Step 1 (Coaches Estimates): At the very beginning of the season, each head coach across the league is asked to estimate where they believe their team will fall in skill level and submit that to the league. This is done by many clubs often without ever practicing together. Our practices start early enough, that we usually get to see 2-4 practices before we need to estimate.   Divisions are usually split by age group AA, A1, A2, A3, B (Red/White/Blue for Mite), and each coach selects one of these plus “strong, mid, or weak” within that division. It is highly common in pre-season play for a team to get ‘mis-matched’ as a result of this process. Remember, it all starts with coaches’ estimates vs. all other coaches’ estimates.  

Step 2 (Initial ‘rankings’ – “Snake Chart”): The league makes a ‘ranking’ based on these estimates, setting the initial team number, and published on their website in a file nicknamed the “Snake Chart”. Example. Bantam 1 this year went in at A1 mid and ended up with an initial rank of 407. 400 series is all bantams. 7 means that there were 6 teams that went in with an estimate at or above what we selected. 

Step 3 (Pre-Season Schedule): The league makes a schedule based on these rankings and attempts to create a season where the games are played as close to your current ranking as possible.  Extra games are added as desired by teams to get as many results as reasonably possible with ‘like and similar’ teams.

Step 4 (Pre-Season Play & results “RPI”): Games are played, and the results are calculated weekly (after the first two weeks) into a file they publish on the website known as the RPI. The RPI takes into consideration the record, goal differential per game average, strength of schedule, and other factors used by two other 3rd parties to update the rankings based on these results.  The lop-sided games play a major factor into moving a team up or down in pre-season. It is usually more common in the middle for games to lop-sided than at the top or bottom. 

Step 5 (Final “RPI”): Once all pre-season games are concluded a “final” RPI will be published. 

Step 6 (Petitions): Each head of program reviews the results with their coaches and determines if they feel any team has been ‘mis-placed’. If so, the head of program fields a formal petition to the league.

Step 7 (League Vote on Petitions): The league hosts a meeting with the heads of programs and votes whether to approve or deny each of the petitions filed.

Step 8 (Final Divisions Set): The league approves the final divisions of play for the regular season, and commences scheduling. 

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