Some may be aware, that there has been a process underway within PCAHA (alongside BC Hockey) to determine if there is interest in forming a 'Zone Hockey Program' for the Bantam division, possibly in time for the 2017/18 season, future seasons, or not at all.
This, like all other substantial changes in hockey programming, is a very interesting process, and unfortunately, partial information has been shared causing some of you to wonder what is going on, and why RMMHA hasn’t provided substantial information to its members up until this point. RMMHA believes strongly that when considering such significant changes to minor hockey programming, that careful and thorough consideration and effort should be invested in understanding the overall impact, both positive and negative, to minor hockey, and thus the children that make up our associations.
RMMHA makes every effort to ensure that the information that we share with our membership is as accurate, and complete as possible. We choose to avoid providing partial or inaccurate information in the hopes of not misguiding our membership and possibly having our membership act upon that information, prior to these matters arriving at a more reasonable position. It is RMMHA’s opinion that our members are best served by having accurate and complete information once a more practical position has been reached, not based on rumours and speculation.
What is a ‘Zone Team’? A 'Zone Team' is a team constructed with athletes considered to be the most advanced in their hockey development. 'Zone Groups', and thus the teams, would be formed by multiple associations and their athletes. How these groups would be formed was an ongoing consideration, with multiple proposed options. How ice times would be allocated among the associations within a given group is one of the items that has not been detailed. To date, there have been various models proposed, with the possibility that other ideas may still be brought forward. One potential option related to competition, would be to have Tier 1 teams forming Flight 1 of PCAHA competition, and said teams would be eligible to compete at BC Hockey Provincial Championships and Bantam Western Championships. This would result in these 'zone teams' competing against the A1 teams formed by the Tier 1 Associations for the right to attend the BC Hockey Championships. Under the model proposed, these teams will be substantially more expensive than minor hockey (estimates are around $6500 per player + team specific expenses).
At this time, as a result of a vote among the associations within PCAHA, it is important to share with our membership that the concept of a 'Zone Hockey Program' within PCAHA, has been put off for the time being. There are a number of challenges that must still be identified and addressed before moving forward. It will continue to be reviewed and discussed going forward, but any change pertaining to a Bantam 'Zone Hockey Program', will not be implemented for the 2017/18 season.
Please be assured that RMMHA has been active in the discussions surrounding this potential initiative, both at our local Executive level, as well as in conjunction with our PCAHA and BC Hockey colleagues. RMMHA will continue to be involved in reviewing this possibility going forward, and will ensure to provide our membership with informative updates as they become relevant.
We thank you for your support.