These practices and principles were developed by FYH to achieve the most accurate player placement for the following season’s teams, to ensure that the process is transparent to parents and players, to provide guidance to evaluators in order to create a more consistent process and to provide a known set of standards upon which players are measured to assure the highest possible degree of fairness and objectivity throughout the process. FYH Board members, evaluators and coaches at all levels put in a tremendous amount of time and personal commitment to adhere to the process.
The FYH Board recognizes that tryouts often cause a great deal of anxiety among players and parents. The Board is hoping that this document will allay some of this anxiety by improving transparency and clarifying how the process works. Any FYH player or parent who has further questions should feel free to contact the Board via the process described below. While tryouts are ongoing, parents should refrain from speaking about the tryouts to any member of the evaluation process: coaches, evaluators or coordinators. This will help ensure that the process is run in the most objective manner possible.
FYH is a “town” program. We value, care for and spend as much time on the lower level teams as we do on the higher level teams and believe these distinctions are necessary only to the extent they are needed to determine at what level a team plays at in a given league.
FYHP is a non-denominational, non-profit, co-ed, Youth Hockey Organization that is open to any child regardless of religion, race, color, nationality, economic status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or town of residence.
Tryouts for all FYHP Travel teams are done at the end of the season (typically beginning mid-March) for the following season’s teams.
Tryout dates and times will be posted on the FYHP website one to two weeks in advance. FYHP makes every effort to avoid conflicts with religious holidays, playoffs, etc.
The FYHP President is the Tryout Director.
First-time FYHP travel team players may be requested to provide an original certified copy of their birth certificate.
All tryouts are held at Loring Arena.
All players must check-in at the Registrar's table before each session. At that time players will be given a numbered pinny. The player will be instructed whether they should keep the pinny for the duration of tryouts or turn it in at the end of the night. Lost pinnys will result in a $50 charge on a player’s account.
Parents are not allowed in the rink during tryouts. Parents may enter the rink to help their child get ready and must exit the rink before the tryout session begins. We have found that this makes the process run smoother and is less stressful for the kids (both for the group of kids on the ice and the incoming players for the next session).
Raters sit in the stands during tryout sessions. Only raters and executive board members are allowed in the stands of the rink during tryouts.
FYHP aims to place all players who tryout for a travel team. In some cases if there is a safety concern given a player’s skill level, players may not be placed on a travel team, but instead directed to the Learn to Play or Development programs as appropriate.
Drills used are chosen by the Tryout Committee and may be changed/refined yearly. Coaches are given the tryout drills once they are selected so that players can become familiar with them at practices.
Failure to comply with any FYHP policy throughout the tryouts can result in denial of a player to continue with the tryouts.
Players trying out MUST attend all sessions for the age group they are trying out for. Additionally, any players trying out for goalie, must also attend the goalie evaluation session. Players at the 8U age level do not tryout for goalie as a fulltime position.
Anyone not trying out due to a medical condition must provide a doctor’s note to the Registrar prior to the start of tryouts, or in the case of a player becoming injured after the start of tryouts, prior to their next session. Players unable to tryout due to a medical excuse are placed on a team for next season based on input from their current coach.
If a player misses a tryout without a valid excuse, the selection committee will take this into consideration when placing teams. Players with similar skill levels who attended all sessions will be placed above players who did not attend all sessions.
Out of Town Players
As a member program of MA Hockey, FYHP is subject to the MA Hockey limit of three (3) out of town players per co-ed team.
Town of residence is not taken into consideration during team selection. When more than 3 out of town players make a particular team, FYHP will request waivers from our MA Hockey District to approve the rosters with more than 3 out of town players. These waivers are often but not always approved. If the waivers are not approved rosters will be adjusted accordingly.
Out of town player limits do not apply to Learn to Play Hockey (LTPH), Lady Flyer travel teams, Flyers Development Program (FDP) or 18U teams.
Players coming from another Youth Hockey program will need to provide a financial release form from the program they last played for stating that they do not have an outstanding financial obligation for that program.
Evaluators and On-Ice Assistants shall be coaches in good standing with FYHP or persons designated by the FYHP Board. To be considered for a coaching position, a prospective coach must complete and submit to FYH a Framingham Youth Hockey Association Coaching Application.
Whenever practical, each tryout evaluation committee will consist of evaluators who coached (either at the head or assistant coach level) the players from the most recent season. The goal is to provide each player an advocate who has first hand coaching knowledge of the players from the most recent 7 month season. The Board recognizes that this policy will sometimes result in coaches serving as members of committees evaluating their own children. The Board understands the conflict of interest this represents, but has determined that the benefits of including a coach/advocate for each child outweigh the potential harm of including parents. The selection process has guardrails in place to prevent any parents from having an over-sized role in placing their child on a team.
