Due to the fact that the players in our league have various levels of upper body strength and mobility, and different levels of hockey knowledge, a two number ranking system is used to ensure that the teams are as well balanced as possible.
The first number (1 to 5), ranks players based on their physical ability. In this system, the skill level 1 is viewed to be a player who can shoot and pass the ball well, (often with force and velocity), can carry and control the ball on their stick for a fair length of time, and as well this skill level also includes a player who tends to score goals and is likely to have relatively good upper body strength and/or mobility. Whereas the skill level 5 is a player who has little to no upper body strength, cannot hold a hockey stick (therefore the stick is often fastened to their wheelchair), and may have difficulty manoeuvring their wheelchair during the game. Players ranked at skill levels 2, 3, and 4 vary along the range of ability. It is important to note that the player who is ranked as a “1” is not viewed to be better than the player who is ranked “5”, they bring different skills to the game. On a team, it is important to have a range of players with different playing abilities because this balances the teams, allows all to participate to their fullest ability and enhances the game.
The second number (1 to 9), ranks players based on their hockey knowledge, the players positioning, knowledge of the game, etc… In this ranking system, a player who is ranked as a 1, has a better understanding of the game compared to one that is ranked a 9. Again, any team will have players with different knowledge levels. This allows new players the opportunity to join the league and play immediately as they learn the game.
These rankings are reviewed annually as a player's ability or hockey knowledge changes to ensure teams remain balanced.