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Rightnut
07-25-2016, 12:10 PM
Since we are in the dog days of summer and National Camps are wrapping up, here is a proposal to improve the selection process for National Camps. This proposal is limited to addressing the issue that comes up every year where talented girls from districts with fewer slots are left home in favor of arguably less talented girls from districts with more slots. One of the problems now is that there is no way to compare the best of the non-selected girls from small allocation districts with the bottom of the selected girls from large allocation districts. Of course there are a lot of arguments on these issues (and I'm sure USA Hockey won't be reading this) but its something for summer discussion.

This proposal uses the U18 National Camp selections as a basis and uses round numbers to make things easier for me! We will also use Minn and Pacific as the examples. There are 180 slots allocated to the districts. Some districts like Minn get many slots. Others, like Pacific (and others), get a few and as a result, good D1 committed players are left home. And this is not an attack on Minn - just a proposal to tweak the process as follows:

Take the districts' allocated slots and figure out what percentage of the overall slots each district gets. For example, assuming Minn gets 20% (made up number). Then apply that to some number less than 180, for example, 120 - which results in 24 for Minn. Now Minn does its district tryouts and picks its best 24 players and they are in at National Camp. The rest of the districts do the same. That leaves 60 slots left at National Camp. Now have each district pick its next best 5-10 players (or some number) and all the districts send them somewhere to a tryout camp and the last 60 are picked for National Camp based on head to head ability. The number may not be as large as 60 so it could certainly be tweaked but the process would be the same.

This method (while not perfect) would do a better job of getting more of the best players at National Camp which is the supposed purpose. The downside is that it adds another layer of tryouts, and timing and logistics would certainly be a problem. There will also be complaints about cost and all that stuff but I am leaving that out of this for now. But it does address the issue of fairness in the process.

Anyway - have at it.

Timothy A
07-25-2016, 01:38 PM
Have Frosty's and MJ's staffs pick the players.

Leather helmet
07-25-2016, 02:22 PM
Have Frosty's and MJ's staffs pick the players.

They would identify the top 10 players in the country, and after signing them to letters of intent, they could turn over to the rest of the coaches the names of the next 500 players, who all tied for 11th.

Leather helmet
07-25-2016, 02:37 PM
Since we are in the dog days of summer and National Camps are wrapping up, here is a proposal to improve the selection process for National Camps. This proposal is limited to addressing the issue that comes up every year where talented girls from districts with fewer slots are left home in favor of arguably less talented girls from districts with more slots. One of the problems now is that there is no way to compare the best of the non-selected girls from small allocation districts with the bottom of the selected girls from large allocation districts. Of course there are a lot of arguments on these issues (and I'm sure USA Hockey won't be reading this) but its something for summer discussion.

This proposal uses the U18 National Camp selections as a basis and uses round numbers to make things easier for me! We will also use Minn and Pacific as the examples. There are 180 slots allocated to the districts. Some districts like Minn get many slots. Others, like Pacific (and others), get a few and as a result, good D1 committed players are left home. And this is not an attack on Minn - just a proposal to tweak the process as follows:

Take the districts' allocated slots and figure out what percentage of the overall slots each district gets. For example, assuming Minn gets 20% (made up number). Then apply that to some number less than 180, for example, 120 - which results in 24 for Minn. Now Minn does its district tryouts and picks its best 24 players and they are in at National Camp. The rest of the districts do the same. That leaves 60 slots left at National Camp. Now have each district pick its next best 5-10 players (or some number) and all the districts send them somewhere to a tryout camp and the last 60 are picked for National Camp based on head to head ability. The number may not be as large as 60 so it could certainly be tweaked but the process would be the same.

This method (while not perfect) would do a better job of getting more of the best players at National Camp which is the supposed purpose. The downside is that it adds another layer of tryouts, and timing and logistics would certainly be a problem. There will also be complaints about cost and all that stuff but I am leaving that out of this for now. But it does address the issue of fairness in the process.

Anyway - have at it.

