Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update: Thu Sep 30

I only needed to reply to ten peewee emails today. That is a record low for some time. I checked my peewee folder and I have received 1706 peewee emails since August 17.

A few details to prepare for the coaches meeting tomorrow, otherwise things are getting quiet for the peewee convenor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Update: Wed Sep 29

Tuesday was my Atom day so I skipped the post yesterday.

The big news of the day was the writeup for the peewee interlock program we are running this year.

Otherwise it was more emails and confirmations for the programs we are running.

Andy will be presenting the KMHA Peewee Bell Sensplex Development agreement and the KMHA Peewee goalie coaches and goalie development at our peewee coaches meeting on Friday. I do not want to steal any of his thunder so will leave those items for now. Both start very soon and I know everyone will be happy with these changes this year. C Teams get their first Sensplex Development on Monday.

Teams are starting to complete their team site on their KMHA peewee team pages site.

All for today.

KMHA Peewee Interlock for 2010-2011

For as long as I am aware, the peewee house A teams have interlocked with the Nepean A teams. We are doing this program again this season. This means our three Kanata teams and five Nepean teams form an eight team league. Each Kanata team plays against seven different opponents for a greater challenge and an increase in fun since they play many teams at different rinks and not the same two teams over and over in Kanata.

The B and C divisions have often wished they could have this same level of competition. The C teams especially have a tough time in their four team league. Playing the same three teams over and over gets tiresome as the season goes on.

I am happy to announced that our KMHA executive has listened to our feedback and worked very hard to arrange interlock for both peewee B and C this year. Andy and Kelli and their volunteers have setup a fantastic program for peewee.

First, Kanata B and Stittsville B will interlock. Our seven Kanata B teams and four Stittsville B teams will interlock in an eleven team league and play in Kanata and Stittsville.

Second, Kanata C will join the Lanark Carleton Minor Hockey League with Stittsville and several other teams. I am not exactly sure the other teams yet, but likely Richmond and Carleton Place and a few more. The C coaches will find out next week at the coaches meeting.

This is fantastic news for the C teams. They will get more regular season games against more teams and will have full playoffs in a first class league. The C teams will be afforded a challenge against some of the tougher LCMHL teams too.

My oldest played in LCMHL back when he was in Novice C. While we were never able to come close to the Carleton Place Kings, we were all over the Osgoode Rideau Senators. We never played the same team three times, we got to visit different arenas and I think we improved as a team a lot more than we would have just in Kanata.

This is great for our C players development. I know every player in every level will enjoy their hockey season.

I again thank Andy and Kelli especially for setting these interlocks up for us.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update: Mon Sep 27

Today was cleanup day. Cleaned up the email backlog.

A few more emails for the coaches, player supervision memo email, pictures schedule email, hockey drill site email, email with the weekend ice schedule.

A few tweaks to the on ice help for the C teams. Unfortunately coach Patrick was away on the weekend so another team snagged his trainer. So one last move of a couple of players to keep everyone happy. The team rosters are definitely, absolutely done now.

I also worked on a few details for the Kanata Atom Ice Cobras team meeting that is tomorrow night. Now that I am almost done most of the major work as peewee convenor, we can focus on building a great team plan for the Atom House A team that I am coaching.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Update: Sun Sep 26

A one day absence from the nightly blog entry. The "boss" told me I needed to get off the computer and relax for one night, so orders are orders, we went out for dinner and no computer Saturday night.

This weekend was the first practices for the new teams. I saw many happy faces at all levels and have had lots of great feedback that everyone is excited to be on their new team.

We were able to sort out the team officials with the C teams as well this weekend. We now have four coaches, one for each C team. We have also balanced out the on ice help so each C team has an equal number of on ice helpers and an excellent support staff. The four C coaches have their team lists and will be contacting everyone in the next day or so.

Now that every team has a coach, I have blasted our fourteen coaches with nine or so emails with work they need to complete or delegate. Team budgets, team officials lists, coaches meeting, equipment pickup, etc.

Soon we will be getting all the teams setup in Team Pages. You recall we had these last year. The teams have been created by the KMHA office, we just need to start filling them in.

All for today.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Update: Fri Sep 24

I forgot to post on the blog before my 10:00 hockey game tonight. So here is a quick one after the game (5-0 win).

Most of the time spent today was fielding phone calls and emails from those parents who continue to insist that my team of evaluators have done a poor job and sorted their son to the wrong level. I am doing my best to convince everyone that we have done the best we could and that every player had the same opportunity to demonstrate his skills for the evaluators.

I have a bunch more peewee C helpers so the peewee C program looks to be in fantastic shape. I will be meeting some more parents tomorrow afternoon at the C practices.

That is about all for today, as I said, quick post.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update: Thu Sep 23

Today was hopefully the last super busy late night for the peewee convenor.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was not quite finished finalizing the B coaches. I was very fortunate to have a coach agree this morning to head coach the last B team. We now have ten outstanding coaches in A and B.

We then followed the team selection process to create A and B teams.

The three A teams had a head start. I emailed the 1 to X list spreadsheet last night close to midnight so the A coaches were doing their thing today to finalize their teams. After too many emails to count, debates over trainers and several phone calls between the coaching team, I had a final spreadsheet that everyone was happy with. I was able to enter the trades into the computer, get the updated team lists and the A coaches were emailed final teams. A teams done at 10:23 PM.

