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Junior Crusaders Youth Hockey Evaluation Policy

The primary goal of the Junior Crusaders is to maintain an equitable and thorough process for assessing player abilities and skills and placing each player on a team to promote individual development and team success.  Planning, coordinating and executing the evaluation process is time-consuming, spanning 3+ months, and involving hundreds of volunteer hours from coaches, evaluators, and the JCYH Evaluation Committee members working in concert to develop a repeatable player evaluation process, and achieve fair team placement for all players.

Junior Crusaders Youth Hockey Evaluation Committee

The Junior Crusaders Youth Hockey (JCYH) Evaluation Committee was designed and developed to govern the entire player evaluation and team placement process.  This Committee consists of the President, VP, Hockey Director, Level Directors and other members invited by the above committee members.

The roles and responsibilities of the Evaluation Committee are as follows:

  • Ensure that the process is executed in a thorough, objective manner whereby every player is treated fairly and given an equal opportunity to play at the highest level.
  • Develop try-out schedules & logistics.
  • Develop evaluation forms, try-out forms, data templates, and key milestones for Evaluation Teams.
  • Select Level Evaluation Teams, including Level Directors and membership.
  • Publish the Evaluation process to the JCYH membership.
  • Review and approve all recommendations.
  • Address problems and/or issues as they arise.
  • Annually review the process to improve quality, efficiency, and outcome.

Level Evaluation Teams

Evaluation Teams will exist at each playing level.  Each Evaluation Team will consist of a Level Director, appointed by the Evaluation Committee, 4+ evaluators, including JCYH coaches and/or independent evaluators, and a BOD representative, who may also be the Level Director or one of the evaluators.

The roles and responsibilities of the Level Evaluation Teams are as follows:

  • Collect and assimilate coaches’ evaluations of players specific to this level.
  • Define and develop the try-out plan (skills & scrimmage(s)).
  • Staff and conduct try-outs.
  • Assimilate & qualify all data specific to player placement, including evaluation results and coaches’ evaluations.
  • Select teams based on all available information.
  • Present teams to the Evaluation Committee for final approval.

It is important to note that all Level Evaluation Teams will be comprised of individuals with strong hockey backgrounds, including JCYH coaches and independent evaluators possessing extensive hockey playing and/or coaching experience.

Player Evaluation

The Player Evaluation Process is comprised of three (3) primary components; End of season Coaches’ Evaluations, Spring Evaluations and Fall Movements.

Evaluation Structure

Evaluations provide Evaluation Teams the opportunity to observe players in 2-3 structured sessions focusing on skills and scrimmaging.  Level Directors will develop the overall try-out format for their particular level, subject to the review and approval of the Evaluation Committee (as needed).  All levels will include a Skills session, and one or more Scrimmage sessions.

Coaches’ Evaluations

JCYH Head and Assistant coaches are required to evaluate and rank players on their team based on their overall hockey ability. This does NOT necessarily translate into the leading scorer, fastest skater, best playmaker, etc. being ranked the #1 player.  Players are judged by their impact on a game and individual skills, including skating ability, positional play, team work, stick handling, aggressiveness, etc.  Evaluation criteria and aids have been formulated by the Evaluation Committee to ensure consistency amongst coaches and evaluators.

Spring Evaluations

Spring Evaluations will be held in March/April.  These evaluations will be used in combination with the Coaches Evaluations to create initial rosters that will be submitted to the Evaluation Committee for review and approval.

Fall Movements

Fall Movements will be held in August.  The fall evaluations will be used to place any player that could not attend the Spring Evaluations.  Once these players are placed at the appropriate level, minor movements will be made to adjust the roster sizes.  During the first 2 weeks, of the season, the Evaluation Committee will schedule Fall Evaluations.  These evaluations are not optional and will be used for all Fall Movements.

Player Commitment

A Player’s Commitment assessment, as specified by his or hers previous seasons’ coaches, will also be used as a critical factor in final player placement.  A player’s commitment to the program, and, more specifically, their team, is oftentimes over-looked or taken for granted.  Players who have exhibited a primary commitment to their JCYH team will be given a greater priority during player placement.


Each evaluator, working individually, will score every player at that level on their performance during the skills and scrimmage sessions.  A player’s total score will be based upon the summation of their respective skills and scrimmage scores.  Weightings will be applied, as appropriate to that specific level, to properly attain a player’s final evaluation score, i.e. at the Mite level, skills and scrimmage scores may carry the same weight and each may make up 50% of the final evaluation score.  While at the Squirt level, however, it may be determined that the scrimmage score should be weighted stronger than the skills score, so scrimmage may make up 60% of the final evaluation score, while skills will make up the remaining 40%.

Player Placement

Rankings and team assignments, at each level, will be drafted and finalized by the Level Evaluation Team using evaluation results, coaches’ evaluations and commitment assessments.  Team assignments will be submitted to the Evaluation Committee for final approval.

Evaluation Committee’s Policy regarding 2nd Year Players within a Level

If a player is entering his/her second year within a level and scores substantially similarly in the evaluation process to a player entering that level for the first time, added consideration will be given to the second year player.

Evaluation Committee’s Policy regarding Players Missing Evaluations

A current JCYH player who misses evaluations will be assigned an evaluation score based upon the average evaluation scores of similarly ranked players from the coaches’ evaluation.  The player placement process will then proceed in the normal fashion.

Target Date for Player Notification

Player placement and team assignments will be posted on the JCYH web-site by May 15th to insure a uniform notification, and that all players are notified at the same time.  Players’ names will be posted on each team’s page and the players will then be notified via email.  Any players who have not paid their evaluation fee will be held off the roster until payment is made.  Any players missing a schedule payment will be removed from their roster.


The goal of the Evaluation Committee is to fairly evaluate players, and place them on the best team that matches their skill level, and ability in the fairest way possible, using many ‘checks and balances’.

The JCYH BOD recognizes that there is no perfect process, and that there will always be players and parents who will disagree, and be upset, with the decisions.  This will always exist in the case of a tiered (1, 2, 3…) system.  We believe that our process is reasonable and fair, and, in the end, provides players the opportunity to play on a team that is matched to that players overall ability.  This process was settled on after many different approaches and has provided the best results year after year.



Questions and Concerns

The Evaluation Sub-Committee is available to discuss any/all questions and concerns.

Evaluation Sub-Committee

Hockey Director – Mike Jacobs –

Co-President – Earl Corey -

Co-President – Dennis McGugan -

VP – Ray Zalneraitis -

Mite Director – Chris Cote -

Squirt DirectorMark Dowey – 

NYHL Director – Jonathan Crowton –

SNEHC DirectorMike Jacobs – 

Bantam Director – Mike Mason –

Midget Director – Brian Coleman –

AAA Director – Kevin Fleming –