This past season, SEMI Hockey embarked on several exciting new initiatives. Here are a few highlights.
The Initiation program continues to be a huge success. SEMI Hockey continued to focus on skill development throughout the initiation program utilizing professional Hockey development staff to ensure all players had access to extra training, and to on board and mentor a great crop of volunteer coaches. The Winter Classic Cross Ice Jamboree was a highlight of all these players.
In addition, SEMI Hockey continues to grow its enrollment through the First Shift program, this season welcoming 45 new players to First Shift and providing a “Second Shift” program with another 40 participants.
The Novice program is the pinnacle of the skill development program, with weekly sessions with SEMI Hockey Skill Development Leads, Shane Kuss and Matt Erhart. In addition, these players receive skill focussed instruction from their volunteer parent coaches as well as weekly goalie training for that position. The season culminates with the very popular March Madness Tournament.
SEMI Hockey is really reaping the benefits of the investment in skill development programming. We are seeing some the deepest pools of high skilled players in most age groups. The success in the standings is now evident. This season we had Atom A1 win both the Cross Conference regular season and playoff banner. Bantam A1 finished as the highest seeded team in the regular season and won the PCAHA playoff banner and were set to represent the district at the BC Championships. Pee Wee A2 also made the PCAHA Final 4 and qualified for the BC Hockey Tier 2 Championship. In addition, we offer a Prospects program in Atom, Pee Wee and Bantam that provides additional development for C hockey players.
SEMI Hockey is proud of its role as leader promoting fair play and respect in hockey. We are constantly working hard to create a culture of respect and safety.
SEMI Hockey members were incredibly active in the community with most teams taking on some form of community enhancement project. The relatively new SEMI Hockey Foundation has increased the funds in our endowment so that we can now start disbursing funds with the mandate to grow the game.
SUMMARY OF THE 2020-21 SEMI HOCKEY SEASON
Our monthly newsletter, The Raven Report has over 2,000 subscribers and has become a great tool for sharing information about our SEMI Hockey programs in the community.
Our social media has become a go to source of information for our SEMI Hockey members and the wider community with activity regularly updated on Instagram (@semihockey), Twitter and Facebook and our website at www.semihockey.ca.
We produced a video series to help market the game and tell our story which we have launched through our website and social media channels. A sample of one of our SEMI Hockey videos is here.
The annual parent Coach and Program online survey gives our members an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on programming that we use to guide improvement.
SEMI Hockey had numerous community collaborations this season. We continued with our annual Asurion Cup Hockey Helps Community challenge where teams are encouraged to take on community projects and the team deemed to be the most helpful to the community wins the Cup. We had numerous great entries with the winning Atom A3 team hosting two Hockey fights Cancer games and raising over $3,250. More on this here.
We are very proud of our SEMI Hockey Foundation Grow the Game fund. This endowment program is designed to raise funds to be put towards initiatives to Grow the Game in our community. In just two years, we have raised over $25,000 towards our Foundation through a variety of events that we have organized.
Each year we give out graduating player scholarships to assist with post-secondary expenses and this year we had 11 worthy recipients.
We debuted our new SEMI Hockey Mascot ROCKY the Raven who has been making numerous community appearances to promote the game and the benefits of being active in our community.
We hosted our annual Parents Nights Out and Summer Outdoor Movie Series to stay in touch with our SEMI Hockey families and members of our community.
SEMI Hockey was also proud to host a PCAHA Midget C Scholarship game in January.
SEMI Hockey streamlined its governance model this season, reducing the number of SEMI Hockey Board positions and restructuring how day-to-day operations are conducted on behalf of our members through the leadership of our Executive Director and Administrator. This has proved to be very efficient and well received. A major review of policies and procedures was undertaken in the Spring resulting in a modernization of the guiding policies and procedures for the Association.
SEMI Hockey has been a leader at the governing body level, working closely with our partners at the PCAHA and BC Hockey to be involved in committee work, propose new resolution and regulation upgrades. We have also been asked by neighbouring hockey associations to assist them with ideas on governance changes and policy and procedure updates.
Player Safety and Risk Management
SEMI Hockey is proud of its role as leader promoting fair play and respect in hockey. We are working hard to create a culture of respect and safety. This year we have worked with HeadCheck Health to help empower our team safety officers to be more comfortable managing head injuries. We have also mandated baseline testing for our contact teams. We have offered several clinics and programs focussed on proper respectful body contact. SEMI Hockey participated in the Buddy Check initiative to promote a dialogue about mental health.
