||“What’s In A Name?
Arrows Travel Teams To Use “AA, A, and B” Designations”
One of the major characteristics of the Arrows organization
that I am most proud of is our willingness to make changes
to improve on some aspect of our program. I’d like to take
this opportunity to share with you a change to the way in
which we will identify our travel teams effective for the
2004/2005 hockey season.
The Long Island Amateur Hockey League (LIAHL) along with
the New York State Amateur Hockey Association (NYSAHA) of
which it is a member, use the following USA Hockey Tier-to-Letter
conventions: Tier I (one) = “A”; Tier II (two) = “B”; Tier
III (three) = “C”. The Arrows are a USA Hockey Tier II organization.
This means that at each age classification at which we field
a team, the team is registered as “Tier II tournament bound,”
meaning that the team is eligible to qualify for the NYSAHA
Tier II state championships and USA Hockey Tier II national
championships. The mite team is an exception to this as
there is no state championship offered at mite level. Furthermore,
there is no Squirt national championship tournament offered.
These teams compete in the “B” division of the LIAHL meaning
that we will be playing a league schedule against other
similarly recognized and registered teams of member organizations
of the LIAHL.
By LIAHL rule, any second teams that a Tier II organization
like ours might field at any given age classification must
be registered as Tier III non tournament bound (USA Hockey
rules dictate that any single organization cannot register
more than one tournament bound team per age classification.)
We will field one such team this year at the PeeWee age
classification. Historically, this team would compete in
the “C” division of the LIAHL meaning that the team will
be playing a league schedule against other similarly recognized
and registered teams in addition to any teams of the LIAHL
that may be registered primarily as Tier III organizations
(e.g., Great Neck Bruins). This may change this coming year
with the growing number of non tournament bound second teams
being fielded by some of the Tier I organizations (e.g.,
the Gulls, the Royals) and the league structure, if one
is implemented, that will govern their play.
Outside of the LIAHL, in neighboring regions such as New
Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, youth hockey leagues
and organizations have adopted a different Tier-to-Letter
scheme, as follows: Tier I (one) = “AAA” or “AA” or “A”,
Tier II (two) = “AA” or “A”, Tier III (three) = “B.” You
have probably already heard of or know of Tier I organizations
advertising themselves as “triple A” teams. Certainly the
superior/elite teams rightfully should. In this scheme,
a weaker Tier I team can opt to designate themselves as
“double A” or “single A” team based upon its perceived strength.
Likewise, Tier II organizations can designate their stronger
teams as “double A” (“AA”) and their weaker teams as “A.”
An application of this would be as follows: A Tier II organization
may have a Squirt team that is predominantly made up of
highly talented “major-aged” (i.e., second year) players
and as such, consider this team as being very strong. This
team would be designated as a Squirt Tier II “AA” team.
Whereas its Bantam team that same season may be composed
of a majority of “minor-aged” (i.e., first-year bantam)
players and could thereby classify themselves as a Tier
II “A” team. The coaching staff for each of our travel teams
will be coming up with their designation based on their
assessment of the team. So designated, each team will them
be able to seek out the most appropriate level of competition
for itself which will hopefully eliminate one-sided games,
along with the confusion and dismay expressed by parents
and players who have been heard saying things like “The
New Jersey Penguins are an “A” team. Why are we playing
Since these are designations are of our own choosing, we
can adjust them should the team prove stronger or weaker
than originally perceived. These designations will also
help us in selecting and entering our teams into appropriate
levels at tournaments.
In closing, I hope that I’ve explained this new concept
that we will be implementing clearly. If not, or if you
have any questions about it, or about any aspect of our
organization, don’t hesitate to contact me. The best way
to do that is via email (email@example.com).
Have a great summer. Keep the kids skating!!!