MYHockey General Info
1. Why are you doing this?
MYHockey was developed to share the love of youth hockey with others. It started as a project to share links to other associations and leagues with others. It progressed to teams as my son's team sought competition outside our immediate geographical area. When we started looking at teams, we began to look at records to see if another team might be good competition for my son's team. We quickly realized that a team's record was not an indicator of strength and then we started to wonder who (which team) was really better and by how much. As our team pursued a search for good competition, we made some mistakes that left both us and our opponents less than satisfied after a weekend of blowouts. Over time, MYHockey emerged as a tool to help youth hockey fans, coaches and managers learn more about the sport we all love.
2. How does MYHockey compute its ratings?
MYHockey 's ratings are computed mathematically, with no subjective weighting or human determined values. MYHockey rates teams based upon how well they play against other teams and how good those teams are. These two factors are "AGD" or "average goal differential" and "SCHED" or "strength of schedule". AGD is currently calculated by accumulating the goal differential of each game, to a maximum of 7, and divides it by the number of games played. Using a max game goal differential of 7 does "penalize" teams that blow out opponents, but this is common in rating systems as it takes away the incentive for teams to run up scores and allows them to have a bad game by capping the mathematical damage. The strength of schedule is computed by averaging the rating of each game opponent. AGD and SCHED are added together to compute a team's rating.
3. Are some teams or leagues given preferential treatment?
There is no preferential treatment for teams from certain leagues. All teams are assumed to be equal and having a rating of zero before the system mathematically calculates your SCHED and AGD based entirely upon game performance. A team's SCHED is not only determined by the teams it plays, but by the teams its opponents play and its opponents' opponents play, etc. All teams in a given age level (i.e. Midgets) are ranked in one statistical pool. The math does not know if the teams are major, minor, AAA or AA, it simply computes based upon who a team has played (SCHED) and how well they have done (AGD).
4. How accurate can this be?
In general, as teams start getting 20+ games under their belts, the system tends to be very accurate. There are, however, some occasional exceptions.
If a group of teams (i.e. a league) doesn't play others outside its group, their placement relative to all other teams cannot be accurately determined, but relative to one another it is accurate. Groups of teams with limited outside play can be inaccurately skewed by the scores of only a few games, which might not be representative of the group's overall ability. Accuracy significantly increases with more games and more interplay and it makes sense for there to be a minimum number of games before teams are ranked.
Assuming teams have all played enough games against both league and non-league teams, inaccuracies may still exist. Some teams play differently (a lot differently) depending upon which goalie is in net for a specific game. In this case, the ratings average out the play and may not completely reflect either scenario. Missing players, home vs. away, double rostered players are a few other scenarios that could influence the accuracy of the ratings. It's not an exact science. The ratings should be used to determine what teams might be good non-league opponents and which bracket of a tournament may be more appropriate. They are not meant to be the AP Poll for youth hockey.
There are a couple weaknesses to the current system. The first deficiency is with teams that emphasize development in some games. They are "penalized". That same team may then focus on winning big tournaments and succeed, but may never achieve the rating that they "deserve". Secondly, teams that "come on" in the second half of the season are "penalized" by early poor performances. All games throughout the season count equally and that may not reflect a teams performance near the end of the season.
5. We beat Team X twice, how can they still be ranked ahead of us?
Yes, it seems wrong, but a team that you have a winning record against can be ranked ahead of you. It's all in mathematics. It depends on who else your team has played and how well you did as well as who the other team has played and how well they did. In a season of games, there will be some anomalies.
6. We won both our games this past weekend and our rating went down, how is this?
Your rating can go down even though your team wins. This can happen for a couple different reasons. First, if your team is rated 3.0 points (1 point = 1 goal) better than your opponent and you win two close games by 1 goal each, your average goal differential (AGD) is +1.0 against a team that it was expected to be +3.0. This would likely have a negative impact on your rating. Another scenario has you doing as expected against your opponent, but a large percentage of the teams you played earlier in the season doing unexpectedly bad. This lowers your strength of schedule and would lower your team's rating. It is almost impossible to guess how much and in what direction your rating will move each week because of the complexity of the math.
