AHA PO Box 323, Andover MA 01810

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Dear Member Families,

Welcome back for the 2013-2014 season which will almost certainly be another great year for Andover Hockey.  Together we represent the largest youth hockey program in New England, and together we continue to work towards an even healthier, more enjoyable hockey community for our entire membership.  Here are some quick facts regarding the upcoming season:

  • 600+ players (and counting—Initiation registration is still active)
  • 500+ families
  • 47 teams
  • 100+ coaches
  • ~40 team managers
  • 1,600+ unique AHA events at Phillips Andover ice rinks
  • Zero paid employees

The Board of Directors took the unusual step of holding five off-season meetings in an effort to address a number of important issues, many of which were generated by the member survey conducted the latter half of last season.  Some of the highlights of the off-season meetings follow:

  • Review of AHA Parent Survey Results.  The feedback was positive on almost all counts, but most positive on the quality of coaching with over 70% of members rating it as “Above Expectations” or better.  Congratulations to all our coaches for earning such high praise.  More survey results can be reviewed here.
  • New Mission Statement to better support a common focus.
  • New Board of Directors Roles.  Including the creation of Mite, Squirt, and PW/Bantam Division Directors to increase Board accessibility to our members.
  • Responsible Tuition Rates:
    • Maintained for the fifth consecutive year for Squirts and above.
    • Decreased $350 for Mite House League families for a total member savings of over $22,000.
  • New House Leagues (Mites and Girls U12/U14) offering season-long, set game schedules with no travel.  We expect this to be one of the more popular moves of the year.
  • New Practice Schedule with Set Days.  No schedule will meet the individual needs of all members, but the member survey results clearly called for more predictability.  The first seven weeks reflect our intent to deliver.  We will refine this approach as we gain more experience with it.
  • Make-Up Practices.  As other hockey programs actively compete with and even discourage non-hockey activities, the AHA enthusiastically embraces its well-rounded student-athletes.  As a pilot, we have reserved 7:10 AM Saturday ice times for the next several weeks for birth year 1999-2004 players who were unable to attend their practices due to scheduling conflicts.  No additional registration required, just show up and skate.
  • New Skills Vendor. Hill Hockey is known for its demanding, high tempo practices and will supplement the development of our players this season.
  • The Warriors Cup.  The first-ever AHA Adult League (members only) begins Sunday, September 8th and will last for six weeks culminating in a championship and season-long bragging rights.  We are still accepting reserves.

And so we go on—proud of our organization and determined to make it better still.  But the AHA experience, while obviously heavy on administrative requirements, is defined primarily by its exceptional member families.  It is our “off-summer” social club, and without it the winters would be unimaginably long.  Thanks in advance to all of you for finding a way to add to our collective AHA experience this year.

 

Pete Vaccaro

AHA President