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All evaluations are done by outside evaluators. Evaluators will have a scoring sheet with hockey skills and tangibles (work ethic, attitude, sportsmanship etc) to assess players by an assigned tryout number. All scores are entered into a computer and teams are based off formulated scores and assessments. No coaches of the evaluated level will be on the ice during tryouts. If scores are matched for a last roster spot the coach will be asked who they reccommend for the roster spot. ALL tryouts will be closed to parents and spectators. We ask parents to wait in the lobby. This will be for all levels except Mites. 

Why we do this:


WCYHA holds tryouts and team placement in the spring for several reasons. First, it allows families to focus on enjoying summer vacations and getting their kids back to school without the added complexity of hockey tryouts. It also makes it easier and more efficient for the WCYHA Board to manage the extensive administrative needs of the program. Having an understanding as to the number of teams aids in purchasing ice time, selection of coaches, scheduling of practices, declaration of tier designations, etc. Lastly, this is more consistent with the direction of Connecticut Hockey Conference and other programs.

All tryouts,outside of the Mite level, will be to populate A/B rostered teams. The main objective is to  put the athlete in the best position to compete and succeed. The purpose of tryouts is to evaluate a player's skills, instinctive feel for the game, commitment, and teamwork in order to place him or her on a team that will provide the best environment to maximize player development, improve self-confidence, allow for enjoyment of the game of ice hockey and for WCYHA to form competitive teams.

WCYHA has developed a tryout process that intends to place players on teams matching their individual skills and competitive level. We recognize that players develop at different times and intervals. Some players will develop the most from being one of the top players and driving the team flow. Some players will develop the most from being one of the lower players and having to step up their level of play. In evaluating players and making team selections, we attempt to account for these factors. The goal is to build teams that consist of players with similar abilities and drive, in a competitive atmosphere, while fostering skills development.

Parents’ support of both their child and the program are critical components in a child’s understanding of tryouts and ultimate motivation for enjoying hockey.  It is important for parents and players to understand that the highest level team is not always the best fit for a player. Parents should not assume that if there child was on a higher level team the previous year that they will automatically be placed on a higher level team the following year. WCYHA will continue to work very hard to ensure that every player is set up for success and is in a position to have fun competing in the great sport of hockey.


Tryout / Registration

All participants must be registered and paid through the WCYHA website prior to tryouts. Try out fees are $75.00 for Goalies at all levels and  $150.00 for Squirts, Pee Wees and Bantams. Tryout fees are not refundable. All participants must check-in at the registration table on all night of tryouts. Tryout Jerseys will be handed out to each participant and players are expected to wear them to each tryout. Tryouts will take place at the Danbury Arena. PLEASE ARRIVE EARLY.

Parents are welcome to attend tryouts but MUST remain in the lobby. Parents will NOT be permitted in the ice arena or locker rooms. Mite parents may assist players in the locker room and can sit in the stands during the evaluation process.  Anyone in violation of the above may be asked to leave the rink. 

Attendance Requirements

All players are expected to attend all tryouts. At minimum, a player must attend at least one tryout to be placed on a team. Failure to attend all tryouts will be weighed in the selection process. If a returning player cannot attend spring try-outs but does plan to return and play for the Jr. Colonials in the fall, they must communicate this to the board prior to tryouts and request a Supplemental tryout (as described below).  A team placement / registration fee of $150 will be charged even if you do not make tryouts.

Tryout Process

Every effort will be made to provide a fair and consistent approach to the tryout process. There will be a group of qualified external evaluators at each level. The evaluators will have a list that will have an assigned numbers with no names. There will also be one or more on-ice coaching instructors who will not be doing any evaluations. Their function is only to assist with the various on-ice drills and scrimmages.

Players will be evaluated on the following selection criteria: skill areas with weighting on individual skills will be dependent on individual division groups as defined by the USA Hockey Division Skill Level guidelines for Mite, Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam. Players must meet a minimum criteria to be placed on a team.

