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Northeast Youth Hockey Association Assessments 2019



These Practices and Principles were developed by NEYHA to enhance the assessment process. 

(1) achieve the most accurate player placement;
(2) provide the players and parents of NEYHA more transparency in the process;
(3) provide guidance to tryout evaluators in order to create a more consistent process, and
(4) provide a known set of standards upon which players are measured to assure the highest possible degree of fairness and objectivity in the process. 

(5) increase feedback from NEYHA coaching staff.


Tryout coordinators, evaluators, and coaches at all levels put in a tremendous amount of time and personal commitment to adhere to a fair and accurate process.   The Board recognizes that tryouts often cause a great deal of anxiety among players and parents.  It is the hope of the Board to allay some of this anxiety by improving transparency and clarifying how the process works.

The Board of Directors has created a Tryout Committee to govern the tryout process.  The Tryout Committee’s primary goal is to create and implement a fair and objective tryout process.  The Tryout Committee will make player placement recommendations to the Board of Directors.  The Board is ultimately responsible for the tryout process and resultant team placements.  Every year, during the tryout process and the resultant team placements, situations arise where the Tryout Committee recommends, and the Board of Directors decides, difficult placement decisions.  The Board, working with the Tryout Committee, will have sole discretion to make decisions that it deems in to be in the best interests of the entire program and its players. 

Our tryouts are designed to ensure that each player is placed on the team that will give him/her the greatest opportunity to develop their hockey skills and that will provide a positive learning experience. There is no process that is perfect.  NEYHA spends a lot of time evaluating and enhancing our process to ensure that it is fair and objective. 

While tryouts are ongoing, parents should refrain from speaking about the tryouts to any other member of the evaluation process: coaches, evaluators or coordinators.  This will help ensure that the process is run in the most objective manner possible.



·         Teams.  Bantam, Pee Wee, Squirt, and Mite players shall be evaluated by the Tryout Committee and placed on a team in the Spring preceding the players’ USA Hockey Year.

·         Timing.  The Spring tryout schedule will be posted as early as possible based on the scheduler’s knowledge of available ice times, state tournaments and final approval of the Board of Directors.  Tryouts will be slated to begin once the CHC tournaments are completed for each respective level.  These dates and times may be modified based on league scheduling needs.

·         Conflicts.  Every effort is taken to avoid conflicts with school vacations, tournaments, and game and playoff schedules.  Conflicts are inevitable no matter the level of planning.  The Tryout Committee will use its best efforts to schedule tryouts at the most appropriate time for every level of play.  Tryouts are not optional.  Any player that is not able to attend tryouts must notify the Tryout Committee prior to tryouts and is not guaranteed a spot on a travel team. 



There will be two or three tryout evaluation sessions for each Division Level of play, depending on the number of registered participants.  For each tryout session, numbered Pinneys, rather than names on jerseys, are used to identify and keep track of players during the tryouts.  You will be given instructions at check-in on the first day of tryouts regarding Pinneys and numbers. 
During the tryout sessions, players will be asked to exhibit the following in a series of drills and game play:

  • Skating - Stride, Edges, Speed, Crossovers, Forward & Backward Skating
  • Puck Carrier - Puck Handling, Receiving, Shooting, Passing, Control
  • Effort- Fore-check, Back-check, tenacity and attentiveness.
  • Game Play Skills- ability, positional play, team play and competitiveness



As in the past, the Tryout Committee will have Independent Evaluators for tryout sessions.  These Independent Evaluators may be from outside the organization and/or former coaches who do not have a son or daughter trying out at that Division Level.  The Tryout Committee will also engage dedicated Independent Evaluators for Goalies.  The Independent Evaluators will report to the Tryout Committee and will not share any of their evaluations with Coaches or Parents in order to keep the process as objective as possible.



After the completion of the on-ice tryout, the Tryout Committee will meet to determine final player rankings.  These final player rankings are based on a weighting of a player’s most recent coaches evaluation and of his/her tryout performance.  The Tryout Committee will report their findings to the Board of Directors.  Teams will then be selected based on these rankings.

This year, current coaches feedback and scoring separate; from assessment nights, will be counted in the overall assessment of both skaters and goalies.

Additionally, if two players – one of whom is new to NEYHA – are being considered for the last spot on the same team and both have been evaluated and determined to be of equal skill, the NEYHA player will be placed ahead of the player from another organization.


Note for Parents:  We are hopeful that every player in NEYYHA will continue to skate year in and year out to develop long-lasting friendships with their teammates.  Furthermore, we recognize that every player is unique and his or her development curve may jump ahead or lag behind his or her peers.  With this in mind, the Tryout Committee will try to acknowledge the forward progress of each skater for the next season, but in some instances, that will not be possible and a player may remain stationary or in some instances drop back.  Player placement is not lockstep from year-to-year.   For example, Returning B players are not guaranteed A placements.  This philosophy holds true for the goalie player position, as well. 



Skaters - Position players shall be placed based on overall ability and not specific positions, as all players at these ages benefit from playing multiple positions to gain an evolving understanding of the game.