It's very difficult to rank players who are all playing in front of you, much less comparing any of these players to someone you watched two weeks ago in another state. The areas with more competition, like MN and MA, will naturally have more of the top players, both because the best athletes are more likely to choose hockey as their preferred sport in areas where it is well-established, and because the better coaching and competition are likely to produce better players.

That is not to say that top players don't come from areas with fewer players (think Pankowski, for example), but they are the exception. Perhaps USA Hockey can reserve a few at-large slots that can be filled by districts filing appeals on the behalf of snubbed players, with the districts being responsible for paying the expenses of the at-large players. The appeals would be resolved by looking case-by-case at the players who were snubbed, with video evidence providing the support for their selection.

Rightnut
07-25-2016, 04:03 PM
It's very difficult to rank players who are all playing in front of you, much less comparing any of these players to someone you watched two weeks ago in another state. The areas with more competition, like MN and MA, will naturally have more of the top players, both because the best athletes are more likely to choose hockey as their preferred sport in areas where it is well-established, and because the better coaching and competition are likely to produce better players.

That is not to say that top players don't come from areas with fewer players (think Pankowski, for example), but they are the exception. Perhaps USA Hockey can reserve a few at-large slots that can be filled by districts filing appeals on the behalf of snubbed players, with the districts being responsible for paying the expenses of the at-large players. The appeals would be resolved by looking case-by-case at the players who were snubbed, with video evidence providing the support for their selection.


I agree and that is why the proposal is just to rank the players in front of them. There is no comparing them to someone they saw weeks ago. And I also agree that the large districts will have more players - that is whey they still get their proportional number. This proposal is designed to make sure top level players in small districts are not squeezed out by the bottom of the larger districts. The bottom big district players may or may not be better than the "squeezed" out small district players but at least this levels the playing field so USA hockey can see them head to head. It would certainly remove a lot of the grumbling present in the current selection system.

pgb-ohio
07-25-2016, 08:00 PM
Good off-season topic; certainly a conversation worth having. But...


They would identify the top 10 players in the country, and after signing them to letters of intent, they could turn over to the rest of the coaches the names of the next 500 players, who all tied for 11th....doesn't Leather Helmet's post identify a fundamental problem here?

Beyond a handful of obvious superstars, there's going to be a lot of parity among the candidates. It strikes me that 180 is a rather unwieldy number of players for a single camp. Under these circumstances, do candidates who start out ranked in the 120-180 group really get a comprehensive evaluation? I'm guessing most don't.

Of course if you just miss the cut-off point at the district level, it hurts. Of course you're going to ask if another system would have yielded a better result for you. But if the candidates directly involved have virtually no chance of making the final roster, does it really serve anyone's interests to have an entirely new layer of tryouts for them?

I'm new to this topic, and need to ask a basic question: How big is the final roster? 25 players? 30 players? Leaving us with 150+ alternates? Or do the results of the National Camp stock more than one team?

To my untrained eye, inviting 180 players to camp is already a heroic attempt to make sure every plausible candidate gets a look. But if I'm missing something here, I'm certainly willing to learn.

PenaltyKill
07-25-2016, 09:05 PM
USA Hockey needs to first make the fundamental change of picking a neutral, non-affiliated U18 coach. Then it needs to actually have reps following the districts -- it's not that difficult to see who is effective, hard-working and talented on the ice in a district if you're consistently watching games ... but you need people on the ground who have seen these girls skate more than at a tryout or two and know how they play to truly evaluate them. That being said, there are many girls who don't get to NDC who end up on D1 rosters. USA Hockey does not make or break a hockey career.



Good off-season topic; certainly a conversation worth having. But...

...doesn't Leather Helmet's post identify a fundamental problem here?

Beyond a handful of obvious superstars, there's going to be a lot of parity among the candidates. It strikes me that 180 is a rather unwieldy number of players for a single camp. Under these circumstances, do candidates who start out ranked in the 120-180 group really get a comprehensive evaluation? I'm guessing most don't.

Of course if you just miss the cut-off point at the district level, it hurts. Of course you're going to ask if another system would have yielded a better result for you. But if the candidates directly involved have virtually no chance of making the final roster, does it really serve anyone's interests to have an entirely new layer of tryouts for them?

