Whistler Minor Hockey Association Affiliate Player Program

The Whistler Minor Hockey Association (WMHA) has put together this affiliate program guide to outline the expectations, process, and rules on the use of affiliated players. An affiliated player (AP) is a player who is eligible to play on their own registered team, plus other teams of a higher age division or category. The WMHA operates on the viewpoint that a robust affiliation program is an important part of a progressive and effective development program. As a small association a robust affiliation program will help keep aspiring rep players engaged and will provide them with an opportunity to access higher level coaching and faster pace practices and games. In addition, this program will help aspiring rep players to continue to develop and acquire skills to move into the competitive program; helping to keep the gap between house and competitive players from growing too large. Coaches in the WMHA are to encourage, promote and seek out affiliation opportunities for players on and to their team. The WMHA Coach Coordinator will help coordinate the affiliation of players to ensure that affiliates are evenly distributed among teams and so that one person has a high level view of the program. The WMHA believes strongly in the affiliate program and desires to see AP’s used as often as possible.

Selection of Affiliated Players

To ensure a coordinated approach to the AP program and transparency and fairness the decision of who will be an AP for the team will be in consultation with the rostered Coach of the AP and the Coach of the affiliated team. The Coach Coordinator will also be looped in and provided an opportunity to provide input. The following things should be considered when an AP is selected:

● Player attitude, effort, and practice attendance on their rostered team

● Player position - what position is needed for the team requesting an AP? ● Does the player have rep intent? Did they try out for rep?

● As much as is practicable, AP’s should be rotated into the higher team's roster equally (i.e. the same AP should not be called up by the higher category team every time an AP is needed)

● Are they already an affiliate with another team? If so, is there another player that can be given the opportunity to AP?

● Is it safe for the player to play at a higher level? (see Safety Considerations for more information)

Safety Considerations

Safety of players is a key part of the affiliation program. Player safety should be considered when rostering them as an AP. Safety considerations include:

● As a prerequisite, AP’s practicing or playing with a U15 to U18 rep team must have a Intro to Hitting and a Checking Clinic

● The number of ice times/games a player is playing should be considered by both Coaches; if there are too many games and practices in a week the player could be at a higher risk for injury

● If a player is injured in a practice or game or was involved in an incident in which the mechanism was high, the AP’s Rostered Coach and the Coach Coordinator must be notified as soon as possible

Process for Affiliation

1. The AP Coach will connect with the Coach of the team they wish to AP a player from. Using the selection criteria listed above, they will review the criteria for AP selection and together select a player that is the best fit

2. The AP Coach will advise the Coach Coordinator via email that an AP has been selected. The Coach Coordinator may provide feedback if desired

3. The Affiliate Team Manager will reach out to the AP’s Team Manager and ask them to seek approval from the AP and their parents

4. If the player and parents accept the AP spot, the AP Coach should connect with the AP and their parents to outline the AP role.

a. Is this for a certain position?

b. Is this for practices or games or tournaments?

c. Is this strictly for player injuries and suspensions?

d. How many games can the AP expect?

e. How much ice time can the AP expect?

5. For specific game dates, the Affiliate Team Manager will reach out to the AP’s Team Manager for each game to ensure there are no conflicts and seek approval from the AP’s rostered Coach