Our SEMI Hockey coaches have worked hard to establish the right culture with our teams and it is reflected in the success of the teams on the ice and in the penalty minutes and sportsmanship points. See links to our messaging to our SEMI Hockey members here on our player safety commitment and here on hockey culture.
This season we have had a very successful experience in our hockey operations. SEMI Hockey player development leads, Shane Kuss (https://www.semihockey.ca/2020/02/14/meet-semi-hockeys-lead-skill-development-provider-shane-kuss/) and Matt Erhart (https://www.semihockey.ca/2020/03/11/meet-matt-erhart-semi-hockeys-lead-skill-provider/) increased the skill development opportunities for Novice programs, adding an additional weekly session which has retained players at the high-performance level. Our Prospects program has expanded to now offer weekly programs for Atom, Pee Wee and Bantam C players. The addition of Topher Plonka (https://www.semihockey.ca/2020/01/14/meet-topher-plonka/) to our development programs has added an additional power skating resource that has been very well received.
New player recruitment has been a major focus and we continue to offer the First Shift Program and have added a Second Shift option to accommodate more new players. Our numbers in the Initiation and Novice divisions are now at 275 participants and we hope to push that to 300 by next season. Our retention rate in these groups is close to 100%.
This season we piloted a Pee Wee A5 program that was a successful hybrid between our traditional Rep and C programs and provided a customer friendly experience for families that want a decent level of hockey without the full rep commitment; we were pleased to see several multi-sport and multi-activity families take advantage of this option.
We have continued our successful partnership with Coastal FC, the local soccer club, to coordinate schedules and promote the concept of the multi-sport athlete. Once again this year, players under 9 should have been able to participate in soccer and hockey conflict free. The continued SEMI Hockey partnership with Earl Marriott Secondary has grown exponentially, to the point where we have added a second class and now have 58 high school age participants in our program. This has been a major win for SEMI Hockey player retention in the Bantam and Midget age groups. Our partnerships with other hockey programs have been very successful as SEMI Hockey players have taken advantage of many opportunities with the Valley West Giants program and local junior teams.
In the area of coach recruitment, management and development, we have increased the quality and quantity of non-parent SEMI Hockey rep coaches to arguably our best group to date, with 6 non-parent head coaches and 7 non-parent assistant coaches. Our mentorship program has increased through the efforts of our player development leads and this is impacting across the entire coaching landscape. We offered a weekly coaches ice time to connect our community of coaches and increase the interaction between the different levels of coaches.
Our SEMI Hockey preseason hockey camp was expanded to two full weeks and was completely sold out, providing an affordable high calibre local program for our players to benefit from at the same time generating a significant revenue stream to keep registration fees low.
We are in our 7th year of following the Hockey Canada progression model for Rep evaluations and have made numerous improvements to make the overall model work for our needs. We continue to experience significant decreases in selection appeals. This year we expanded the use of software and added timed skill testing, as well as working in the recommendations of the Atom Pathway a year before it will be required.
We believe that all of these efforts we’ve described above are collectively reflected in our SEMI Hockey results on the ice:
- Atom A1 and Bantam A1 finished in first place in regular season
- Pee Wee A1, Midget A2 and Bantam A2 all landed in second place in their flights
- Pee Wee A1 and Bantam A2 collected 100% of their sportsmanship points, Bantam A1 received 21 of 22
- Pee Wee A1 and Bantam A1 were awarded the PCAHA Achievement Award
- Bantam A2, Midget A1 and Midget A2 claimed the PCAHA Presidents series banners
- Awarded Hosting of PCAHA Bantam A1 Final 4
- Bantam A1, Pee Wee A1, Atom A1 and Pee Wee A2 all were in PCAHA Final 4
- Bantam A1 claimed the PCAHA Playoff Championship and represented the PCAHA at the BC Hockey Championships
- Pee Wee A2 qualified to represent the district at BC Hockey Championships
- Pee Wee C2 claimed regular season and playoff banner
- Midget C1, C3, C4 all claimed playoff championships
- Bantam C4 won playoff championship
- SEMI Hockey 2019 2020 tournament wins https://www.semihockey.ca/tournaments/semi-hockey-tournament-wins/