Evaluation Guidelines


SEERA Evaluation Guidelines

Evaluations are the method of ranking the players to create the framework from which to assemble competitive teams within the EMHA model of competitive recreational youth hockey.
Within SEERA Hockey, our evaluation process starts shortly after the Annual General Meeting. With the new elected board in place Category Directors (“CD”) ask for evaluation volunteers. Once these positions are assigned, the Commissioner meets with each CD to review and approve the evaluation process that will be used in a category. It is the Commissioner and CD responsibility to ensure that the process used is consistent with the current SEERA Evaluation guidelines.

Once the process has been confirmed it is the responsibility of the CD to ensure its execution. During the evaluation process, the Commissioner is in contact with the CD to ensure the process is followed. Because our guidelines do not anticipate every possible situation, it will occasionally be necessary for the CD to make a decision relating to a specific instance. During these times, it is not uncommon for the CD to discuss options to see if similar situations have occurred in the past and to understand what actions have been taken. All such decisions are reported to the Commissioner. If the Commissioner feels the decision is contrary to the intent of the guidelines, they may discuss alternatives with the CD. If resolution cannot be achieved, the two groups will meet with the President of SEERA to render a final decision.

It is important to note that the CD’s are not responsible for evaluating players.  Their duties are to understand the evaluation process and coordinate the necessary volunteers, collect/enter data, move players based on the findings of the evaluators and to hear parent concerns during the process.  The Commissioner is not responsible for evaluating players. His/her duties are to ensure the process is clearly laid out for the CD, to ensure the CD has followed the process and to review the results to ensure they are consistent with the club’s evaluation guidelines. After the evaluation process, he/she is also responsible to review specific cases upon written appeal and to collection suggestions from all stakeholders and recommend changes to the framework for next year’s evaluations.

It is important to understand that it is the Evaluators who ultimately decide player rankings. The CD and the Commissioner are simply controls to ensure all players are ranked as fairly as possible according to our guidelines. It is these rankings that are the primary piece of information that is used to place players onto their teams for the year.  Evaluation rankings are primarily based on a player’s performance during the current evaluation process, not based upon future potential, past performance, parents opinions, how many summer camps the player has attended, past team members placement or coaches comments in the stands. Prior year rankings are used for determination of the groupings for the first skate, except for goaltenders and are then retained for reference and potentially tie breaker criteria during team selection at the end of the evaluation process.

The player evaluation process consists generally of three or more on ice sessions. All participants should understand that team selection is not complete until after the final evaluation takes place and the information has been reviewed by the Commissioner and CD.

Participants will be contacted by a CD to inform them of their first skate time and arena. After that dates, times and arenas are subject to change and participants will be notified by their CD.  Once the players have completed all their skates and have been ranked, teams are selected by the CD and Coaches according to skill level groupings.  Generally, this is done by deciding how many players will play on a team. For the duration of this document, we will assume there are 13 players per team for clarity in reading, however, teams at different levels will most certainly have different team sizes and registration numbers may dictate that a team may end up with more or less than 13 skaters. During the team selection process the Coach(s) have the right to select a player on the criteria that they feel is important. An example of this is one coach may select a player(s) that have specific attributes (size, speed, defense, offense…). 

Once all the proposed teams have been created by the CD, the Commissioner reviews the process used, sporadic evaluation sheets to ensure accurate data entry, and looks closely at team selection and tie breakers. Their primary goal is to ensure there have been no oversights or errors made while selecting the teams.  The group(s) the player skated with during evaluations does not necessarily indicate what team they will be placed on. There is a finite amount of players per team and in most cases the difference in skill level between teams is extremely small. In some cases, 2-3 teams may be made out of a grouping of players that exhibit similar skill levels and may have skated together during evaluations.  In the end, it is the responsibility of the CD’s and the Commissioner to ensure the evaluations are well organized, fair, accurate, enjoyable, and run with integrity so that the players can participate competitively with and against players of similar skill and have an enjoyable hockey season. Throughout this process, it is typical for the different groups to keep the President apprised of the evaluation process and about potential concerns or issues that arise. In extreme cases, the President may become involved to facilitate resolution as he is ultimately responsible to the membership to ensure all the volunteers have completed their duties responsibly.

