Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below is a listing of frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer you are looking for, please feel free to contact us.
Q1. Can a Player who is released from one AAA Team tryout for another AAA Team as a transfer?
No, the player is released back to their home assoc / district as presently covered by the rules governing competitive transfers in the ODMHA , as well as the new draft bylaws / consititutions for "AAA".
Q2. Will AAA Tryouts begin any earlier than the AA Tryouts begin now?
As there will still be only 3 tiers of hockey with which to contend, tryout dates will likely be consistent with the present "AA" dates and they will vary from District to District.
Q3. How will start up costs be handled by these new AAA Teams?
Each AAA Zone Association will determine their own startup budget. In all likelihood, this will be limited to sweaters, tournament fee advances and some administrative expenses. The Zone Association will determine how these expenses will be paid. Eventually, we would expect the team budgets to do so. It is the job of the AAA Steering Committee to ensure that each Zone Association follows the rules laid out for AAA implementation.
Q4. Will there be a process in place to ensure that the best 17 players are selected?
Coach selection/ evaluation/ and oversight by the Steering Committee will ensure this in the best manner possible. The draft by-laws will lay out the process for naming an Executive to each Zone Association, to ensure that the various Associations are fairly represented.
Q5. If AAA" proves to be unsuccessful, what changes could be made during the pilot?
It is not possible to comment on what changes could / would be made until something surfaces (good or bad) that requires action. The Steering committee being in place will address any issues as they arise through the proper process within the ODMHA.
Q6. Could an existing A Team apply for AA status or be forced to "B"?
The Committee anticipates that this may occur and if so will be dealt with as per the ODMHA guidelines.
Q7. Why would the AAA Zone Proposal allow District 7 to leave the District B zone
There are two essential issues to consider, both relating to AAA League competitive balance. At the outset, Ottawa West was selected to balance the population numbers between the Zones. With Ottawa West joining Nepean and Kanata, every Zone has approximately 5,300 players, plus or minus 200. If Ottawa West were left with District B, there would be a gap of 1,800 players between Zones 2 and 4. To start the AAA pilots with such a large discrepancy could put the entire pilot into question. < more>
Q8. Will AAA cost more than AA?
The answer is most likely yes. How much that difference will be will depend on the League operational and playing rules, as well as team decisions on tournaments and transportation. Any player trying out for AAA should expect the team fees to be significantly higher in AAA, but there should also be more opportunities for sponsorship and fundraising.
Q9. Who will run AAA?
The AAA divisions will be part of the current AA League, which may re-brand itself as the AAA League (Atom - Peewee AA and Bantam - Midget AAA. The A League may follow suit as the AA League (Atom - Peewee A and Bantam - Midget AA). The AAA Zone Association Executives will be chosen out of the participating Districts, with oversight by the AAA Steering Committee.
Q10. Can a new AAA Zone Association alter established policies and procedures to fit their needs?
The policies and procedures will stand for the duration of the pilot unless changed by the Steering Commitee, in conjunction with the ODMHA Exec.
Q11. Can an estimated budget be provided?
A draft budget estimate will be posted to the web page as quickly as possible. Feedback from parents, coaches and other interested parties will be solicited at that time.
Q12. Why has the AAA Committee proposed dropping an entire level of hockey?
Does this not violate one of the key directions, to wit, “to minimize the effect of AAA on other levels of hockey”? The Proposal does not drop a level of hockey. It restructures the top, elite level to 5 teams and lays out the impact of that on the lower levels. The ODMHA expressed a strong preference to keep just three levels of competitive hockey, in order to reduce the demand on scarce ice resources, and that is what this proposal delivers.
Q13. If a AAA level player does not try out for AAA, will they be able to play AA?
In other words, will this not unbalance the lower level, to the detriment of all? This happens in all levels of competitive hockey. What the Proposal has done is to try to minimize the impediments to playing at the elite level or the next level below, such as travel, cost, or access to a suitable level of hockey. There will always be players who play at a lower level for a variety of reasons, both personal and financial.
