LBYHs mission includes the following:
Provide a safe, healthy and fun environment in which to learn the game of hockey.
Offer boys and girls the opportunity to participate and play hockey in a manner that fosters sportsmanship and fair play through
LBYH Board of Directors felt it was important to communicate to all of the parents the process of determining the number of teams within a particular age group, the number of players per team, and ultimately a final roster.
The roster information that is communicated in April is the program’s best guess attempt to calculate the number of teams at a particular age group, and the number of players per team. As most everyone understands, there is typically player movement from one team to another at the beginning of the season as rosters are finalized. Below is an explanation of the process of determining the number of teams and number of players per team. It will also explain why the rosters in April represent the Board's best guess attempt at a final team and why the program cannot have a final roster until early September.
Determining the Overall Number of Players
Determining the number of players per team can be a tricky and time consuming process based on the number of players registered at a particular age group. Most town programs battle with this issue every year based on the formula of the number of kids registered vs. the optimum number of kids per team. The program announces the tentative team rosters in April, knowing these rosters are not final. We hope they are as close to final as possible, but at this point in the process, we are not 100% sure.
This process continues to evolve during the summer. As the travel hockey payments are received, we can begin to validate or invalidate the various assumptions that were made back in April. It is during this time of the year our registrar contacts families who attended “try outs” but still have not paid. During this process we can begin to better understand who is formally committed up to play.
Another variable that impacts the overall number of players, is new hockey families moving into town during the summer. This also needs to be considered into the overall plan.
Because there are many variables within this process, the LBYH Board can only determine the overall number of players late in the summer.
Determining the Number of Players per Team
Most town and select hockey teams at this level (Squirt and beyond) strive to have a roster between 13 and 15 skaters. This number allows for three lines and between four or six defensemen. This number also allows some flexibility within the team if a player or two have a conflict with the hockey schedule. If the number of players per team start to drop below this barometer, across multiple teams, we then begin to question the number of teams.
Why Can’t We Just Have Smaller Teams?
The question of smaller team sizes will always be the subject of debate. This topic comes up every year. Parents often wonder why we can’t have team sizes of 10 or 11 and make more teams. Fielding a hockey team of 10 or 11 skaters just doesn’t work over the course of a seven month season. Fielding team sizes this small puts undue stress on coaches and parents. As mentioned earlier, the optimal team size is between 13 and 15 skaters.
In the end, determining the number of teams and team sizes comes down to a numbers game based on the optimal team size to properly run a hockey team, and the number of players registered. There are also financial implications to the number of players per team, but this typically does not enter into the equation.
The communication process is usually handled in early September, when we really “totally” understand all of the players we are dealing with.
Hopefully this information provides a better understanding of the work involved and the “juggling” act the Board is involved with during the summer to form the best possible hockey team structure we can.
The goal is to start the season off in early September with players and parents as informed as they can be.