Evaluation Policy

Whitemud West Evaluation Vision

The process of player evaluations is crucial to ensure that all children are placed on a team that he/she are able to compete, contribute and enjoy his or her hockey experience. The process is laid out in great detail for all age groups and divisions. This is to help the parents, coaches and players fully understand the process and expectations with evaluations.

Whitemud West Player Evaluation Mission Statement:

The goal of the WWHA Player Evaluation Process in the Novice, Atom, Peewee categories is to be the best hockey association for player development and placement. This starts by fairly and consistently evaluating players for the purpose of ensuring that they are placed appropriately to enjoy all aspects of the game. The intent is to maximize the player’s ability to develop, compete, contribute and succeed by playing with piers of equal strength and ability. WWHA will tier its teams in accordance with the tiering policy of Hockey Edmonton.

The above goals will be achieved through the establishment and maintenance of a consistent evaluation program that is open, transparent, fair and objective.

Evaluation Objectives:

The objectives of the evaluation process are:

  • To provide each player equal opportunity to be evaluated.
  • To provide a fair, consistent and comprehensive evaluation of a player’stotal hockey skills through skating, skills and scrimmage sessions.
  • To ensure that all players have a reasonable opportunity of being selected to a team appropriate to their age, level of skill and opportunity fordevelopment.
  • To provide a fair and consistent evaluation process so that players andparents can clearly understand expectations from year to year and progress through the WWHA categories.
  • To form teams to maximize skill and competitive play so athletes candevelop, have fun and participate equitably throughout the hockey season.

Evaluation Committee and Evaluation Chairs Roles and Responsibilities

  • Once the evaluation approach is confirmed it is the responsibility of the Evaluation Chairs to ensure execution of the process. During the evaluation process, the evaluation committee will be in constant contact with the Evaluation Chairs to ensure the process is followed appropriately.
  • Occasionally it may be necessary for the Evaluation Chair to make a decision relating to a specific instance. Evaluation Chairs will support decisions with information from similar situations that have occurred in the past.
  • All such decisions are vetted through the evaluation committee. The evaluation committee will review decisions for consistency with the evaluation guidelines. Decisions seen to be inconsistent with the guidelines will be discussed with the category director and alternatives presented. If a resolution cannot be achieved, the final decision will be through the WWHA executive committee.
  • Evaluation chairs are not directly involved with evaluating players. Evaluation chairs are responsible for understanding the evaluation process, help coordinate the necessary volunteers and vet parent concerns during the process.
  • The evaluation committee is not responsible for evaluating players. Their duties are to ensure the process is clearly laid out for the evaluation chairs, to ensure the evaluation chairs have followed the process and to review the results to ensure they are consistent with WWHA evaluation guidelines. After the evaluation process, they are also responsible for reviewing specific cases upon written appeal and to collect suggestions from all stakeholders and recommend changes to the framework for next years evaluations.

Evaluators Roles and Responsibilities

Whitemud West Hockey Association relies on paid evaluators. These individuals are professionals with a great deal of experience and will evaluate the player based on criteria determined and laid out by the VP of Evaluations.

Evaluators will:

  • Review the evaluation criteria prior to the process to ensure that all evaluators are evaluating the same skill with the same intent
  • Make sure that all evaluators have the same evaluation page with the same jersey numbers and colours
  • Stay physically separate and independent from all other evaluators and parents during the evaluation process
  • Provide a fair, unbiased and thorough evaluation of all players
  • Maintain confidentiality of player scores and rankings at all times.
  • Meet as a group to review and submit evaluation scores at the end of eachsession to ensure that there are no errors and evaluation forms are 100% completed.

Overview of Skills

Evaluators will consider all skills when scoring the players. The following is a general overview of hockey skills that evaluators will consider. In Novice, Atom, and Peewee the evaluators will be using the evaluation spreadsheet. The drills to be used in the skill sessions will be determined by the VP of Evaluations. The skill sessions will consist of age appropriate drills designed to allow players to demonstrate their particular level of ability. Players will generally be evaluated in on-ice groups of 25-40 players. Each on-ice group of players will be further split into an appropriate number of sub-groups to ensure an efficient evaluation process. After the completion of all skill sessions within a category, players will be ranked within their category and that ranking will be used to place them into groups for the initial evaluation games.