The B teams followed a similar process. Once I had the coaches, I was able to send the B 1 to X list so they could make their trades. Over a few hours we had most of the selections done and I sent an updated spreadsheet before the Atom coaches meeting I attended at the KRC tonight.

When I got back home, there were a few more requests to process. Toss in a goaltender trade controversy and an assistant coach is already selected on the other team discussion. I finalized the list and B coaches were sent their team lists. B teams done at 11:37 PM.

As expected I ran out of time processing the C teams. In an ideal world, we would have been given me a decent ice schedule that finished last weekend so we had a full week to confirm the C team officials.

As I mentioned yesterday, I currently have assistant coaches in C but only two willing to be head coaches and take on a team. Additionally, one of the coaches is traveling on the weekend. Given we only have a limited amount of time, I sent the emails for the C coaches. Each C player has a tenative team and their ice times for the weekend.

I will be running the practices for C on the weekend. It will give me an opportunity to meet all the parents again and ask them to volunteer for some of the team officials, both on and off ice. Then next week we can finalize the teams, hopefully by simply trading one or two players for team staff.

The last C team emails went out at 1:31 AM and blog entry done now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Update: Wed Sep 22

Today was the last day of ice for the peewee sort-outs. We had the final two A/B games with body checking to finalize the last spots in A.

There seems to be a little more pressure when it comes to the final A team selections. So we went a little extra to make sure that conditions were perfect for the players to perform at their highest. We replaced the 5-on-5 continuous play with a real game. We booked a three man set of referees. We got score keepers and ran the clock just like a real game. We put players in set positions for periods.

I also had five A coaches evaluate the players for the final game. I usually had three evaluators. These extra eyes confirmed each others evaluations so we were sure we had the right players in the limited number of spots remaining in peewee A.

Now that the sessions are complete, we can start forming teams according to the process we are following. All the evaluation scores have been entered into the computer, so we have our 1 to X list. I have team lists for A, B and C teams. All that remains is for coaches to provide their team staff selections and we can form the final team lists.

I am well along with the three A coaches. We have already sent out the team lists to the coaches and they are selecting their team staff. With luck A will be done very early tomorrow.

I have also started with some of the B and C coaches. I am stalled a little on the B and C side though.

First problem is that we should have ended sort outs on the weekend so we had an entire week to form teams. Since we finished today, we get two days.

Second problem is that given sort-outs just ended today, I had not really finalized all of the coaches yet. Remember our coach selection process, players earn their spot, then we assign coaches.

I am pretty sure we have a coaching staff for all of the B teams. I will be making a few more calls and emails tomorrow. Hopefully I can also be done with B tomorrow night.

So A is good and B is almost there, that leaves C.

C is in a little more of a tough spot. I have two coaches, but one is traveling on the weekend. And given I only have a limited amount of time before I need to send families their ice times for the weekend, I am doing something different for C.

I will be running the practices for C on the weekend. It will give me an opportunity to meet with some of the parents and finalize the team officials. Then next week we can finalize the teams, hopefully by simply trading one or two players for team staff.

Once the teams are set there is no changing them, so we want to take our time and make sure they are done right.

So bottom line, aim to be reading an email email Friday morning with your Saturday and Sunday ice times (or better still, receiving a call from your coach Thursday night).

All for now...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Update: Tue Sep 21

Today was our final lower level C games. Once again we had two great balanced games and some great competition. I continue to get feedback that the games are balanced as they should be at this point in the process.

I will admit that I was a little worried given the number of complaints I received that there would be a bunch of players in C who do not belong there. I was able to go on the ice and witness first hand that this was definitely not the case. And my three evaluations confirmed this for me as well.

I have posted my Peewee House Coach Selection Process
and my Peewee House League Balanced Team Selection. This lets you know how your coach and team is selected.

Tomorrow is the final two sort-out games and then I will have a day to work with the coaches and form teams to be ready for Saturday and Sunday practices.

Peewee House Coach Selection Process

Here is my coach selection process.

Coaches are not selected in advance. Players are assigned to their level first, then coaches assigned. Every
player has to earn their spot in a level. A coach is not given a team and then his son moved to that higher level. And a player is not moved to a lower level so that parent can coach.

Once I have the players sorted into levels, I select coaches based on the following:

First, The coach has received positive feedback from last and previous years. Anyone with negative feedback is not a candidate. I have worked with Andy our VP of hockey programs to create this list.

Second, the coach has worked with me over a number of years, either coaching with me or coaching my son and I know from experience he is a fantastic candidate.

Third, the coach was at the peewee level the previous year.

Forth, the coach has worked with me during sort-outs, I have gotten to know the coach a little and he has demonstrated the dedication to coach a team.

Fifth, I am short coaches, so I need to fill a spot with a parent candidate. I have done an interview with the coach and am satisfied that I am leaving the team in excellent hands.

Peewee House League Balanced Team Selection

We are going to follow the Hockey Canada House League Balanced Teams process to create teams in peewee.

This is described on page 17 of the Hockey Canada Player Evaluation and Selection guide.

Players are evaluated and ranked from 1 to X. Teams of players are then drafted based on the player evaluations:


Once all of the players have been drafted the teams are randomly assigned to a coach. If a coach has a son that has not ended up on the coaches team they are traded to the team for the player who was drafted in the same round.

This system puts high priority on the quality of the evaluations that are completed and no responsibility on the coach to select a team. We have great evaluations so all is perfect.