I'm new to this topic, and need to ask a basic question: How big is the final roster? 25 players? 30 players? Leaving us with 150+ alternates? Or do the results of the National Camp stock more than one team?

To my untrained eye, inviting 180 players to camp is already a heroic attempt to make sure every plausible candidate gets a look. But if I'm missing something here, I'm certainly willing to learn.

jumbodaddy77
07-25-2016, 10:35 PM
My take is that it's important to think about what the goals of the USA National Camp process are. To me they are: (1) pick a U18 team that can beat Canada and (2) introduce a bunch of other girls/women to USA's training philosophy. According to my understanding, identifying D1 players is not on the list--because that is the job of college coaches. If the goal was to identify D1 players, there would be many type 1 and type 2 errors. However, when it comes to picking a U18 team, my guess is that very, very few of the top 20+ players are excluded. And that comes from a parent who strongly believes that his daughter should be there but is not.

jumbodaddy77
07-25-2016, 10:40 PM
And, another thing. There will always be politics no matter who coaches the U18 or National team. Hannah Brandt missing the Olympics? Jeez. Still, I think it's better for those in the know and with a vested interest to make the tough calls, and I'm sure there are many tough calls to be made.

Ahockeydad
07-26-2016, 01:44 AM
introduce a bunch of other girls/women to USA's training philosophy.

I think this is most important. I know of several girls that really had a great time at these camps in St Cloud. Hundreds of girls got to compete and learn how to get better. I really find it hard to believe that an Olympian was missed out there. Considering that the average age for the Olympic team is 23 or 24 I would think girls should be more concerned how hard they work and develop in college rather than how good they are at 17.

joecct
07-26-2016, 12:01 PM
What worries me for all the younger ages regardless of sex is that we're teaching our kids to be great cone skaters, but lousy hockey players.

Leather helmet
07-26-2016, 02:20 PM
What worries me for all the younger ages regardless of sex is that we're teaching our kids to be great cone skaters, but lousy hockey players.

My experience coaching girls in a 'typical' Minneapolis suburban association is that most of them do not skate outside of organized team practices. I would like to see them developing their skills playing pickup games at open hockey or on neighborhood rinks, but I had trouble even getting my own daughter interested in doing that. That leaves you with having to take practice time to develop their skating, passing and stickhandling using cone drills.

I think the evidence is that we are not turning out a generation of lousy players, but I will grant that having kids come ready to spend time on units and tactics instead of individual skills would be far better.

FiveHoleFrenzy
07-26-2016, 02:48 PM
What worries me for all the younger ages regardless of sex is that we're teaching our kids to be great cone skaters, but lousy hockey players.

And boom goes the dynamite...

That is exactly how you wind up inexplicably leaving Hannah Brandt off the previous Olympic roster with the excuse that her skating needed to be worked on. Please, she had played the whole previous year as a freshmen on a line with Kessel and had no problems keeping up. In fact, she put together a season with stats and the intangibles that will be hard for ANY freshmen to duplicate.

Eeyore
07-26-2016, 06:29 PM
Then it needs to actually have reps following the districts -- it's not that difficult to see who is effective, hard-working and talented on the ice in a district if you're consistently watching games ... but you need people on the ground who have seen these girls skate more than at a tryout or two and know how they play to truly evaluate them.

It may not be difficult (though I have some doubts), but it is expensive. How should USA Hockey pay for a bunch of full time scouts, or are they swimming in money?

joecct
07-26-2016, 06:51 PM
It may not be difficult (though I have some doubts), but it is expensive. How should USA Hockey pay for a bunch of full time scouts, or are they swimming in money?

On the USAH web page are links to their IRS tax filings. You can read the sordid details there.

whalers97
07-26-2016, 07:48 PM
My experience coaching girls in a 'typical' Minneapolis suburban association is that most of them do not skate outside of organized team practices. I would like to see them developing their skills playing pickup games at open hockey or on neighborhood rinks, but I had trouble even getting my own daughter interested in doing that. That leaves you with having to take practice time to develop their skating, passing and stickhandling using cone drills.

