Below is an overview of the plan for the continual development of the Adult Hockey League (AHL) in 2020 and beyond

We appreciate that not everyone loves change, but the Adult Hockey League is facing a number of challenges that need to be addressed, these include:

  • League structure and team numbers
  • Maintaining fun & competitive games
  • Controlling costs for players
  • Expanding player numbers
  • Player placement, grading and parity
  • Scheduling games and ice time availability
  • Managing volunteer resources

We have included our thoughts to date to address some of these challenges, however, we accept that there may be better ways of solving these and we look forward to and welcome your ideas and solutions as part of this initial consultation stage.


Proposed Changes for 2020:

Below is a brief overview of how AHL team selection and registration has worked in the past, and our proposal to make changes to this structure starting in 2020.

In the 2019 season, we introduced the player grading system to the A-League, and following its success we will be introducing this throughout the entire AHL; the player grading system will determine how teams are formed. All AHL players have been graded by the AIHA grading sub-committee, made up of Interim Head Coach, Justin Daigle (and formerly, Csaba Kercso-Magos) AIHA General Manager, A.J. Spiller and AHL League Director, Bill Bartlett during the 2019 season. This player grading system acts as an impartial and objective way to fairly review players’ skills and abilities and their appropriateness for each division. The grading system is focused on achieving the following:

Health & Safety:
The level of skill and ability is as even as possible, reducing the possibility of injury

Fairness & Competitiveness:
Ensuring that each league is fair and competitive

Transparency:
A formal grading system is an objective and impartial way of determining the appropriate division for all players.

In previous years, an informal grading system existed with the League Director having oversight of player placement. For 2020, we are formalising this process to make it an open and transparent system through the use of a grading sub-committee.


How Things Have Worked:

  1. Registrations open late January
  2. Snapshot of registered players taken late February
  3. Managers use registered player list to form a proposed team list and submit to AIHA for approval/changes – with League Director final say
  4. AIHA’s League Director reviews proposed team list and make changes where necessary (eg: Player A is not the correct fit for the team or division)
  5. Managers team list approved
  6. Games scheduled and players notified
  7. Games begin mid-late March

What We Are Proposing:

Option 1 – Maintain the Status Quo – with changes highlighted in red:

  1. Registrations open November or December
  2. Snapshot of registered players taken in mid January.
    • The number of teams in each division will be determined by registration numbers at this point
  3. Managers use registered player list to form a proposed team list and submit to AIHA for approval/changes
  4. Grading sub-committee reviews proposed team list, using a graded player system, and makes changes where necessary (eg: Player A is not the correct fit for the team or division)
  5. Manager’s team list approved
  6. Games scheduled and players notified
  7. Games begin mid-late March

Option 2 – Team Selection Process (Draft):

  1. Registrations open November or December
  2. Snapshot of registered players taken in mid January
    • The number of teams in each division will be determined by registration numbers at this point
  3. Managers are supplied a list of their players from 2019, and details of those who have registered for 2020
  4. Managers secure X number of players (number to be confirmed), which guarantee their place on the team as a secured player
  5. Players not secured by their manager are put in to an open player pool, as a free agent
  6. A team selection draft process occurs, where managers pick from the open pool of players in their division, to fill out their team
    • Player grading sub-committee have final approval on team rosters
  7. Games scheduled and players notified
  8. Games begin mid-late March

Option 3 – Player Preference Selection + Draft

  1. Registrations open November or December
  2. During registration, players indicate their preference for a team (not a guarantee), or if they are happy to be a free agent part of the open draft, where they could be allocated to any team in their appropriate division
  3. Snapshot of registered players taken in mid January
    • The number of teams in each division will be determined by registration numbers at this point
  4. Managers are supplied a list of players that have listed the Manager’s team as their preference
  5. Manager, in conjunction with grading sub-committee’s approval, submits proposed team list of “preference” based players
  6. Any players who did not list a preferred team, or weren’t selected by a Manager, are placed in to an open player pool, as a free agent
  7. A team selection draft process occurs, where managers pick from the open player pool to fill out their team
  8. Games scheduled and players notified
  9. Games begin mid-late March

Summary:

AIHA has created the AHL as a social league and understands that playing with mates is key, while keeping the league as equal and competitive as possible for each division, while keeping everyone safe. To achieve and maintain this, we will always need to make changes – that’s just part of an ever growing club. Hopefully, between what we are proposing and some good ideas from you we will get to a great place with the AHL.

We look forward to your feedback and seeing you on the ice again in 2020.

Where To From Here?

Once we have received feedback from our members, we will choose one of the options from the above list to move forward with and expand on. Once we have finalised the details of how this will work, the AIHA Board will review this process and communicate to members the direction for 2020.

Your Feedback Welcomed:

We welcome constructive feedback and suggestions from our AHL members. We want to receive your feedback on our initial proposals and gather your thoughts on how we can improve this initial plan.

If you would like to give constructive feedback, please do so through the form below.

The deadline to submit your feedback is Friday 4th October 3:00pm.

Only feedback from fully paid current AIHA members will be accepted.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

We will also be posting an FAQ Page on our website as new questions come in about the options.