Keep Woodbury Hockey Player Development Equal Play Policy

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Woodbury Area Hockey Club has a thorough and well defined player development charter for the benefit of all WAHC members. This policy can be referenced by visiting http://www.woodburyhockey.com/page/show/3096479-wahc-player-development-strategy-and-charter.

Unfortunately, this policy has been largely ignored over the past several years particularly on the higher teams in squirts, pee wees, and bantams. The major reason this policy is under appreciated and not enforced is simply due to a belief by a controlling minority that winning is more important than letting all kids play equally in games and have fun playing hockey (which is always why a kid says they love playing hockey...because it is fun).

Playing hockey is fun. Watching hockey on the bench is not fun. A study by the Josephson Institute as cited by the National Bestseller 'Changing the Game' found that 90% of youth athletes would rather play on a losing team where they play than sit the bench on a winning team. George Washington University published an extensive study in 2014 on the reasons why kids play sports. Their findings showed that winning was #48 on a list of 81 reasons youth athletes play sports.

Further and most importantly, ensuring kids play equally leads to building self-esteem and confidence. When kids sit on the bench instead of playing they start to lose self-esteem and confidence. This is a fact that has been widely documented and published by sports psychologists and universities. What is particularly important about this point in WAHC is that these kids have all made the team they are assigned to regardless of level. They attend a tryout, are evaluated, and then placed on a team through the evaluation or draft process in WAHC. All players earn their spot on their team. To not play a kid after they are put on a team that they did not chose or sign-up for (like a free-agent would) is simply unjust and not in any kid's best interest.

Last, all WAHC members within a given level pay the same fee for the season (with the exception of economic need-based scholarship). Why should an elite few be given significant more playing time for the sake of winning when those few players pay the same amount as other players who are sitting on the bench?

The solution to all of the issues previously cited is to have the membership's voice heard clearly in support of maintaining and enforcing the current WAHC Player Development Charter. This charter very clearly supports equal play for players. This charter and the points regarding equal play are in-line with the governing bodies of USA Hockey and MN Hockey who both strongly endorse equal play. USA Hockey and MN Hockey support equal play because they believe it is fundamental to player development. Please join with us and let the WAHC Board know that you do not support unequal play for kids and that changing, removing, or not enforcing this policy is not in our kids' best interests. Thank you. 



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