Positional Play

Ability to see the play developing both offensively and defensively and moves to support, judgment, anticipation, understands systems, disciplined.


Acceleration, speed, mobility, agility, balance, stride, crossovers, pivots, acceleration out of turns, quick feet, controlled skating, change of pace.


Passing, receiving, passing choices, on backhand, unselfish with the puck, presents a good target, receives and retains with control, touch passing.

Puck Control/Shooting

Heads up, smooth and quiet, good hands, protection, in small spaces, in traffic. Power, accuracy, quick release, can shoot in motion, goal scorer, rebound control, variety of shots.


Competitive, aggressive and the right attitude.

Player Evaluation Process for Novice

Players in Novice will have four skates. The first skate will be a speed skate session consisting of a timed drill that will evaluate the players forward and backward skating. Should the player fall during the drill, it will be at the discretion of the on-ice evaluator to determine whether a retry is warranted. All times are then entered into a spreadsheet and players are ranked from highest to lowest. From this timed drill the skate groups will be formed and the players will move on to the next session which will be the technical skate. These two initial rankings will determine the groupings for the first scrimmage. All players will have two scrimmages. Please keep in mind that there will be approximately 2.5 teams allocated in each skate group.

Player Evaluation Process for Atom and Peewee

Players in Atom and Peewee will start with skate groups based on the history and last tier played. Each colour group has approximately 2.5 teams in it so there will be a range of skills and abilities to keep in mind. Each scrimmage will be evaluated separately and submitted to the VP of Evaluations for entry. Based on score the player may be moved up or down to a different colour group for the next scrimmage. For Peewee players they will be evaluated in their playing position

(i.e. forward, defence). The initial skate group for technical skates are formed based on the tier played from the prior season. Please keep in mind that there will be approximately 2.5 teams allocated in each skate group.

Goaltender Evaluations

The evaluation of goaltenders is made difficult due to the specialized nature of the position and the unique abilities and experience required of the evaluators. Those players wishing to be evaluated as a goalie in the Novice, Atom and Peewee categories must commit to playing goal on a full time basis throughout the season. A goaltender skill skate will be held prior to the start of the formal evaluation process. Attendance is mandatory for all players that wish to evaluate as goaltenders. At this skill skate, all goaltenders will be evaluated by independent, non-parent evaluators and subsequently seeded into one of the groupings for the remaining evaluation sessions. Goalies may expect upward movement through the groups depending on how they evaluate in each ice session. The pre-seed session is intended to generally place the goalies at a level they are initially evaluated for with the subsequent evaluation sessions designed to provide a more rigorous placement. In general, goalie movement will mirror the process in place for skater movement, including the movement to the top goalie Group 2 to Group 1 and so on through the groups. The placement for the scrimmage portion of the evaluations will be based on the results and scoring of the technical and games sessions, not based on previous year played.

Evaluation Attendance

Missing Evaluation Ice Times – in the event that a player elects to simply not show up for a session, they will suffer in the overall final assessment from a lack of weighting during a particular day. This will have the effect of lowering their overall final ranking which may jeopardize the team they ultimately will be placed on.

Legitimate Personal, Family & Medical Emergencies – legitimate personal, family & medical emergencies will be reviewed separately and consultation with the VP of Evaluations will help to determine the best course of action.

Pre-Evaluation Injuries and Sickness – if a player becomes injured or sick during the off-season and is unable to attend any of the evaluation sessions for the upcoming year, the parents of the player must contact the category director and explain the situation. The player may be placed in a group based on the prior year’s coaching evaluation. Past history of the player will influence the placement. All decisions regarding placement of injured or sick players will be done in collaboration between the VP of Evaluations.