Two additional notes. During the entire season, new teams continue to be added to the system. Teams rated in the middle of the pack in October may fall 100 spots by the end of the season while improving, simply because the number of teams added to MYHockey increases over time. It might be best to compare your team to others in your league or geographic area and see if your rating improves relative to theirs. Also, MYHockey now has available a page that explains the mathematics behind the rating. From either the scores page for a particular team or from the team information page, you can find a link to the math page.
7. What does a team's overall rating number mean?
Everything is relative. The number specifically means nothing, but might be used to understand the relative competitiveness of two different teams. A 1.0 point differential equates to a theoretical goal 1.0 goal advantage by the team with the higher point value. Squirts, Peewees, Bantams, Midgets/Prep/HS, Juniors and College are all calculated separately. While a Peewee Minor AAA team can get a pretty good sense on how good they would fair against a Peewee Major AA team because all Peewee ratings are calculated relative to one another, one cannot compare a Squirt Major AAA team to a Peewee Minor AA team in the same fashion. MYHockey has some limitations and figuring the relative difference between stronger squirt teams and weaker peewee teams is one of them.
8. What does each of the columns on the ratings page mean?
"Record" is represented by wins-loses-ties. As described above, the "Rating" is simply the sum of the "AGD" and "SCHED". "AGD" is average goal differential. This can be a positive or negative number that equals goals for (GF) minus goals against (GA) divided by games played (GP). One caveat, the system currently has a maximum goal differential of seven (7) for any single game played. This means that if a team plays a number of games decided by more than seven goals, it's not quite as simple as GF-GA/GP. "SCHED" is the average strength of schedule of all opponents. Fundamentally you can add the "RATING" for all opponents and divide by GP. "Details" will give you more information about the team while "Scores" is a link to a team's complete set of season game scores as recorded in MYHockey .
A couple hints to give you the full power of MYHockey . Any teams with known team websites will be represented by underline/hotlinked team names. Clicking on the team name will open an additional window to this team's web site. When viewing scores, each opponent's schedule is just a click away. For example, if you are viewing the game scores of Team X and they played Team Y, you can view Team Y's game scores by simply clicking on Team Y's name.
9. Why are some teams not in the rankings?
Teams are displayed on the rankings only after having played at least five games against other teams in the system. The five game minimum increases to 10 games in February. Games not recorded via publically accessible team, league and tournament web sites are unlikely to be recorded. Teams that are part of divisions where no one has volunteered to enter/approve game scores make it less likely that all game scores will be recorded.
MYHockey pretty much now includes all levels of travel hockey in the US and Ontario and is working to building out the remainder of Canada. It is possible that some games might not be included because an opponent is not in the system. In these cases, however, you can request that the opponent be added thru a team add change request which can be accessed by clicking the purple + sign on the top right side of the rankings page that the team belong in.
10. Why are some game scores missing and team records inaccurate?
Missing scores are typically not in the system for one of a couple different reasons. Game scores found on league and team web sites are the primary source for MYHockey volunteers and if the game score is not located on a web site where someone is looking, it will not get entered into the system. Also, game scores against ambiguous teams (i.e. "Flames" or "Chicago Blues" or "Columbus") will not get recorded unless the exact team can be identified. Spell out team names and levels more clearly so there is no question in the mind of our volunteers. Lastly, some scores are not entered or entered in a timely fashion because there is no volunteer covering their league/division. Please consider volunteering or becoming a member. To find out more, go to the Report Scores Page.
MYHockey members can now request that games against teams of a different age level or games against ineligible teams be added to the system so that their game schedule can be 100% complete. If these things are of interest to you, please consider a membership.
11. How do I enter a game score by teams of different levels?
Games played by teams of different age levels (i.e. peewee vs. bantam) cannot be used to calculate a team's rating/ranking. There has traditionally been no reason to enter these games into MYHockey . Many members, however, have requested an ability to enter all of their game scores into the system. As such, MYHockey does allow games by teams of different age levels to be entered into the system by members, but this is not an option for those using the guest online entry form.
12. How do I enter a game score by between girls and boys teams?
Games played by girls teams versus boys teams are essentially the same as games played by teams of different age levels. These games cannot be used to calculate a team's rating/ranking. These games can only be entered into the system by members and are not an option for those using the guest online entry form.