Each coach gets around five selections for assistant coaches, managers, trainers, etc. These will also be traded for the player who was drafted in the same round.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Update: Mon Sep 20

Today we had our three final B level sort out games. B level is not really the correct label for the games, we actually had groups 3, 4 and 5 games today. The middle group.

I sorted the players after their three evaluations into a list 1 to 199 (we have 199 players and 27 goalies). I then divided them into seven groups. From this forms the games today.

It is extremely satisfying to see that the three games today were balanced. If the sort-outs were successful, we would have three games of equally balanced players. I received many comments today on how amazingly balanced the three games were. I give credit to my team of coaches who had the difficult task of evaluating the players through their skills sessions and two games.

As expected, I had to field some emails and questions from those families who felt their son should be evaluated to a higher level today. I am not sure how many of these I was expecting, but I feel the feedback I have received was that everything was open and every player treated fairly and equally the best I could.

Each player was evaluated by eight evaluators over three ice times. Every player had an equal opportunity to complete against the same level of player.

When you create a dividing line between levels, it is pre-determined that the line for C is at player number 140 and the line for A is at 45. The reality is that player 141 and 46 could have the equal abilities and scores as the player one above him. Unfortunately the line is a line and this year players at 141 and 46 have to play at the lower level.

I did tell parents that there was one more sort-out game to play and have their son demonstrate he is well above the rest of the group he is assigned with. He would have to demonstrate an extremely high level of play to be considered for the next level however. And this high level of play would be completely inconsistent with the three sessions already done.

In both game 3 and game 5, the evaluators felt there were no players that did not belong, which is exactly what we are looking for.

Four more games to go and then sort-outs will be complete.

Heads up that we will have our teams set by the end of the week and each team has a practice Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Update: Sun Sep 19

Hi Team,

I have just sent the email confirmation for game three, the final sort-out ice time for peewee house.

It will have one of the three statements:
  • This game is the final C LEVEL sort-out game.
  • This game is the final B LEVEL sort-out game.
  • This game is the final A LEVEL / B LEVEL sort-out game with BODY CHECKING.
With regards to the BODY CHECKING, the email mentioned two items:

If you told me your son did not want to play body contact, unfortunately you need to remind me so I can move your son out of the BODY CHECKING game, I did not have time to look these up.

If you have not attended our body checking clinic, you need to tell me today so we can make arrangements. I will go through the list before Wednesday to make sure everyone has attended. I know there is at least one returning Atom B player who made the BODY CHECKING game and has not attended the clinic last Friday as a result of our mixup. Pretty sure there are two additional players in this list for a total of three.

If you are not in the final A LEVEL / B LEVEL sort-out game with BODY CHECKING, you need worry about a body checking clinic this year.

Sorry for taking so long to send the email. I wanted to make absolutely sure there were no mistakes.

The final three B LEVEL sort-out games are tomorrow.

Early Update for Game Three

Early update for game three , your son plays on one of the following times:

Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game Three
Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game Three
Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 7:30 PM Game Three

Tue Sept 21 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game Three
Tue Sept 21 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game Three

Wed Sept 22 Sensplex Scotia 5:00 PM Game Three
Wed Sept 22 Sensplex Scotia 6:00 PM Game Three

I will be sending the email tonight after the 7:30 PM games ends (8:20 PM game finish). The emails are ready to be sent, so should be before 11:00 PM. Note that I need to go home, enter the scores into the computer and send the emails after the game ends.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Update: Sat Sep 18

Today was the busiest day for peewee at the rink; six hours for six games. Including Dylan's Atom game this afternoon, I was in hockey mode the entire day, from when I woke up "bright and early" for our 8:00 AM until 7:30 PM when I got home tonight after our 6:00 PM game.

Tomorrow we have five games, then we head into the final stretch with game three Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I have started entering the scores for the games today so should be able to complete tomorrow and send the emails for the final games that start Monday.

See five sevenths of you all tomorrow.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update: Fri Sep 17

Hi Team,

First off a thanks for all your support you have been giving me. I have had tons of well wishes and encouragement. Much appreciated. I have heard that I have many blog followers, that is great news.

Also a belated thanks for our turnout so far, especially for the player skills sessions. You recall we received a no so great 9:00 PM on a Sunday night and a equally not so great 4:15 PM on a Monday afternoon. I had a few parents threaten to be no shows. I was so concerned my sort-outs would get challenged if a ton of players missed their times, I squeezed an extra hour out of KMHA for contingency in case players missed their one and only skills evaluation session.

Guess what, my parents gave me some fantastic support and the turnout was overwhelmingly successful. Even some of the parents who said their son would not attend bitterly made their ice times. I had 100% attendance for the 4:15 PM time and only one missed the 9:00 PM. This helps.

As a result, I was able to give back the funny "7:00 AM Reserved" ice time in the schedule.

Apologies again for the body checking clinic confusion. Recall the sort out plan for peewee is:
Players assessed as peewee A after the first two times will be further assessed on their willingness to engage in the physical part of the game. This body checking clinic is mandatory for those players who wish to play at the peewee A level.

As we have a compressed schedule, I actually cannot re-access after the first two ice times and will re-assess after the three ice times (player skills and two games). I wanted to have the body checking clinic after Sunday. This way we would have a smaller pool of players who needed to attend the clinic.

Unfortunately we had to schedule a body checking clinic Friday instead, before most of the players had completed any of their games. I took a stab at trying to run the body checking clinic without completed sort-out information. My thinking was that I cannot very well tell players they cannot attend the clinic and imply no House A without completing half of their sort-out sessions, so I invited the lot of them to the clinic.

