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Balancing - What is it and why do we do it

Posted by Debra Harper on Oct 04 2017 at 10:20PM PDT

Most parents don’t pay a lot of attention to this process until their child is one of the players that must make a move so we will outline what balancing is, why it is required, and how you can help to make the process easier on the kids.

What is “Balancing”?
Balancing is a term used by PCAHA to describe a process by which teams within a division are evaluated and, through player movements, start the season at even strength.

Why does CMHA balance teams?
As a member of PCAHA (Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association) we are mandated to have balanced teams. This is a mandatory requirement of being a minor hockey association in the Pacific Coast region. We are not able to opt out of the process, and the final declaration of whether or not teams are “balanced” is the prerogative of PCAHA, not CMHA. We simply facilitate the process and do our best to bring the teams into alignment before PCAHA makes any final moves.

How is balancing done?
Your child is temporarily assigned to a “group” of skaters at the start of the season. The first couple of weeks are primarily used for warm-up. Then these groupings begin to play games against each other to determine if they are of equal strength. During the next month or so, stats are evaluated, and decisions are made by CMHA staff as to how to redistribute players with the intention that no single group is stronger or weaker than the others. If we discover that our groups are unbalanced, we are obligated to redistribute players to make them more even. This continues until our groups are balanced and PCAHA gives our newly formed teams official status. PCAHA has the right to unilaterally declare these groups not balanced and, in some cases, decide which players will be moved.

How can we make the process easier on the players?
1. It is best at the beginning of the season that the pre-balanced groups are referred to as exactly that- “groupings”, not teams – and to make sure all players and parents understand that initial allocations may be temporary. Parents should be aware that players can be moved anytime up to January 10th according to PCAHA rules and obviously while moving players is hard now, it is much harder later in the season if it is enforced by PCAHA.

2. It’s imperative that parents also do their bit to make any moves less stressful on their children. Please have a discussion with them at the beginning of each season regarding balancing and let them know that these groupings are temporary. If your child does have to be moved, your reaction will dictate your child’s feeling on the matter. Being positive will go a long way to minimizing the temporary disruption of such a move.

Excerpt from CMHA Policies (full Policies available from “ABOUT” tab

5. Balancing the Teams.

i. Each team in the Division will play a balancing game with every other Coquitlam team in the Division. A copy of the game sheet will be forwarded to the Division coordinator within 24 hours of the game being played.

ii. No player movement will take place until all balancing games have been played.

iii. Once the balancing round has been played there will be a meeting of the coaches and the Division Coordinator to discuss player movement between teams that may be required to balance the teams within the Division.

iv. In the event that a player must be moved from one team to the other, that player must move or be deemed ineligible for further play.

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