13. Which teams and leagues are being ranked?
MYHockey now includes all levels of competitive or travel hockey from Squirt Minor through Midget Major. We cover the entire United States. While Ontario is covered extremely well, many Canadian provinces are still work in progress where the focus has been AA and AAA levels. We will work to complete these in the coming seasons. We also cover all levels and leagues of USA Hockey Juniors and Canadian Major Junior, Provincial Junior A and Junior B. All college leagues, US and Canada, men and women, are covered. Girls teams from peewee through Midget/College are now included. If you see something that is missing and are willing to help, please let us know.
What is not included? Mites (or Novice as Canadians refer to them). Summer Hockey teams/games are not included. Junior programs running outside the Canadian and US sanctioning bodies are not included at this time. Still not seeing what you are looking for? Send MYHockey an email. Growth is and has been a specific result of user interest.
14. A game score is incorrect, how do I get it corrected?
Next to every score in the database is a red check mark in the "Fix" column. If a score is incorrect, click on the corresponding check mark to request that it be fixed. Please provide documentation (website that has the correct score posted is preferable) and tell us specifically how to fix the score. If the score is a duplicate, especially an incorrect duplicate, make sure you request that we delete the duplicate score.
15. There are missing or duplicate game scores, how do I correct them?
Again, mistakes are inevitable. If duplicate scores have been posted, complete an online score correction request to get things corrected. We try to catch these ourselves, but we appreciate your help. To resolve the issue of missing game scores, please visit the Report Scores page for more information on volunteering and/or reporting these scores.
16. My local team, club, league or rink information is incomplete or inaccurate, how do I get it corrected?
MYHockey allows and encourages team, association, league, and even rink information updates through our online change request form. The form can be accessed by clicking the purple pencil icon or plus sign in the upper right hand portion of the information area on the entities information page.
17. Can my league use this information?
Absolutely. MYHockey has actually helped leagues who have pre-season schedules to help determine who plays in which division during the regular season. This service is available to others as well upon request. Please use the Contact Info page to reach us and begin discussing your needs.
18. How can my league help?
Accurately post all league scores! The number one thing a league can do is post, on the internet in a timely fashion, all league game scores. Encouraging associations/teams to create team web sites and make non-league game scores available to the public would also help.
19. How can my team help?
Create a team web site and list all game scores in an area where our volunteers can easily find it. Also, please clearly identify your opponents. Ambiguity means we cannot post the results, even if you have them on your web site.
20. How can I help?
Volunteer to enter scores. Become a member. Submit scores as a guest. Keep us honest by reporting any errors and updating incomplete information.
21. How is it that MYHockey is free?
MYHockey is free just as Google is free. Advertising covers most of the cost of running the website. Volunteers, from the founder to the quiet goalie's mom on your team, contribute countless hours with a common goal in mind. MYHockey 's mission is to provide you the best, most complete and accurate information about youth hockey. Memberships are available at a very low price for those wanting extra features and/or who would like to provide financial support for the site.
22. Do we have to pay to see the rankings now that you are selling memberships?
No! Everything that was available for free previously is still be available for free. However, you can now choose to join MYHockey for a small fee to obtain additional services that have been requested by our users. This is very similiar to how Google and the Wall Street Journal provide services. Basic content is free, premium content is available for a small fee. It is optional and available to those who want to support this website.
23. How often are the rankings updated?
The rankings are updated every Wednesday morning from the last Wednesday in September until the last Wednesday in April. MYHockey releases current season information on August 1. It begins accepting game scores on August 15 (although they scores posted prior to September 1 have some restrictions). At the primary youth levels, the system has enough games to start constructing reasonably accurate rankings at the end of September. We realize that many areas and levels have not even started playing at this time. In the fall, starting with the first ranking in late September, we will turn on the rankings for divisions when they have enough teams reaching the five game minimum to construct meaningful rankings.