Unfortunately, my strategy failed and my email went out to way too many players and everyone wanted to attend. Health and safety dictates a maximum of 25 players on the ice at a time. As a compromise, we had to scramble and create a different schedule. Last years Atom A players at 6:00 PM and last years Peewee B players at 7:00 PM. Thanks goes out to the KMHA team for fixing my problem for me.

Please remember that game one and game two are non contact and failure to have attended a body checking clinic in no way changes your evaluations. Having coached an Atom B team last year, my new peewee players are expecting a fair chance at a spot in A and they are receiving it.

When we get past Sunday, we will know how many additional players need to attend a clinic. We can then work something out with a much smaller pool of players, if the evaluations so indicate.

I would finally remind all of us that we have three A teams this year. It is an ODMHA rule that our organization must be 20% A, 60% B and 20% C. We are afforded a fourth C team as we do not interlock and have our own four team league. The privilege is that our C teams are a little stronger at tournaments.

If I went by the parents, we would have eight A teams and not three. I can tell already that I am going to have a bunch of unhappy parents who's son does not make A.

When you are watching your son this weekend, please be objective when accessing his performance. Players are ranked top, middle and bottom in each game. Question yourself, is my son dominating the game, is he the top player in the game, is he influencing the outcome?

Games on again at 8:00 AM tomorrow.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Update: Thu Sep 16

Hi Team,

I was in my happy place this morning as I finally was able to send a proper email with the weekend schedule. Everyone has game one and game two. We are in great shape.

Unfortunately, I patched in a Friday body checking clinic into the schedule, that is in less of a good shape. I would say lemon shaped.

I thought I could pull it off given my work schedule early this morning, but the body checking clinic organization is a disaster. Problem one is that I invited way to many players. We are figuring out what to do here. There are other problems with the way I handled the body checking clinic and you are a House A candidate.

I thought I clearly said that you could be a House A candidate if you attended the body checking clinic.

I never said you were in House A and all you have to do is attend the clinic.

I proposed a alternate plan and will email tomorrow morning concerning the body checking clinic.

On the side, I sent a bunch of emails out confirming my help for the weekend. I still have a few spots for sign-in desk help.

That is about it for today.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update: Wed Sep 15

A very quick entry for tonight.

Yes, I made a big mistake in the emails I sent out last night. The ice time should match that in our schedule . The ice times for Game One is AM on Saturday September 18.

I did not reply to everyone, I was going to do another email with the correct time adding in the second game. I am a little delayed as I have information about the body checking clinic for players who wish to play contact. We are possibly looking at Friday September 17 at John Mlacak at either 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM. This is mandatory for players who wish to play at the A level this year. Apologies for the delay on this, we just recently lost our ice scheduler so the "ice team" is working very hard to set things right for us.

I hope to send out the email tomorrow morning when I get confirmation.

I did not reply to all the offers for help yet, I am getting there.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Update: Tue Sep 14

Hi All,

Tonight three sevenths of the players had their game one. For some of the new players, this was their first game action of their hockey careers. Great time was had by all.

I have sent everyone in peewee house an email regarding their game one. Every player has a game one time. Every player has a working email address. And there was much rejoicing.

There is one confirmed email wonkiness, the text on the game time in bold is white and you cannot read it. If you experience any wonkiness with my emails, feedback would be helpful, as you are going to be getting emails like this all year long from me.

As I said on the peewee sort-out process:
  • You will receive an email from me indicating your son's first assigned time, which will be a player skills or goalie skills evaluation. (DONE)
  • Next, teams will be formed and everyone will have one game (second ice time). (DONE)
  • After the first two times, there will be an initial sorting and the second two assigned times will determine the final sorting into balanced teams.
I have the first set of scores for the games today, so I will be able to complete some calculations and send game two out as the next task for tomorrow.

I have volunteers but never enough so keep those emails coming if you can help. I am going through the "I want to help" emails tomorrow as well.

I have been getting Dad's to help out on the benches during the evaluation games. There is no coaching, you open the door, let five players in or five players out and they do their thing.

If you have considered assistant coaching (or coaching), now is a good opportunity to stand on the bench and get the real hockey experience. Sitting in the stands is too far away from the action.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Update: Mon Sep 13

Today was the second players skills session. I was able to get on the ice today and it sure was cool to see the players in action. I was the backup evaluator at 4:15 so I had to evaluate a few of the drills. As much as I thought it would be easy to evaluate players using my five point system, try doing it up close when the players are racing past you at 100 miles an hour.

The four evaluators provided the consistent numbers I was expecting and we are in good shape to sort the players into teams for games.

I wanted to email everyone their next game time. We have three games tomorrow, but there are players and goalies waiting for their Saturday time. I told the players today that I would email them their Saturday morning game times tonight.

Unfortunately I ran out of time tonight. With emails, two more phone calls, and a few other things I ran out of time. Last night I sent the emails out for tomorrows game. I finally got around to pressing go at 1:44 AM and discovered I made a mistake.

Tonight I have a 12:00 midnight cutoff and we have hit it.

What I will do tomorrow night after the three games is tabulate some results and then I can send the schedule for Saturday and Sunday.

A reminder that everyone has two game times in the three day span of Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. If you are not playing tomorrow, then you have a game Saturday and a game Sunday.

See you tomorrow.

KMHA Peewee call for female sign in desk volunteers

Hi Team,

I am realizing that I have eliminated half of my volunteer workforce looking for males. We need a way for more of our hockey moms to help out.

