USA Hockey Tier III Rule Change Proposal – Point System For Player Promotion – Minimum Point Requirements For Certification

This is my third rule change proposal for Tier III junior hockey under USA Hockey.

Most Tier III operators will argue that the only difference between Tier III, Tier II and Tier I is the financial structure in which they operate.  Under USA Hockey Rules, this would be true.  But considering the top players gravitate toward free to play over pay to play, we also know that the Tier system in MOST cases, not all, but most does equate to the level of competition.

In order to promote more player development in the form of NCAA commitments, promotions up to “higher tiers”, and to other higher level hockey programs, we would suggest the following ideas;

  1.  Every Tier III team would be required to meet a minimum point total of 10 points per year for development based upon actual player movement.  If they do not meet this requirement they are not recertified by USA Hockey the following season
  2. Players moving to an NCAA D-1 program from Tier III would be valued at three points.
  3. Players moving to an NCAA D-3 program from Tier III would be valued at two points.
  4. Players moving from Tier III to Tier I would be valued at three points.
  5. Players moving from Tier III to Tier II would be valued at two points.
  6. Players moving from Tier III to Canadian Junior A would be valued at one point. (If it is a pay to play Junior A program. If free to play it is a two point value.)
  7. Any Tier III player moving to the USA NTDP would be valued at five points.
Teams doing a good job in moving players on will accumulate points and recertification quickly under a system such as this.
Teams would also be penalized for not moving players upward in this way;
1.  Teams that return players for a third consecutive season will have two points subtracted.
2.  Teams that return players for a second season will have one point subtracted.
While many Tier III teams want to have players return year after year, they are not doing players any favors by allowing it to happen.  Players should be pushed up the ladder until they can be pushed no more.
If recertification depends on point production, teams would be forced to fulfill their missions of development.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher

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