As a response to an increasing number of questions and complaints, and in the response for a need for some common sense, MYHockey has reworked its primary ranking classifications. USA "AAA" classifications have been renamed "Tier 1". MYHockey is using the common sense definition of "Tier 1". Tier 1 hockey is quite simply the highest level of hockey played in a geographic area. In general, second and third picked teams from an association do not fit this description. New England, and more specifically the Boston area, has begun to use the term "Elite" to describe what the rest of the country thinks of as Tier 1 hockey and uses the term "AAA" to describe what the rest of the country considers Tier 2 hockey. As a result, the "AAA", "AA", and "A" level terms have become almost meaningless.
At this point in time, teams playing in the following leagues/divisions are now considered "Tier 2" in MYHockey: EHF non-elite divisions, Mass Selects, NEHL National Division. Additionally, and Granite State League (GSL) Tier 1 teams will no longer automatically be labeled as Tier 1, they will need to earn a Tier 1 status by playing in one of the three remaining area Tier 1 leagues/divisions: EHF Elite, NEHL American, HNE.
Furthermore, MYHockey has eliminated the Tier 1 and Tier 2 labels at the squirt level in the US. With the elimination of squirt AAA hockey in Michigan and numerous anomalies where the best teams in a geographic area are Tier 2 teams while "AAA" teams struggle on the ice, the separation no longer makes sense or has much significance. All USA squirt teams will essentially be labeled as Tier 2.
The movement of teams to their proper level was completed on Monday, August 20, 2012. Even after this reclassification, Massachusetts still has almost twice as many Tier 1 teams as any other USA Hockey district. See Analysis Spreadsheet
Going forward, MYHockey will continue to monitor Tier 1 hockey across the country and make modifications as necessary.
In addition to the changes with USA Hockey, MYHockey has also applied the "Tier 1" an "Tier 2" labels to Canada Girls hockey because different regions call their top teams "AA" and "AAA" leading to some confusion. Using this same common sense approach, the Canada Girls "Tier 1" rankings are made up of teams playing at the highest level in their geographic area.
We hope the application of the terms "Tier 1" and "Tier 2" make the rankings more meaningful and logical for all. As always, thank you for your support.