I adjusted the sign-in desk and it worked very well last night.

The sign in desk for a player is as follows:
1) Player comes to the desk
2) Player signs out his pinnie and sign in desk marks the sheet as pinnie out and player attended.
3) Player does his ice time.
4) Player returns the pinnie to the desk and sign in desk marks the sheet as pinnie returned.

The best part here is that I eliminate the need for male help to manage dressing rooms and collect pinnies. The pinnies get returned by the players.

We figure we need three sign in desk volunteers for this to work. One on the sign in sheets, one on the red pinnies and one on the white pinnies.

Since I only collected two sign in desk volunteers, I am looking for a third on all the days left in the schedule. I am especially looking for help tomorrow.

I have been getting student volunteers to help work the sign in desk as well.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Update: Sun Sep 13

Tonight we had three hours of player skills at the Kanata Fog Bowl. For whatever reason, the Jack Charron ice surface was encased in a cloud of fog. At the start, the evaluators on the bench were worried they could not see the players. The fog partially cleared and we ran the players through their drills.

Each player received two sets of evaluations according to what we set out in the Player Skills Evaluation Plan. The plan was new this year, so it was very satisfying to see that two independent evaluators gave almost identical results for each player.

I have emailed all the goalies and all the players who skated today if they are playing Tuesday or not.

Second three hours of player skills starts tomorrow at 4:15 PM.

Mandatory equipment for Peewee

There are those that are new to ice hockey that may not have this information. Atom had a player come to sort outs this morning thinking equipment was provided.

Mandatory equipment for the Peewee Level is as follows:
* CSA Certified Helmet and Full Cage
* Mouth Guard - does not have to be a custom one from the dentist, the 'off the shelf' ones work fine.
* Neck Guard
* Hockey Skates
* Shoulder Pads
* Elbow Pads
* Neck Guard
* Jock
* Hockey Pants
* Shin Pads
* hockey Socks
* Hockey Gloves
* Hockey Stick
* Jersey - one will be provided near the beginning of the season for games but you will have to bring your own for sort-outs and practices

Special attention should be made about the neck guard and mouth guard. Frequently players think they can get away without them. Incorrect, players cannot go on the ice without neck guards and mouth guards. This was explicitly called out in my email.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update: Sat Sep 12

In my state of relaxation between early today and late tomorrow I almost forgot an update.

We showcased some fantastic goalie skills this morning. Every team is going to have two great kids between the pipes this year. Thanks to all the great volunteers I had it went without any problems.

We had 26 goalies this morning in two hours. Easy compared to tomorrow night at 7:00 we have the first three player skills sessions and the crunch of 102 players.

Door signs, eval sheets, sign-in sheets, pens, clipboards, pylons, pucks and pinnies are ready to go.

See almost half of you all tomorrow.

Friday, September 10, 2010

UPDATED: Peewee Sort-out Process

Hi Team, a few changes since I first posted this back on August 16.

This note is aimed at providing some general information regarding the upcoming peewee house sort-out process.
  • Peewee house consists of three levels, A, B and C. Peewee A is contact. Peewee B and C are non-contact.
  • There are currently players sufficient for fourteen teams in peewee house. Sort-outs are used to balance the players into the fourteen teams.
  • Each team will have two goalies and either fourteen or fifteen players.
  • This year there will be three A, seven B and four C for a total of fourteen teams.
  • Players will each receive four one-hour sort-out times and will be assessed over the course of two weeks.
  • Players will be assessed on their demonstrated skating abilities (technique as well as speed), general hockey skills (passing, shooting, puck handling), and overall hockey sense (hunger for the puck, attitude, team play, instinct, etc.).
  • Goalies will have a separate "goalies only" assessment.
  • You will receive an email from me indicating your son's first assigned time, which will be a player skills or goalie skills evaluation.
  • Next, teams will be formed and everyone will have one game (second ice time).
  • After the first two times, there will be an initial sorting and the second two assigned times will determine the final sorting into balanced teams.
  • Players assessed as peewee A after the first two times will be further assessed on their willingness to engage in the physical part of the game. This body checking clinic is mandatory for those players who wish to play at the peewee A level.
  • Evaluators will have 226 players to assess. To help us do the best job possible, it is critical that every player attends all four assigned sessions.
  • Sort-outs will be the over the twelve days between Sat Sept 12 and Wed Sept 22, including weeknights scheduled. The complete schedule is here

Update: Fri Sep 11

Hi Team, one more sleep before sort-outs!

It is kind of quiet tonight, no big tasks I needed to complete at the last minute and no full inbox to process. An early blog post.

Goalies skills evaluations are bright and early tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM. We only have two hours tomorrow, which is a great way to ease into the sort-outs.

We have 226 peewee house players. We have 223 players that I have confirmed contact with and 3 not confirmed, so 98.67% are confirmed. This is pretty fantastic since we were at 38.57% on September 3. I made about 20 calls this morning and a bunch of calls and emails back cleared up the list.

I made a few updates to the
Peewee Sort-out Process , a few details have been confirmed since I first posted back in August.

That is it, we are ready to go.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Update: Thu Sep 10

Hi Team,

As promised, I have posted player and goalies skills evaluation plans by the end of the week. Cutting it close to the end of the week, but done. You can have your son review them on the blog and be ready to go for skills sessions Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

We have changed the player skills sessions Sunday and Monday to include goalies. Goalies will not be receiving any evaluations during the player sessions, but have the opportunity for some extra ice. I am going to get four goalies per hour, which means that twenty four of our goalies get an extra hour of ice. Four goalies unfortunately will be miss out on the extra session.