MYHockey Site Rules
1. When does the season start and end?
MYHockey has struggled with this issue from the very start of our existence. USA Hockey and Hockey Canada used to have pretty stringent rules on this issue and no fall/winter games could be played prior to Sept 1st. Then, a few years ago, USA Hockey started allowing games in August, although it is a USA Hockey District Policy issue and does vary by District. Two districts currently have policies forbidding games prior to Sept 1st by fall/winter rostered teams and that is reflected in our policy. Initially, MYHockey didn't change its policy as USA Hockey changed, but by the 2015-16 season, the issue became too large to ignore. Not only where midget leagues starting play in August, but other youth leagues were doing the same. And at the same time, August games by fall/winter teams were forbidden in some areas. In Ontario, reports of more and more teams using August to play with modified rosters, possibly to help their ratings and gain access to events that they might otherwise not qualify for. The confusion around the season start and our previous policy became clearly untenible during the 2015-16 season and we sought input from hundreds of MYHockey volunteers and contributors. From that input we formed a new policy, allowed public comment and finalized the policy in late October 2015. The policy is as follows:
Once the season starts based upon the start date rules outlined above, all games are considered valid unless there is a violation of the MYHockey Game Definition Rules.
- No game played by a Canadian, Michigan, or USA Central District (IA, IL, KS, MO, NE, WI) team prior to Sept 1st shall be entered into MYHockey.
- No game played by any other USA team played prior to August 15th shall be entered into MYHockey.
- No non-league game played by an Ontario Midget AAA team prior to Sept 15th shall be entered into MYHockey.
- Games played by teams with significantly different (possibly summer) rosters, rosters that include at least three (3) uniquely rostered players that are not normally rostered by that team after Sept 1st, shall be considered "Tournament Teams" and will be applied to a different, but similarly named team.
- Games played by "tryout" teams after the official start of the season count and should be recorded.
- The coaches of two opposing teams can agree, prior to the playing of a game, to play a game in such a way that they are not trying to win, but to use the game as an instructional activity. In this event, MYHockey will remove any instructional game from the system with verification from the coaches.
- There are some additonal regional calendar issues, especially at the High School level where they are "Federation" leagues that have hard rules on the start and completion of the season that will be honored.
- The season ends either on March 31st or when post-season play ends for a given team. USA Hockey Nationals often goes into the first week of April and many Canadian post-season tournaments drag out as late as May. No spring/summer games shall be entered into MYHockey.
2. At what point does a team's roster change constitute a new team?
MYHockey cannot be the roster police. Teams change their rosters almost every day of the year. If MYHockey were to take this issue to the extreme and create a new team every time a team changed its roster, the site would not work. So, while MYHockey really dislikes teams that add players for tournaments, we cannot and will not police this activity. The general rule is that a team is no longer a regular season team and becomes a special tournament team when it consists of three (3) or more players that are not regularly on the roster or if they have one (1) or more players and their tournament performance is 2.00 points greater than the rest of their season performance as measured by MYHockey . Note that someone will have to bring these situations to MYHockey 's attention and ask that games be reclassified.
3. How can I get a game score removed from MYHockey that both coaches agreed would not be recorded?
MYHockey assumes that once the season starts (September 1st, with some regional exceptions), all games played by the teams with sanctioned referees are real games and will be recorded in the system. There are some games that may not qualify, based upon various issues outlined in the MYHockey Game Definition Rules. Claims that your team was a tryout team, after the start of the season, are not sufficient to get a game removed. If you don't want games recorded in MYHockey that were played by a tryout team, then don't play them, or put coaches on the ice and not officials, thus making it look different than a normal competitive game. Otherwise, your opponent is likely to think it should count and MYHockey cannot research each and every one of these events (we tried it for a few years and failed). The only way to get a game removed is for the head coaches from both teams to send MYHockey an email requesting a score be removed.
4. What teams qualify to be ranked in the minor birth year rankings?
All mixed birth year teams are ranked with the major birth year teams in the major birth year rankings. This rule applies whether you are a western bantam AAA team or a Squirt B team from the Carolinas. All teams playing in mixed birth year leagues and divisions are, by default, assumed to contain some major birth year players and are placed in the major birth year rankings. A team can, and often will, be placed in the minor birth year rankings it 1) they play in a division of a league that specifically mentions the birth year (i.e. 2006, 2004, 2002) or 2) the team's association website specifically mentions the birth year when identifying the team. If neither of these scenarios is true, the third way a team can be identified as a minor birth year team and ranked appropriately is by submitting an official roster from either USA Hockey or Hockey Canada. Two points of clarification here. First, we are aware that some teams that qualify as minor birth year teams based upon the league they play in may have a major birth year player on their roster. Many leagues have a petition process and it happens. In these situations, the team is still ranked amongst its peers and identified as a minor birth year team. Second, we are aware that there are teams playing in mixed birth year leagues that may have only one or two major birth year players on their roster. But non-pure teams playing in mixed birth year leagues will be ranked with their peers in the major birth year rankings.
