Thoughts on Minor Rankings

With the recent release of rankings by the OLA, I’ve not seen this much bickering since the last time I was at a Bingo parlour (that was quite a long time ago and yes I did actually try it). But what not many people know is the time and energy that it takes to sort out these rankings, and the whole story.

Now I will not profess to know the whole story, but I do know a lot of it. And I’ve offered (and it has been accepted) to help out for 2010, to hopefully better the “process” by which how teams are ranked. First, people need to understand, that to go on the Fan Forum and say “how can team X be rated C, when they clobbered team Y in a tournament?” I will admit, it is a valid argument, but let me make two points, before you frantically start typing that I am crazy.

My first point is that we need to create a system by where teams either play other teams in the appropriate divisions (A, B, C, etc.), or at a minimum, we have a way of comparing games against similar opponents. This cannot always be accomplished in zone games, just due to varying skill levels across teams. But, in the case above, we could say that if Team X and team Y had a close (within a few goals) game and team Y beat Team Z by two, it is fair to say that Team X, Y and Z really are in the same class. If any of the games are blowouts, then we can adjust accordingly.

But here are two of the current issues causing frustration for those in the unenviable position of ranking. One, teams do not always go to more than one tournament, or go to B/C when they should be competing in A (or even vice versa). Second, there is a major delay in a lot of cases getting scores in from zone games and/or the tournaments themselves.

To say it should be easy for the OLA to figure this out is not fair. It would certainly be easier of everything was in front of the person doing the rankings. But nobody at the OLA can possibly go out and see every team, in every division, at every tournament. So really, our only way is to compare scores from zone games and tournaments. But if they are not readily available, then what? This is how teams end up in a division that is not suitable.

I know that this is an issue, but instead of simply posting the injustices, I’d really honestly like to hear some opinions from some of you on “how” you think the “process” can be improved. Please do not give team names, but rather, ideas, processes, and concepts. I can certainly assure you that if it makes any sense at all, I will pass it on to at least discuss as an option.

Fire away…..



  1. I agree this is a huge task. I believe that one thing that could help immensely would be if each zone posted their results and even the standings on a Zone website. This way there are a number of results available within each zone and I believe the more information (ie games/results) available to the OLA the better. There is also no excuse for tournaments to not provide a copy of the tournament results to the OLA.

    I have had the opportunity to help with rankings for an OFSAA tournament, we had each team keep track of their season and provide their results by a certain deadline.

    Good luck to everyone at the provincials.

  2. Very frustrated that the OLA are so unflexible. Our Burlington Bantam team were not given an opportunity to appeal our “B” rating so that we could go “A”. As you know, we entered three strong “A” tournaments and were fairly competitive in eaach with wins against KW, Clarington, tie with Whitby and only lost to Halton Hills by two goals. Don’t understand why the OLA could not have gone with 13 teams which would even out the games over the two weekends (i.e. 6 games per team each weekend). In the end, not fair to our players/coaches that have competed hard to go “A” and not even be given an opportunity to appeal the ratings.

  3. When tournies provide scores to the OLA often the team is named incorrectly or not at all. ie — is it a number 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 team? Tourney directors (and the OLA) must do a better job insuring that team officials complete the games sheeets acurately.

  4. I agree with what you are saying in regards to the OLA not having enogh people to go to tournaments and properly rate teams.

    Here is a suggestion and please feel free to add or omit parts.

    1) Divide the province into 1/4’s
    2) All A teams play only a Teams in that Quarter B,C,D,E, the same
    3) After a certain amount of games see where teams are standing are they competative or are they getting waxed in their games
    4) Make adjustments at that time either drop or move up a rating
    5) Play out the rest of the season in that rating then we will have a fair and evenly rated group of A’s B’s etc.
    6) at the end of the season you could potentially move down or up depending on how yor last half of the season went.
    7) If you have 17 A teams and real A teams then these are what you take to quailies. Some games could be played during the week as opposed to the weekends to get all the games in if we have more than 12 A rated teams.
    8) you can always make a schedule based on any amount of teams there are.. Trust me i have I have done it.
    This way their will be no whinning about not being or beaing rated a in a incorrect division.

    Just my thoughts how how to make this great game even better!!!!

  5. How about having approval from an independent board for tournaments that will oversee entries and their ranking. This could possibly keep an A or a B ranked team from always competing against C’s and D’s. Understanding that this would be difficult to do early in the season, but as the year rolls along, the late June and July tournaments would possibly be previews to some provincial matchups and hopefully, better quality games and new rivalries.

  6. I have never found the rankings terribly off. I’ll mention no cities, age groups, coaches etc. I will not claim that my center or any other center for that matter are exempt from my comments. But here’s how I see it.

    The ideal would be that every center at every age was striving to become the best team they possibly could and play at the highest level possible. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. That is why it will always be impossible to rate teams in a fashion that will end up pleasing all involved.

