Valley Youth Hockey is a Tier II association based at Onondaga Nation Arena and Meachem Rink in Syracuse, NY.

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Table of Contents

(click on blue links to skip to sections)


Coach & Manager Info Parent Info

Coach & Manager Requirements


Hockey 101 for Parents

New to Hockey?

How to Use This Website

Volunteering at Games

Valley Hockey Apparel

Team Multi-Schedule

Registration FAQs

Team App (SI Play)


Website Access & Communication with Teams

Team Website & Schedule

Home Ice Schedule Changes

Scheduling Away Tournaments
VYHA Contacts
Useful Websites  






Forms, policies, deadlines, and other important links are posted on the "Hey Coach" page. 





NYSAHA (USA Hockey) SafeSport Training & Screening Policies UPDATED

The New York State Amateur Hockey Association, in compliance with the Affiliate Agreement, employs a policy to screen coaches, on-ice officials and volunteers who have regular, routine or frequent access to minor-age players, whether girls or boys, under the age of 18. This excludes players who are over 18 playing on teams containing under 18 year old players, i.e. 19 & Under Women’s teams. 

In addition, it also requires them to complete the specific USA Hockey SafeSport training program provided by the USOC. Both are valid for a two-year period. 

It is required that all coaches, officials and volunteers be screened and complete SafeSport training prior to participating with their association. These volunteers include:

  • Members of the Association Board of Directors
  • Program Administrators
  • Coaches
  • Team Managers
  • Officials
  • Locker room monitors
  • Team drivers
  • Travel chaperones
  • Anyone with regular, routine or frequent access to youth participants

Background checks shall be reimbursed for all those required to complete them, including managers and board members. Use "Coach Clinic & Screening Reimbursement Form" (linked on "Hey Coach" page) to apply.



In addition to the development of our hockey players and enjoyment of the sport of hockey, the safety and protection of our participants is central to Valley Hockey’s goals.  Valley Hockey adheres to USA Hockey’s SafeSport Program as a means to help protect its participants from physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of misconduct, including emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing.  To help prevent abuse or misconduct from occurring in our locker rooms, Valley Hockey has adopted the following locker room policy.  This policy is designed to maintain personal privacy as well as to reduce the risk of misconduct in locker rooms. 

At Onondaga Nation Arena there are five locker rooms available for our program’s use (four at Meachem Rink).  A few of the locker rooms share a restroom [and/or shower area] with another locker room. Some teams in our program may also occasionally or regularly travel to play games at other arenas, and those locker rooms, rest rooms and shower facilities will vary from location to location.  At arenas with which you are unfamiliar, parents should plan to have extra time and some flexibility in making arrangements for their child to dress, undress and shower if desired.

Locker Room Monitoring  

Valley Hockey has predictable and limited use of locker rooms and changing areas (generally 45 minutes to 1 hour before and 30 minutes following practices and games). This allows for direct and regular monitoring of locker room areas.  While constant monitoring inside of locker rooms and changing areas might be the most effective way to prevent problems, we understand that this would likely make some players uncomfortable and may even place our staff at risk for unwarranted suspicion. 

If the coaches are not inside the locker rooms, either a coach or voluntary locker room monitors (each of whom has been screened) will be posted directly outside of the locker rooms and changing areas during periods of use, and leave the doors open only when adequate privacy is still possible, so that only participants (coaches and players), approved team personnel and family members are permitted in the locker room.  Team personnel will also secure the locker room appropriately during times when the team is on the ice.

Parents in Locker Rooms

Except for players at the younger age groups, we discourage parents from entering locker rooms unless it is truly necessary.  If a player needs assistance with his or her uniform or gear, if the player is or may be injured, or a player’s disability warrants assistance, then we ask that parents let the coach know beforehand that he or she will be helping the player.  

Naturally, with our youngest age groups it is necessary for parents to assist the players getting dressed.  We encourage parents to teach their players how to get dressed so that players will learn as early as possible how to get dressed independently.  In circumstances where parents are permitted in the locker room, coaches are permitted to ask that the parents leave for a short time before the game and for a short time after the game so that the coaches may address the players.  As players get older, the coach may in his or her discretion prohibit parents from a locker room.   

