goal of this merger is to join two associations and make one very
There are benefits to both associations involved. We would be following what other associations currently have in place. For example, Kitchener. They ice AAA, AA, A, MD, house league, and girl’s hockey teams under one umbrella. It will be beneficial at some point in the future if our structure was the same. To simplify the merger The Warriors have agreed to use the HPL structure. This includes the HPL Constitution and Policies (including registration and fundraising policies). A new board will be appointed with Pete Young, the current president of HPL holding the position of President and Doug Maguire, current president of the Warriors holding the position of Vice President. Doug and Pete would appoint the new board for the first year which will commence in September 2021. An election will be held at the AGM in 2022 to elect the following year’s board. Below are what we feel are the most common questions being asked about the proposed merger.
Q. If we merge do the rules change regarding where I can play?
A. The answer is no, nothing changes.
If you live outside of Stratford and you try out for the AAA team and you get released, you have to return to your home center. If you get released from AAA and you live outside of Stratford, you are eligible to try out for one of three NRP spots on the AA/A team. There are three NRP cards available (Import Cards).
If you are from Stratford and you try out for AAA and you get released, you can then try out for AA/A. If you get released from AA/A you can then try out for MD. If you get released from MD, you can go to house league.
Q. Will I have to play at different arenas?
A. The answer is no, nothing changes.
The AAA team will remain a zone team, and they will continue to play out of the current HPL rinks. Warriors teams will continue to play in Stratford. There may be an occasion when a Warriors team would want to play in one of the HPL rinks. An example of this is the curling event being held in Stratford during playoffs in 2022. Ice will not be available for two weeks. Rather than play all of the Warriors playoff games on the road we could possibly schedule Warriors home games in one the HPL rinks. That way the opponent does not get all home games. This is just an example, but we do not see this happening often.
Q. Will the registration fees change?
A. Fees will stay the same for HPL and the Warriors.
Q. What changes with there be with respect to fundraising?
A. We will incorporate the HPL fundraising policies. This is a positive change for the Warriors. If you choose to fundraise you can fundraise to cover your registration costs and team fees. In theory, if you fund raise enough you can play for free.
Q. What will change with respect to tournaments hosted by each association?
A. The Warriors host a silver stick tournament every year around Christmas. It would make sense that the new entity applies to have a AAA division added to this. This is a great benefit for AAA to be part of a silver stick tournament and this type of tournament draws some very good calibre teams. We would have to apply for this and if we were not accepted HPL would continue to host the Great Lakes Cup in January.
Q. Will there be any changes with respect to goalie coaching and skills development?
A. Nothing would change for AAA. We would continue with the current system. We would implement goalie coaching and skills development at the AA/A level and if there was enough interest, we could look at it for MD.
Q. How will tryouts change?
A. There are no changes for players who live outside of Stratford. There is a benefit if you reside in Stratford. You only pay one fee for tryouts and you can try out for AAA, AA/A or MD for one price.
Q. What will the new association be called?
A. We do not have a new name. We are considering running a contest to come up with a new name and logo. We feel the new association should have a fresh start.
Q. Do I have to buy all new apparel and equipment?
A. The answer is no. As items wear out you can replace them with the new logo item. You are not expected to go out and buy any new gear. This is one issue we are still discussing. One possibility is providing a reduction in fees or a credit towards the purchase of new gear. Due to COVID most players are wearing the same gear as last season and most gear has a two-year life span due to players growing. We do not view this as a big problem, and we feel it will work itself out in two years.
Q. Will I still require a Permission to Skate to try out for AAA?
A. If you live outside of Stratford nothing changes. You will need a permission to skate to try out for the AAA team or an NRP card for AA/A. If you live in Stratford, you will not need a permission to skate to try out for any team.
Q. How do I AP (Affiliated Player)?
A. The AP situation remains the same. If you get released from AAA and you reside in Huron or Perth County, you can apply to AP with the AAA team. To AP for the AA/A team you have to reside in Stratford.
Q. If I live in Stratford do I have to try out for AAA?
A. No, you can try out for any team you choose.
Q. What is an NRP PLAYER?
A. An NRP is really an import card. It Allows someone who does not live in Stratford to play in Stratford. Stratford was granted 3 NRP cards for each AA/A team by OMHA and Alliance. They did not have a say in this, it is an Alliance /OMHA rule. The NRP starts at Minor Pee Wee to Midget.
This is a great benefit to people who do not live in Stratford. If a player gets released from Lakers and that player is on the bubble that player should be offered an NRP card to play with Stratford and they should AP with the Lakers. The benefit is they can work hard and develop in an AA /A environment which is a higher level than a home center of B or C with the goal of making Lakers the following season. They can play in Stratford with the goal of making Lakers the following year.
The goal of the new entity is to have every player play at the highest level possible. We would try to promote every MD player to AA/A and every AA/A player to AAA. This also includes getting all of our Midget players on a JR B or JR C team. By creating one board there is a lot of synergies. One registration process, one tournament, one banquet and one body checking clinic (where applicable).
In order for this merger to happen we will call a special meeting via a zoom call. This will require a vote by the membership. The HPL meeting will take place on March 3st at 6:15PM. The Warrior meeting will take place on March 2nd at 6:15PM. If you have any questions or concerns please forward them to the merger committee no later than Feb 23, 2021.
HPL parents please send questions or concerns to [email protected]
SHMA parents please send questions or concerns to [email protected]