2014 Tier II Team Counts and Power Rankings - Chicago Area Youth Hockey


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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014 Tier II Team Counts and Power Rankings

By Winefool

Last year we published a quick analysis of the number and level of boys teams fielded by each of the primary Tier II NIHL clubs. At the time, CAYHOB suggested the concept of Power Rankings. This year, we decided to take a slightly more sophisticated cut at it and since we now have data for two years, we can also see what’s changing year over year.

Size is probably the number one indicator of the overall strength of a Tier II club and our power ranking method takes that into account by counting the total number of teams fielded by each club. That said, a club that is about the same size but fielding a lot of CSDHL and Elite NIHL teams is probably stronger than a club that isn’t. At the same time, we all know the vagaries of getting a team in to CSDHL (some clubs choose not to, no competitive entry process, emphasis on legacy teams, etc) and that there is certainly overlap between weaker CSDHL teams and strong NIHL Elite teams.

The same holds true to a slightly lesser extent in the NIHL seeding process – a few teams end up in metallic divisions they don’t belong in pretty much every season. So we think that higher level teams should be weighted more heavily but we also need to adjust for performance extremes within level.

As a starting point we assumed that a NIHL Gold team that wins between 10-90% of its available points (neither end of the performance extreme) should be equivalent to a ‘1’. From there, we made the following adjustments:

In order to adjust for the potential impact of performance extremes across levels, we also made the following adjustments:

In the detail spreadsheet you can see the point equivalents for each combination, but in general if you have a top performing team from one level, it is worth more than a low performing team from the next higher level. Finally, the spreadsheet contains one power ranking for all teams (including Midget) and another power ranking for only Mite-Bantam teams.  We believe the latter is the better overall indicator as clubs tend not to field Midget teams in markets with strong high school programs and those that do are all classified as CSDHL or Elite (there are no Midget teams in NIHL below Elite), so they tend to skew the results a bit.

If you don’t like the methodology or the results, there is an easy to use table in the sheet to change them so knock yourself out (just remember to hit ‘Refresh All’ on the data tab and then resort the tables if make changes)!

The link to the spreadsheet in Excel format is here.



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  1. Strong growth: Komets and Maulers, but look how much stronger the Jets got!

    Big drops: Skokie, Bloomington, Chiefs, Jaguars, and Vikings are all down double digits.

  2. Bulldogs starting to have major issues, across the teams, many unhappy customers in regards to coaching... and it all starts with the director. Bulldogs down and area organizations will be up soon.

  3. Buldogs are also trying to join central states to retain some of the older loyal followers who started with the program and who think the director is some imortal soul. The newbies are now seeing the light , theres much better programs out there. Coaches are all ex teammates of the director with none or very little coaching experience. Just because you play, doesnt mean you can coach. Yell, yell, yell doesnt cut it, there is an art to coaching children. Bulldogs just dont seem to get that.

  4. This whole thing is based on a dangerous premise. It is already causing an arms race among programs. Tier II hockey is the minor leagues. What would be a lot more instructive is if standardized, anonymous surveys of parents were done post season. Probably only 10% of the players in tier II are CSDHL or ELITE (A good chunk of the ones on those teams, won't see much ice and the parents are miserable).

    Parents, if your kid is not making a AAA team or perhaps a pre-puberty top player within CSDHL or ELITE AA, please - for yourself and your kid, stop worrying and have fun. They might play in HS, if they develop.

    Or, worry about, first and foremost - is your kid enjoying it. Then, about coaching, ice time (practice and game), whether your club consistently tiers teams properly and how much private coaching you can make your kid stomach (and you can afford) outside of club play and practice.

    This is stuff that every club tries to tell parents and I sure wish I had listened better a decade ago (I'm doing a better job with my last kid). I've had kids with a bunch of the clubs listed, and I think any of them could be the best or worst fit depending the specific facts.