Mixed Gender Teams  

Some of our teams consist of both male and female players.  It is important that the privacy rights of all of our players are given consideration and appropriate arrangements made. Where possible, Valley Hockey will have the male and female players dress/undress in separate locker rooms and then convene in a single locker room before the game or team meeting.  Once the game or practice is finished, the players may come to one locker room for a team meeting and then the male and female players proceed to their separate locker rooms to undress and shower, if available.  If separate locker rooms are not available, then the players will take turns using the locker room to change. We understand that these arrangements may require that players arrive earlier or leave later to dress, but believe that this is the most reasonable way to accommodate and respect all of our players.  

Cell Phones and Other Mobile Recording Devices  

Cell phones and other mobile devices with recording capabilities, including voice recording, still cameras and video cameras, are not permitted to be used in the locker rooms.  If phones or other mobile devices must be used, they should be taken outside of the locker room.  It may be a good idea to have team managers collect phones.

Prohibited Conduct and Reporting

Valley Hockey prohibits all types of physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, bullying, threats, harassment and hazing, all as described in the USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook.  Participants, employees or volunteers in Valley Hockey may be subject to disciplinary action for violation of these locker room policies or for engaging in any misconduct or abuse or that violates the USA Hockey SafeSport Policies.  Reports of any actual or suspected violations may be emailed to USA Hockey at or you may call 1-800-888-4656



Once assigned to a team on the Valley website as a coach or as a manager, you will be able to add and edit events on your team schedule when you are logged in. Use the email address that you used when registering your player. If you do not have a password, get one by going to the sign in area and clicking on "Forgot". The website will send you a link to set or reset a password.

If logging in as a coach or manager, use the sign in link at the top right corner of the Valley website ( Click on the red "Admin" link to pop up your admin menu. If you have questions on how to use website features, check the "How To Use This Website" page..

Team managers should email parents with a weekly summary of upcoming events.

*Note: Ask your parents to opt in for texting by signing in (Edit My Account) and adding a cell phone number and
cellular carrier to their member records to allow for texting last minute changes to parents and players.




The team manager is responsible for organizing and maintaining a current Team Page and schedule of all games (including away tournament schedules) and special team events throughout the season. The Valley scheduler will upload practice times and regular home ice slots for your team. Please contact the VYHA scheduler at  with questions about home game slots.

Roster photos must be uploaded by the Valley webmaster or by the player's parent(s). Please email photos to  .


If you need to cancel a home game slot for any reason, DO NOT DELETE THE SLOT and DO NOT CHANGE THE LOCATION (Meachem Rink or Onondaga Nation Arena) TO ANOTHER LOCATION. PLEASE!!! Follow the procedures below, please.



  • Please notify the scheduler at that you will not be using the slot as soon as possible.

  • Notify the Director of Refs ASAP that you will not need referees if they have already been scheduled. 

  • ADD A NEW EVENT TO YOUR SCHEDULE for your new away event.

  • If you really want to get the event off your team schedule, simply change the team name to "TBD" but leave the event in just as it is otherwise.

  • If you delete your home slot and it is wasted, the cost of the ice may be billed to your team.



Birth Verification and Proof of Citizenship

From NYS/USAH Guide Book (p. 62):

10. It is required that all players 8 and under and those players on a National Bound Team must supply a government issued birth certificate or passport identification page for each rostered player to the USA Hockey registrar for verification and affirmation prior to (or with) roster submittal.*

11. In order to compete in all NYSAHA sponsored tournaments, the TEAM ROSTER 1-T form must be approved by the USAH Associate Registrar. For tournament-bound (both natural and artificial ice) teams, the roster must be completed and received by the Registrar no later than December 31 of each year for youth and girls’/women’s teams and February 15th for high school club, varsity and/or prep school divisions. Time requirements are strictly enforced.

*The NYSAHA Central Section Registrar requires ALL players to have birth certificates verified. Failure to comply with this requirement negatively affects the eligibility status of ALL VALLEY TOURNAMENT BOUND TEAMS and incurs fines for the association.



For the latest information on team credentials, see the relevant sections on the NY Registrar website ( or in NYSAHA's most recent guide book AND consult with Valley's registrar.

