Thank you to all of our AHL members who submitted their feedback as part of our initial member consultation. You can view the original post here. 

You can view a high level summary of the survey results here:  2020 AHL Survey Summary

In short, the key details are as follows:

Total Responses to Survey

Total:121 (37.9% of total membership)

(Overall) Do you have a preference of how the AHL is structured?

Maintain the status quo56
No preference1
Player Preference Selection + Draft54
Team Selection Process (Draft)10

How Will Teams Be Chosen For 2020?

The AIHA Board has reviewed the survey data and used this information to develop a plan for how the AHL will be structured for 2020 and beyond.

It is clear to us that there are two distinct types of players:

  1. Those who play socially and prefer to play with their mates
  2. Those who play “competitively” where they don’t mind which team they play on, so long as things are fair and competitive

AIHA intends to continue to strike a balance between these two player types, ensuring that the AHL appeals to as many of its members as possible.

For the vast majority of players, there will not be any changes to which team or division you are eligible to play for in 2020. If you choose to play on your current team with your mates, so long as you are in an appropriate division for your skill level, then you will be able to do so.

The way players will be assigned to teams for the 2020 season will be as follows:

  1. Registrations will open next week (the week of 16th December) for the 2020 Season.
  2. During registration, players list whether they want to remain with their current team; or become a Free Agent.
    1. Free Agents will be assigned to a team and division by the AIHA grading sub-committee, based on player skill level and team requirements.
  3. Snapshot of registered players taken in late-January.
    1. The number of teams in each division will be determined by registration numbers at this point.
  4. Managers will be given their team list based on who has chosen to remain on their current team.
  5. Grading sub-committee reviews the teams list, and using the player grading system, place free agent players into appropriate teams and divisions given team requirements and player’s skill level.
  6. Games scheduled and players notified.

This is very similar to how the AHL (formerly SNC) has been run for many years. However, in previous years, it has fallen on a single person (the League Director) to adjust a person’s team or division placement as necessary. The League Director may have made changes for reasons such as:

  • Balancing new vs. experienced players
  • Ensuring players are moved to the appropriate division for their skill level
  • Ensuring health and safety of all players

The only change AIHA is making to this process, is having a grading sub-committee be in charge of making these changes, rather than a single person. The grading sub-committee will be made up of Justin Daigle (Interim Head Coach), A.J. Spiller (General Manager) and the AHL League Director.  The grading sub-committee’s criteria for moving players will be the same as it always has been.

In short, so long as you are a player that is fit for the team/division you choose to play in, you will be able to play in whichever team/division you want to.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can take part in the 2020 AHL season?
Any male or female player aged 18 and over, who doesn’t play in the NZIHL.

How much will the 2020 AHL season cost?
There will be a slight increase in fees due to cost increases for ice time. The playing fees have been split across 6 instalments, rather than 3, which makes it fairer for those who only play part of the season (eg: injury) and helps spread out the payments.

Registration – $179.00 ($139.00 if paid by January 31st ).
Instalment 1 Due March 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)
Instalment 2 Due April 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)
Instalment 3 Due May 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)
Instalment 4 Due June 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)
Instalment 5 Due July 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)
Instalment 6 Due August 1st 2020 – $76.00 ($71.75 if paid by March 1st)

A total prompt payment discount of $65.50 is available if all fees are paid by March 1st 2020.

How will fees be paid?
Fees will be paid by the player to AIHA in the same format as 2019, split across instalments. Payments accepted via bank transfer and credit card on ClubHub.

When will the 2020 AHL season run?
We aim to schedule the season with similar start and end dates to what you are used to. Season start in approximately mid-late March and finals in September and October.

How have you graded all AHL players?
The grading sub-committee have attended games during the 2019 season to evaluate player skill level.

Who can be a team manager?
Any player can be a team manager, though this will depend on vacancies with existing team managers and/or whether an existing manager chooses to continue their role next season.

How can new people join the AHL?
New players are welcome to join the AHL and will be evaluated by the player grading sub-committee at a scrimmage or training session, to determine the most appropriate division for them. They will then be placed in a team depending on team and numbers requirements.

How will I know if I need to be moved divisions?
Any players that fall under the category of needing to move divisions (eg: due to skill level not suitable for current division) will be contacted directly by the General Manager or Head Coach to discuss the reasons why the player needs to be moved and available options. Rest assured that this will affect only a small minority of players, and AIHA will make suitable arrangements to ensure this is performed fairly and taking in to account the player’s interests.