Q14. How will you ensure that the best players are selected for each team?
The Committee feels that all of that begins with a solid coach selection protocol, a sound Zone Association structure and the very nature of the AAA level. With just 5 teams, games will be extremely competitive and there will be little room for anyone but the very best. In addition, the AAA Steering Committee and the AAA League will be assessing compliance with the pilot's foundation rules and the relative competitive balance of the divisions.
Q15. Why do you expect the cost of AAA to be significantly higher than AA?
There could certainly be more travel and more use of buses, both for the regular season and tournaments. In time, there will be Ottawa AAA tournaments, but, for now, most tournament play will be outside the ODMHA. Players will be expected to buy their jerseys and cover all fixed administration costs. As indicated in 8. above, we will post an estimated budget as soon as possible. Some of the elements under consideration are compensation for coaches, sweaters and other equipment, fundraising or sponsorship opportunities, startup costs. etc. In the end, the collective decision of the coaching staff and the parent group will determine how much the budgets will be, as it does today.
Q16. What relationship exists between the AAA Proposal and the CJHL Prospects Program?
None whatsoever. The CJHL is offering a package of ice and games pointing to the Prospects Tournament in Toronto, which is a commercial, private sector enterprise.
Q17. I’m a parent of a prospective player. Can I be involved in tryouts?
Parents of children trying out for a team are not to be involved in the selection process. Involvement includes not only on ice activity but extends to working with or for the Head Coach in any capacity during the tryout process. The only exceptions are when a parent is also a Head Coach or when the Head Coach has sought and received permission from the competitive Chair to involve a parent. Violation of this policy will not be tolerated. As Hockey Canada regulations mandate that Trainers must be present for tryouts including exhibition games, exemption is also made for parents with a valid trainer’s certificate. The OSAAAHA Executive will approve parent participation for the purposes of trainers only. The designated trainer must be in attendance in the arena but is not permitted on the bench or dressing room other than to attend to the needs of an injured player.
Q18. Our family will be on vacation and cannot attend the first tryout session. What should I do?
The policy of the Ottawa Senators AAA Hockey Association is that every player must attend every tryout session. Any exception to this policy will be dealt with by the Association and the respective Coach on an individual basis. You must notify the Coach and the Association of any conflicts as soon as possible.
Q19. What happens if my child is injured before or during tryouts?
What follows is the OSAAAHA Competitive Program Policy related to the handling of situations where, because of injury, a player is unable to participate in tryouts according the schedule published at the start of the season. This policy covers injuries incurred by a player prior to the start of tryouts, as well as injuries incurred during the tryout period. In all cases, a medical certificate must be provided to the OSAAAHA Executive as evidence that a player cannot participate in team tryouts. In addition, the nature of the injury and the expected return date of the player are also required. Upon returning from injury, each player must provide a medical certificate stating that the player has been cleared to return to play. To determine the subsequent tryout status of the returning player, the OSAAAHA Executive will consult with a variety of sources to obtain sufficient information about the player so that a reasoned decision can be made that considers both what is best for the player as well as the affected team or teams. The sources will include, but not be limited to, the current coach, previous coach, lower level coach, and any other appropriate source deemed relevant by the OSAAAHA Executive. The decision of the OSAAAHA Executive in determining the player’s tryout status will be final.
Q20. My son has been invited to a junior camp. What should I do if he does not make the junior team?
