New roster rules to be tested in WOAA

After clinching their 4th straight WOAA AA Senior title, the Clinton Radars shake hands with the Ripley Wolves, who they beat 4 games to 1. April 5th, 2019 (Photo by Bob Montgomery)

The WOAA Senior Hockey League has drastically changed the way rosters will be constructed for the 2019/20 season.

The member teams have agreed to a one-year trial that ranks new players based on their highest level of hockey experience.

Previously, teams were assigned a geographic radius and required to sign players from within their boundary, with the ability to dress up to five import players.

Rosters will now be broken up into four levels, with caps on the number of players allowed at each level.

Teams can sign up to two players considered to be “Level One”, which is described a player who has previously played any level of professional hockey.

“Level Two” includes players who have played at least 20 games in one season of major junior or NCAA Division One hockey, with teams allowed to sign up to four players at this level.

Teams are permitted to sign up to 12 players considered to be “Level Three”, which includes Junior-A, Junior-B, NCAA Division Three and Canadian university hockey.

The only tier with no signing limit is “Level Four” which includes players who played no higher than Junior-C.

There is some leeway for veteran players, as there is a grandfather clause allowing teams to re-sign players who have played at least the past three seasons with their current team without counting toward roster limits.