As in the past, NWCYH’s tryouts are designed to ensure that each player is placed on the team that will give him/her the greatest opportunity to compete at the appropriate level of play and to best develop their hockey skills while simultaneously providing them with a positive learning experience. We clearly understand that there is no perfect process but believe that you can have confidence knowing that we spend a lot of time and energy evaluating and enhancing our process to ensure that it is fair and objective so that each player is given an opportunity to exhibit their hockey skills through numerous skill drills and simulated game situations. Parents’ support of both their child and the program are critical components in a child’s understanding of tryouts and ultimate motivation for enjoying hockey. It is important for parents and players to understand that the highest level team is not always the best fit for a player. NWCYH will continue to work very hard to ensure that every player is set up for success and is in a position to have fun competing in the great sport of hockey.
THE STEPS AND FACTORS INVOLVED IN THE TRYOUT PROCESS ARE OUTLINED BELOW:
1. Coaching Director collects player evaluations from the previous season’s coaches for all returning players. This is one of several pieces of data that is factored in when determining placements.
2. Tryouts are run in late March for Mites, Squirt, and Peewees and mid-April for Bantams each year. See NWCYH’s web site for specific tryout dates and times. Players wishing to tryout must register online and pay the tryout fee (also online with a credit card). Additionally, any prior year fees that are still unpaid must be paid prior to tryouts. Tryouts will be run using the following format:
Three 1 hour tryouts will be held for all Mite through Bantam aged players.
Tryouts are developed to measure core skating and hockey skills along with player effectiveness in game situations
All on ice evaluations will be done by IPH Hockey, an independent hockey organization dedicated to high-quality hockey instruction and training. There will also be several on-ice coaching instructors who will not be doing any evaluations. Their function is only to assist with the various on-ice drills and scrimmages.
3. Team placements are determined by a variety of factors including the data gathered from the independent evaluations at tryouts and the end of season coach’s evaluations.
4. Players’ families will be notified of team placement, usually within 7-10 days of the last tryout session for each level.
In the initial placements, we will aim to list “A”, “A1”, and in cases where the numbers work out, a third team. When appropriate, some positions for skaters will be left open on the higher level team. The intent is to allow for additional players to move to the higher level team prior to the start of the season in October as numbers allow. Initial placements are done this way to allow the organization to adjust for new skaters or others who could not tryout in the spring (i.e. due to injury, moving into the area, etc.) and it can also allow for skaters who further develop both physically and with their hockey skills over the summer to be appropriately placed for the season.
NWCYH’s goal is to have a place for each child to play in an appropriately competitive situation. In the event that the numbers or other extenuating circumstances don’t allow for a player to be placed in the spring, they will have an opportunity go on a “wait list” knowing there will be an attempt to place them on a team in the fall if an opportunity exists at that time.
5. Coaches – NWCYH intends to select all head coaches with the spring placements. Assistant coaches will be selected by the start of the season.
6. Should there be any open roster spots available, they will be finalized as the season starts. Team practices will begin in September.
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AT TRYOUTS
All players intending to play with NWCYH for the upcoming season are expected to attend all tryouts. At minimum, a player must attend at least one tryout to be placed on a team. If a returning player or new player absolutely cannot make spring tryouts and still intends to play with NWCYH for the upcoming season, they must communicate this to the NWCYH President prior to tryouts. Situations resulting in missed tryouts that fall outside of the normal circumstances will be handled by the Board on a case by case basis.
COMMITTING TO A ROSTER SPOT
After team placement notification following tryouts, players then have 24 hours to commit to the roster spot. When a player accepts a roster spot, a commitment letter must be signed electronically on the NWCYH website. This letter commits the player to playing for NWCYH and paying all fees for the upcoming season. Payment of all fees will be done online using a credit card in accordance with the fee policy.
Players not committing to a roster spot during the 24 hour window or failing to make the proscribed payments risk losing the roster spot.
NEXT STEPS / REGISTRATION INFORMATION
The registration process is now open. Please register before the first tryout!
WHY SPRING TRYOUTS?
Northwestern Hockey runs its tryouts in the spring for several reasons. First, it allows families to focus on enjoying summer vacations and getting their kids back to school without the added complexity of hockey tryouts. It also makes it easier and more efficient for the Board to manage the extensive administrative needs of the program. Having an understanding as to the number of teams will aid in purchasing ice time, selection of coaches, scheduling of practices, etc. Lastly, this is more consistent with the direction of Connecticut Hockey Conference and other programs as the games often begin in mid-October.