Parity at JMS
Level skill descriptions listed here are for general overview purposes. JMS takes other skills and factors into consideration when placing skaters in a level. Captains have the final word on player placement, not the general level skill descriptions listed here.
Level 1 is a place for absolute beginners to play hockey in a safe pick-up environment. Many new Level 1 players have never laced skates before, let alone played the game.
Key skills that Level 1 players are developing are: staying balanced on their skates, stopping, early puck control, basic positioning and offsides.
Level 2 players may be new to hockey, but they have been in skates before and can consistently stop and therefore can concentrate on stick work; L2 players begin to successfully catch and throw passes and thus their basic playmaking evolves. They understand and follow offsides rules and basic positioning.
Level 2 players are developing: hockey stance to maximize skating efficiency, continuous skating even when idle, skating with heads up, looking at the target before a pass or shot, throwing and catching passes effectively, backwards skating, and rudimentary position-based team play.
Level 3 players usually either have some background playing hockey, such as pond hockey as a kid, or have played consistently for a few years. Hallmarks of Level 3 play include fairly consistent passing connections, smooth game flow, next-level positioning (instinctive understanding of positioning and the ability to move beyond rigid section containment), smooth skating proficiency including crossovers, long-distance passes and lifting the puck.
Level 3 players are developing: carrying the puck through traffic, shooting targets consistently under pressure and basic plays (breaking out with the puck and using the points in the offensive zone).
Most Level 4 skaters played in a formal program as a child or have been playing hockey several times a week for years. A Level 4 game is consistently fast and players place their shots accurately under pressure, maintaining proper "triangle positioning" in the offensive zone. They can execute breakouts and other plays and adapt positioning to game changes.
Level 4 players are developing: their game speed while maintaining control (including power turns), cycling the puck over long periods of time in the offensive zone, and executing complex plays.
Level 5 skaters played as children and youths with formal hockey training (not pond hockey down at the park, but consistent training as part of an organized program). A Level 5 game shows skaters can execute plays at top speed, have near-continuous accuracy with shooting and passing, intrinsic positional knowledge and adaptation, and can cycle the puck successfully in the offensive zone for a long period of time.
Level 6 skaters played organized hockey at a high level, e.g. high school, junior, or college. These players can control play at JMS with their speed, agility, and puck movement. Because of the effect that Level 6 players have on session parity, and because JMS is targeted towards adult beginners, we offer relatively few sessions per week with Level 6 eligibility.