Skating, passing and receiving, stick handling, shooting, playmaking, along with game situations to determine positional play, competitiveness and stamina will be evaluated. In addition Goaltenders will also be evaluated based on their skill in making saves and controlling rebounds. Goaltenders (Squirts-Bantams) will be evaluated by Pro Crease Goaltending.

Team Placement

After tryouts are completed, the evaluators will submit player rankings to the Registrar, President and Vice President. The committee will analyze all pieces of data including: try-out results, previous season evaluations, input from the previous year’s coaches and head coaches for the upcoming season, to make determinations on player placement. In the event of similar results preference will be given to returning WCYHA players.

On occasion there may be an excessive amount of player registration in a particular age or team bracket. Every effort will be made to place all players up to the maximum number allowed by CHC team registration rules. Teams will consist of no more than twenty (17) players (including two (2) goalkeepers). The Board will determine the minimum amount of players for each team based on organization needs.

Committing to a Roster Spot

You will be notified of your team placement within 72 hours of the last day of tryouts. A signed commitment letter (found in the registration portal) and a non-refundable commitment fee of $250.00 for all teams will be required within 48 hours of notification in order to secure a spot on any Western team.  While WCYHA will send reminders out before and after tryouts regarding the commitment fee due date, WCYHA will not be following up with individual families to collect monies. If commitment fee payment is not received within 48 hours WCYHA will assign your position on the team to another player. In the event that spots remain open and you do not secure a spot within 48 hours a late commitment fee of $100.00 will be assessed.

2022-2023 Fees

Mite Development           $1,000.00 (Practice only – NO gameplay)

All Mites - $1,800

All Squirt Teams - $3,300                    Squirt Goalies - $1,850

All PeeWee Teams - $3,400                 PeeWee Goalies - $1,900

All Bantam Teams - $3,500                  Bantam Goalies - $1,950

All Midget - 1,700                                Midget Goalies- 1,000

Tuition must be paid in full by the start of practice subject to the final computer-generated payment date. No one will be allowed to take the ice if they have an outstanding balance.

Fees include 2-3 practices per week, games and team tournament fees, a year-end banquet for players, and a practice jersey and socks. Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam will receive weekly goaltender training from a Goaltending coach. Game jerseys, pant shells, and socks are an additional fee and available to be sized and picked up at Westco. "Western Wear" will also be offered for your purchase via our online store throughout the season. Tournament travel and accommodations will be at your own expense.  

Player Commitment

All players are expected to make every practice, game, and tournament unless sick, injured, or a significant family commitment. Limited attendance at practice may affect playing time in games and tournaments and will be taken into consideration for placement the following season.

Special Cases

In situations where players miss all try-out sessions because of injury, medical condition, family emergency or other unforeseen last-minute circumstance special case status can be granted by the Board and is available only to returning players. After a player receives Special Case Status the Board will be given a Supplemental tryout opportunity.  It is incumbent on the player and his family to communicate with the board in a timely fashion regarding circumstances that occur around planned participation in try-outs. To receive ‘Special Case Status" the player must have been registered for try-outs, (unless the injury or medical condition was communicated to the Association beforehand).

Missed Try-out

This policy applies to players that do not participate in try-outs but are looking for a spot on the roster after try-outs. There are four situations where this can occur: 1) a player moves to our area; 2) a local player seeks to move to a new organization; 3) a local player seeks to play travel hockey for the first time, and 4) a returning player misses try-outs but does not have "special case" status.

Players who miss tryouts will be evaluated by coaches and placed on the respective team providing they meet the minimum criteria and there is availability. If a roster spot is not available, players will be added to our waitlist. The movement to a higher-level team is not guaranteed and will only be considered as described in the team placement section of this document.

All “special case” and missed tryout players are responsible for payment of the applicable try-out fee plus a $50 Late Fee.



The WCYHA Board fully understands that questions may arise after tryouts and will address any questions or concerns in a timely manner. Please be reminded that in terms of Board Members and Committees this is an all-volunteer organization. All communications should be directed to westernyouthhockey@gmail.com  At no time should anyone be contacted by phone unless otherwise directed to do so.