Rater performance and objectivity is reviewed at the end of the season to determine eligibility to rate in future seasons.
The Tryout Committee and Tryout Director will select a Lead Rater and typically 6 total raters for the evaluation committee for each age level.
The Board has reviewed whether to hire external evaluators and has elected not to do so at this time. This decision will be evaluated each season.
Raters are instructed to evaluate each and every skater, to the best of their ability, without prejudice or favoritism.
Prior to Team Selection, Raters are not allowed to discuss player team placement amongst themselves or with others. Note: during tryouts Raters may converse with each other, for example what players they may need to look for, or look at again, to ensure they are rating each player.
Several FYHP Coaches are on the ice during tryouts to set up the session, demonstrate the drills, and keep players organized. One of these coaches is the designated contact person for the Raters and that Coach is to be the only one communicating with them (this is to avoid confusion and keep things moving as quick as possible).
Assignment of Player’s Pinny Numbers
Players are lined up, and assigned pinny numbers, alphabetically based on birth year. In other words all returning players at an age level are assigned the lowest pinny numbers in alphabetical order based on last name and then the rising players are assigned pinny numbers in alphabetical order based on last name. In some cases if players register late, players may be assigned pinny numbers at the end of the order that do not adhere to this numbering system.
For the first sessions Raters are given forms with the skills for each drill listed, on which they “grade” each player on a 1-10 scale for each item with 10 being the highest. Players are rated relative to the other players trying out. Raters are instructed to have an equal number of each score. Example: if there are 80 players, each Rater should have 8-10's, 8-9's, 8-8's etc. These forms are collected by a member of the Executive Board after each session and redistributed at the next session. Raters are not allowed to take any official forms or notes they may have taken outside of the arena.
Between each session player scores from all raters are totaled. Players are then placed in groups based on these scores. The groups vary in size based upon the drills for the subsequent sessions (3v3, 4v4, etc). Within these groups lines are made randomly and these lines play each of the other lines as play continues throughout the session. Players will retain their pinny number but may be given a pinny of a different color each night.
For subsequent sessions players may do some additional skill based drills but will predominantly play in various game type scenarios (3v3, 4v4, 5v5). Scores from the skills sessions are totaled and used to place skaters in groups based on those scores. Players have an opportunity to play with players of similar skill levels and also with players assessed with higher and lower skills to be sure that all skaters have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a game setting.
Team Selection Process
Team Selections are typically done immediately following the last tryout for an age group.
Team Selections take place at a neutral, undisclosed location that has a meeting room suitable for 10-12 people.
Specifics about discussions in the room are kept strictly confidential. This is so the Raters will feel free to voice honest opinions without fear of potential backlash from dissatisfied parents. Raters are advised to report to the Executive Board any parent or coach who pressures them for information regarding team selections and any incidents may be investigated by the Disciplinary Committee.
In the room for selection discussions are: all raters, President or President’s designee (directing the process), Registrar or Registrar’s designee (to record selections) and 1-3 other Board members (to witness the process and/or aid the President). Goalie Evaluators are generally present at the beginning of the selection process to report on goalie evaluations.
The President or Registrar will advise the Raters as to the anticipated number of Goalies and Players to be placed on each team (this has been predetermined by the Program Study committee, based on the total number trying out). Typically, there are fewer players on higher level teams. This is not done to give those players more ice time, it is because if a team is short players for a game, they can always call-up players from a lower-level team, but teams cannot call players down from a higher-level team.
All placement is done on a large dry-erase board, or in a spreadsheet format projected for everyone in the room to see, having multiple columns on the left (one for each Rater, typically 6) and 3-5 columns on the right (one for each team).
Goalies are selected first. The Director asks the Goalie Evaluator for their goalie rankings. Raters then compare their rankings to the Goalie Evaluators. Goalies are placed on teams in the agreed upon rank order.
Once goalies are placed, the Director will ask each Rater for their top 4 picks and place them in the respective Raters columns.
Once all Raters have their top 4 on the board, the board is checked for matching #'s. When a player’s # shows up on the board 4 times, that # is moved to the highest-level team. Note: this means a player needs 4, of the 6 possible “votes” to make a team.
This process continues, with the Director alternating which Rater is asked first to fill in the missing slots in their column on the board with their highest remaining picks, and the process continues until all players are placed.
