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Dear Youth Hockey Parents and Players,

It is that time of the year when we begin the selection process for the 2020/2021 WYHA teams. While no process is perfect, we believe that our selection process is better than most. Wilmington Youth Hockey strives to meet the goals of USA and Mass Hockey that recommends grouping players as best as possible according to age and skill level. There are many different ways to achieve this, and we have examined methods used by other programs. For example, some programs pick coaches first then let coaches select the teams at their level. Other programs use paid or unpaid committees to observe tryouts and base selections solely on these evaluations. The methods that we use are quite different and are designed to eliminate potential bias, observe players in different settings, and use evaluations from many people.

I would like to thank the selection volunteers who put in an enormous amount of time each year viewing players in game situations, running and evaluating tryouts, and participating in the selection process. Additionally, I would like to thank the many coaches in our program who provide objective feedback regarding each player to the selection committee.

We realize that some players and parents may not always agree with or be happy with placement decisions; however, we encourage you to consider the enormous amount of time, effort, and thoughtful decision-making that went into the process. Information regarding the selection process and criteria are included for your information and posted on the website. If you have additional questions or concerns about the process, please contact the appropriate level director. If you have new ideas and want to get involved in the program as a board member, coach, or help with specific activities or committees, please write or email us! Please note that the placement decisions by the Selection Committees are final and will not be changed.

Our mission is to continuously strive to build a better program for the youth hockey players of Wilmington and in accordance with the goals of Mass Hockey and USA Hockey. We want our program to be geared to the enjoyment of players, and to help our youth develop hockey skills and a love of the game. I believe we have a very strong Youth Hockey program in Wilmington and are continuing to build it as best we can.

On behalf of the board of directors, thank you for your support, enthusiasm, and the tremendous amount of time and effort that you, as players and parents, give to this program.

Best regards,

Wilmington Youth Hockey Association



The process for evaluation and selection of teams for the upcoming 2017-18 Youth hockey season will be as follows:

  1. Selection Committees:  Each level within the program from Mites to Midgets has organized a Selection Committee whose members have volunteered their time to attend league games and observe the level of play of each player in the WYHA program in game situations and at tryouts. At the conclusion of the season and tryouts, each Selection Committee meets to review information from the following sources (game evaluations, coaches evaluations, and tryouts) and select the teams for the coming year.

  2. Selection Criteria:
    • ​​Criteria 1:   Coaches’ Evaluations. Each coach for the current season will be required to provide comments and ratings of the players under their instruction, broken down by next year’s placement level. Included in these evaluations will be the coaches’ assessment of skating ability, team play, individual skills, attendance, and conduct of each player. Each team’s coaches provide a ranking of players to the Selections Committee for that level.
    • Criteria 2:   Evaluation of game performance. Selection committee members observe each team at least once and make every effort to view each team twice. This will allow observers to evaluate each player, based on their attendance, for their skating ability, team play, hockey awareness, and individual skills.
    • Criteria 3:   Tryouts. The selection committee will also evaluate players during the upcoming tryouts, which will be held in April. The tryout schedule is posted at the rink and on the WYHA website. Players are grouped according to the level in which they will be playing the following season (i.e. Mite, Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam, Midget). Each individual will have two nights to compete at the tryouts.
  3. Selection Process: Following tryouts, the individual selection committees will meet to combine the results collected from the 3 criteria described above. Committee members select based on the information received, evaluating game observations and tryouts with evaluations and rankings by coaches. Each Selection Committee then makes a final placement ranking for the next season. The Board of Directors determines the number of teams at each level according to number of players registered, minimum number of players per team required by Mass Hockey, and costs of fielding teams.

    A coach or selection committee member is not allowed to evaluate his or her own child. Additionally, an independent observer from the Board of Directors attends each Selection Committee meeting to ensure that the appropriate process is followed, provided that they have no affiliation to a child at that level. All players progress up to different levels of travel teams (Squirts, PeeWees, Bantam, Midgets, Girls) according to age requirements of USA and Mass Hockey. However, the WYHA By-Laws and Operational Procedures state that youngsters trying out for the Mites may be asked to remain at the Instructional Buzzer level based upon the ability of the individual and the number of children trying out for available positions.

    At the conclusion of these placement meetings, a postcard will be mailed to each player informing him/her of the team placement for the upcoming season.

  4. Placement Decisions: Placement decisions by the Selection Committees are final. Changes are not made per request of players, parents, coaches or anyone else, thus phone calls or communications regarding placement decisions are not recommended. Players are not moved to different teams unless there are changes in the number of players within a team or level (for example, if a player moves away or decides not to play). If changes occur before the start of the season, the Head Coach of the team who is losing a player, together with the Level Director, is asked to pull up the highest ranked player from the next team. After the start of the season, selection rankings do not have to be used. A Head Coach may consider all players on the next team and select the player who best meets the team’s needs, or view the Selections Committee rankings.