Family Responsibilities

  1. Be aware of the importance of evaluations and the corresponding schedules. Please respect that September is the primary month for evaluations, and that players are required to attend all scheduled sessions. Missed sessions may alter the process for all players. Consult the Whitemud West website frequently, and if you are ever unclear about anything regarding the process, refer to this document or contact the VP of Evaluations for clarification as soon as possible.
  2. HELP YOUR CHILD TO BE PREPARED. Be at the rink early enough for your child to be completely ready 15 minutes before the ice time starts. Players should be dressed and sitting on the benches in the dressing room with the sticks at the door. Make sure all of their equipment fits, skates are sharpened and everything is in the equipment bag when you leave your home. Full equipment including neck guards are mandatory and must be in place for your child to participate in the evaluation process.
  3. HELP YOUR CHILD STAY POSITIVE AND TO ALWAYS TRY THEIR BEST. Help them understand the process: movement is how it works.
  4. UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS YOURSELF. Be as informed as possible about the evaluation process.
  5. CONTACT WHITEMUD WEST EARLY IF YOUR CHILD IS SICK OR INJURED. Contact the category director directly by email.
  6. RESPECT OUR EVALUATORS. Do not sit by an evaluator, ask evaluators for player information or interfere with the evaluators efforts to watch all the players on the ice.

Team Selection Process

After the completion of the evaluation sessions, the tabulation of the final overall player evaluation rankings are used to place players in ranked order and this ranked order is used to create the proposed teams. Team selection adheres to the ratings from the current evaluations only.

Friends Playing with Friends

Requests from players wishing to play together will be given consideration, but such requests must be made in writing to the Whitemud West office NO LATER THAN SEP 5TH. Such requests will only be considered if they are reciprocated by each family with a maximum of one (1) friend request per player. In the case of players in different tiers, the higher tiered player will move down to the tier of the lower player. A move of only one tier will be considered, but the granting of such requests is solely within the discretion of the VP of Evaluations and the category directors. The friend request form can be found on the Whitemud West website under the ‘Forms/Docs’ tab.

Team Player Numbers

In the interest of optimum player development, the evaluation committee and the category directors will strive to compile final team lists in accordance with the following guidelines:

SR Timbits 10-13 players
Novice 15-17 players
Atom 15-17 players, 1-2 goalies
Peewee 15-17 players, 1-2 goalies

Appeal Process

Player Placement Appeal Guidelines

Whitemud West acknowledges that special circumstances affecting the tiering of a particular player may occur. If it appears that a players ranking has been grossly unfair, that ranking may be appealed under the Whitemud West appeal policy.

The appeal process will not accommodate claims based on lack of preparation by a player, player absence due to holidays, lack of understanding of drills by a player, minor illness, tiering results of previous years, tiering results of former teammates and other players in the evaluation process, tiering results of other hockey clubs, dissatisfaction with evaluators, category directors, the VP of Evaluations, or the tiering process itself, or allegations of tampering, persecution, or mismanagement of the evaluation process. Every team will have a best and worst player – the player in question must be able to play at the top of the team above to justify player movement.

Factors that are considered in the process of an appeal:

  1. Is there a data entry error in the evaluation calculations that compromises the placement of the player subject of an appeal?
  2. Was there an illness, injury, or health concern that impacted the players performance in evaluations and was that taken into consideration in the evaluation and in a manner consistent with the evaluation process?

The following are not acceptable reasons for an appeal and appeals made for such reasons will be denied.

  • Desire to play with a particular player or players on another team.
  • Desire to play for a particular coach or assistant coach
  • Desire not to play with a particular player or player on the assigned teamunless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Desire not to play for a particular coach or assistant coach on the assignedteam unless there are extenuating circumstances.
  • Previous years performance or placement alone.
  • Placement in relation to another particular player or particular player.If an appeal is still considered after the above, the parent must complete an Evaluation Complaint Form (found on the WMW website under the forms tab) stating their concerns and issues as to why they feel their child was mis-tiered. A copy must be provided to the evaluation committee as soon as possible.