Throughout the process the Registrar or designee will review with Raters the current season Coach’s end of season player evaluation and rankings. The Registrar or designee will also keep track of players current team and alert the Raters and Director if a player is being “left behind” when their current season peers are advancing.
Raters Children: Raters with children in the selection will evaluate and rate their own child. When their child’s number comes up, a rater must announce to the selection room when placing their own child onto the selection board. A Raters child requires a 5th vote to be placed on a team.
Throughout the selection process, the Registrar or designee will advise the Raters if there are players who missed tryouts and what the reason for that absence was. In the case of excused absences, Coaches’ player evaluations are consulted. Excused players are placed in between the players that their current season coach just above and just below them. If that placement would split the players across two teams, the Raters and board members in the room review coaches evaluations in depth to ensure proper placement for the excused player.
When making the cut off between teams, and evaluating players that fall in “the bubble”, second year players at that level will be given priority for the higher team over a first year player.
Once teams are selected, final rosters are reviewed by the executive board alongside coaching evaluations and rankings for indications of egregious misplacements. This review may not happen during the Selection Meeting but more likely within a couple of days. If the Executive Board notices any potential issues during this review, the raters will be contacted and placements further discussed.
The order in which players were chosen is confidential, however it is kept on file by the Registrar, only for the purpose of player movement in the case of “drop-outs” before the beginning of the season. No person in the room is allowed to make notes as to that order, and all persons are advised that that order is confidential – this is done specifically to prevent anyone from “categorizing” any individual as “the top player” or “the bottom player”. Once chosen for a team, all players on that team are considered equal and once the season begins, player ranking is determined by the coach of that team (for purposes of any roster changes and/or player call ups).
If there are any Player “drop-outs” after tryouts, the Executive Board, at its discretion, may move the players as needed to fill in rosters.
Guidelines for Team Creation and Coach Selection
The goal is to limit roster size to a maximum of 15 skaters and 1 goaltender. Overall numbers may impact the program’s ability to achieve this goal. Team size is determined by the Program Study Committee prior to tryouts each season.
Every player trying out will be evaluated and considered for placement on the highest team, regardless of prior season team placement or age.
We are hopeful that every player in FYHP will continue to skate and develop long-lasting friendships with their teammates. Furthermore, we recognize that every player is unique and his or her development curve may jump ahead or lag behind his or her peers. With this in mind, the Tryout Committee will try to acknowledge the forward progress of each skater for the next season, but in some instances, that will not be possible and a player may remain stationary or in some instances drop back. Player placement is not lockstep from year-to-year. For example, Returning B team players are not guaranteed A team placements. This philosophy holds true for the goalie player position as well. No goalie is presumed to have this “spot” for any team next season regardless of whether they are returning to the same level or moving up.
FYHP recognizes and believes that high quality coaching is the most important ingredient for a successful hockey experience. Every effort will be made to have the best possible Head Coach available to coach each team.
The selection of a Head Coach will occur only AFTER teams have been finalized.
Posting of Team Selection Results
The Registrar will post teams as soon as possible after all FYHP teams have completed play for the season. This is generally on or about April 1st but may be delayed if FYHP teams are still competing in end of season playoffs. Teams are posted on the FYHP website in the “Documents” section. An email will go out to all registered players when team selections are posted.
After teams have been announced there is a 48-hour cooling off period during which neither the parents or the players may initiate contact with coaches, Raters or FYHP Board members. Concerns regarding tryouts and team placement must be submitted in writing to the FYHP Executive Board at the following email address:
Help your child deal constructively with the evaluation and placement process. Your encouragement to play hard and have fun will do more to promote a long-lived “hockey career” than anything else.
Understand that the Tryout Process is inherently imperfect and that there is a subjective element to the process. Raters must make difficult decisions. The FYHP Board has created what it believes to be a fair process that relies on good, thoughtful and fair people doing the best they can.
Please do not attempt to contact evaluators or coaches during the tryout process, as that type of communication undermines the integrity of the process.
As is the case in most youth sports, what particular team level a player plays at as a 7 to 13 year old rarely affects their later years. In fact, in most cases the relative ability ranking of players in a sport changes greatly over these years, so no single placement for a given season should be, nor is, creating a “destiny” for a kid. The high school and college rosters of all sports are filled with players who ranged from A to C players in their early “careers.” The most critical factor for later years is to still be playing! Kids will keep playing as long as the adults don’t mess it up and make it no longer fun.
Drills for 2022-23 Tryouts
See below for the drills that will be run for tryouts at each level.