Female Hockey News

Female Hockey Changes for 2014-2015


The Halifax Zone Vice Presidents Female Hockey (representing Bedford, Chebucto, Halifax, Sackville and Tasa) and the Minor Hockey Association Presidents met with representatives from Hockey Nova Scotia’s Female Council on 29 July 2014. 

The Female Hockey VPs and Hockey NS believe that the changes outlined below are a significant step in developing female hockey. While the changes outlined below mark a departure from past practice, the female hockey community is a small one, with many interactions between players and coaches that transcend traditional minor hockey boundaries. 

All female hockey players will register in their home organization. Female hockey players will have to pay a “placement fee” (the equivalent of a try-out fee in boys hockey) at the time of their tryouts. 

We encourage all female players to register as early as possible to facilitate planning.

Regionalization “AA”
The Halifax Zone has agreed to implement a regionalized tryout and selection process for female hockey at the Peewee AA, Bantam AA and Midget AA levels. 

Regionalization “A” 
There will be a placement process for female players at the Peewee A, Bantam A and Midget A level. The objective of the placement process is to create balanced teams but attention will be given to geography and social networks in assigning players of comparable skill. 

Atom Hockey
At the Atom level, MHAs will continue to run their own evaluation and selection processes and, if numbers permit, ice two balanced teams (Atom Female Hockey is not tiered).  

Why are we doing this?
  • Regionalization will ensure that players have the opportunity to play at the level where they can best develop.
  • Regionalization will provide a consistent registration experience from year to year.
  • Regionalization will create more competitive and balanced teams
  • Hockey NS will be implementing this model in 2015-2016, so the proposed changes are coming.

Tryout and Selection Processes
The placement processes for “AA” and “A” will be led by Shawn Mackenzie with the participation of other evaluators. Ice times will be at BMO from September 14th to 27th . Ice has been secured and a placement fee of $100 will be paid (in cash) at the first ice time (players will receive up to 6.5 hours of ice). If a player tries out for AA and is cut to an A team, no additional placement fee will be charged. Players who do not participate in the placement process will have to pay fees for their conditioning and balancing sessions. 

The nature of the placement process will include a combination of individual skills, scrimmages and game play that will be shaped by the evaluation team.

According to Hockey NS, female players are not permitted to tryout simultaneously for two competitive teams. Players are permitted to follow a tryout on a co-ed (“boys”) team to completion and, if they desire, to start a tryout for a female team. 

Everyone is committed to ensuring a fair and objective placement and selection process. To that end:
  1. Volunteers and coaches from previous years will not be involved in selecting players at the same level (for example, a Bantam coach will not be involved in selecting the Bantam or Midget players)
  2. Parents will only be invited to evaluate players at levels where there is no conflict (real or apparent). For example, the parent of a first-year bantam player may be excluded from evaluating bantam and peewee.
  3. The same principles will be applied to the evaluation of goaltenders, when possible.

Placing Teams
For the 2014-15 season, teams will be assigned to MHAs and operate much as they have in past years. For 2013-14, teams were located according to the following chart:
  Tasa(T) Bedford(B) Chebucto(C) Sackville(S) Halifax(H)
Atom X X (in Bedford) X X
PW A X X (in Tasa) X (in Bedford)
PW AA X X (in Tasa) (in Bedford) X
Bantam A X (in Halifax & in Sackville) (in Sackville) X X
Bantam AA X (in Tasa) (in Sackville) X X
Midget A (in Halifax) (in East Hants & Halifax) (in Halifax) X X
Midget AA (in Bedford) X (in Halifax) (in Bedford) X

We hope to have a sense of how many registrants we have in early September and begin to plan the number of teams and the levels. There may be some last minute movement but we anticipate that the layout will be very similar to previous years. 

For the AA teams, we are working to have as many games and practices held out of BMO and Centennial as possible due to their central location.  While this is the goal, there is a possibility that, as in previous years, certain games and practices may be held at other arenas.

The home rink for the A teams will most likely be the home rink of the association that is hosting the team although as stated above, players will be assigned in order to help create balanced teams.

Coaching decisions will be made collaboratively at the “AA” and “A” levels. Interested applicants will be apply through their MHA and all of the applications received will be considered by a selection committee that will include representation from multiple associations, with assistance from Hockey Nova Scotia. 

For 2014-15, female hockey teams will continue to wear sweaters from the participating Halifax Zone MHAs. It is our hope that beginning in 2015-16, there will be a new “brand” for female hockey. 

For the 2014-15 season, female hockey will continue to be governed by the relevant MHAs, with oversight from Hockey Nova Scotia’s female council. We anticipate creating a new governance structure for female hockey and have this in place for the 2015-16 season.