In addition to increasing the LHSHL Roster size to 30-players for the 2016-17 season, the League’s Advisory Committee recommended, and the Board of Directors unanimously approved, that Coaches have the opportunity to identify Players as “Varsity,” “Two-Way,” or “Development.”
Pursuant to LHSHL Rules, “Varsity” players may only participate in Varsity practices and games (LHSHL Rule 9.5.1.), and “Development” players may only participate in Development practices and games (LHSHL Rule 9.5.3.).
Players designated as “Two-Way” players are eligible to participate in BOTH Varsity and Development practices and games. In fact, it is expected that “Two-Way” players will take advantage of the opportunity to practice and play as much as possible in order to continue to improve their skill set and hockey acumen. Doing so, it would seem, is solely for the player’s own benefit, and in his/her best interest.
The very reason a Head Coach designates a player “Two-Way” is because the Coach is confident the player will benefit from more touches, more repetitions and more time on the ice. The decision as to whether a “Two-Way” player practices or plays with the Varsity team is one to be made by the Head Coach. However, virtually all of the League’s Coaches have indicated they will be having their “Two-Way” players practice with the Varsity team.
The League knows its Head Coaches will be communicating with players and their parents about the many benefits of participating in the Development program, and will be encouraging their “Two-Way” players to take full advantage. The League also expects “Two-Way” players to use the opportunity of Development practices and games, including some practices with Tampa Bay Lightning Alumni, as a way to push for Varsity playing time. Making a commitment to Development is making a commitment to yourself as a player.
While decisions about which players play and how much they play are ultimately in the hands of the Coaches, most of the League’s bench bosses will say that it is really the players themselves who decide who plays and how much; and, they decide by the way they practice and play, and the skill set they demonstrate. The Development program, both for players currently labeled “Development” and for those designated “Two-Way,” is an excellent way for players to increase their skills and make those playing decisions even tougher for the Coaches.
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