How CYO Cohorting Works, News (CYO Minor Hockey)

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How CYO Cohorting Works
Submitted By CYO President on Tuesday, September 15, 2020
There seems to be a lot of confusion for our U13 (Peewee) U15 (Bantam) and U18 (Midget) families over how our hockey work this season, so hopefully this will help explain how our season is breaking down. This isn’t an issue for the younger divisions where teams are allocated using the Hockey Canada Pathways requirements using skill evaluations to help make the teams even, but for U13, U15, and U18, teams are still set up by request: Eagles, Majors, Kings, Star of the Sea, Sharks, or Canadiens.

This year, we have the very odd job of trying to fit these requests into the restrictions of only having 8 or 9 skaters per team where last year we had 15. This means that we are mathematically unable to fit all the request in, so we have had to make a few adjustments.
HOW THE COHORTS WORK (example 3-on-3 divisions).
Two teams of 9 are put together in the same COHORT. This creates 1 BIG team of 18 and 2 goalies.
In a perfect world, we would have had 9 families request team Orange, and 9 families request team Silver and voila - this is your cohort.
But in reality, what happened with registration this season is we may have had 13 families request team Orange, 4 families request team Silver, and 1 child request team Peach. To fill the cohorts, these THREE COLOURS - Team Orange, Team Silver, and Team Peach were combined to make sure we could properly put 18 kids on the ice together in 1 cohort.
Why did my kid get bumped to the other half - they wanted Team Orange!
They ARE on team Orange. With team Silver. And team Peach. It’s one COMBINED group, and they share the ice equally together.
This group will share coaches.
How does that work? Think of it like this ---- team Orange has 2 parents with coach certifications. Team Silver has 1 parent who is a coach, and 1 who is a trainer, and the 1 team Peach parent is also a coach. Together, they become the 5 coaches for the whole cohort, working as one for the benefit of all the kids, regardless of if they originally asked for Orange, Silver, or Peach. One will (hopefully) step forward and agree to be the head coach, and the others will work with them to make sure everyone is engaged in the practice sessions.
So why does it still say Team Orange or Team Silver on the website?
Our website requires us to list a team “name” to track ice time and schedules. For the sanity of our ice scheduling team, we list the teams by the 2 groups who are the biggest in numbers - so in the case of the group above, you will see practices listed as Team Orange / Team Silver. (Sorry Peach). Does this mean you are only Orange or Silver? Not yet it doesn’t (read on)!
How does this work for practices if we’re all mixed-mashed?

The 5 coaches will work with all the players together on one full ice. You run drills together. You do skills together. You are ONE TEAM. There is no more “my secret drills on this half of the ice and you do your secret drills on your half of the ice and we don’t cross the red line.” The coaches are dedicated to working with all kids in the cohort equally, regardless of if the coach is team Orange and the player is team Peach. That dividing line is gone this year, my friends!
If you are assigned to a cohort, and you have a coaches cert, a trainers cert, or are interested in helping out, PLEASE reach out to the program leaders because we need to make sure we have enough volunteers to make the season a solid go for our players. Or email [email protected] with your child’s name and your certification level (or desired level) and they can put you in touch with the right people.
YES we will have games! But, clearly with 3-on-3 rules we are going to need to make 2 game-ready teams out of this 18 skater / 2 goalie group, aren’t we!!!?
In a couple of weeks, after we have our proper allocated practices and development time, the coaches will then look at numbers and skills, and from there they will put together two BALANCED TEAMS. Odd for this age group I know. :):)
These 2 teams will then receive their individual coloured jerseys to distinguish them on game day. We are ordering special jerseys for U13, U15, U18 for this season, so the colours may be a bit different than you’re used to. Hey, it’s a weird season, why not weird jerseys? Will only Orange players be wearing Orange jerseys? Nope. We cannot fit 13 Orange players into 9 Orange jerseys. Plus, the coaches will be balancing kids between the two teams, so it may be half orange on one team, half orange on the other team, and silver and peach filling in the rest of the bench. For practices, players STILL REMAIN A COMBINED GROUP OF TEAM MATES on the ice together...they just may be looking at each other from the other side of the red line for game day. But hey, who doesn’t want to try and slip one past their buddy who is in net, or block a shot from their friend who think’s they’ve got that superstar goal! AND, if one team is short a player they can use their own players from the other team to fill in the holes without any issue because they’re already on your roster. There’s a great opportunity for a lot more ice time, so get those legs and lungs in shape!
COACHES will float between the two benches on game day. Two coaches can sit with one team, and three coaches can sit with the other team. If there is only 1 trainer out of the five, then the trainer covers both.
For U11 and under - your teams will follow the same flow of practices, shared coaches, then being divided up into 2 balanced teams for games. You just skip the weird step of planning a team colour before you know you get a team colour. Confusing, I know.
And to answer the question now (because I know it will be asked) ----- “My child only wants an Orange jersey or we quit!” While we would hope that the families will work with us this year, we do understand that having a 3-on-3 setup and only 9 and a goalie allowed is not their perfect scenario. We would hate for any child to miss the opportunity to play, but we will abide by the family’s decision to leave hockey for the 2020-2021 season and refund the fees based on ice-time not used in the Block we are currently in. Teams who are now down a spot will be filled with the first child in off the wait list.
Remember folks - this is Block 1. We will be repeating the exercise again in Block 2 because it’s a whole new mini-season.
And patient with us...we’re still working through this as much as you are!
President, CYO Minor Hockey
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