Youth Hockey Site Rethinks Ranking Teams of Children

A website that has created young hockey teams in the United States and Canada in part by ranking thousands of teams across the two countries annually announces that it will restrict the practice of children from competition.

Neil Lodin, founder of MYHckey Rankings, said on his website on Wednesday that the platform will no longer provide numbers to children under the age of 12, explaining that rankings have made a difference. not good for adult play.

“Young athletes have become the rat race to the top of parents, coaches and organizations,” Lodin wrote. “There is this ‘If you do not follow the Joneses, do you still love your child?’ thinking out there.

“The young hockey community is not protected from this problem,” he said. “And let’s be honest, rankings are useful when they are used by the negative and excluded rather than the training and scheduling tools.”

In December 2021, MYHckey Rankings and its power were the subject of a New York Times article. Ken Martel, director of professional development for the American Hockey Association, said in a statement that he feared the weight given to the rankings by some Parents, coaches and youth associations pose a threat to the development of the players and the value of the sport. the game.

The site’s ability to hack and make statistics of thousands of teams between the ages of 9 and 18 has made it an indispensable tool for many young people in the hockey community.

At its core is a racing algorithm that predicts the team “performance measurement” and the different goals of each game it will play against every competitor in the game. information. Coaches and tournament administrators regularly use the website to identify teams that are planned to be leveled, and schedule activities accordingly.

But critics have argued that the site’s continued practice of providing numbers to teams has led to a significant increase in the number of young hockey players rising in the ladder. The game does not have the end of a boost.

In an interview, Lodin said the website will also provide important information that helps guide scheduling decisions – such as win-win information, game results and more. statistics – when removing rankings for his youth group. The site has surveyed approximately 3,000 teams of children under the age of 12 during the recent hockey season.

Lodin said: “We are doing what we want to do to get the most users to use the site for a purpose, which is a tool to help the team set up an appropriate competition, unlike impact of hockey, ”Lodin said.

Tom Farrey, director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports and Society Program, whom Lodin acknowledged as the idea of ​​removing the rankings while collecting data that helped the team find a good match, called a move. to “one step at a time.”

“It sends the message that development is more important than comparing children and groups that are still in the early stages of development,” Farrey said.

Martel, of United States Hockey, praised the improvements.

“This hopes to alleviate some of the stress a little bit,” he said. “We are a late athlete. The best kids are not the best kids after all. No one knows who is really good until after old age. “

Leave a Comment