I sent an email out to the goalies, I figured I may as well include the players as well, so everyone gets another email.

I would like to thank the Mom's in advance to be co-operative and understanding regarding the no females in the dressing room policy. This KMHA, ODHA and Hockey Canada policy will be enforced all year at the peewee level and above. If you are not aware of this policy, please speak to me on the weekend.

An additional reminder to new players that mouthguards AND neckguards are mandatory to go on the ice.

I am very close to having a volunteer schedule done for the ice times up to Tuesday. I sent a few more emails to fill up the list. I will be seeing everyone over the weekend so can harass for the second weekend. We have a four day open block until the second weekend, so not too worried about the second weekend right now.

I have no more bouncing emails, yea! I know I still have a bunch of players who have not confirmed my first three emails. I have held out long enough and will make the phone calls tomorrow morning, boo! I have had a few more confirmations coming in, so I am glad I kept putting off the phone calls until the last possible second.

If you are wondering where your peewee house email is, stop wondering and contact me. My contact information is here.

Two more nights until the peewee season starts!

Player Skills Evaluation Plan

Hi Team,

Here are the player skills evaluation drills. There are changes since last year, it is simpler yet more challenging.

Five drills, five points each, maximum score of twenty five.

There are four drills below. At the end of each drill, finish with a shot on net. The objective is to demonstrate a proper wrist shot with power and accuracy as many times as possible.

Score five - player demonstrates repeated wrist shots with accuracy near the corners of the net.
loose one point - cannot raise the puck from the ice.
loose one point - no accuracy, misses net, hits the middle of the net.
loose one point - does not prepare shot or demonstrate weight transfer to gain power, shoulders stay square to the net, pushes puck.
loose one point - does not demonstrate full motion in the wrist shot, does not draw stick back, does not follow through.

Key points for on ice help:
Make sure the players are taking proper wrist shots and at the cones/broomball line well outside the net. No slap shots.

Forward Skating

Forward skate with puck to far cones, take shot on net.

score five - player demonstrates drill with confidence.
loose a point - does not demonstrate power and both principles of the forward stride, misses fast start or long strides.
Want to see power developed by taking fast, short strides i.e. fast start.
As speed increases, want to see long and less frequent strides to maintain speed, uses full leg extensions.
loose a point - does not skate with confidence, skates upright, bends back not knees, knees not bent, does not use full extensions, head bobs up and down.
loose a point - does not maintain puck control, needs to use two hands, puck falls to sides of player, worries about the puck rather than skating.
loose a point - does not maintain open ice carry with confidence for the duration of drill.

Key points for on ice help:
Just let the players go.

Backward Skating and Pivots

Forward skate with puck. Pivot facing stands to backward at broom line/ cone. Backward skate to red line. Pivot to forwards again facing stands. Take shot at net at far cones.

Score five - Demonstrates drill with confidence.
loose a point - difficulty with pivot, looses significant speed, clearly cannot pivot both ways, does not follow instruction to face stands when pivoting.
loose a point - difficulty backwards skating, skates upright, bends back not knees, knees not bent, does not use c-cuts.
loose a point - cannot pivot, stops or steps to turn to go backwards.
loose a point - cannot skate backwards, shuffles or steps.

Key points for on ice help:
Players need to be reminded that they need to always pivot facing the same way, facing stands.

Crossovers and Tight Turns

Forward skate around circle with puck, skate to neutral zone, skate around four cones in opposite direction, skate to far cones, take shot on net.

Score five - Demonstrates drill with confidence.
loose two points - do not see the player performing crossovers through the turns, both directions.
loose a point - player does not maintain constant speed around circle and around the tighter circle in the neutral zone. Player does not accelerate through turns, slows down.
loose a point - player demonstrates poor puck control when going around the circles, cannot control puck on backhand.

Key points for on ice help:
Critical that players are started in opposite directions to avoid direction bias, one circle player starts on side boards, other end circle, player starts into the middle.


Forward skate to blue line with puck, stop facing stands, skate forward to broomball line/cone, stop facing stands, Skate to center red line, stop facing stands, skate to blue line, stop facing stands, Take shot at net at far cones.

Score five - Demonstrates drill with confidence.
loose one point - player does not stop with both feet, does a snowplow stop with one foot.
loose two points - player does not demonstrates stops in both directions facing stands.
loose one point - player does not crossover start after stopping, just turns and skates, does not demonstrate quick change in direction.

Key points for on ice help:
Critical to remind players need to stop facing stands to demonstrate they can stop on both sides.

Changes since last year and why:
Every drill is done with a puck at all times. This increases the difficulty of the drills, to a level expected of peewee level players. Players would rather have pucks and not just skate, which may increase player interest and get scores refective of their abilities.
Eliminate the need to do drills without pucks and then the same drill with pucks.
Every drill ends with a shot on net against a goalie. Players are not just skating in circles. Sort of a carrot or challenge for the end of the drill to try to get some interest in the skills drills. Again to increase player interest.
Try to eliminate stick hand bias in the drills. We are not doing repeated right turn then left turn that punishes left hand players since they turn with speed on their backhand.
Try to eliminate right left bias in the circle drill.
We only have one hour for skills, so focus on fewer drills. The tighter turns around the center cones in the neutral zone covers tight turns.
The stopping drills include a change a direction, so players cannot cheat with a snowplow stop and go, they have to change direction, which requires a proper stop. Not even sure we evaluated stopping last year.
Eliminate the confusing 1,2,4,5 marking system of and replace with clear criteria an standards.
Cover as much as we can following the Hockey Canada player evaluation and selection manual.