Credentials Overview

All Tournament-Bound (TB) teams and players (except Women’s Senior A) must be registered with USA Hockey and must be a member in good standing of an affiliate association on or before December 31 of the playing season. (Women’s Senior A teams must be registered with USA Hockey and be a member in good standing of an affiliate association by the third Monday in March).

Teams competing on natural ice have until January 20 to register. Player changes to the official team roster for youth Tier I and Tier II teams and girls’/women’s national tournament-bound teams will not be accepted after December 31.

For games to count in meeting the 20/10 (14/10 girls’/women’s) rule, that team’s official team roster registration form (1-T) must be certified by the appropriate district registrar or his/her designee prior to that game being played.



Submitting a credential book electronically requires a good scanner, patience and good organization. There are distinct advantages to submitting the book electronically including no travel to meet with the district representative to review, no need to mail the book via USPS and the review goes much faster for the person conducting the credential review.  Please keep in mind that while an electronic version of your credential book exist the team must still have the binder with them at all times during the NY State district championships and the National tournament should the team advance that far. To determine the necessary information required in the book consult the website under Credential Book Compilation.


USA Hockey Travel Permit

All teams traveling to Canada to participate in sanctioned events must obtain a USAH/Hockey Canada travel permit.  This permit must be approved prior to travel by the USAH District or Associate Registrar in your area.  Travel permits request should be made at minimum 14 days prior to travel, 30 – 40 days in advance is ideal. 

All Travel permit requests must come through the Valley Registrar ( ). No other requests will be granted.

The travel permit is only valid during the dates listed on the permit. During the months of June, July and August sanctioned play is not recognized in Canada.  Therefore the travel permit expires on May 31st of the current season and is not valid during the summer time frame.  



Contact the current VYHA Snowbelt Representative with any questions concerning Snowbelt scheduling, league play, discipline process or J.A.M. Tournaments. The VYHA Snowbelt Representative is listed on the VYHA Board page.

Snowbelt Hockey League



All Snowbelt league games will be scheduled for your team by the VYHA Scheduler in late October. Usually your team will be scheduled to play 8 home games and 8 away games. If you would like to help during the Fall Snowbelt scheduling event, contact the VYHA Scheduler at  .

After Snowbelt league games have been scheduled, coaches are free to schedule the remainder of their home ice slots. Additional slots can be requested when they are available. Priority in scheduling available ice must be given to teams scheduling required league games and qualifying games. Since the midget split-season teams have the earliest deadlines, their Q games are the highest priority. is a very useful website for seeking contact information for other organizations in the greater CNY area. The association logos are hyperlinks directly to their websites; you should be able to find scheduler, coach and manager contact information within their sites.




At the beginning of the season, discussions should be held with the parents of your team to discuss how many tournaments to apply to for the season. You can get some ideas from surfing hockey tournament websites, including but not limited to:


USA Hockey Invitational Tournaments


American Hockey Center


Gather as much information as you can about the tournament before presenting to your team: distance, cost, hotel accommodations, etc.

Contact the tournament director and discuss level of play.

  • Ask for all opponents’ head coach and team manager contact information.

  • Head coaches can contact the other coaches to discuss whether teams are a good match-up.

  • Hotel arrangements should be handled by the team manager.

  • Share information with your parents as soon as you have confirmed it.

Have VYHA make a tournament fee and/or hotel payment on behalf of your team. The benefit of having VYHA do so is that, as a non-profit organization, VYHA is exempt from sales taxes, and taking advantage of this benefit can save your team a significant amount.

Team Tournament Fee/Lodging Request Form

All forms to be sent to VYHA (online forms are automatically sent), PO Box 15494, Syracuse, NY 13215, or E-mail to Treasurer, Mike Shaffer,   .



The team manager is responsible for delegating duties regarding game operations.

TIP -- Request money to pay referees several days prior to the game so that you don't have to use your own money. You can get the funds deposited directly to your bank account! See procedures under Requesting Money to Pay Referees.


Score sheets

  • Score sheets need to be filled out completely with home and visiting team names as well as age level, rink, and game code, if game is a league game.

  • Score sheets can be obtained from the VYHA Director of Coaches. A small supply is also kept in the office at Onondaga Nation Arena.