The evaluation process is an honest effort utilizing volunteers who commit many personal hours to ensuring a fair and consistent process for all players. No process is perfect, we are constantly striving to improve the process for the ultimate enjoyment of the game for all players at all skill levels. Should you have a suggestion, please forward it in writing to the SEERA President. All suggestions and comments are reviewed by the Commissioner and CD’s each year and where applicable will be implemented.  Your positive involvement in this process is a fundamental part to ensuring a successful and enjoyable hockey season for all participants.

Initial Player Placement

1. For the start of evaluation process, players who played with SEERA in the previous season will be placed in groups according to the level that they played during the last season. The size of these groups will be determined by the CD to accommodate the evaluation of that specific age group.

2. First year, second year, and possibly third year players may be separated into 3 initial skating groups. Note that due to ice considerations, a complete segregation of initial skaters may not be possible.

3. Players moving to a new age category may not be placed in the top grouping of skaters for the initial evaluation ice session. The CD, with support from the Commissioner as required, will make the determination based upon historical data.

4. New players to SEERA will be placed in a group according to information provided to the CD prior to the evaluation. The level that the player played in the past season, in their previous association, will be used where available. The CD will make the final determination as to the initial placement of the player.

5. Players returning from the Maple Leaf Athletic Club or Southside Hockey Association AA, AAA tryouts will be placed according to the guidelines as above. The length of time spent at Southside tryouts will not justify a higher placement for SEERA evaluations.

Injured or Absent Player Placement

All injuries or absences will require a parent’s note or other document to ensure the absences are of a legitimate nature. The CD and Commissioner reserve judgment as to whether or not absences are within reason.  A player missing one evaluation session will not be penalized. The next skate will be at the last placement grouping. A player missing two evaluation sessions without legitimate cause will automatically be moved down one to two team(s) from where their final rankings would have placed them.

A) Injured or Absent Player Prior to Evaluations:

    1) A player injured or absent for the entire evaluation session will seed where the majority of his/her previous year team mates seed.  However the CD along with the Commissioner     with input from the coaching staff reserve the right to change the team, up or down, based upon team skill level compared to the returning players’ skill level.

    2) A player returning from injury or absences part way through the evaluation process will begin their evaluation where the majority of his/her previous year teammates currently reside. Movement from that point forward, either up or down, will be based upon the returning player’s performance.

B) Injured or Absent Player During Evaluations*

    A player injured or a player that is absent after the evaluation process has commenced will have their most recent evaluation session placement recorded.  At the same time, the majority of his/her previous teammates corresponding evaluation session placement will also be recorded. The relative difference between the absent player’s placement and corresponding majority of the teammates’ placement will be used to seed the absent player at the conclusion of evaluations. This decision will be made by the CD and will be supported by the Commissioner and the President, if necessary. The player may be moved up or down after initial placement as in example A-1 above.

Example 1: If after the 3rd round of evaluations a player is situated in group 4, which is one group above the group where the majority of previous year players are seeded, then the absent player will be placed in a group one down where the majority group end up.

Example 2: A common occurrence during the evaluation process is the timing of the tryouts for SEERA hockey and interscholastic sports. It is unfortunate in the timing of these conflicting events but this occurs regularly. A priority choice has to be made by the players during evaluations in fairness to all registered players. To meet EMHA deadlines for team formation the short timeframe we have to work with may affect your team placement. The evaluations for the players who choose not to come will affect their team placement.  *Some discretion will be used where the absence occurs 1 or 2 sessions into evaluations.

The above are guidelines on how to estimate where absent players should be placed. The CD, in consultation with the Commissioner, may move a returning player, either up or down, to a group where their skill level is more comparable.