I think the evidence is that we are not turning out a generation of lousy players, but I will grant that having kids come ready to spend time on units and tactics instead of individual skills would be far better.


Agree with some of this in that girls might not be as willing to jump into pick-up games or open ice as boys, and therefore miss out on some of that spontaneous creativity. The emphasis on individual skills can't be ignored, though, because while kids "dipsy-doodling" around at open ice or in their driveways develop in many respects, they also aren't always being pushed at game speed and therefore might not fully develop a skill. The overemphasis on systems hampers young players more than cones in my opinion. If you look at what the USAH ADM is trying to achieve, it's that balance between building individual skill, demonstrating its application in small games and then translating it to big ice (which I think it could do better). Understanding how to read and react sometimes gets lost in the details of "units and tactics," unless you're speaking in generalities and not specific systems.

Leather helmet
07-27-2016, 11:35 AM
Agree with some of this in that girls might not be as willing to jump into pick-up games or open ice as boys, and therefore miss out on some of that spontaneous creativity. The emphasis on individual skills can't be ignored, though, because while kids "dipsy-doodling" around at open ice or in their driveways develop in many respects, they also aren't always being pushed at game speed and therefore might not fully develop a skill. The overemphasis on systems hampers young players more than cones in my opinion. If you look at what the USAH ADM is trying to achieve, it's that balance between building individual skill, demonstrating its application in small games and then translating it to big ice (which I think it could do better). Understanding how to read and react sometimes gets lost in the details of "units and tactics," unless you're speaking in generalities and not specific systems.

I think every youth coach would love to have a team full of players with 'dipsy-doodling' skills. It is far easier to teach these kids a team concept than a group who can only turn one direction. By 'units and tactics,' I meant teaching them where to be on the ice in different situations, and how to make use of your own teammates - I wasn't proposing to teach 10-year-olds about the neutral zone trap.

For me, the ADM is a pretty good framework for building a program around, and coaches will always tweak it to fit their circumstances.

joecct
07-27-2016, 02:05 PM
I think every youth coach would love to have a team full of players with 'dipsy-doodling' skills. It is far easier to teach these kids a team concept than a group who can only turn one direction. By 'units and tactics,' I meant teaching them where to be on the ice in different situations, and how to make use of your own teammates - I wasn't proposing to teach 10-year-olds about the neutral zone trap.

For me, the ADM is a pretty good framework for building a program around, and coaches will always tweak it to fit their circumstances.

I taught a mite team the concepts of the one timer. Back then Brett Hull was the model of a player who was ready to receive a pass and shoot the minute he was in the o zone.

Scoring goals is a lot more fun than preventing goals. Yet it seems we spend an inordinate amount of time teaching preventing goals rather than teaching putting pucks in the net.

bearcat
07-28-2016, 11:33 PM
What worries me for all the younger ages regardless of sex is that we're teaching our kids to be great cone skaters, but lousy hockey players.


agree 100%....and it's much worse when it comes to goalies...all these USA Hockey idiots want are robotic clones....it's all about how u do certain drills....regardless of how you actually PLAY the position or god forbid...keep pucks out of the net...no...it's all about how u look in their lithe choreographed drills u end up rewarding robots who look great in warmups but......um, suck when the game starts. LOLS:rolleyes:

AAA Dad
07-29-2016, 10:45 AM
agree 100%....and it's much worse when it comes to goalies...all these USA Hockey idiots want are robotic clones....it's all about how u do certain drills....regardless of how you actually PLAY the position or god forbid...keep pucks out of the net...no...it's all about how u look in their lithe choreographed drills u end up rewarding robots who look great in warmups but......um, suck when the game starts. LOLS:rolleyes:

Well the goalies they chose the last 2 years for U18 helped earn USA gold medals! Did you watch Gulstene in the pool play game and the Gold Medal Game vs Canada in Jan?? She was amazing! Saying the USA goalies suck in games is nothing short of ridiculous and ignorant! Most likely some jealousy in there as well!?? I guarantee Hockey Canada does not feels USA goalies suck in games!!