5. What USA teams qualify for the Tier 1 rankings?
In August 2012, MYHockey switched its rankings in the USA from "AAA" and "AA" to "Tier 1" and "Tier 2". MYHockey uses the common sense definition of Tier 1 hockey - the definition that says Tier 1 hockey teams are those teams playing at the highest level of hockey in a geographic area. Teams playing in a second or third division of a league (where divisions are based upon skill level) are not Tier 1 by its very definition. The primary region of the country where this is an issue is New England. In all regions of the country except in the New England and Massachusetts Districts of USA Hockey, a team identified as AAA, playing in a AAA league or an independent AAA schedule, will be ranked as a Tier 1 team. All other teams (AA, A, B) are identified as Tier 2. In New England, peewee and bantam teams playing in the Elite 9 Hockey League (E9HL) and the Elite division of the Eastern Hockey Federation (EHF) qualify for the Tier 1 rankings. All other teams will be identified as Tier 2. Boston Hockey League (BHL) teams that are attempting to qualify for the E9HL will be classified as Tier 2 until they are officially placed in the E9HL for the regular season.
Midget teams are identified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 based upon the division of the league they play in. Independent teams can largely self-identify unless they are predominently playing opponents at a different level than they are identified. Teams playing in AAA leagues will be placed in the Tier 1 rankings. If MYHockey finds midget "AAA" teams start qualifying for USA Hockey Nationals at the Tier 2 level, additional changes could be made at the midget level.
Simplified to the core, there is one basic principle here that can be stated in a couple ways. First, only if you play at the highest level in your geographic region will you be labeled Tier 1. Second, if a club is not a Tier 1 club and/or its teams are not in a Tier 1 league, then they are not going to be recognized by MYHockey as Tier 1. There are a few teams and clubs out there that are legitimately in a gray area and in these cases MYHockey will attempt apply our rules as consistently as possible to determine the proper placement of gray area teams. Click here to read the August 2012 post concerning these changes.
6. What games qualify and what games should not be recorded?
At a high level, any game played during the normally accepted time period for fall/winter hockey in a given area that is played under the normal conditions of a hockey game.
The details that entail what is and what is not a legitimate game get very complex and after more than a dozen years, our rules have become well established, understood and accepted. We attempt to apply them consistently and fairly. That does not mean that every volunteer, member or guest who enters a game score has thought about all the issues and is certain of the details of every game. The full set of game rules can be found HERE.
7. How can I request that my team or club's teams name be changed?
MYHockey has learned that teams must be named according to a consistently applied practices or standards in order for the site to work efficiently. Allowing teams to name themselves or label themselves would create a chaotic situation where it would become very difficult to know if you are applying a game score to the correct two teams. A team name consists of three required parts: a) placename; b) nickname; c) level. Additionally, MYHockey may apply a clarifier when a club fields more than one team at a particular level. We will address each separately.
Placenames: All new teams/clubs in MYHockey must have a placename. MYHockey defines a placename as descriptor that helps identify your team geographically. Obvious placenames include Chicago, Boston, Andover, etc. Just as acceptable are placenames like North Shore, East Coast or Western Mass. MYHockey covers teams from 3000 North American hockey clubs. Almost half of these clubs no longer officially have a placename in the club name because they have either moved or want to appeal to families from multiple geographies and do not want to box themselves into a specific area. That works when you are trying to appeal to families of 5 year olds in suburban Chicago, but it doesn't help volunteers, members or guests understand the difference between the Ice Dogs of Anaheim (CA), Hatfield (PA) or Vernon Hills (IL) if MYHockey allowed all or some of them to just be called the "Ice Dogs" as they have all requested. We request that new teams/clubs provide MYHockey with a compliant name. If that does not happen, MYHockey will assign a placename to teams/clubs. We are willing to work with clubs and have done some creative team naming, but when addressing a new club or a club that is changing its name, we require a placename.
