Message From OSGH Executive, News (Owen Sound Girls Hockey)

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Message From OSGH Executive
Submitted By Jericko Willets on Wed 03 23, 22
Hello Ice Hawks families, 

Unfortunately we’re at the end of another hockey season.  Although it always seems to end too soon, it has been great to see our players back at the rink this year and we can be optimistic about a return to a “typical” season for 2022/23.  In that regard, below is an update from our association.


First, on behalf of the OSGH Executive, we would like to thank all of our families for making this year a success.  There were numerous challenges based on COVID protocols, scheduling disruptions, player absences, etc., and everyone did their part to make it work for our players.  These extra challenges were frustrating at times, but our families and volunteers adapted and that allowed us to keep playing hockey.  Your efforts are much appreciated.

 

Following our AGM, one of the priorities for our OSGH Executive was to improve communication.  As families in our association, it is important that you know our plans, what we’re doing to improve our program, and how you can contribute to the success of Girls Hockey in Owen Sound.  In that regard, this message will outline where we are at now, what to expect from next season, and where we need help from you. 

 

2021/22 set another record for the Ice Hawks with 155 player registrations across 10 teams.  This starts at the youngest age with our MiniHawks Initiation program and we were able to roster 1 team at U9 and 2 teams from U11 to U18.  

 

For 2022/23, we are planning for up to 175 players and 12 teams.  Teams and divisions will depend on a number of factors, but we expect to have at least one division achieve 3 teams for the first time in our history.  C & LL teams noted below will participate in WOAA and A, BB, B teams will participate in OWHA Southern (formerly LLFHL).  Tryouts for U13 and above will begin in April and teams U11 and below will be held in September. 

 

  • U7 “MiniHawks”: New for next season, we plan to include a “jamboree team” within our Initiation program, specifically for the benefit of our returning 6-yr old players. 
  • U9:  C and LL
  • U11:  BB/B, C, and LL
  • U13:  A, B/C, and LL
  • U15:  BB/B and C
  • U18: A and B

 

Our goal as an association is to achieve registration numbers that support programming for players at all levels.  We want every player to have a place in OSGH whether you are brand new to hockey or striving for the next competitive level.  The type of program offered to these teams may differ, but we are here to grow the sport, develop our players, and nurture their love for the game.  Registration numbers are critical as they allow us to adapt team dynamics to provide the best opportunity to the most players each season.

 

Our Initiation program is the foundation of strong registration by giving new players an introduction to the sport and the opportunity to develop fundamental skills.  For established players, our success as an organization is based on providing the best programming and player development opportunities, and our ability to keep players together as they progress through their minor hockey experience.  This hinges on some critical areas:

  • Financial: 
    • We are updating our sponsorship and fundraising initiatives to ensure we have the resources to build for the future.
    • This year we had sponsorships for most teams and expect to partner with these team sponsors on an annual basis moving forward.  Our goal is for teams to not have to find their own sponsor from year to year so they can focus on their own team fundraising initiatives.
    • Fundraising has been limited due to restraints of the pandemic.  One major opportunity is the return of the Owen Sound Northern Lights tournament, last hosted in 2019.  Our tournament will return November 2022 and we will be forming a committee make it an exceptional event.
    • We’ve also significantly increased our profile through Social Media.  This is engaging for our families, but is also a way to reach the broader community so we can share what we’re doing as an association, and so we can provide recognition for our sponsors. 
  • Coaching & Player Development:
    • Coaches have the biggest impact on our players, and thus, have the biggest impact on the future of our organization.  We are currently selecting coaches for 2022/2023, but we also want to support our coaches’ ability to deliver the best program for our players.  For next season, we will be adopting updated policies for coach selection and tryout evaluation processes for competitive teams.
    • As a girls hockey program, it is critical that we have female coaches engaged with our players.  We have 2 teams this season with female head coaches and many of our other teams have had volunteer female coaches contribute during practices and as bench staff.  We need to take this a step further and hope to engage our “Local Legends” in our programming and player development initiatives.  One of these initiatives will be clinic-based skills sessions to supplement our players team-based practices.
  • Icetime
    • Shared practices and the duration of practice times have been a regular topic of discussion and something we will revisit in planning for next season.  The goal of shared icetime is to maximize registration value, especially where we have teams with small rosters.  This can present other challenges for teams with full rosters (15+), especially when the ice is shared between large teams.  We will be reviewing our ice allocation strategy, but any changes to ice allocation may also be reflected in changes in registration cost. 
  • Volunteers:
    • Everything we want to accomplish as an association is contingent on having the volunteers to make it happen.  We have been very fortunate over the years to have a small number of very dedicated executive members who have kept the wheels in motion.  Some of these folks are taking a well-deserved step back from active roles and with the ever-growing registration numbers, we need more volunteers than ever before.  Our Executive meetings held monthly and open to the public and we would welcome whatever contribution you are able to make. 

 

Best of luck to all our players and teams as they wrap up their final games and year-end tournaments.  For OSGH, it is now time to start working towards next season and we look forward to your continued support as we build towards the future.

 

Jeremy McCoubrey
VP Owen Sound Girls Hockey

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