Central Zone Information , Policy and Survey Link
Please see attached for information regarding the Central Zone policy and take a few moments to complete the attached survey.
WDMHA Peewee, Bantam and Midget parents and players:
The WDMHA, along with most other Minor Hockey Associations in OMAHA, decided for the 2016/17 year to open our borders with the intent of creating regional teams; Southern, Central, Northern and Thompson zones. This policy was formed in order to allow Bantam and Midget players that had the skill and desire to play on their regional representative Tier 1 or 2 teams. For Winfield, this meant that our players could play for the Central Zone Regional teams which is comprised of Kelowna and Winfield players.
Without open borders, Winfield players can only play at a Tier 3 level in Winfield. Their other options would be to move to another community or enroll in a hockey academy. This concept also allows the Winfield Bantam and Midget T3 teams to draw players from the Kelowna recreation teams to fill their rosters if players are needed.
The Board Members of WDMHA have worked throughout the year implementing the Open Borders program. It has not been perfect as expected for the first year of a pilot program. We have realized some pros and cons to this policy throughout the year. In order to fully evaluate the policies of the first year we would like some feedback from our members.
Your opinion matters to us all. All of our children spend a lot of time in minor hockey and we are looking to make the best decisions for their enjoyment and development in our National sport. We would like your help to ensure our association continues to improve. Please take time to read the OMAHA Zone Policy and Procedures and answer the questions to our brief survey after.
The following is a brief summary of our observations and learnings this year.
The good stuff…..
1. We had no pressure from Kelowna from the start and have always had the opt out clause of the Open Borders if we felt it wasn’t the best option for our association. They were doing it with or without our involvement.
2. We were able to have a Bantam rep T3 team and avoided having to not accept the registration of 6-8 Bantam aged players into WDMHA because of a numbers issue common to smaller associations. We were able to draw enough rep players from Kelowna to form a team and therefore keep our 6 to 8 Bantam players playing hockey this year in Winfield.
3. We were able to have 3 players play T1 or T2 hockey for the Zone teams at the start of the season and added 2 more in January for a total of 5.
4. Most of the MInor Hockey Associations in OMAHA were participating in this program whether WDMHA joined or not. The advantage to us participating was it allowed us to have a say at the table to what decisions needed to be made as opposed to being on the outside with no input on the Zone Pilot policies.
5. We gained a qualified assistant coach for our Bantam rep team from Kelowna.
6. We will potentially be able to participate in running some of the 50/50’s at some of the Rockets’ games in the future.
7. Our Bantam and Midget rep players should have access to any Zone specialty skills sessions or have access to any specialty coaches in the upcoming seasons.
8. This system insures Winfield we always have a rep team in both divisions. If the numbers justify it (majority of higher level rep players from Winfield), we could request our arena be the host to the Tier 2 or T1 team.
9. If the numbers of qualified rep players justify it, we also have the option of forming three Tier 3 teams within the Central zone.
10. This also allows us access to a lot of extra Ap players as the Kelowna Rec teams are eligible to play on Winfield Rep team now. We should be able to recruit Bantam Rec players for our Midget Rec team eventually as well. Kelowna rep teams can also AP from our Bantam and Midget Rec teams if need be.
Things that need to be worked on and improved for next season…..
1. We need to educate our parent group and players to how this system works. This has proven to be successful in Kelowna and Kamloops for years. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to introduce it to those who are unfamiliar with it.
2. As Winfield players are given the opportunity to play at a higher level on one of the Zone teams, some of those players will make those teams. This may weaken our teams initially but provides opportunities for more players to develop/play at a higher level. This should eliminate the hassles of families moving to accommodate those players.
3. Communication between the teams and coaches needs improvement to try and prepare teams for potential surprises like what our T3 Midgets were faced with this season. The move of a couple players created some holes in their team.
4. A clear set of association policies from the Winfield side needs to be established that will have to take into account the Zone policies. If there are issues that require adjustments to the policies, we need to make sure they are changed accordingly for the constant improvement of this program in order to keep it successful.
5. As the Zone policy expands in regards to the Central Zone program, we will need to keep the latest current version updated on our website.
6. Kelowna has been a rival for years. It is a paradigm shift for some to have them as part of our association with respect to the Central Zone teams.
7. It would be nice if some games and/practices could be held on Winfield ice in order for our members to be able to come out and watch the Zone teams and the local players on that team. Ice time would be an issue as ice availability is at a premium currently as we are near maximum capacity currently.
8. Our Coaches will need to make sure to have a deep list of AP players established well before any potential issues with player movement arise. We need to have players ready to step in and replace any players moved up to the higher teams.
9. The actual costs of participating in one of the Zone program teams will be determined by the level of corporate sponsorship contributing to the program.
10. We will need a representative from Winfield, independent from the board, to sit on the Central zone committee. This person’s role would be to assist in policy decisions and keep the lines of communication open and current to WDMHA and its members.
This information can also be found on our website www.winfieldminorhockey.com
The following brief 4 question survey is open to all parents or guardians of children playing in the PeeWee, Bantam or Midget divisions in Winfield this season.
Please click on the following link or copy and paste it to your browser.
The document OMAHA_Zone_Pilot_Policy_and_Procedures_Manual_2016-09-20.pdf was attached to this post.