular season to 23 rostered/20 dressing for a game were defeated.  The Youth Council was opposed to allowing Midget teams to carry more players on their roster than could play in a game.  Another proposal was adopted to allow Affiliates to authorize Spring and Summer teams formed to play between the end of the USA Hockey National Championship and August 31st to roster 25 players and to dress 20 players in a game.  The rationale behind this proposal was that players come and go on vacation during the spring/summer.  No decision has been made at this point on whether PVAHA will adopt this proposal of allowing spring/summer teams to roster 25 players.

 ADM – Each Affiliate submitted nominations for an Affiliate ADM Coordinator.  Obrad Milutinovich from Easton was selected at the Affiliate ADM Coordinator and attended the USA Hockey Annual Congress.  The ADM staff will continue to emphasize age appropriate play at the Mite age level and has also put out information on best practices at older age levels of play.  The Model Association program continues to be emphasized.  The ADM staff continues to encourage associations to submit applications for Model Association statue.  Based on two years of experience with Model Associations the requirements for Model Association status have been modified and reduced.  The current Model Association application is available online at https://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0047/5580/KM_checklist_v6.pdf  .

Applications for Model Association statue will still be considered for the 2014/15 season. I encourage all local youth Associations to review the Application and requirements.  If you have any questions contact Obrad or Scott Paluch our Regional ADM Manager.

 Rule 411 And the USA Hockey Game Reporting System – There was considerable discussion at the Congress regarding the Application of Rule 411 that was adopted last year by the USA Board.  Rule 411 was adopted last year to become effective during the 2014/15 playing season.  Rule 411 imposed progressive suspensions on players who receive multiple major penalties for specific aggressive penalties listed in the rule.  Rule 411 also had a provision that called for the head coach to be suspended for the next game when the team is called for three major penalties in the same game.  The idea behind Rule 411 is that repeat offenders should be accountable for their actions so that a safe environment is provided for all participants.  Question arose as a result of the Interpretation in the Rules Casebook (Situation 1).  The Casebook discussed the situation where a player participating on two different teams received major penalties while playing for each team.  The Interpretation in the Casebook was that the progressive suspension imposed by Rule 411 followed the player regardless of what team he played on when he received his 3rd aggressive major penalty.  The player is suspended for his next 3 games regardless of what team he was playing for at the time of the 3rd aggressive major.

 The High School Section brought this Rule before the Board of Directors and there was discussion of the Rule before the Youth Council, the High School Section, the Officials Section and the Playing Rules Committee.  The High School Section sought to limit Rule 411 so that the progressive suspension of Rule 411 follows the team the player participated with when he received the multiple aggressive major penalties.  Their argument was that a game misconduct penalty follows the team where the penalty occurred rather than following the player when he participates on another team.  There were relatively close votes before the Youth Council and the Officials Section against the position advocated by the High School Section.  The Playing Rules Committee took the position that the intent of the rule was always to follow the player.  The specific request by the High School Section was not to change the wording of the rule, but rather to clarify the interpretation in the Rule Casebook (Situation 1).  The Board of Directors did not accept the High School Section position, and affirmed that the progressive suspension of Rule 411 will follow the player regardless of whatever team the player was on at the time he received the penalty.

 There was also considerable discussion regarding the USA Hockey Game Reporting System and adjustments that have been made to this system to allow for enforcement of Rule 411.  When the USA Hockey Game Reporting System is used an automatic email notification is sent to the Affiliate Administrator when a player receives a suspension under Rule 411.  One of the adjustments being made to the Game Reporting System is the ability to add multiple sub administrators to the system.  We will have the ability to designate a specific individual in a league or with a club to receive penalty reports, emails and access to the database.  For example,   a club designee would have the ability to sign into the system by user name and pass word and then review and sort penalties by player, age classification or penalty type.  Reviewing the data that was presented by Matt Leaf at the Congress the specific penalties where the highest number of aggressive penalties were called were boarding, checking from behind, head contact and kicking.  The age classification where the highest number of aggressive penalties were called was 14 & Under.  There is still work to be done with the Game Reporting System in training officials, but the System provides administrators a tool that can be used to enforce Rule 411 and to follow other penalty trends within their league or club.  As the roster management tool is incorporated into the USA Hockey Registration system the Game Reporting System will be able to identify the teams an individual player is rostered on for the season.  At the seminars for officials that will start later this summer there will be specific instructions presented on the use of the USA Hockey Game Reporting System. We will see this system used by local officials for USA Hockey games played within the Affiliate for the 2014/15 season. 

NHL Participation at the Congress -  NHL participation at the USA Hockey Annual Congress continues to grow.  This year 21 of the 23 US NHL teams had representatives at the Annual Congress.  New York and LA were busy and could not attend.  Peter Robinson and Matt Flynn represented the Washington Capitals at the Annual Congress.

 Affiliate Grants – During the 2013/14 season PVAHA made Crerar Grants to programs in the amount of $80,800.  Of that amount $55,000 went to help Associations purchase hard dividers.  The Affiliate also spent $22,622.50 to reimburse Associations and rinks for ice cost for cross ice jamborees.  Rinks and Associations that hosted Try Hockey for Free events were reimbursed $6,425.25 for ice cost for those events.  Finally PVAHA covered Background Screening cost for screenings done early during the year in the amount of $29,324.00.

 For the 2014/15 season the Affiliate initiated the Chris Dernetz Disabled Hockey Grant Program.  Forms for the Crerar Grants and the Dernetz Grants are available online at  http://www.pvaha.org/page/show/795598-affiliate-grants  .

 2015 USA Hockey National Championships – For the 2015 National Championships USA Hockey has gone to a Thursday to Monday format.  The Championship games will be played on Monday. The idea is that most teams will be able to return home and miss one less day from school to attend the National Championship.  The dates and locations for the 2015 USA Hockey National Championships are:

 High School                            Chesterfield, MO        March 19-23, 2015

Youth Tier I 14U,16U&18U  Amherst, NY              March 26-30, 2015

Youth Tier II 14U                   Salt Lake City, Utah   March 26-30, 2015

Youth Tier II 16U                   Plano, Texas                March 26-30, 2015

Youth Tier II 18U                   Troy, Michigan            March 26-30, 2015

Girls Tier I                               Green Bay, Wisc         March 26-30, 2015

Girls Tier II                             Lansing, Michigan      March 26-30, 2015

Adult Women A,B&C            Green Bay, Wisc         March 26-29, 2015

 Southeastern District Tournament – The specific locations for the Southeastern District Tournaments have not yet been determined but the date and general location have been set.

 Girls/Women                                       SAHA                         Feb 27-March 1, 2015

Youth Tier I & Peewee Tier II            SAHOF                       March 6-8, 2015

 

John Coleman

June 2014