There are always questions about the tryout process at this time of the year and the DYHA Board would like to provide some transparency into the process to inform our membership as well as help people manage what can be a stressful time.
As you all know, the DYHA is a closed program. That means that unless a player is attempting to achieve one of the few “non-registered positions” (as outlined on our website) one must be a member of the DYHA to tryout for our travel teams. This is accomplished by either being a returning DYHA player or being invited off the waitlist.
Each age group is led by an non-conflicted Board member responsible for monitoring the tryout process. This includes, but is not limited to, compiling input from the evaluators to determine selections for split groups (non alphabetical) and selections for final team placement, providing access to prior season evaluations and structuring on ice activity as the tryout progresses. This Board member also evaluates the players in order to allow him or her to more easily identify possible ranking differences among the evaluators. Evaluators are most typically DYHA coaches but may include other non conflicted individuals. This year, we have added a ProCrease goalie instructor to each tryout to help us more clearly identify goalie strengths and weaknesses.
Prior to the first tryout (assigned alphabetically), each player is issued a numbered jersey that is used throughout the process. The Board member is the only person to have the name along with number of the tryout attendees to maintain anonymity of the attendees. Skills presented on the ice are the primary criterion for selection to our travel teams. However, player evaluations from the previous year are used to gain a fuller understanding of the player over the course of a full season related to his/her attitude, attendance and other factors. The latter factors can indeed become important when two players are of comparable ability.
After the first few tryouts, the group is broken into two groups for further evaluation. These groups are not fixed and movement between them will occur. At this point, emphasis moves from skill evaluation to a better understanding of hockey IQ and team play. Small area and full ice games are incorporated into the sessions. In certain circumstances, we may pair players together or against each other to make comparisons among like skilled candidates.
After the final tryout, the Board member reviews team selections with the evaluators as well as identifies any “outlier” selections, relative to prior season team placement or rankings, that may require further discussion. It is important to note that the evaluators, not the Board member, have final say in team selection. Team selections are presented to the Travel Directors for final review and teams are then posted on the website.
To claim your players spot on the team, a link to the DYHA Commitment Letter is given and must be signed electronically by the player within 48 hours of the teams being posted. If a player decides not to accept their spot on the team, the travel directors select the next player, from a list of players provided by the evaluators. Players not selected for travel teams are automatically entered into the DYHA House league.
We hope the above commentary helps you better understand the DYHA tryout process. We know there is no such thing as a perfect tryout and evaluators do their best to have their team selections accurately and objectively reflect what has taken place on the ice. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about the DYHA tryout process.
THE BIGGS AWARD - SCHOLARSHIP FOR GRADUATING DHS SENIOR
This year, as in prior years, DYHA will award a scholarship to a graduating Darien High School senior who has participated in the DYHA program. Named in memory of Darien High School student Todd Copeland Biggs, and funded by Friends of DYHA, please see the attached letter for additional information: The Biggs Award
DYHA Announcement on Mite Travel Hockey for 2017 - 2018
For the upcoming 2017-2018 hockey season, USA Hockey has declared that there will no longer be a six full-ice game exemption for Mites in New England. This exemption had allowed the DYHA to combine a 1/2 ice experience for the beginning of the season with 6 full ice games after the start of the New Year as well as one tournament before the end of the CHC season.
With the elimination of this exemption all CHC Mite teams will now play their entire schedule as 1/2 ice sessions in 2017-2018. Historically, the DYHA has carried rosters of 15 skaters and 1-2 goalies on A and 18 skaters and 1-2 goalies on A1. These roster sizes reflected proper usage of the ice and an optimal distribution of play for the children in a full-ice format. As we have moved away from full ice play we have found that these roster sizes have proved unwieldy for 1/2 ice play and have reduced playing time, puck touches and ultimately player development. As an interim solution, Mite schedulers have been forced to look for two games on each day of the weekend which is difficult and time consuming.
Many programs have moved to smaller rosters at the Mite level to accommodate more puck touches, more time on the ice and reduced scheduling burden. The DYHA has decided to move to smaller rosters for the 2017-18 season by selecting an A, A1, B-Blue and B-White teamswith 12 players and 1-2 goalies each. The total number of kids involved in the Mite travel experience will be largely the same as our prior system of A, A1 and B. However there are some differences that you should be aware of:
The tryout dates for B-Blue and B-White are different. In an effort to give our players an opportunity to develop over the summer we will be selecting the B-White team in the Fall (date TBD) while the B-Blue will be selected at our Spring tryouts. Children can tryout in the Spring and if you don’t make a team you can work over the summer to tryout better in the Fall.
We will be reserving a few spots for 8 year olds on each of the Blue teams.
The B-Blue and B-White teams will begin their season on or about October 1st which compares to a mid-November start for our current B team. We believe the earlier start date for both B teams as well as the summer development opportunity for the B-White team will result in greater skill development for our Mite players.
All B team members (Blue and White) will have one practice per week and one game per weekend.
All B team members will also play in our Mite House League and will resolve all conflicts in favor of the House League.
Both B teams actively encourage dedicated goalies given your player will also be skating out in House.
There are no changes to the A or A1 structure, beyond the team roster size, as both teams will still have 2 practices and 2 games per week and will tryout in the Spring.
We are confident that this new format will continue to provide exceptional development opportunities for our Mite players through increased ice time and puck touches. An earlier start to the B season will kick start the Mite travel experience and the delayed tryout for the B-White team will provide incentive for an extra effort in the summer to pay off with a travel experience in the Fall.
DYHA Prayers and Thoughts Go Out to Charlie Capalbo
The DYHA family sends its prayers and thoughts to long time DYHA goaltender Charlie Capalbo who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The family is still learning about the process going forward and we will pass along information as we receive it. In the meantime, if you would like to help contribute to defray expenses for Charlie's medical attention please click on the link below. Thank You!
TRAVEL REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR RETURNING PLAYERS
Registration for RETURNING PLAYERS who intend to try out for a DYHA or CT Ice Cats Travel Team Is now open. Please register March 13th through March 22nd for the 2017 – 2018 season. Click here to register.
Returning Travel Players who register after March 22nd will be subject to a $100 late fee and may lose their spot as we invite applicants into the program off the Waitlist. Returning Players are those players currently rostered on DYHA House, Travel and CT Ice Cat teams. DYHA Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget tryout dates are posted below. CT Ice Cats tryout dates are posted below.
Registration for Returning Players (1999 - 2010 Birth years) who do not intend to try out for a travel team will be open April 3rd through April 12, 2017. Returning House Players who register after April 12th will be subject to a $100 late fee and may lose their spot as we invite applicants into the program off the Waitlist. Also on April 3, 2017, all 2011 birth year Returning Players and all 2012 Birth year players will be welcome to register as Mighty and Mini-Mites respectively.