Statement of Philosophy

Founded in 1973, Darien Youth Hockey Association is dedicated to providing a stimulating, rewarding and safe athletic experience for the children of the community. The Association believes that participation in team sports can be an important ingredient in healthy youth maturation. Our programs are designed to generate self-esteem and good sportsmanship through skills development in a positive social environment. Above all, we try to assure that youth hockey is fun!

House league play is organized to achieve a learning and recreational atmosphere featuring equal ice time for all and intramural competition among players of similar abilities. Our Travel teams offer players with stronger skills and a greater level of commitment, a more robust experience and the opportunity to compete at the highest levels in the State and beyond.

Although DYHA primarily serves the residents of Darien, New Canaan and Norwalk, our programs are open to all skaters once or if they clear the wait list. The program is generally at or near full capacity at most levels. Accordingly, the Association strongly encourages players to understand that if one transfers to another program, they will have to clear the wait list before potential readmission. If there are open slots, players are accepted off the wait list based on a criteria that prioritizes players from, or that will be moving into, Darien, New Canaan or Norwalk; siblings of current members; and date of wait list registration. Board discretion can also be used to move players off the waitlist.  Our Travel team constituency is governed by the rules and bylaws of the Connecticut Hockey Conference, which currently do not restrict the number of "Non-Registered Players" (players who are not members of an association) in a program. The DYHA, however, has a self-imposed policy limiting the number of "Non-Registered" players at the Squirt, Peewee and Bantam age groups.  (Additional information about this policy can be found by accessing the Registration Information, Registration Overview tab or by clicking here).  

At the Travel level, DYHA is committed to striking the right balance between striving to be among the most competitive program in its respective tiers in order to attract the strongest coaches and retain its strongest players, and remaining true to its commitment of being largely a community-based program.

As a nonprofit, volunteer organization, DYHA is dependent on the commitment of parents and others to fill some coaching and all administrative positions. With the program's growth, the number of dedicated volunteers required annually exceeds one hundred people. DYHA also relies heavily on the generosity and support of parents and sponsors to keep our programs affordable to all. To the extent possible, the Association provides financial assistance to eager participants who would otherwise be excluded. The essence of this philosophy is reviewed and reaffirmed each year by the Board. In this regard the comments and suggestions of players and parents are always welcome.