    Somewhere along the line, some people got it into their heads that winning a C Championship with a B team was a great thing. (run the gamut with all of the letters B-A etc.) You can’t blame the kids, you can’t blame the OLA, and you can’t blame the lower rated teams that play hard for a proper ranking. Who can you blame?

    Parents. Most coaches are parents, most bench staff are parents, most center executives are parents. Don’t think for one second that I’ll leave the bleachers alone. Any parent that doesn’t realize that their child is playing below their capability is lost. Any parent that buys into a sandbagging philosophy is worse. I know my son has room on the shelf for another trophy but I wouldn’t want to fill a spot with a sandbag on a piece of wood.

    It should be obvious by the OLA Rankings and Provincial results of previous years where most centers will sit. There really shouldn’t be large differences from year to year or at least every two years as age groups move up. Coaching staffs generally stay around the same age group for the playing years of their children. Additions and deletions in lineups will cause some wandering and some players will advance further than others but for the most part you wont see major shifts. Any glaring exceptions should be very obvious. Yes, once they get to Provincials it is too late to change anything, but it will give you the opportunity to see the trend.

    The ideas above are great. In my personal opinion a team should be given the chance to appeal to a higher ranking but not a lower one. If you want to play better lacrosse, great, if you want to take advantage of kids with a current ability level below yours, too bad.

  7. Better yet, have the teams apply for their rankings. Have them submit zone scores, tournament results and rosters with their application, along with any pertinent information that they believe would secure them that rank. Then based on numbers allocated to each division allot the available spots. This eliminates the OLA data search.

    If a team doesn’t apply they don’t go. If they don’t provide zone and tourney results, they don’t go. Take the burden off the OLA and put it squarely on the shoulders of those that are currently burning up the OLA Minor Board. The parents.

  8. I like Boro’s idea of applying for your ranking, the only problem with this is who applies? Is it the coaches that have worked hard all year to get their team to be an “A” team or the organization that would rather see them play B to have a shot to win?

  9. Why don’t we leave it as it stands, with one change. Right now, in the spring, initial ratings are sent in. These are nothing more than educated guesses, but really, not that far from reality. Prior to the final zone rating meeting, all teams must have played and provided scores for a minimum of 6 tournament games. These tournaments should be played at a level that is consistent with the initial team rating. If this condition is not met, the team will NOT be elibible for the provincials. This cease those teams who go into only 1 one day tournament and expect to be classed the same as those who go into 2 or 3. It seems that when a team that goes into none or only one, they get rated into a lower rating due to lack of results available. It also allows the OLA to better understand how a team performs in comparison to a wider group (rather than just against the teams in their respective zone).

  10. Have rating tournaments that are a single division and cover all levels (A,B,C &D). Have several for each Division scattered over the province and make it mandatory to attend one rating tournament and any otherOLA tournament. This way teams would have to attend so that teams can start to see where they rate amongst others.

    I’m sure if someone starts to compile all these ideas something has to come out of all this discussion.

  11. why not just make a 3rd weekend of qualifiers for A and make it between 18 and 21 teams therefore teams that want to go a wont whine and it will make the other divisions more uniform because strong B teams will go a

  12. Marksy, who are your favourites for The Midget B / C provincials ?

  13. I could be wrong but….

    My understanding is that Zone 10 (Yes my child plays in zone 10) meets & comes up with ratings. –

    By that I mean, just before the ratings deadling, all associations from zone 10 ( i would assume the president and/or rep convenor from each) meet & go over each of their teams.

    They look at the teams original ranking at the start of the year & then look at all of their game results to that point.

    Then everyone in that room agrees on what rating they think that individula team should have.

    After this meeting all of these ratings are put forth to the OLA for their approval.

    Is this perfect, probably not as the OLA I’m sure changes some of the ratings, but I would trust that having all zone officials looking at each other’s club result helps keep the proposed rating reccomedations un-biased to a degree

    Does any other zone do this??

  14. Hi!

    I believe that the teams are ranked at the strtof the season and this should be the driving factor. If you are ranked a C at the start and you play a C turnament and blow everyone alway then you need to correct this and go to a B turnament to see how you do. You need to start wth a baseline and work from their. Applying for a ranking will not do anythng; but have teams wasting time and what is the rules for applying that would make it so different. It would be better to force team to play at least 1 tournament out of their zone so all can compare and measure each other up.

  15. I believe too much emphasis is placed on the preliminary rankings. It leads to a team such as the Peewee Kahnawake team being rated “D” for the provincials even though they have beaten Akwesasne twice (rated B), Gloucester I (rated B), Cornwall (rated a high C) and easily defeated Gloucester II twice (rated C). Apparently the zone submitted them as a D team in the preliminary rankings and the ranking was retained regardless of their wins vs B & C ranked teams.

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