In part, for the reasons stated previously, CCCYH simply does not have the membership numbers that many of our South Shore Conference competitors do. The more players you have to choose from the deeper the talent. The proliferation of select teams has definitely had an impact on our overall performance. We can certainly debate the quality of these teams, but we can’t debate the effect of our best players leaving CCCYH to play on these teams. Other teams in our conference have many kids playing on both their town teams and a select team due to the fact that the select teams are in close proximity to their home. In many cases our players are forced to choose one or the other due to the travel distance to these select team’s home rink.
Please tell me about cross ice, practice time and shared ice practices.
CCCYH employs cross ice hockey for several reasons. The first and most important is that we follow the USA Hockey recommendations for development of players from Mites to Peewees. USA Hockey has been advocating cross ice hockey for years now as one of the best ways to develop youth hockey players. If you have any questions about cross ice and its value please visit usahockey.com. We also implement cross ice in the 2nd half of our year as a result of the condensed ice availability at Gallo Ice Arena due to the start of the high School Hockey season.
Canal youth hockey also uses the same “Prime Time Ice” (Weekdays from 4pm to 9pm) in a single week as the following groups: Bourne Youth hockey, Bourne Skating Club, Bourne High School, Sandwich High School, Sandwich Ladies High School and other various skating and hockey groups. There is, on occasion, additional “non – prime time ice” (Before 7am and after 10pm weekdays) but we have found that most families do not take part at those hours. We have also found that in the past a large percentage of families do not participate in ice time at rinks in other towns when additional ice time is available.
While, CCCYH is the largest tenant by far at Gallo Ice Rink, it doesn’t mean we will always get the best ice time. The management of Gallo works closely with CCCYH to provide us the best quality ice times possible, but it has to be fair to other programs like the Bourne Skating Club and others. In any given year we have a different number of teams based on the overall numbers in our organization, which can range from 13-19 which doesn’t include Learn To Play Hockey or House Mites. If our teams begin practice at 5PM we become limited as to how late we can go with times. As many of you know we have kids out too late as it is. Options include 6AM practices for certain teams, or 3PM practices for others, but those options are not practical for many families. In the past we have added practice times at local rinks such as Tabor which were not well attended, so we need to be cautious when we consider purchasing additional ice. If we make the decision to acquire additional ice the impact will be felt by our entire membership in the form of higher tuition cost. We are considering an additional night of practice for next year at neighboring rinks. If it is economically viable and is not dis-proportionally burdensome to any one group we will move forward.
How are tryouts handled?
The tryout process has evolved significantly over the past several years, including previous trials of paid 3rd parties. There are many philosophies and approaches to team selection, any of which will be successful if implemented properly. Our process has evolved into a skill and scrimmage based approach that is evaluated by selected Board and non-Board members based upon hockey knowledge and experience with youth hockey. Our experiences with this process have proven that we achieve measurable and very repeatable results that are consistent even with different evaluating officials. The process has checks and balances and the results of each evaluating official is analyzed for departures from computer generated normalized data. The program makes a significant effort to ensure that evaluators at tryouts do not have a player at the level being evaluated. It is also important to note that coaches are not selected until the spring tryout process is complete. The tryout process is very stressful for all involved and will continue to evolve as various techniques are developed. However, we believe we have established an objective process that is inclusive and most importantly has data that is discreet and measurable to a standard.
What is the program doing to add ice time?
Our program surveys have shown that most people asked for more ice time and were even willing to pay more to have it. But, when we tracked the usage of the ice we found that it was being utilized by less than 4 out of 10 players. Assuming that appropriate ice time is available, we will modify our approach each year. We have experimented with “Pond Hockey” open ice events and found that attendance was less than adequate to justify the cost. We will continue to try to implement additional pay as you go programs that will make ice available to those who want to work on their skills. This approach allows the players that want extra ice time to have it, but doesn’t force the program to purchase costly ice, only to have it under utilized.
Who are our coaches and where do our coaches come from?
Just like any recreational youth sports league, CCCYH coaches are volunteers. They are primarily made up of parents of children within the program. They come from the surrounding community as businessmen, fire-fighters, bankers, salesmen…etc. When CCCYH tryouts are completed we evaluate the options we have from a list of volunteers that have applied to be coaches. We select the best talent we have for the various levels based on past coaching and playing experience. While we would like to have professional, collegiate, and high school level coaching experience for all our teams that simply is not realistic. We look for the most qualified coached who have volunteered. We will try to recruit where possible, but as you all know the commitment to coaching for CCCYH is very time intensive. Our season runs from September through March with practices and games throughout the South Shore, it is not like coaching recreation basketball, soccer or Little League where all your games are basically at the same time and at the same gym/field in your town. This is one of the most important areas for CCCYH and the most difficult to properly staff. We have tremendous volunteers that work extremely hard and invest significant amounts of time. If you feel your player is at the stage where he now requires professional coaching, your options are to choose a select league where the coaches are paid and your cost for such programs will range from $1,750 to $5,000 per season. We recommend before making the jump to those leagues please check out who will ACTUALLY be coaching your child and ask around for others that are playing, or have played there. In many instances the return on their investment was not realized, or who they thought would be coaching their child never did.