Goalies – Goalies will be evaluated by one or more Independent Goalie Evaluators.  These evaluators will rank the goalies at each Division level, and when combined with the prior year coaches’ evaluations, if available, the Tryout Committee will submit a final ranking to the Board of Directors. 

Where the number of goalies exceeds the number of teams, the Coaching Director will discuss the situation with goalie’s parents to discuss the best outcomes.  In such situations, an effort will be made to allow similarly skilled goalies to choose between splitting time on a higher team, or going to a lower team where he or she would be the only goalie.

 PLEASE NOTE.. Goalies will have an assessment time for specific goalie assessments.  NEYHA would also like to invite goalies to attend their age appropriate assessment time for skaters to enhance our skater’s evaluations.  This is NOT mandatory for the goalies and will have no bearing on the Goalie Assessments.  It is to provide all players a real practice situation.

Part Time goalies are asked to assess as goalies then attend their age appropriate skater assessment as well. 



The Board of Directors, with input from the Tryout Committee, will determine the number of teams at each Division Level.  This decision will be primarily based on the number of players attending tryouts.  The Board of Directors, with input from the Tryout Committee, will also determine the number of players on each team based on the final player rankings after tryouts.  The goal is to ideally limit roster size to a maximum of 15 skaters and 1 goaltender, with a minimum of 12 skaters and 1 goaltender.  However, overall numbers and player rankings may impact the program’s ability to achieve this goal.  Player exits and entrances to NEYHA occur and can dramatically affect team placements and size.  The Board will reserve the right to make adjustments in keeping with the NEYHA philosophy. 



NEYHA recognizes and believes that high quality coaching is one of the most important ingredients for a successful hockey experience.  Every effort will be made to have the best possible Head Coach available to coach each team.  The selection and subsequent announcement of a Head Coach will occur ONLY after teams have been formed.  However, in the absence of an available qualified head coach, the Coaching Director, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, may, in exceptional circumstances, add a player from a lower team to secure the commitment of a qualified Head Coach.     



NEYHA will make every effort to notify players of their placement on a team within 48-72 hour window of the completion of the final tryout of all levels. Team selections will be posted on the website or calls will be made directly.  NEYHA will also make every effort to name the Head Coach of the team at that time.



After tryouts have occurred, players wishing to join a NEYHA travel team will be accommodated to the extent possible.  The Coaching Director will consider roster additions to the team determined appropriate given a player’s skills and only if the existing roster size permits an addition.  In all cases, the player will need to be evaluated on-ice in some form, most likely in the Fall.  All such post-tryout accommodations for late registrants will be done first with the best interests of the players and the coaches of the set teams and then with the individual late registrant in mind. 


For which team should my child assess?

Link to: USA Hockey Playing Season Birth Year: September 1, 2018 through August 31, 2019

Travel Team Skater Age
Mite 5 - 8
Squirt 9 - 10
Peewee 11 - 12
Bantam 13 - 14

What is the assessment fee?

2018 Assessment fee is $50 per skater.


What should I do if my child is too ill to skate or an emergency arises?

If the skater misses assessments due to a special circumstance (e.g., an injury, medical condition, family emergence, or other unforeseen emergency) with board approval he or she may skate at a makeup assessment. After he / she has been assessed the board will approve based on coaches’ recommendation. The player must have pre-registered to qualify for special circumstance.



This third-level development program is designed for the Under-8 skaters with greater than 2 full seasons of on-ice skating experience who have completed the LTS/LTP and Mite Development programs (or similar).  The Mite Travel program continues to promote on-ice hockey fun and enjoyment through a combination of development focused practices and weekly cross ice games using our cross-ice board system.  Increased puck-handling, shooting and power-skating activities will be employed with concentration on maintaining full-skating speed and agility.  Following the USA Hockey ADM Model, this third-year plus hockey program strives to further develop the players skating and hockey skills in an increasingly competitive environment to prepare the players for future hockey opportunities while maintaining a fun on-ice environment.  The Mite Travel Program meets every 2 weekday evenings for a combined development-focused practice and Saturday and Sunday mornings for a Cross-ice Games.

MITE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (Formally Mite Futures-No tryout necessary for this team)

This second-level development program is designed for the Under-8 skaters with less than 2 full seasons of on-ice skating experience who have completed the Learn to Skate (LTS)/Learn to Play (LTP) program (AKA, TYKES).  The Mite Development program promotes on-ice hockey fun and enjoyment while building on the LTS/LTP basic skill set. This program is a combination of development focused practices and weekly in-house game play using our cross-ice board system; the look and feel of a real hockey game!  Increased puck-handling, shooting and power-skating activities will be employed with concentration on maintaining full-skating speed and agility.  Following the USA Hockey ADM Model, this hockey program strives to further develop the players skating and hockey skills in an increasingly competitive environment to prepare the players for future hockey opportunities while maintaining a fun on-ice environment. 

The Mite Development Program meets 1 weekday evening and one weekend morning for a combined development-focused practice with the Mite Travel teams and one weekend morning for a Cross-ice Game Day. With three ice-times per week, the Mite Development Program is an exciting opportunity to develop and play some hockey!