A website that publishes youth hockey in the United States and Canada partially ranks thousands of teams from both countries on a weekly basis, has announced that they are at the lowest levels of competition. Will stop the practice.
Neil Loden, founder of MYHockey Rankings, said on his website on Wednesday that the platform would no longer assign numerical status to teams under the age of 12, explaining that the rankings are for adult sports. Helps in unhealthy way.
“Youth sports have become a rat race between parents, coaches and clubs,” Loden wrote. “There’s ‘If you’re not walking with Jones, do you love your baby too?’ Mindset there.
“The young hockey community is not immune to these problems,” he said in a statement. “And let’s be honest, ranking is a helpful factor when they are used negatively and externally instead of coaching tools and scheduling resources.”
In December 2021, MYHockey Rankings and its impact was the subject of an article in the New York Times. Ken Martell, director of player development for USA Hockey, the governing body of the sport, said in the article that he feared that the weight given to the rankings by some parents, coaches and youth hockey associations would affect players’ development and playing costs. It will have a detrimental effect. the game.
The website’s ability to eliminate a string of statistics from thousands of teams in the 9- to 18-year-old age group has made it an indispensable resource for many in the youth hockey community.
At its core is a sophisticated algorithm that predicts the difference between a team’s “performance rating” and the goal of any game played against any opponent in the database. Coaches and tournament directors routinely use the website to identify teams that are likely to have an equal match, and schedule games accordingly.
But critics claim that the website’s sub-process of assigning numerical rankings to teams is a fundamental instinct among many young hockey stakeholders to climb the ladder of rankings in the never-ending game of one-up manship. Has given air.
In an interview, Loden said the website will continue to provide basic data that helps inform scheduling decisions – such as win-loss records, game results and other statistics – to rank its youngest teams. Ending the block. The site ranked nearly 3,000 teams under the age of 12 during the recent hockey season.
“We’re taking action that we think will make users more likely to use the site for the intended purpose, helping teams schedule appropriate levels of competition as opposed to losing hockey,” Loden said. As a tool to do, “said Loudon.
Tom Ferry, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society program, who was credited by Loden with coming up with the idea of getting rid of rankings and retaining data that helps teams find well-matched competition. He described the move as “a step in the right direction.” “
“It sends the message that development is more important than comparing children and teams who are still in the early stages of development,” Ferry said.
The USA Hockey Martial praised the development.
“Hopefully this will ease some of the pressure,” he said. “We are developing games of late. The best young children are not the best children later. No one knows who is really good until after puberty.