All right, folks, it’s deep dark secrets time up in the Chronicles.
I hate house league hockey evaluations. There, I said it. Turns out, I have a hard time with evaluations in general when it comes to my kids. This is not something I struggled with when I was a child, I didn’t get anxious about tests or performances. But when it comes to my kids being evaluated? Anxiety City.
Over the past few years, the point has been driven home in a few ways, but what it comes down to is this: My entire life revolves around hockey for three weeks straight because each weekend depends on the performance from the weekend before. And the next weekend is up in the air until the results of each weekend’s performance is posted. I don’t deal well with the unknown. I just don’t. That’s my issue. In truth, knowing exactly what the schedule would look like from week to week wouldn’t change anything because the unknown of what level and which team and who is the head coach would still nag at me for the entirety of the process.
While I don’t know exact times, or what the team make up might be in advance of the evaluation process, I do know how the bulk of my September is going to look. For our association, house league hockey evaluations are at the start of the new season. And this process takes about three weeks.
Just to draw attention to the nuance: this means that for three weeks I am unable to make plans or decisions because my entire life is in limbo. I won’t know what my weekend looks like until the middle of the week. And even then, some of it is based on what happens on the Saturday. Even writing it out gives me anxiety.
Our association kicks off the house league hockey evaluation process with a skills set. Eight stations, and the kids are evaluated on how they perform at each station. That’s not terrible. The skills evaluated are what you would expect: skating forwards and backwards, skating the puck up to a net and taking a shot. The second day (typically the very next day), is scrimmage. Evaluators are looking for how the kids play hockey. Or this is what I’ve gathered over the course of a few years. I mean, what other purpose would it serve?
With that first weekend complete, the wait begins. I can only imagine how many emails the convenors get during this time, asking about results or when the next ice times will be posted. Doesn’t matter that there have been three emails, a post to the website and a Facebook post about this. I’m sure there are still questions.
The convenors then post a list of players they want to see on the ice again in what we call Bubble Games. Basically it’s for the players that are between two levels (in our case between A and B, or between B and C). Depending on who I have in Bubble Games determines how busy weekend #2 is. It’s not usually too terrible as the most we could have is three ice times. That’s child’s play for us at this point. The difficulty at this stage is the wait and not knowing what the schedule will be until a couple of days before. Again, I understand why that is, and it is absolutely necessary. It’s just difficult.
In the home stretch now. By now we know what level of hockey each kid is at. We just aren’t 100% sure on the team they are on because weekend #3 is all about balancing games. This is where each team at the same level plays one another. So Atom 1 will play against Atom 2 and Atom 3, and Atom 2 will play against Atom 3 and Atom 1 and so on. Balancing games ensure that one team is not wildly stronger than the other right out of the gate. Depending on what level the boys are at, we may have up to six games this year in a weekend. Maybe. Again, we don’t really know the timing and such until two or three days before.
With the three weeks of house league hockey evaluations completed, we get the official word on teams and the initial two or three weeks of the practice schedule is released. Then it’s
BRING ON THE HOCKEY SEASON
(for those of you wanting a more in depth explanation, I found this resource that covers just about everything I’ve experienced. Hope it helps!)
See you at the rink.