Evaluator Qualifications

SEERA utilizes the services of member volunteers to complete its evaluation process. The volunteers put their names forward on their registration forms.  These members are sorted based on their hockey knowledge and experience level.  The evaluator will not evaluate their child. The mark attained in this instance will be an average of the other evaluators.  The evaluators will follow the directions and guidelines of the CD for each specific level.  Hopefully all evaluators would be coaches and assistant coaches and are strongly encouraged to volunteer their assistance with the evaluation process.  Please contact the appropriate CD to assist with this process.

A) Any concerns should be brought forward to the CD as soon as possible. The director will be able to explain the process and provide you with general information as to the reasoning for a specific player's placement.

B) Should satisfactory resolution not be made between the parents and the CD, a request for a formal appeal must be made in writing and sent to the President at SEERA. SEERA will not accept verbal communication as an acceptable appeal. The Commissioner will expeditiously review the evaluation process to date and will rule on the final placement of the child in writing which will be tendered back to the parents, the club President, the CD and will be submitted to the board upon completion.  At his point, the player has been seen, ranked, and/or reviewed over 3 or more sessions. The data has been reviewed and entered by the CD in conjunction with his/her assistants. At this point, the decision is made by the Commissioner and
CD and is final and binding.  Once a player is placed on a team there will be NO issuing of any refund. The President will review all written complaints that are directed to either the
Commissioner or CD to ensure they receive fair and timely adjudication.

Player Evaluations Process

The evaluators are looking for game skills such as speed, transition at speed, puck control at speed, puck pursuit, physical play, defensive and offensive abilities, forechecking and back checking abilities.  Players will move up or down various skating groupings based upon evaluator marks but only after the data has been tabulated by the CD.  These movements will be reflected in the assigned skate time for a player’s next assigned skate. Players will not move during or immediately after an evaluation skate.

The skating group does not indicate the team placement.  Grades will remain confidential with evaluators and CDs.  Grades are scored for specific game skills out of 5, overall skill out of 5.  Grades are:

1 = not competitive with this group

2 = below average 

3 = consistent with the majority of players at this group 

4 = above average 

5 = clearly superior within this group

The evaluation process is designed to ensure fair, equitable, consistent treatment of all participants. The guidelines may be modified, as required, to facilitate ice availability, volunteer availability and player registration, without compromising the integrity of the process. Players may be moved into different session groupings at the discretion of the CD.

Defenseman Evaluation Process

SEERA recognizes the need for dedicated and skilled defensemen in certain age categories. A problem that has been in existence for some years has been a lack of dedicated defensemen in the older age categories. As a result of this, SEERA will identify & evaluate defensemen separately from forwards.  SEERA includes a requested position on all of its registration forms. Players have the opportunity to designate themselves as a dedicated defenseman on the registration form. Players are given a second opportunity to declare themselves a dedicated defenseman at the first evaluation ice time. Dedicated defensemen will be evaluated on the same basis by the evaluators. They will be ranked and placed on teams based on the rankings against their specific peer group. Where there is a significant imbalance regarding the number of defensemen for a specific team, the CD may adjust final placements to ensure a few dedicated defensemen on each team. The coach will then need to work with his team to decide on the best method of filling the remaining defenseman spots during games.  It should be noted that there would be certain instances where the numbers do not work out or where there is a definite discrepancy in ability levels. SEERA, its executive and directors reserve the right to deviate from this policy when necessary. Every attempt must be made to ensure the proper placement of players recognizing appropriate skill level and safety concerns.

Evaluation Methodology

• Database is retained with the records for each player’s individual skill scores plus their overall ranking and overall group score for each evaluation session.

• A player’s final ranking is determined by averaging each of the normalized skate rankings over the three game simulation skates.  Normalization is the process of mathematically ranking the players within a group by the average of the evaluator’s rankings for that group and then the last player of one group is ranked one position ahead of the best ranked player of the subsequent group.

