Zone 2 AA – Background and FAQ
The mission of the Zone 2 AA ringette program is to build strong, confident athletes that are committed to hard work, achieving personal goals and teamwork. Through dedication, commitment and a passion for excellence, we strive to prepare our athletes for the opportunity to compete at the highest levels in the sport.
Since 2012, Ringette Alberta has been trying to increase the opportunity for willing and capable athletes to play more competitive level ringette. The goal is to have 15-18% of athletes playing at the AA level in each age group from U14 – U19.
Based on feedback from families in Zone 2, it was determined there was interest and the talent to make this program happen.
In the summer of 2015 the governing board members from all Zone 2 associations: Airdrie, Cochrane, Hussar, Indus, Rockyford and Strathmore, made the AA program a reality. It was decided two teams would be formed; U14AA and U16AA.
During this process, Zone 2 has solicited advice from multiple AA programs and has been in close collaboration with Zone 3/Calgary AA to ensure that our program is in harmony with their policies and procedures. The foundation of our Zone 2 AA program is to build strong, confident athletes that are committed to hard work, goal setting and achieving success through teamwork.
Zone 2 has grown 42% over the last 5 years with 634 players registered in all age groups in 2015. Our numbers in the higher age groups are larger than many zones which already run successful AA programs.
Q) Why start an AA program in Zone 2?
A) In 2015, 3 additional U14AA teams were added in the province; one in Calgary, one in Edmonton and our new Zone 2 team. This means that all zones will be adjusting, including the U14 A and B programs. This was the perfect opportunity for Zone 2 to join the mix. The Zone 2 AA teams will give our athletes better opportunity to play at this competitive level.
Q) Will Zone 2 AA teams competitive against Calgary and other established AA teams?
A) Zone 2 has more U14 and U16 athletes than Central Alberta and Edmonton, both of which have successfully maintained AA programs for years. Zone 2AA has developed over the past 3 season to host a very competetive and successful program when measured up against other programs in the province. This past season our U14AA team placed 4th at the Western Canadian Ringette Championships and our U16AA team placed 6th at the Canadian National Ringette Championships.
Q) Can Zone 2 players try out for the Calgary AA teams?
A) Zone 2 players can try out for Calgary AA, however, they cannot play for Calgary AA unless they are released from Zone 2 or cut from the Zone 2 AA team. Zone 2 players need to inform their home associations as well as Zone 2 AA as to their intent to try out for Calgary AA as per 3.4.7 of 3.0 Ringette Alberta Residency Policy.
Q) If Zone 2 associations lose players to AA, will these associations struggle to field teams?
A) Zone 2 associations already work together to create joint teams when possible to ensure that all players have an opportunity to play at the appropriate level. In the past, Zone 2 associations have lost athletes to the Calgary AA program. As a Zone, we feel it is important to provide opportunities to play at all levels of competition and commitment as best we can. By having the AA teams at the zone level, the additional loss of players from each association would likely be between 1 – 5 players/age division.
Q) How much does registration cost?
A) 2017/2018 registration was $1200.
Q) How many players per team?
A) A minimum of 12 skaters and 1 goalie is proposed.
Q) Where will the practices be?
A) Practices will be at central ice locations. Final ice times are being determined.
Q) How many practices per week?
A) On average, there are 2 - 3 ice sessions including powerskating and goalie training and 1 team dryland per week.
Q) How much fundraising is involved?
A) Fundraising will depend on the number and location of tournaments each team attends. As well, there may be association fundraisers to be determined at the start of each season.
Q) How can the Zone 2 AA teams help build ringette within the Zone?
A) All Zone 2 associations will have the opportunity to host a home game and participate in each other's tournaments. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase the higher caliber games to the younger age groups.
Q) How will the Zone 2 AA program run?
A) There will be an AA association formed within Zone 2 that will have a board made with 1 voting member from each association in Zone 2.
Q) Coach selection?
A) The coaching selection committee will conduct a thorough selection process including interviews. Once the head coach and teams have been selected, the selection committee will recommend assistant coaches.
Q) When are evaluations held?
A) Evaluations will be held starting Aug 25, 2018 prior to local association tryouts. We hope to have evaluations completed prior to the long weekend. U19AA Tryouts for the 2018/2019 will be held the first week after labour day.
Q) How will evaluations be run?
A) There will be 3 to 4 ice times per age group. Each athlete will receive a minimum of 2 ice times that include skating, passing, shooting drills and game evaluation. Each goalie will receive a minimum of 2 ice times which will include goalie specific drills and game evaluation. First cuts will be made after a minimum of 2 ice times.
Q) How will teams be selected?
A) The evaluation committee along with the coaching staff will select acceptable athletes for each team based on the evaluations. The evaluation committee will include independent, non-parent evaluators. Coaches children are not automatically accepted on the team.
Q) Will there be a cost for evaluations?
A) Yes. There will be a nominal fee to help offset the cost of ice time.
Q) Do I need to inform my home association of my intent to evaluate for Zone 2 AA?
A) Yes, as per Ringette Alberta policy, you are required to inform your home association on your intentions and when dates of the evaluations will be.
© 2015 by Big Country Ringette.