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Parent Letter from John Stockler

By John Stockler, 09/25/17, 6:45PM CDT


A letter from John Stockler regarding parent meetings and tryouts.

The following letter was sent from John Stockler to all the Squirt, Peewee and Bantam participants in our program.

Dear Parents:

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Hockey Season! 

Before the official start of the season is upon us, I wanted to reach out to the parents and make sure everyone has information regarding parent meetings, tryouts, and dates.

First off, parent meetings will be taking place at the Career Academy, Multipurpose Room, which is located at 1221 College Drive, Bismarck.  It is part of the BSC Campus so you should be able to locate it easily. It is important that at least one parent attend the parent meetings so you have all the information going into the season.  The following dates and times have been set aside for the parent meetings:

Monday, October 2nd:             Peewees @  7:15

                                                Bantams @  8:00

Tuesday, October 3rd:             Squirts A-L @  7:15

                                                Squirts M-Z @  8:00

Thursday, October 5th:            All Girls @  6:30

The official start of the season is October 1st.  This is for anyone that has registered for the regular season, regardless if you participated in preseason or not.  At that time, there are no teams formed yet so the levels will be divided up into groups.  The groups will be split alphabetically.  It will not be a time for team systems but more a time to knock the rust off and get the skates back on.

Tryouts this year will be different than in the years past.  The first big change is that the dates are getting moved up.  This is on par with the other big programs in North Dakota (i.e., Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot) and some of those groups will be done by October 8th.  Even though it is different than what we have done previously, I hope you will see that it is a great system to accomplish the one thing that tryouts are meant for: getting the player on the right team to have a fun and successful season.  When I say successful, it is meant that each child will play on the right team to allow him or her to grow their skills and love for the game.  That is my only goal for tryouts!  We have done a great job of getting the roster sizes correct for the levels to allow optimal player placement, avoiding players playing over their heads. 

With that being said, October 7th and 8th will be our first weekend to start tryouts.  There will be sessions on both Saturday and Sunday.  I have been doing my best to gather schedules for the activities that are still going on at that time. 

With this first weekend, we are attempting to divide the players into two pools.  An “A” pool and “B” pool.  This system is the most common and accurate system used by larger programs in the Midwest, like our program.  It allows the evaluators to get players against similar skilled players quickly to help determine who is going to be placed on what team. 

Over that first weekend, a player does not have to attend both sessions; they need to make it to at least one of the sessions to get a score and be placed in one of the two pools moving forward.  If a player chooses to attend both sessions, they have the chance to be evaluated twice and will be given the higher score from the two days.  The highest scored players from Saturday’s session will be informed that they have been placed in the A pool and will not attend Sunday, which will help the evaluation process and allow focus to be on the other players.  

There will be additional tryout sessions during the week of October 9-13, with the B pool having more sessions. During this time, we will be evaluating the B pool and from those sessions pulling players up to join in the A pool for the following weekend.  This is a way to allow players that may not have had a strong showing over the previous weekend to earn their way into the A pool.  This is common for tryouts to help motivate the players to keep working hard as they can still make that jump up. 

From there, we will have pool games on October 14-15.  The A pool will be playing Minot for the Bantams, and the Peewees will be playing Dickinson.  This will be a great opportunity to play against players that are not our teammates and friends.  The B pools will be playing each other that weekend and being ranked to fill out the B1 teams and placement on the B teams.

Squirts will be playing in an A pool game and 2 B pool games against ourselves. 

We, as a club, have worked hard over the years to improve our tryout process and the evaluations.  As I stated earlier, the goal is to make sure that each child is placed on a team that will push them to be better and still have fun.  I truly believe the process that we are implementing this year is going to help all of our kids improve their game.  I hope this helps to clarify some concerns people may be having with the new tryout process. 

If you ever have any questions regarding the process, please feel free to reach out to anyone on our Board or myself.


John Stockler

BHB Program Director