Nicknames: With the exception of a couple town based clubs, MYHockey typically does not see an issue nicknames. There are a few hockey clubs that don't really have one and while we do not like it because it can lead to a lot of confusion, we try to find solutions where a club's teams are uniquely identified in MYHockey. "Brick Hockey Club" is one example. Brick is the placename and we use "Hockey Club" as the nickname.
Level: Level gets complicated. MYHockey has separated out the level label attached to the team and the groupings of Tier 1 and Tier 2 in the USA. To understand who qualifies or Tier 1 hockey (and who does not), please see FAQ Rule 5 above. Since 2003 MYHockey has been studying competitive youth hockey across North America. We have helped standardize hockey level terminology, but there is not consistent level naming standards used across North America. Consulting local experts, we have determined what level each division of each league should be labeled as. With only a few exceptions of some newer super-leagues (where virtually every team in the league plays in another local league), all teams in a division of a league will be labeled the same. The standards for each division of each league are too numerous to list, but please understand that teams cannot ask to be labeled "AAA" and play in a division of a league that is commonly accepted to be a "AA" league. Note that at this time MYHockey is not using a level to identify US-based girls teams. The commonly used levels are more confusing than clarifying and thus we simply have evolved to avoid their use.
Clarifier: For maintenance purposes, MYHockey tries to avoid the use of clarifiers, but they are required to differentiate between two teams playing at the same level or in the same division of a league. When the clarifier is a birth year, it comes right before the level. When the clarifier is something other than an birth year, we try to use a clarifier that will be concise and informative to all pertinent parties. We also try to consistently apply these clarifiers when mulitiple teams need the clarifiers. This is an art, not a science and it takes all season to perfect. Because MYHockey seeds each season of teams with the teams from the previous season, clarifiers create a tremendous amout of work when over used. Thus, we try to eliminate clarifiers that are unnecessary.
Based upon the above information, MYHockey accepts requests to change the name of a team, but we rarely do it unless it improves the overall consistency and understanding of your team by the general public, MYHockey members and volunteers. You can make a request to update a team name by locating your association or team and clicking on the purple pencil icon in the upper right of that page to request a change.
8. How should OT and SO games be scored?
Any game tied at the end of regulation where an overtime (OT) or shootout (SO) is completed with one team being acknowledged as the OT/SO victor, should be recorded in MYHockey as a one goal victory by the OT/SO winning team. For example, a game ends regulation in a 3-3 tie. The teams play an OT period with no goals and then conducts a shootout where one team scores three (3) times in the shootout and the other team scores one (1) time. That game would be identified as a 4-3 SO victory for the team scoring the three shootout goals.
Unfortuantely, we at MYHockey have seen literally hundreds of situations where teams have requested that OT or SO results not be recorded. In all but two scenarios, the OT/SO result will be recorded in MYHockey. The first exception happens when the game ends regulation with a clear victor. If a shootout happens at the end of a game that already has a winner, then the OT or SO period does NOT count towards the final score. We see this happen ocassionally when the teams have extra ice time and want to use it. The seocond scenario where we will not use the OT/SO result is when it is played at the conclusion of a game as part of a league or tournament that has rules explicitly indicating that the OT and/or SO period should not have been conducted. We have seen this scenario occur a couple times where its early in the season and the teams do not know their league rules so they conduct a shootout just in case it is required. When the teams later learn that the league rules specifically indicate that no OT or SO should occur, then we will record the regulation final score, omitting the post-regulation play.
Any game govered by two different sets of rules where OT/SO is required in one case (typically a tournament) and forbidden in the second case (typically a league) will record the the score in MYHockey with the OT/SO results despite being in violation of one governing body.
Our general rule is, "if it's worth playing, it's worth counting". Put yourself in the shoes of your opponent who just won the OT/SO game. The winners always want their victory to count. Often the losers do not. Each game in MYHockey can have only one final score. We acknowledge the victor by awarding them a one goal victory.