Each year, the OSAAAHA conducts tryouts open to all registered players. This process normally ends when the teams are selected and registered with the OSAAAHA. In Major Midget, there are special requirements to accommodate those players who attend junior hockey tryout camps and return after those tryouts end. Given our policy of open tryouts, it should be noted that no player returning from Junior is guaranteed a spot on any specific team. With the increasing demand for hockey in Ottawa, Major Midget level players are strongly advised to register for the season with their home association before tryouts begin, in order to guarantee access to tryouts. According to Hockey Canada regulations, no unregistered player can be placed on any team’s official roster. Additionally, players must register for tryouts with the Ottawa Senators AAA. It is expected that players attending junior camps will keep the OSAAAHA Major Midget coach informed of their intentions. At the end of tryouts, the Major Midget coach is expected to register 15 skaters and two goaltenders. Should extenuating circumstances occur with a particular player returning from junior after the end of tryouts, the Coach must notify the OSAAAHA Executive. For any player to be added to the roster after the end of tryouts must have registered for tryouts to be considered for a roster position. Teams can register up to 19 skaters and 2 goalies, per Hockey Canada regulations.
Q21.My child needs new equipment. What are colours allowed by the Senators AAA teams?
The Ottawa Senators AAA Hockey Association believes that all Senators teams, while participating in game play, should present a consistent look. This look is anchored by the Ottawa Senators AAA Hockey Association jerseys. In support of this, Players are required to wear black helmets and pants. Hockey gloves must be consistent with the Senators colour scheme (Red, Black, and White) with the predominant colour being black. This policy in no way supersedes the requirements of the CHA with respect to required equipment. Goaltender equipment must also follow the Senators colour scheme, and players who are in violation of this need to seek exemption from the OSAAAHA Executive.
Q22. Do the Senators AAA teams have a dress code?
Players are to wear a shirt and tie to all games and tournaments. Pants will be dress pants or khakis. No jeans are allowed. Failure to comply will result in the player being warned and reminded of this policy. Continued violation will result in suspension. This policy is effective immediately. Questions concerning this policy can be directed to the OSAAAHA Executive.
Q23. What is the view of the association on ice time for players?
Competitive Hockey demands: a high level of commitment to team success and individual development is required from all participants; excellent communication between coaches and players; and a balance between fair playing time and competitiveness. To meet these demands, the following fair ice policy is mandated for this OSAAAHA: The basic assumption for all players and teams is that there will be an equal sharing of ice time, based on position; i.e. defence vs. goal vs. forward. There are a number of circumstances during which this equal ice time requirement may be superseded, including, but not limited to, team disciplinary measures, suspensions or injuries. It is also recognized that, to a reasonable extent, coaches may use ice time as a motivational tool. A key concept is that coaches are expected to teach every tactical and situational aspect of the game to every player. Throughout the course of the season, the coach is expected to allow all players a reasonable opportunity to use these skills in a game situation. Un the older age groups (i.e. Bantam and Midget) this will allow a coach, over the course of a season, to establish specialty teams, both for competitive reasons as well as to allow players to play to their strengths. Coaches may also choose to use certain players in key situations or during the last few minutes of a close game to give the team its best chance to win. This could result in some players finishing the games with more ice time than others, but only on a limited basis. Players’ ice time may not be equal in each and every game, but should be roughly equal over the course of the season. Concerns about the implementation of this policy should be expressed first to the head coach, in keeping to the team’s stated communication policy and then to the OSAAAHA Executive. The Executive can then use any resource including, but not limited, to the Club Head Coach to assist in resolving the issue. Note: In cases where a coach is obviously and blatantly abusing ice time, complaints will certainly be investigated and appropriate corrective actions taken. But parents who take unnecessary measures (e.g. using a stopwatch to time shifts) at games should possibly re-evaluate their decision to allow their son or daughter to play hockey at this level.
Q24. My child is an exceptional player. Would the Association allow him to play at a higher level?
What follows is the OSAAAHA Policy on players “Playing Up”- i.e. joining and playing on a team with older aged players, on a full-time basis. This policy is the result of consultations, feedback and a strong desire to ensure the best possible hockey experience for all OSAAAHA members. The higher-level coaches may make a request to the OSAAAHA Executive seeking permission to have a younger player come to their tryouts. Permission will only be granted by the ODSAAAHA on an exception basis, after consulting the player and his or her parents, the affected coaches and other individuals who may provide relevant information to the decision.