Below is a quick summary of the NYH travel program for 2018/19
Teams and Age Groups
NYH offers a travel hockey program for Needham and Dover children. The season typically runs from late August / early September until mid-March/ early April. Teams are aligned by the USA Hockey age groups. The age groups will be as follows:
|U8 (Mite) / Girls U8
||1/1/10 to 12/31/11
|U10 (Squirt) / Girls U10
||1/1/08 to 12/31/09
|U12 (Peewee) / Girls U12
||1/1/06 to 12/31/07
|U14 (Bantam) / Girls U14
||1/1/04 to 12/31/05
|| 1/1/99 to 12/31/03
There are multiple levels of teams for each age group distinguished by number (e.g. U12 (PeeWee) 1, U12 (PeeWee) 2, etc.), with each bracket's "1" team consisting of higher skilled players and each higher numbered team in a given age group consisting of less experienced players. Tryouts are held each spring. Tryout details, principles and information is posted during open registration.
Coaches are chosen after tryouts are completed. We strive to find the best group of coaches for each team, but believe that player placement comes first and then once the teams are defined by the evaluators, we then choose the head coach who then works with the coaching coordinator to choose assistant coaches. There are many experienced and qualified coaches in NYH which allows us the flexibility to choose teams first and then coaches.
Playing travel hockey is a significant financial and time commitment for player and family. Needham Youth Hockey encourages kids to play multiple sports, and we respect that families and players must balance commitments to family, school, and conflicting sports schedules. While we understand there will be scheduling conflicts during the season, we ask that all players and families make an effort to honor the commitment to NYH and regularly attend practices and games. At the beginning of each season, coaches should set out guidelines for the team on communication and expectations on practice and game attendance.
NYH sets goals for each level for the number of ice touches during the season. An ice touch is any practice, skills, game, or scrimmage a team plays in. These goal may vary slightly based on actual ice availability and does not include outside tournaments.
- Inhouse beginners: 30 touches (10 games and 20 practices)
- Inhouse other levels: 40 touches (15 games and 25 practices)
- Mite development: (20 cross-ice games, 20-25 practices, and 8-10 skills sessions)
- Girls U8: (20 cross-ice games, 20-25 practices, and 8-10 skills sessions)
- U8 (Mite) travel: (25 cross-ice games, 30-35 practices and 10-12 skills sessions)
- U10 (Squirt) to U14 (Bantam) travel (35 games, 45-50 practices, and 10-12 skill session)
- Girls U10, U12 and U14 (28 games, 45-50 practices, and 10-12 skills session )
- U18 (Midgets) (15 games, 7-9 practices, and 6 skills sessions )
Practices are primarily half sheet of ice (two teams share the rink) for 50 or 60 minutes. Teams usually have 6 or 7 full sheet practices during the year. There may be times during the season due to ice constraints that NYH will place three teams on the ice to allow teams as many ice touches as possible.
Practices are generally held on weekday evenings or weekend days or evenings at St. Sebastian’s and other rinks where we have secured practice ice. These rinks include Dexter School (Brookline), Noble and Greenough School (Dedham), Roche (West Roxbury), Roxbury Latin(West Roxbury) and Rivers School (Weston). Practice times range from 4pm to 9pm during the week and from 7am to 9pm on the weekends. Younger teams will generally receive earlier practices times, and older teams have the later practice times.
NYH supplements practices by also providing skills sessions for players and goalies throughout the season. NYH contracts with Pro Ambitions to run our skills program. Skill sessions are run over the course of the season for each team from Mite/Mite Dev to U18 (Midget) and girls U8, U10, U12 and U14. We will also provide separate goalie clinics for our full-time goalies.
Leagues and Season Schedules
Travel teams: Mite thru Midget will play in the Valley League. Season starts in September and runs through late March with playoffs potentially running into early April. Midget season ends in late November.
