TEXAS AMATEUR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (TAHA)
It is time once again to review a recently completed season, celebrate some successes, evaluate some opportunities to improve and begin our look forward to even brighter seasons to come.
TAHA experienced another incredibly strong year both on and off the ice. We continue to grow at the youngest age levels as our partnership with the NHL Dallas Stars and all our rinks partners have seen record numbers of kids entering the Learn to Play programs. And with the Stars advancing to the second round of the playoffs, that excitement from both kids and adults will bode well for summer sessions and fall leagues.
TAHA continues to be a shining example of the ultimate mission of USA Hockey. Jim Smith, President of USA Hockey recently stated, “Texas has become one of the model Affiliates within USA Hockey” and that assessment reflects the incredible contributions of our members, partners and the hundreds of volunteers who work tirelessly to grow and share our sport.
This is a somewhat bittersweet message for me as this will be my last President’s Message to our Affiliate. (More on that in a moment.)
So here are some things you need to know.
The TAHA annual meeting will be held June 22nd in Farmers Branch, TX at the Doubletree Hotel on Luna Road. Lunch will be served at 12:30 noon and the meeting will run from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM.
All TAHA members (rinks, associations, official’s associations) are REQUIRED to have at least one representative present for the entire meeting. (Any organization that does not have a representative or proxy in attendance is subject to a fine.)
Please register online by clicking on the red registration link button below no later than Sunday June, 16 at 5:00 PM so we can order the correct number of meals.
Member Associations may submit agenda items for consideration via email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions must be received by midnight on June 9th.
Associate members of TAHA (players/parents/officials/coaches) are invited to attend, however all discussion items must be presented through the Associate Members’ Association.
During the Annual Meeting in June there will be five (5) TAHA Board positions up for election. They include President, Treasurer, High School Section President, House Section President and Adult Section President.
Austin Sutter will not seek reelection to the Adult Section.
TC Lewis will seek reelection as President of the House Section and Don Girard will seek reelection as Treasurer.
Keith Andresen will seek reelection as President of the High School Section.
As I mentioned earlier, this is my final President’s Message as I will not be seeking reelection as President of TAHA. I have served eight years on the Board (President the last seven) and it feels like the right time to step aside and let others set the direction for the next phase of our evolution.
In accordance with TAHA Bylaws, the President of TAHA must be someone who has served on the Board during the preceding two years, so the next President will come from the current Board or an individual who has served since 2017.
Nominations for these positions will open on June 1, 2019 and close at midnight on June 15, 2019. Any individual may self-nominate or be nominated by another. For all Board positions the nominee must be a current or former Associate member of TAHA.
Nominations may be made during the nomination period by emailing the President at email@example.com. Please include in your nomination a statement confirming the candidate is willing to serve, along with their contact information. All nominees MUST be in attendance during the Board meeting on June 22nd.
Congrats to TEAM TEXAS HS Girls for a tremendous run at HS Nationals and bringing home a Championship. A great accomplishment in only the first year of the team’s existence.
In all, TAHA sent 13 teams to Youth/High School Nationals and four of those teams medaled. One gold (TEAM TEXAS HS GIRLS), one Silver (McKinney 16U Tier II) and two Bronze medals (Dallas Penguins 18U Tier II and Dallas Penguins 16U Tier II). This is a record level of achievement for our Affiliate in any one season.
And TEAM TEXAS HS Boys All-Stars left a mark in St. Louis at the USA Hockey High School Showcase two weeks ago as they fell in the finals to Team Pittsburgh.
And a tip of the hat to the Dallas Penguins organization for their extreme professionalism conducting the 16U Tier II National tournament earlier this month.
This year the TAHA State Tournament followed the new format set out last year with the top four finishers in the DSTHL at 14U, 16U and 18U competing for both League and State titles.
Prior to the season getting underway last year, the League and TAHA confirmed that TAHA would also conduct a “State Tournament” for 10U and 12U AA brackets. In all, there were five State Champions crowned in early March in the new format.
Congrats to these Champions:
VIDEO REVIEW POLICY – TRIAL PROGRAM
Increasingly, TAHA receives unsolicited video during the season with a request that we consider supplemental discipline for an infraction that either went uncalled or, where the penalty assessed was not appropriate (either too harsh or not harsh enough). TAHA has not considered this type of review in the past given the inconsistencies and quality of available video in many of our buildings.
However, the continued availability of higher quality video, and in the interest of ensuring the safety of our athletes, we are introducing a trial video review program for the 2019-2020 season.
TAHA will NOT use video review for the purpose of changing any on ice call, UNLESS the video clearly and unambiguously demonstrates MAJOR/GAME MISCONDUCT penalty assessments were made to the wrong player. (PLEASE NOTE: video must clearly show, without question, that the wrong player was identified and penalized by officials during the infraction. (TAHA will only consider a review if the penalty assessed was a MAJOR/GAME MISCONDUCT.)
Video submitted for potential review by TAHA, will only be accepted/considered if presented by a member Association or Rink partner. (No individual or parent submissions will be accepted.) The following process shall be followed:
The procedures outlined here represent the complete TAHA Video Review Policy for the 2019/20 season. The policy MAY or MAY NOT be adopted permanently after the coming season.
The video review request form will be available on the TAHA web site beginning July 1st.
The tryout schedule for the 2019/20 season has been posted on the TAHA web site and all should be aware of those dates. As a reminder, while organizations may conduct “prospect” or “coach” skates during the Spring, no player can be contracted prior to the tryout dates identified for the player’s age and skill level. And please don’t forget that any organization that tries out on a “Tier” weekend is required to apply for the State Tournament “at that level” and compete in the playdown process.
Failure to apply for the State Tournament carries a substantial fine to the organization as well as potential sanctions.
This was a season filled with highlights and firsts for so many, and yet we also shared heartbreaking and tragic moments as some in our hockey family endured profound personal tragedy. And when the worst happened, our community responded in unison with support, prayers and financial assistance. Club affiliations and roles didn’t matter as we joined to help our own. It’s what we do!
A little over eight years ago I found myself complaining to several TAHA Board members about something I thought the organization should be doing or perhaps shouldn’t be doing. (It was so easy to sit on the sidelines and gripe.) I was “politely” encouraged to step up and get involved. I’m glad I did. At the time I had no concept of just how complex the administration of the Affiliate was or how difficult the balancing of interests could be.
We had many challenging issues to tackle and difficult decisions to make, but with the commitment of so many passionate Board members and with the support of member Associations, rinks and individuals here and nationally, we have emerged as a highly successful, financially stable and consistently growing Affiliate within USA Hockey.
We have accomplished a lot in the last decade, and we aren’t done. You can be part of the next phase of our development as an Affiliate. We NEED you to be part of that continued success. So, when the temptation to write an email or make a call to complain surfaces (and it no doubt will), call your local Association or rink, or call a TAHA Board member and just ask, “what can I do”. We will all be better for it.
I want to thank the TAHA Board members who served throughout my tenure for their help and guidance. Thanks to Jim Lites for a being a friend and advocate. We could never have achieved the level of success we have in our Affiliate without his unwavering support of amateur hockey in Texas. Thank you to Jason Farris, Damon Boettcher and the Dallas Stars organization for being exceptional partners in this endeavor.
And thank you to the Association leaders, rink partners, coaches, volunteers, players and parents for supporting our efforts to grow and administer one of the top Affiliates in the country.
As always, please keep our first responders and members of the military in your thoughts and prayers as they sacrifice daily to keep us safe to play the game we love so dearly.
See ya around the rink!!
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