Goalie Skills Evaluation Plan

Hi Team

Here is the plan for the goalie skills session on Saturday morning. A big thanks goes out to Dylan for taking the lead on doing the goalie evaluation plans for us.

You can click in each of the images below to read them.

Warmup - 15 minutes

Three Stations, goalies cycle stations every 12 minutes:

Center Station:

Near End Station:

Far End Station:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Update: Wed Sep 8

Hi Team,

Todays update.

I am down to one player who has not received any of my emails (email bounce), but still Twenty Three who have not confirmed my first three emails. I had zero time to call any players today but the goalies are ok, I received contact from the last one. Although one is still in competitive tryouts.

If you are wondering where your peewee house email is, stop wondering and contact me. My contact information is here.

I have a volunteer schedule being filled and it is not completely filled yet, but getting there. As expected 7:00 AM Saturday is a tough spot to fill. I will be sending more harassing emails tomorrow.

I have emailed the first ice time for all goalies for their goalie skills session.

I plan to post the player and goalie skills plans tomorrow if everything goes well. Both are in their final review.

Out for today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Update: Tue Sep 7

Hi Team, Update for Tuesday:

Yes, those first ice times are correct.

We should not be receiving times like this on a regular basis. The 9:00 PM on Sunday night and 4:15 PM on Monday afternoon is unusual. We did not receive similar ice times the last two years in peewee. There was a crush for ice times the first weekend as well as the fact that I sort of refused the three 6:00 AM times I was first given. Hopefully your son's time is better than 6:00 AM. The IP teams had their first ice over the long weekend, so all the levels have a little pain at the start.

I am down to three players who have not received any of my emails (email bounce) and Twenty Five who have not confirmed my first three emails.

If you have not received your peewee house email yet, you will need to contact us.

I also am down to thirteen players still in competitive tryouts who will come to peewee house.

There were a five new players to send emails to, three from competitive and two new registrations. (Not really new, just not processed by me yet).

I sent out an email to those who said they are interested in helping out during sort-outs. It was kind of a rushed job, but emailed in any case.

I have a bunch of emails out already and I know I have some responses to go through again, but it is time to fill in the volunteers schedule.

I am looking for:
Registration - sign in desk.
Dressing Room - get the players in order, help with pinnies, make sure pinnies returned, tie some skates maybe.
Trainer - we need a trainer for each hour, can be one of the on-ice guys if they are certified.
On Ice - keep the skills session going and "referee" the games.
Bench - two per team per game to handle the bench doors, will be the dressing room guys for games.
Evaluator - score the players.

All for today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Update: Mon Sept 6

Hi Team, update for Monday.

Our peewee registration list is set in stone. We will have 226 players for fourteen peewee house teams.

I am down to four players who have not received any of my emails (email bounce) and thirty one who have not confirmed my first two emails.

If you have not received your peewee house email yet, you will need to contact us.

I also am down to sixteen players still in competitive tryouts who will come to peewee house.

I have emailed the first ice time for all players for their player skills sessions, either Sunday or Monday. The email also gives a concrete idea when your second ice will be, either Tuesday or Saturday.

I updated the goalies reminding them of the first ice time on Saturday. Time to be finalized when we get a better goalie list. We still have a number of goalies in competitive tryouts.

I sent a few emails to volunteers over the weekend, I will send some more out tomorrow.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Final Peewee Sort-out Ice Times

Here are the final ice times for peewee sort-outs.

Our ice scheduler was able to accommodate two extra hours so we can safely dedicate two hours for goalie skills sessions, six hours for player skills sessions and twenty one hours for games.

Sat Sept 11 Jack Charron 7:00 AM Goalie Skills
Sat Sept 11 Jack Charron 8:00 AM Goalie Skills

Sun Sept 12 Jack Charron 7:00 PM Player Skills
Sun Sept 12 Jack Charron 8:00 PM Player Skills
Sun Sept 12 Jack Charron 9:00 PM Player Skills

Mon Sept 13 Sensplex Citizen 4:15 PM Player Skills
Mon Sept 13 Sensplex Citizen 5:15 PM Player Skills
Mon Sept 13 Sensplex Citizen 6:15 PM Player Skills

Tue Sept 14 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game One
Tue Sept 14 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game One
Tue Sept 14 KRC-B 8:30 PM Game One

Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 7:00 AM Reserved
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 8:00 AM Game One
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 9:00 AM Game One
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 10:00 AM Game One
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 11:00 AM Game One
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 5:00 PM Game Two
Sat Sept 18 KRC-A 6:00 PM Game Two

Sun Sept 19 KRC-B 3:30 PM Game Two
Sun Sept 19 KRC-B 4:30 PM Game Two
Sun Sept 19 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game Two
Sun Sept 19 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game Two
Sun Sept 19 KRC-B 7:30 PM Game Two

Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game Three
Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game Three
Mon Sept 20 KRC-B 7:30 PM Game Three

Tue Sept 21 KRC-B 5:30 PM Game Three
Tue Sept 21 KRC-B 6:30 PM Game Three

Wed Sept 22 Sensplex Scotia 5:00 PM Game Three
Wed Sept 22 Sensplex Scotia 6:00 PM Game Three

Email hell: why did I not get my peewee email?

