Princeton Youth Hockey Association travel hockey program in Princeton, New Jersey

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Tryout Policies and Procedures


Each season the PYHA Board of Directors and qualified volunteers who help us with the evaluation process give careful consideration to the placement of children on appropriate level teams.  We ask players and parents to understand that the evaluation of players can have a subjective element and not all evaluators will have the same opinion.  It is hoped that our process involving a range of input and review yields the most objective placement as possible.  We work hard to make this process as unbiased and accurate as possible.  Below is a statement of our tryout procedures and policies for this season. 


1.Tryouts for travel teams for the following season shall be conducted at the conclusion of the current season.  Tryout dates will be published on the PYHA website and distributed via email.

2.Prospective coaches are solicited to submit letters of interest, coaching qualifications and resumes to be considered for a coaching position.  Head Coaches will be approved by the PYHA President from a list compiled by the Hockey Director and Coaching Committee based on submitted applications.  We strive for a mix of parent and non-parent coaches for our teams.  The most qualified coach for each team will be notified which team they are assigned and asked to participate in the tryout evaluation process. 

3.The number of tryout participants will determine the number of travel teams we will field in the coming season. 

4.Selection of players is limited to those who tryout.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, at the sole discretion of the PYHA Executive Committee (in consultation with the Hockey Director) a returning player who is unable to tryout due to extenuating circumstances such as injury or relocation may be considered for travel team selection.  Evidence may be requested to substantiate the extenuating circumstance (i.e. doctor’s note, etc.).  Former coaches, assistant coaches, etc. shall be consulted to determine proper placement for that player. 

5.All hockey players must register for their birth year level of play and must attend this level of tryouts.  Playing up to the next level is not permitted at the 8U, 10U or 12U levels.  Playing up at 14U, 16U, or 18U is by invitation only or written request addressed to Hockey director prior to tryouts commencing. Request must be approved by Hockey Director.

6.Our Hockey Director is responsible for coordinating and directing all aspects of on-ice activities for tryouts to ensure that a thorough and impartial evaluation of all players can be made.

7.Personnel who are utilized on-ice during tryouts will not be involved in the evaluation process of players that they interact with when on the ice.  Head Coaches will be involved in the evaluation process for the age group in which they coach.  Additionally, members of the Coaching Committee and the Hockey Director will also participate in the evaluation process at all age levels.  At the conclusion of each night of tryouts, the Head Coach, members of the Coaching Committee and the Hockey Director will meet to develop preliminary rosters.

8.At the conclusion of the final night of tryouts, the Head Coach will submit the proposed final roster for review to the Hockey Director.  The roster will be finalized after review by the Executive Committee of PYHA.  The President of PYHA will have final approval on all player rosters. 

    9.Within 48 hours after the conclusion of the final tryout session for that level, rosters will be posted on the website utilizing the player’s tryout number to identify the player so it remains anonymous. Player’s tryout numbers will be posted for the team they are placed with.

10.If you are selected to play on a Princeton Youth Hockey Association team; payments are required as stated in the PYHA Payment Policy.

11. It is expected that if you are offered and accept a roster spot for a PYHA team that you will not accept a roster spot for another travel hockey team (girls or scholastic teams excluded).  If you intend to roster on another travel team - including girls and scholastic teams, PYHA requests to be notified at time of PYHA registration.

Princeton Youth Hockey Association is a YOUTH hockey program. We do not require our players to sign contracts.  Players that are accepting a roster spot in our program are considered a part of our organization. Players electing to leave the club prior to the start of the season may be granted a refund, if and when, that roster spot is filled (at the discretion of the PYHA Board and in accordance with our refund policy posted elsewhere on our web site).  


Parents Responsibilities


Help your child deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard and have fun will do more to promote a long-lived “hockey career” than anything else.

Understand that the tryout process is inherently imperfect and that there is a subjective element to the process.  Evaluators must make difficult decisions.  The Board has created what it believes to be a fair process that relies on good, thoughtful, and fair people doing the best they can.

Please do not attempt to contact evaluators or coaches during the tryout process, as that type of communication undermines the integrity of the process.

As is the case in most youth sports, what particular team level a player plays at as a 7 to 13 year old rarely affects their later years. In fact, in most cases the relative ability ranking of players in a sport changes greatly over these years, so no single placement for a given season should be, nor is, creating a “destiny” for a kid. The high school and college rosters of all sports are filled with players who ranged from A to C players in their early” careers”. The most critical factor for later years is to still be playing!   

PYHA is proudly a “youth hockey” program. We value, care and spend as much time on “B”  as on “A” teams and believe these distinctions are necessary only to the extent they are needed to determine at what level a team plays at in a given league. They do not determine the “real players” nor very often who will be playing 5, 10, or 20 years from now.