Before we take to the ice to start evaluations for the 2021/2022 season, the ERC would first off like to thank all of the athletes and their families for their interest in our program and association. We know how stressful this process can be, and wanted to ensure that everyone understands our objectives and expectations prior to the first skate. If you have any questions or concerns after reading this message, please feel free to contact our President, Lynne Gurba (email@example.com) to discuss. Likewise, should you have any questions or concerns through the Evaluations, please contact our President. Please do not engage with our Evaluators, or Coaching Staff - they are hard at work and equally stressed trying to observe and record as much information as possible about the athletes.
Our Evaluations Policy is posted here: ERC AA Evaluations Policy
Evaluations are not the same as Universal Athletic Assessments (UAA's). In addition to technical skill on the ice (skating, passing, catching, shooting, etc.), our evaluators and coaching staff will also be looking to assess attentiveness, engagement and effort. While the technical skills are straight-forward and what most expect through an evaluation process, the aptitude and attitude of an athlete typically become more evident when we put athletes a little outside of their comfort zone. We may introduce new drills to the group, extend skating drills, ask them to run drills or play shifts in a different position than their stated preference(s), etc. We may also rotate athletes out of their preferred position(s) through game play if there are a lot of forwards or defence.
Do know that our evaluators and coaching staff are aware of each athletes' preferred position(s) and the athletes are scored accordingly. Beyond technical skill, we are looking for athletes who are going to try their best regardless of their level of comfort, and have the mental fortitude to "stick it out" to the last stride. We are not always looking for the fastest skater, but the skater who pushes themselves as hard at the end of the drill as they did at the beginning - we're not always looking for the strongest shot/defensive move, but the athlete with game sense who stays engaged in the play and shows adaptability. While we certainly want all athletes to have opportunities to showcase their technical skills and have moments to shine, we are also looking for their grit and passion in those moments they may struggle.
ERC takes great effort to ensure our evaluation process is as fair and objective as possible. Our Evaluators are experienced ringette athletes and coaches - our Head Coaches will observe the sessions, but do not complete evaluations forms for their own age division. We do not provide evaluators any information about any athlete, the only identifying information they are provided is the athlete jersey color and number. Following each skate, the Evaluations Director will review the results with the Head Coach - where that Head Coach does not have an athlete participating in the evaluation, in which case, the Technical Director will act in their place - to ensure there are no errors on the forms (i.e.: jersey/athlete mismatch), and to prepare jersey assignments for the following session.
On the topic of jersey assignments, for the first skate the Evaluations Director will look to balance jersey colors (which will form the scrimmage teams through the later part of each session) based on the athletes birth year - so we have an equal amount of first & second (and third for U19) athletes in each group. There is no meaning associated to the jersey number other than it allows the Evaluations Director to match results to an athlete. Through the later skates, athletes may be assigned different color jerseys, or numbers as we look to balance the teams.
On the topic of evaluation forms, these are confidential and are not shared with anyone, including board members, who is not directly involved in the process. We will not share evaluation forms with any athlete or parent/guardian, and these are promptly destroyed once the Evaluation Process is complete. We do not keep electronic copies of the completed forms.
Once all evaluation sessions are complete, the coaching staff, including the Technical Director, will review the compiled results for each athlete and will submit their recommended roster to the ERC Board for review. The executive members of the Board - excluding any member who is a parent/guardian for an athlete in the given age group - will review the recommended roster to ensure it aligns with the ERC Team Selection Policy, and will address questions or concerns as required.
Once a Team Roster is approved, we will contact any selected out-of-zone athletes first to initiate release processing in accordance with Ringette Alberta's Residency Policy (also note their FAQ), and will then post the approved roster to our website.
Athletes who are not selected for our teams will receive feedback from the Head Coaches in the days following. Our coaches will review the feedback received from the Evaluators, and provide personalized feedback to the results in addition to their own notes to identify an athletes strengths and areas of focus for the coming season. Depending on the number of athletes each Coach needs to contact, it may take upwards of a week to receive feedback - again if there are any concerns please contact our President.
Our sincerest hope is to provide a meaningful experience for all participants. We want to encourage ALL athletes to connect to their passion for Ringette, and to enjoy their sport above all else.
Wishing all good luck, and great skill!!
President, Edmonton Ringette Club