- U8 (Mites) will play 25 cross-ice games
- U10 (Squirt) to U14 (Bantam) will play 35 games
- U18 (Midgets) will play 15 games
Girls U8 season runs from September to March. Games start in October in the Walpole Express League.
Girls U10-U14 season runs from September 1 to April 1, and play games in the Middlesex Yankee Conference Girls Hockey League. Girls will play approximately 28 games
Mite Development currently plays in the Middlesex Cross-ice league (MCIHL), but we are looking into alternatives. The teams will play approximately 20 to 22 cross-ice games. Practices will start in mid-September with league games beginning in early October and running into mid-March.
Girls, U10 (Squirts), U12 (PeeWees) and U14(Bantams) also participate in State “Playdown” Tournament Games, which are preliminary State tournament games. Playdown games are held regionally, with winners in each round advancing to the State tournament typically held in March. Playdown and State tournament games are a single elimination format; teams continue to advance as long as they win. Playdown games are an additional team expense.
In addition to the league game schedule, coaches and teams are encouraged to play in one or two tournaments at an additional cost to the team.
USA Hockey Registration ( addition to NYH Registration )
USA Hockey requires all players and coaches to register directly with USA Hockey. Instructions will be provided on the NYH website to make it easy for players and coaches to register. All players must register with USA Hockey and update their account information on the NYH website or they will not be allowed on the ice at the start of the season in September.
Tryouts and Team Placements
Tryouts and team placements for U18 (Midget), U14 (Bantam), U12 (Peewee), U10 (Squirt), and girls U10, U12 and U14 will be conducted in late February/early March. To take advantage of the additional six months of maturation and development that later tryouts will provide for younger players, U8 (Mite) and Girls U8 tryouts and team placements for next season will take place in August/September, before the start of their season.
See the Tryout Information Tab
Numbers of Teams by Level:
Based on the current projections of registration numbers, NYH expects to have the following numbers of teams by level. Any player limits for an age level is listed on the registration page for that age level. Final team size and number of teams will be based on actual registration data and tryout assessments.
Note: Our traditional approach is to choose teams based on player ability, but we reserve the right to have parity teams if we feel it is in the best interest of the players. This would be an exception and communicated during the tryout process or announced in advance during the registration process.
Plans for 2017/18 (subject to change based on actual registraion numbers)
- U18 (Midget) (3 teams) – max of 54 players including goalies
- U14 (Bantam) (3 teams) – max 54 players including goalies
- U12 (Pee Wee) (4 teams) – max 60 skaters plus 8 goalies
- U10 (Squirt) (3 teams) - max 60 skaters plus 8 goalies
- Girls teams
- 1 U8 girls team - 12 players. Players not making the team can try out for mite travel, mite development or in-house.
- 1 U10 girls team – approximately 15 to 18 players (includes goalies). Players not making the u10 girls team may tryout for squirt travel or play in-house majors. Some players maybe asked to play-up on the U12 team
- 1 U12 girls team – approximately 15 to 18 players (includes goalies). Some girls maybe asked to play-up on the U14 team
- U14 girls team - depending on enrollment - we may not have enough players for U14
- 2 Mite Travel teams with 12 players each
- 2 Mite Development teams with 12 players each
During registration, you will be asked to provide the number of the shirt your child has and what number preferences your child wants in the event of a duplication on his/her new team. We will then provide an option to “opt out” of replacing your shirts (assuming they still fit and are in good condition). We are moving to a new vendor this year, and after team placements are determined, you will receive instructions on ordering your jerseys, practice jerseys and socks from this vendor.
It is very important to understand that all of the shirt ordering activities happen in June when rosters are set and numbers assigned. If you “opt out” and then change your mind, it will take several weeks to get replacement shirts for your child and there will be additional charges from the shirt company.
How we assign numbers
Once teams are chosen from tryouts, the selection process for choosing who gets what number is based on the following:
- Player returning to same team
- Oldest player to youngest player
- Rare case of two players with same # and same birthday alphabetical order (A to Z)