  • The scorekeeper needs to ensure that all players on the roster are actually on the bench for each team or crossed off if player is absent.

  • See the USA Hockey Off-Ice Officiating Manual for details about filling in score sheets (posted at following link also). 




A Volunteer schedule should be put in place on your team page for the following duties:

  • 1 Scorekeeper
  • 1 Clock operator
  • 2 Penalty box attendants
  • Kitchen Duty – if your game is at Meachem

*Note: The score board control is located in the office at Meachem and is already at the scorer’s table at the Nation. Operating instructions should be located at each scorer’s table.


To use the website volunteer sign up feature for this task, login at the top right corner of the website.

  • Go to Tools → Volunteer Manager →Add Opportunity 
  • Add the information you need and in Category choose the task.
  • Once you have completed the description- move down the bottom and put your email address in the "Notify email" space.
  • Don’t forget to send only to your team and make it a one-time event.

*Note: If you are organizing volunteers for a home tournament, a spread sheet can be used to set up the entire tournament and then uploaded to the website by the webmaster (email   for a template).



Here is the process  we use to get officials for our games.


  1. Please make absolutely sure your schedule is submitted to our website and is up to date. I use the online schedule to request refs for any games where Valley is listed as the Home team.

  2. Around the 20th of each month, I will submit the games listed on the web site for the following month. (e.g. around 10/20, I'll send the November schedule to be added to HorizonWebRef.)

  3. Each Monday, team managers/coaches should check Horizon WebRef to make sure their games are listed and that any games for the upcoming weekend have refs assigned. If there are any issues, contact me immediately.

  4. I will also check the online schedule and match it up to the HorizonWebRef schedule to find any possible discrepancies.


*Note: If you are adding a game and/or requesting refs for a game after the 20th (for the following month) you need to contact Garth Werner at  in order to be sure your request for refs will be received in time.


If you are canceling a game that currently shows up on the HorizonWebRef website, let me know ASAP so I can cancel the refs and make sure you cc Valley's scheduler. Please be aware that our contract with HorizonWebRef requires that we give reasonable notice for any game cancellations. 48 hours’ notice is the bare minimum. Otherwise, we are responsible for paying the officials. That said, unpreventable, last-minute cancellations due to weather or rink issues are understandable. If you are cancelling with very short notice (same day or less than 24 hours) you also should contact the officials assigned to your game to let them know.

If you have any issues or questions regarding officials, please contact me directly.

Garth Werner
Director of Referees (2016-18)


If you do not see referees scheduled on, please contact Garth Werner at   . This must be completed well in advance of all home games.


*Note: Pay referees at the end of the game once they have signed the score sheet.



Referee reimbursement is requested online. When submitted, the request is automatically sent to the VYHA Treasurer, who will either have the amount mailed to you as a check or deposited directly to your bank account. If you would like to have it deposited directly, you will need to provide your bank account number and bank routing number to the treasurer via the following form:

ACH Direct Deposit Application


Should you have any questions on this process please contact the VYHA Treasurer, Mike Shaffer, at 

You may access the online Referee form by following this link:

Request for Referee Fees Form



At all home games, (2) two parents will be needed to staff the Valley Hockey Kitchen. Once or twice a season, (8) eight parents will be needed to cover a double shift at the Corcoran High School Games. Questions concerning the kitchen should be addressed to the Supervisor of Kitchen (Jillian Scheer,  ).

Snack bar hours may be scheduled on the volunteer page referenced above.



Teams should also be prepared to run the kitchen for any tournament that they host.




Valley's scheduler will email coaches and managers about available ice slots. You can also ask the scheduler by emailing .



Photo Night is usually held in late October. Each team will be assigned a time slot. All team members should be dressed in game attire (bring both black and white jerseys, if you have them!). Please ask all parents for their child’s involvement even if they are not purchasing pictures. Be certain to remind your team of this event through emails as well as posting as Team News. 



Valley's major birth year travel teams are presumed to be Valley's State Bound (eligible to compete at NY State Tournaments) and Tournament Bound (eligible to compete at NY State, District, and National USA Hockey Tournaments) teams.  

  • 12U teams are "State Bound" because USA Hockey no longer hosts a national tournament for 12U.