I have had a couple flurries from parents saying "you did not send me" and "I did not get". As I say in How do we send peewee emails , I am fully confident my emails are being sent properly.

I have come to realize there are a number of problems we have worked though.
  • Some email addresses in the KMHA spreadsheet do not work. Out of 210 records, 20 had bouncing email addresses. I am down to four players with no email address who I have no contact with me yet.
  • Some email addresses had typos in them. Spaces and commas I fixed. Others had typos that parents got me to fix.
  • There are a old, inaccurate emails. I have not figured out why yet and more investigation is required, but many players families have requested changes to their email addresses that KMHA provided me. I can understand a fraction of these emails since emails would have changed since on-line registration in June.
  • In total so far, 86 players families have had corrections to email addresses (50% of the 171 who I have definite confirmations for).
  • A handful of players only have the players email address, not the parents. So parents never received the email, only their son.
  • The second email was received by everyone fine. A bunch of parents reported the first email was flagged as SPAM and they never saw it. The biggest offender appears to be Rogers, but there is no pattern. I have no idea why Rogers would think my email to player X is fine but email to player Y is spam.
I feel a lot better now since I asked for a confirmation to my second email.

Before the second email:

We have 293 players with 70 marked as a competitive players, for a total of 223 peewee players. We have 86 players with email addresses confirmed, so 38.57% are confirmed.
Generated: Friday September 3 2010 07:56:06.520 PM

Currently, I am at:

We have 293 players with 69 marked as a competitive players, for a total of 224 peewee players. We have 171 players with email addresses confirmed, so 76.34% are confirmed.
Generated: Saturday September 4 2010 12:06:21.248 PM

How do we send peewee emails

Being a software developer (computer weenie), I thought I would let everyone know how I send my emails. If you are big on computers and software, read further....

During the summer, I decided that manually sending emails to over 200 players times N emails was not going to work for me. Experience has shown that managing group emails from Mozilla Thunderbird is a big pain. And the one standard email to everyone was not going to work either.

My day job at the IBM Ottawa Software Lab is a software development manager developing model-driven development products at IBM Rational Software. Applying some modeling techniques is the way to go.

KMHA provides a big spreadsheet with the registration data. From Open Office, I can export the spreadsheet as a CSV file. (I do not use Excel, I am a Ubuntu user). I wrote an Eclipse plug-in to load the CSV file into a model, more specifically an EMF Model.

The model is effectively a database with a record for each player and fields for all the player data (names, emails, positions, addresses, previous year history, etc). Once I have the model, I wrote another plug-in to generate email messages.

An email message is simply an HTML file. I wrote a plug-in several years ago to generate web pages from an EMF model. It was a simple exercise to change this to generate KMHA email messages. Plug-ins are all written in Java.

There are two parts to the message, the HTML content of the email and the To:, Subject: and the commands to send the email. I use sendEmail to send the emails through my Rogers SMTP gateway. I use a shell script to send each email.

So the process to send an email is to:
  1. Create the Java class that generates the email.
  2. Run the generator that creates the shell scripts containing the sendemail command and HTML content.
  3. Run the scripts from the command line.
I am already finding big benefits from the email generator:

First off there is huge flexibility in my email messages. In my first email, I was able to add some logic that if the player was no longer registered as a goalie, I could add the line:
  • Since your son has changed his GOALTENDER registration since last year, I need you to confirm this change is correct.
I caught two goalies incorrectly registered as players and caught this up front and not at the start of sort-outs.

By adding some logic for new players, I was able to add the line:
  • My information does not indicate a team or position for last year. Without a team from last year, I will assume your son is new to minor hockey in Kanata. In this case I would request a brief reply with his previous ice hockey experience, years played, and anything else that would be useful for initial sort-outs.
I now have some great feedback from parents of new players.

I also was able to skip creating competitive players emails using logic as best I can in the generator.

Second off, I could personalize the emails and send one email to each player:
  • Welcome ANDREW HUNTER to KMHA Peewee 2010-2011
I have received many comments how organized the emails appeared. All of these personal frills were generated.

Third, complete logs of every email. As you can imagine, I received lots of "you did not send me" and "I did not get". I have logs of the emails sent, and the line in the log:
  • Aug 17 19:16:18 ltahunter sendemail[795]: Email was sent successfully! From: To: Subject: [Welcome ANDREW HUNTER to KMHA Peewee 2010-2011] Server: []
I can confirm the email went to Rogers, where it goes I do not have much control, but I know when the email was send successfully from my rogers account.

I have tested with as many email readers as I can to confirm the email content is clear and readable: gmail, yahoo, hotmail, microsoft outlook, lotus notes, thunderbird, godaddy's online reader, etc.

If anyone observes something "odd" with the emails, let me know.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peewee Update

I received a few emails about these topics so I thought I should post an update before the long weekend.

Peewee House Sort-outs will start Saturday September 11. A sneak peek at the ice times are here: Peewee Sort-out Ice Times.

  • All goalies will have their first ice time one of the two hours on Saturday September 11.
  • All players will have their first ice time one of the six hours on Sunday September 12 or Monday September 13.

I will likely assign the first ice times after the weekend after I get a few more player registrations cleared up, a few more player details done (email addresses) and a few more competitive tryouts complete. My list still has 128 peewee players in tryouts.