WTM Hockey - Wilbraham Twin Meadows Hockey - Greater Springfield premier youth hockey organization.

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WTM Evaluation Practices and Principles/Objectives

The purpose and goal of player evaluations is to achieve the most accurate player placement thru a transparent process, with guidance to tryout evaluators in order to create a consistent process. WTM will provide a known set of standards upon which players are measured to assure the highest possible degree of fairness and objectivity in the process.

The selection process consists of objective grading of players individual skill by an unbiased panel of evaluators.  The criteria for selection to each skill level team (going from highest skill tier to lower skill tier) consists of selecting: a) top skilled players, b)a mixture of skill with higher skill potential who are coachable to get to the next level, and c) good attitudes.

The Board has determined, and as generally accepted though out youth hockey, that the optimal number of players on a roster per age group is:

  • Mite - 9 skaters
  • Squirt - 10 skaters and 1 goalie
  • Peewee - 10 skaters and 1 goalie
  • Bantam - 10 skaters and 1 goalie

Overall number of participants may impact the program’s ability to achieve these goals.

The objective is to ensure that all players are selected to a team appropriate for skill level, fun, and skill development.

Skater Evaluation drills are designed to bring out all skills used in game play:

  • Skating drills – stride, edges, speed, crossovers, forward skating, backward skating, transitions to and from forward and backward, pivots, stopping, balance
  • Puck control drills – puck handling, puck control, shooting, passing
  • Small area games – game awareness, finding open teammates, finding open ice, puck battles, effort, forecheck, backcheck.  Small area games encourage competitiveness and force players to show off skills, talent, and willingness to try hard.

Goalie evaluations:

Goalies will be evaluated during on drill sessions and small area games.  There, they will be evaluated by one or more goalie evaluators, and ranked by the goalie evaluator 1-X for each level.  After the general scrimmages, the goalies will be ranked 1-X by the Evaluation Committee based on their performances.  These two rankings, one by the goalie evaluator and by coaches/committee, shall be given roughly equal weighting.  Using this formula, the BOD will make final team placements.  Because commitment is a particularly important factor at the goalie level, prior years coaches’ evaluations will also be considered in all instances.  Where the number of goalies exceeds the number of teams, the BOD will discuss the situation with goalies’ parents to discuss the best outcomes.

Team creation:

After the completion of the on-ice tryout, the Board of Directors will meet to determine final player rankings.  These final player rankings are based on a roughly equal weighting of a player’s most recent coaches evaluation and of the tryout performance. 
The Evaluation Committee will review all coaching evaluation and tryout data and rank players all 1 through X.   That ranking will be provided to the BOD.  The BOD will check for any instances where the evaluators ranking of a player, relative to other players from that player’s most recent team, deviates substantially from the coaches’ rankings of those same players.  Although there will clearly be some changes in the relative positions of players from the current season, this step will serve as a “check” for any serious anomalies that may indicate the need for review.  Where significant discrepancies appear, the BOD will take the matter up with the Tryout coordinators and Evaluators to make sure the ranking is appropriate.   Every player trying out will be evaluated and considered for placement on the highest team, regardless of prior season team placement or age.

If a parent does not agree with a player placement, that parent can request the childs score by notifying WTM President in writing within 72 hours of team posting.  If a review is requested, the BOD will recalculate the players scoring to make sure a mistake was not made and parent may review score.  A player will not be moved to a higher team unless a mathematical error was made.  No player will be moved down who has already been selected to a team.

If a player misses an evaluation session, the player will be selected to the lower skill team.  Player may be moved to a higher level team with approval of all coaches and BOD.  No player will be moved down who has already been rostered to accommodate roster addition.

If a player is a late registrant and did not attend any evaluation sessions, WTM will try to accommodate to the extent possible.  WTM BOD will consider roster additions to the team determined appropriate given player skill level and only if roster size permits.  NO player shall be removed from a roster to accommodate a late registrant. 

