What is Balancing, and why do we do it?
Balancing is the process used to ensure that teams within a Division are formed that are of approximately equal strength. As members of PCAHA (Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association) each Association is required to have balanced teams in each Division. The final declaration of whether or not the teams are balanced rests with the PCAHA. It is the Association, and the Division Director’s responsibility to ensure that they have engaged the players in a fair evaluation process that achieves this balance. Please note that if teams are not determined to be balanced by the PCAHA, they can decide which players will be moved to achieve team balance. We, as Division Directors, and Coaches of Richmond Minor, feel it is in our members’ best interests to ensure our process results in fairly balanced teams as early as possible in the season to avoid PCAHA having to take any further action. PCAHA rules state that they may make player movements if they deem it necessary, as late as January 10th.
In order to achieve this balance, at the beginning of each season we engage our players in a series of skills and game evaluations by Division. They are evaluated from 1 - 5 based on skating, speed, puck movement, and game play. Once these evaluation sessions are completed, the player rankings are compiled and the Division Director and that Division’s Coaching staff meet to review the evaluation scores and initial player groupings are formed. Each Coach is assigned a player grouping, and inter-division balancing games are played. This allows us to assess how these player groupings are formed, and if the groupings are of approximately equal strength. If there are any obvious discrepancies in the groupings, another meeting will be held to redistribute some players. We are obligated to continue the process until all Coaches and the Division Director agree that the groupings are balanced. Generally, the PCAHA League play starts the first week of October. We intend to do our best to ensure that our groupings are balanced before this, to minimize disruption in the final formation of teams as much as possible. Our goal is to have our groupings declared balanced by PCAHA by the end of October, and then the groupings become teams.
As part of this balancing process, it is important to note that player requests cannot always be granted.