• Mathematical ties are resolved in the following order:

   1. Second year players take precedence over first year players.

   2. Returning SEERA player take precedence over first year SEERA player.   

   3. CD will make a judgment call and it will be noted for the Commissioner.

Principles of Evaluation Methodology and Review

• Evaluations are meant to be for the players not the parents. They must stand up to scrutiny, be easy to understand from a parent and player perspective, and be challenging enough to clearly show a players talent to evaluators and be easy to administer. They must not be overly challenging whereas the “fun” aspect is removed for players or players feel humiliated
or upset in front of their peers.

• Evaluation systems vary from club to club. No single method is perfect and each year our evaluation process is reviewed and debriefed by the Commissioner, CD’s, and the President in an effort to improve the process we use at SEERA.

• All comments, suggestions and complaints (and compliments!) are retained and reviewed and reported to the board.

• Recommendations by the Commissioner should not be completed until the Town Hall meeting has been completed and a significant number of year end Coach Player assessments are received.

• Recommendations for changes are then made by the Commissioner and voted upon as a whole by the board

• This review process may be extensive and sometimes exhaustive. It must be known that each parent has a voice and it is in this process that their voice is heard. If a parent is silent or has suggestions or complaints, the right people must be spoken to. Those people would be the CD, Commissioner, and the club President.

• All suggestions are documented by the board member they are presented to and are then discussed at our review process.

• The review process may take an entire season of hockey so a proper assessment may be made by using information from the evaluation data, the team selection data and the year end Coach Player assessment.

• Team competitiveness, how many games won or lost, tournaments won or lost does not generally play a large factor in the review process, as it is skewed by how EMHA tiered our teams throughout the year.

• There is no standard of evaluating between the various city clubs (Confederation, SWAT, KC, Whitemud West, etc.). Each club determines the method that suits them best.

Team Selection Process

• The final player evaluation rankings are used to place players in ranked order and this ranked order is used to create the proposed teams. Team selection adheres to the ratings from the current evaluations only.

• Principles regarding player/parent requests on team selection:  Category Directors will try to accommodate all requests for player-to-player matches where requests are mutual between both players. In these cases, SEERA will only permit player movement down to satisfy a request e.g. Player on higher tiered team will be allowed to move down a tier. Prior
to initiating these moves, the CD will discuss the proposed movement with higher placed player / parent to confirm their desire before implementing a change. CDs may exercise discretion to prevent a stronger player from dropping down too far, to ensure safety & competitiveness of all players on the lower team.  Requests to match a player with a specific coach are not routinely accommodated, and will only be considered under extenuating circumstances.  Please ensure you identify any requests on the player registration form and also discuss your request directly with the CD or Commissioner during the evaluations.  When CDs identify a group of similarly skilled players which is larger than one team, they may choose to create two evenly balanced teams. This larger pool of players may allow the CD to honor more links.

• Final goaltender ranking is completed using the mathematical averages for the goaltenders from all goaltender skates.

• The number of players per team will vary by age category and even team by team within an age category. Teams can be made up between 12 and 19 players.

• Players may be moved up or down 1 team if the need for a qualified volunteer head coach must be addressed.

• Systemic and mathematical errors are also looked for in a review of the current process to make sure each player received a fair evaluation.

• Team selection must be done within a framework of time as dictated by Federation Hockey (EMHA). The timelines do not allow for extended evaluations or mass player movement beyond the deadlines that are set out. The deadline is usually around the 3rd week of September to have team selection and head coaches finalized.

General Comments

SEERA Hockey is community House League hockey. It is not South Side Athletic Club, Maple Leaf Athletic Club or the Golden Bears or a training program for the NHL. SEERA Hockey is
largely operated by volunteers with the resources we have at our disposal within the community. Our mission is to provide a quality hockey program that emphasizes basic hockey skills, and personal development and life skills, including effective work habits, thinking skills, positive self-esteem, teamwork, fair play, discipline, fun and enjoyment of the game.

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions feel free to contact our President.


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