If after teams have been selected, another full team is not able to be assembled numerically because of an odd number of participants, WTM BOD will be in contact with the parents of the players who will need alternative placement.  WTM will assist in finding placement for these players under this rare circumstance.  Our focus is on providing a place for kids to play and enjoy hockey, we do not “cut” players, we will aid in finding a place to play if WTM cannot accommodate.

We are hopeful that every player in WTM will continue to skate year in and year out to develop long-lasting friendships, build on development, and make lasting memories with their teammates.  Furthermore, we recognize that every player is unique and his or her development curve may jump ahead or lag behind his or her peers.  With this in mind, the BOD and evaluation volunteers will try to acknowledge the forward progress of each skater for the next season, but in some instances, that will not be possible and a player may remain stationary or in some instances drop back.   Player placement is not lockstep from year-to-year.   For example, Returning A players are not guaranteed A placements.  This philosophy holds true for the goalie player position, as well.  No goalie is presumed to have this “spot” for any team next season regardless of whether they are returning to the same level or moving up because of his or her age.  This philosophy is based on the commitment of WTM board and coaches to provide each player the best chance to develop, excel, and enjoy the game of hockey.


A Note to Parents:: Parents

  • Help your child deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard, and have fun, will do more to promote a long-lived “hockey career” than anything else.
  • Understand that the Tryout Process is inherently imperfect and that there is a subjective element to the process.  Evaluators must make difficult decisions.  The Board has created what it believes to be a fair process that relies on good, thoughtful, and fair people doing the best they can.
  • Understand that the Board has decided to select outside evaluators in an attempt to create the most fair, balanced, and unbiased evaluations as possible.  This may change year to year as we see fit.
  • Please do not attempt to contact evaluators or coaches during the tryout process, as that type of communication undermines the integrity of the process.
  • As is the case in most youth sports, what particular team level a player plays at as a 7 to 13 year old rarely affects their later years. In fact, in most cases the relative ability ranking of players in a sport changes greatly over these years, so no single placement for a given season should be, nor is, creating a “destiny” for a kid. The high school and college rosters of all sports are filled with players who ranged from A to C players in their early ”careers”. The most critical factor for later years is – to still be playing!  Kids will keep playing as long as the adults don’t mess it up and make it no longer fun.
  • WTM is proudly a “town” program. We value, care, and spend as much time on “C” skill level teams as on “A” skill level teams and believe these distinctions are necessary only to the extent they are needed to determine what level a team plays at in a given league. They do not determine the “real players” nor very often who will be playing 5, 10, or 20 years from now, or who will excel in high school or college if that is the players goal.  


WTM’s policy is that, absent extraordinary circumstances, all tuition payments are non–refundable as the payment, when made, is a commitment to accept a roster spot on a team.  As a not for profit organization, WTM’s Board of Directors needs that commitment to finalize rosters for the 100+ players across the program that do play with WTM.  Without firm commitments from all of our players, it is impossible to finalize the number players and teams, budget and procure ice time, commit to league fees, plan for appropriate clinics, recruit the appropriate number of coaches, and generally manage the Program for the benefit of the participating players.
For several years now, the GSL has not enforced organizational borders which are outlined in the GSL bylaws.  These borders were originally designed to help build strong, community based, recreational hockey organizations.  The lack of attention to these borders has forced WTM, as well as all other GSL organizations, to adopt this type of policy as too many players were withdrawing between May 1st and September 1st or later, causing the wholesale changing of rosters and coaching assignments – in the end, the WTM players and volunteers were suffering as a result.  This policy is integral to operating the Program for the benefit of the 100+ active WTM players.  With the GSL border policy in mind, WTM continues to follow the policy, but will try to accommodate players who seek to join WTM from other towns.  The BOD will follow a process that if a player expresses interest in WTM who lives in a town outside of the organizational borders, the BOD will contact the previous GSL organization board to make sure this player is released, as WTM does not recruit or “poach” players.