My son has his hockey tryouts on Friday and Saturday. He is looking at making the MD novice team. He just turned 7 in July so would be playing up a division if he made the team. He is actually calm and is just looking at going out and having fun while doing his best. Hopefully things go well and he has fun whether he makes the team or not.
Every association runs tryouts differently. From what I understand, neither USA Hockey or Minnesota Hockey have any set standards on how they're run. The two associations that my son has done tryouts for run them for two weeks (an hour a weeknight for two weeks). Each player has a distinguishing number. Last year, they used old team jersies. Other places in the past have used pin-on numbers. The A coach and some of the other people that run the association keep evaluation sheets, and the B and C coaches usually run what happens on the ice. I've never seen the sheets, and so I don't know how they mark them. Usually the first week seems to be drills, and the second week involves scrimmaging. I've been told that my son's current assocaition highly values the ranking the previous year coach gives them. I'm really curious to see where they'll place my son this upcoming year, especially since he did improve over the off season.
It seems like the USA model and the Canadian model are very different. I've been told they frown on mite tryouts here, and technicially we're not even supposed to keep scores at the mite level. But usually who ever runs the time clock still posts the score. My son didn't have tryouts until he was a squirt. First year he was a mite, they placed him on the C team. The next year, they practiced the B and A team together for the first week or two, and then they split them up.
The AAA teams here are outside of USA Hockey regulation. The more competitive teams have sponsorship, but they still cost a lot more than local association that operate within USA Hockey. Most training or offseason classes/leagues still want your USA Hockey membership number because it provides liablity insurance. To try out for a AAA team, you pay $10 for one hour long tryout. The team may decide to take you or not, and there is only one team per birth year. My son does play on a AAA team during the summer, but I was not too happy with it this past year. It is still a new team, and so we keep dealing with a lot of changes in how they run things. But, my son finally improved on his outside edge over this past summer, and so at least I saw some improvement in his skill. I have never had him try out for another AAA team.
Thanks. This was a interesting experience for us. How does your teams do their tryouts?
It does sound a lot different. For D's tryout it was a open tryout as long as you were registered before June 30. They split the seven year olds and the eight year olds for the first half. They are given a coloured pinny with a number on it that they wear for the whole tryout. The seven year old are given two 1.5 hour ice times before any cuts are made. They post the number and the pinny colour of the players that are moving on to the next stage. The first stage is strictly skills, each player is evaluated by the four head coaches, and the four assistant coaches. The eight year olds try out the same way and are evaluated the same way.
The eight year olds however are first trying out for the all eight team. If a eight year old is cut they move on to the tryouts for the split team. The next ice time is also 1.5 hours and the have the remaning eight and seven year olds tryout. They are then compaired against each other in a strictly skills tryout. Another round of cuts are made at this point. The final step is a scrimmage the players for each team are selected at random and are given a coloured pinny with a number. After this the final cuts are made and each player finds out in person by a interview. After the interviews the coaches draft the players in private.
The majority of the seven year olds play at the house level. No tryouts are required in our city for this level. They do however rank the players and split them according to skill levels. They do feel that there are a few seven year olds that need to play up because the need a challange. The usual format for the team is a maximum of seven skaters and one goalie that are selected from the group of seven year olds, and a minimum of eight skaters and one goalie that are selected from the eight year olds. This year however they received special permission from the organization to hane eight seven year old, and only seven eight year olds, plus they took all three seven year old goalies. In total we have four novice md teams - (2) strictly eight year old teams, and (2) split 7/8 split teams.
Our AAA team are run through the same organization. For these teams tryouts are held in May and June.