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Try-outs can be a difficult time for some skaters and families who feel their child should have been placed on a higher team. SYHA will attempt to make the try-out process as fair as possible by following the guidelines below. Sometimes a difficult choice has to be made between two or more skaters of similar ability. Although this can lead to disappointment for the skater who was not picked for the higher team, experience has shown that these skaters go on to have better years at the level chosen because they are better players at that level and they have more fun.


We encourage all parents to sit down with your young skaters and tell them that no matter what happens during try-outs, if they try their hardest and if they do their best, there is nothing else that anyone should expect of them. Making the top team should be a goal but it certainly is not everything. No matter what happens, we want everyone to work hard but to also have fun. We are proud of all of our teams. We are proud of all of our skaters.

  1. The competitive teams of SYHA (Mites, Squirts, Peewees and Bantams) compete against other teams in accordance with WAHA and Dane County Youth Hockey age and skill classifications. In order to match up teams with similar skill levels, SYHA will conduct try-outs at the beginning of each season.
  2. The club will adhere to WAHA rules regarding the rostering of players, including transfers (out-of-district skaters).
  3. The Age Level Directors, with the supervision of the DOHO, will organize the selection of teams. This grading system will be reviewed and maintained by the Coaches Committee.
  4. The coaches will be provided with a uniform grading system to use in evaluating the skaters.
  5. A numbering system will be used to identify skaters.
  6. Coaches within an age level will work together to select teams using the uniform grading system. Coaches from other levels may assist in the selections if requested by the age level coaches. Each coach will evaluate each skater within the age level. Each coach within an age level will meet with the ALD to explain team selections prior to the final announcement of teams. It is the responsibility of the ALD to coordinate skater notification of team placement.
  7. If two skaters are of generally comparable skill, preference for higher placement will be given to second-year age level skaters if applicable.
  8. In order to encourage and promote the development of goalies, dedicated goalies will not be permitted at the Mite levels. This means that placement of skaters on Mite level teams will be based on the guidelines, which reflect the skating and general hockey skills as outlined on the uniform grading system.
  9. The most important criterion in team selection is the grouping of skaters with similar levels of ability. However, the difference in team size should never be greater than two unless authorized by the Board. A variance would be considered in order to avoid placing skaters of significantly lower ability on a higher team. A variance must not leave one team with fewer than 11 skaters. In determining the number of skaters on a team, the number of dedicated goalies shall not be considered.
  10. An individual who joins the club after team selections are made but before final rosters have been sent to WAHA will be rated by coaches within an age level and placed on a team based on the same criteria used in the initial team selection. A new skater cannot displace skaters already placed on a team. The skater becomes an additional member of the team.
  11. Skaters, including goalies, are only allowed to skate at their designated age level unless, in the opinion of the Board, an age level does not have enough players to support a team. In this instance, the Board shall meet and determine the best way to resolve the situation for that current season. All decisions to “double-roster” skaters must be in conformance with WAHA regulations that govern this area of play.
  12. All parents and skaters are to support the other teams and players within the organization. As stated, team selection is performed for competitive reasons only. This does not make anyone “better” than anyone else. The Board will not tolerate disparaging comments about a player’s hockey skills.
  13. The Coaches committee will act as a grievance committee to handle difficulties that arise with team selection.