  • 14U, 16U, and 18U would be "National Tournament Bound" if declared so by the association. 

  • The term "Tournament Bound (TB)" is used interchangeably in Central NY to designate any team that will be competing at the state level and/or national level. However, USA Hockey registrars sometimes prefer to use the acronym "NTB" to indicate "National Tournament Bound" status, while local hockey organizations have long used "NTB" as an abbreviation for "Non-Tournament Bound". For communication purposes it may be more clear to use "TB" or "Tournament Bound" with all persons who are not official USA Hockey registrars.

Tournament bound teams must schedule Q games (qualifying games) with the other Tier II teams who have declared that they are tournament bound. The other Tier II Central New York associations are listed on NYSAHA's Central Section web pages. While the listing of declared teams from other associations may not be posted until September or October, it is wise to begin scheduling Q games as soon as possible with the appropriate team from all associations who fielded teams in the previous season. 

  • Q game schedules should be submitted to the Central Section President (deadline will be announced at the Fall Central Section meeting -- deadline is usually around October 15)

  • Midget Q game schedules should be submitted to the Central Section President (ask for deadline)

  • Midget Q games should be completed by (ask for deadline).

  • Tier II teams must play 20 Q games. Teams must play one home game and one away game with each other team that has declared Tournament Bound status at the same age level. If the total number of games is fewer than 20, the remainder can be played with any other teams (with some restrictions). Rules and details, including the date by which all Q games must be completed, can be found in the NYSAHA Guide Book posted on the NYSAHA website


When you schedule a non-Q game, know as much about the opponent you are scheduling as possible. This will be very helpful in determining proper match-ups.

  • Ask for and share game experiences.

  • Talk about level of play.

  • Navigate the opponents' websites for common opponents and results.

  • Look up teams on MyHockey Rankings.


As the team manager, you will need to check Horizon WebRef to confirm that referees have been scheduled. Valley's Director of Referees will get you access to Horizon WebRef -- simply contact him/her to let him/her know that you are a team manager or coach. An invitation will be extended to you to create a username and password. Once you have completed this process you will have access to this site whenever you need it.

The current Director of Refs is Garth Werner and he can be reached at  .



Five (5) hours of off ice volunteer time per player is requested. it is the responsibility of the Team Manager to ensure all of the needed duties are scheduled and filled: snack bar, time keeper, score keeper, penalty boxes. Team-sponsored tournaments will require additional volunteer time from host team parents.

If team managers use the convenient website Volunteer Sign-up feature, parents and guardians can check for volunteer opportunities at the following link:

Volunteer Sign-up




Each team should select a parent to represent the team at the monthly VYHA Board meetings in order to keep the board apprised of any issues and of how the team is doing, generally.



The team manager should plan some off-ice team building events early and throughout the season. Some examples are:

  • Laser tag
  • Community Volunteer activity
  • Syracuse Crunch Game
  • Fund Raising activities
  • Helping out with First Strides & IP



The First Strides (Learn To Skate) Program is an important feeder program for Valley Hockey. This program allows kids of all ages to learn to skate with the help and guidance of many VYHA coaches and players. Each team/level of team will be asked to assist with First Strides once or twice during the season..

The First Strides schedule will be posted on the website. Remind your team to participate on their scheduled date(s)!



The Crunch Experience gives youth players a chance to feel like the pros. All goals scored are honored with the goal horn and the announcement of the goal scorer and assists by a professional Crunch announcer.  The event typically consists of a game at the War Memorial Arena against an opponent invited by your team, followed by a pizza party for teams, parents, and siblings. The teams and families then attend that evening's Crunch game. For details about the Crunch Experience and other opportunities including the "Chuck-A-Puck" fundraisers, click HERE. Email Mark Hayes of the Syracuse Crunch at .



At the conclusion of the hockey season, it is time to celebrate a great time. Plan an end of season party – see what the parents want to do and price it out to make sure it is feasible. Trophies for the players are always a hit and a gift for the coaches is a nice idea.



VYHA Board Members and supervisors are listed on Valley's Board page with contact information:

Valley Youth Hockey Association Board



Valley Youth Hockey Association

Snowbelt Hockey

Horizon WebRef

USA Hockey


NY Registrar

ADM Kids