What does it cost to add Ice time?
Ice time is the single largest cost for our program. We are very fortunate that our home rink is Gallo, as it offers some of the lowest ice cost in the area. One night of additional ice time from 5:00PM – 10:00 would cost the program anywhere from $1100 - $1400 per night or roughly $31,500 - $42,000 to the bottom line cost of the program. Based on the current membership in the program, that would raise the cost of the program by almost $200 per player.
How does CCCYH determine the number of teams at each age and play level?
The conferences in which CCCYH competes typically require a commitment for the number of teams by age and play level in late spring for the next season. At this time, the best barometer for determination of this information is the registrations received to date. Consideration is given to the number of players at each age classification, the talent pool at each age grouping, conference requirements (i.e., Yankee requires 15 skaters at the Mite level), and the organization’s history (i.e., There tend to be more conflicts at the older levels, possibly justifying larger teams).
How does the ice purchasing process work?
All interested parties are invited to an ice buying meeting by the rink. Priority is typically given to programs that have historically purchased ice at a given facility, which is why CCCYH is able to secure substantial ice time at Gallo throughout the year. CCCYH continues to make an effort to secure ice time at other local facilities, especially during the high school hockey season, when ice time at Gallo is reduced.
How can we find out what is happening at the Board level?
All Board meetings are open to the public. The Board meets on a monthly basis and the dates, times and locations of those meetings are posted on our website www.capecodcanalyouthhockey.com. Any member in good standing is welcome to attend the meetings and participate in discussions. Our meeting minutes are also available to anyone who would like a copy. The Board would love to see many more members attend the monthly meetings. Our Board Members and their responsibilities for the year are posted on the website. All Board members are available to answer any questions our members have at any time.
What does the Board do to maintain objectivity?
The Board of Directors strives to create an open environment in which all opinions are solicited and valued. Most Board meetings include spirited discussion with many diverse opinions expressed. Each issue is debated openly, with an open vote taken for all actionable issues. Published minutes reflect the results of these meetings. Board membership is routinely in excess of the minimum required by the governing by-laws. Our monthly meetings are open to all membership and agenda items can be submitted in advance. As with any Board, a minimum quorum must be present to conduct an official meeting. The Board has standing committees and on a case by case basis may establish ad hoc committees. Non-Board members are always encouraged to become involved in these committees. Our website can be accessed for pertinent information.
What does CCCYH do to minimize the impact of internal politics on decision making?
The board understands that internal politics are possible in any group of 3 or more individuals. Therefore, there is the chance, if not the likelihood, that “politics” will arise at the board level, within the board, at the team level, and within individual teams. However, the program has attempted to minimize any “politics” through the following: 1) the board currently consists of 15 directors, a sufficient number to provide a diverse group of individuals representing all levels and age groups within the program and represent all three towns in our program; 2) the program makes a significant effort to ensure that evaluators at tryouts do not have a player at the level being evaluated; 3) coaches are not selected until after the spring tryout and team selection is completed.
How can issues be addressed within the program?
With respect to bringing forward concerns to the Board, it is important to note that each team should have a designated Team Representative. This individual should be the first point of contact to assist in issue resolution. Additionally, each division or age group has a designated Commissioner, who is responsible to assist membership as well. The Commissioners are typically members of the Board of Directors and should have access to the information or resources necessary to insure issue resolution. Finally, membership is encouraged to notify the Board of Directors directly if reasonable resolution to issues can not be achieved through the previously detailed processes. As stated previously, agenda items can be submitted in advance for upcoming board meetings.
What do we do to promote specialty players (i.e., Goalies)?
In the past few years, CCCYH has hired a special Goalie coach and has dedicated specific ice time to development of our net minders. We will continue to provide this extra attention to the goalies as they are a critical component to the success of our teams.
How can an individual become a Board member?
Interested eligible members are welcome to join the Board of Directors. A Director Application form is available and should be completed and provided to one of the following officers: Registrar, President, Vice President, or Secretary. A Nominating Committee will recommend acceptance to the board at the Annual Meeting, typically held in May. In addition, nominations will be accepted from the floor at the Annual Meeting and will be accepted from the attending eligible general membership. A majority vote of the attending membership will constitute membership on the Board. It is highly recommended that potential Board members attend at least a couple Board meetings prior to indicating interest in joining the Board. Each Director shall hold office for two years. Board members should be active working members and may be removed by more than a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Board because of continued unexcused absences or failure to carry out duties assigned.