My my My my

Frequently Asked Questions about BYH Travel Teams / Tryouts for Travel Teams

When are tryouts held?
Tryouts are held in early March of the season prior; the registration is typically open for about 2 weeks at the end of February.

How exactly does the travel team program work, and is my child eligible to play?
Brookline Youth Hockey is a member of the Valley Hockey League and registers one to three teams at each level of play each season, depending on the number of players in the program at each of those levels. BYH holds tryouts, run by an outside evaluation team, for all levels of play in the spring of each year looking ahead to the following season beginning in September.  Any child trying out for a BYH travel team MUST either reside in Brookline or attend a public or private school in Brookline.  Residency waivers are available for very limited numbers of players on each team if there are extenuating circumstances.

Can my child try out for Mites, even though he / she is a little older than the upper age limit?
No. A player can never register for a given age level if the child is older than the upper age limit for that level. There are no exceptions.

How much of a difference is there between instructional and travel hockey?
There are some differences when a player transitions from instructional to travel hockey.  The fees are greater even though Brookline strives to, and does, keep its seasonal fees lower than surrounding towns.  While the focus is always on development, games are played, scores are kept, standings are maintained, and teams compete in playoffs at the end of the season. Travel teams have practices up to twice a week, one skills session a week, and one or two games played every weekend through the season. Travel hockey requires a stronger commitment from players and their families than does instructional hockey.

How much does it cost to play on a travel team?
Please refer to the Fees, Due Dates, and Refunds page.

How far do you travel when you play on a travel team?
Visit the Valley Hockey League for information about game venues. Practices for Brookline teams are often held at Cleveland Circle, Dexter School, Larz Anderson and Boston University's Walter Brown Arena. See the http://www.masshockey.com/Rinks/ rink directory for directions. All families are responsible for their own transportation.

Do teams ever travel out of state?
Some, but not all, BYH travel teams compete in nonleague tournaments out of state. Those tournaments are chosen by the teams' coaches and agreed upon by families of players on those teams. Some teams in recent years have traveled to weekend tournaments in Montreal, Canada; Lake Placid, NY; Waterville Valley, NH; and Cape Cod, MA, to name a few. There also are some local tournaments that don't require overnight accommodations in Quincy, Arlington, Canton, and Newton. Typically coaches will poll the interest of families for a particular event so that costs may be considered by the team as a whole before a decision is made for tournament play. BYH does not subsidize these nonleague tournaments.

Who coaches the travel teams?
BYH and the Valley Hockey League require that all coaches complete a USA Hockey coaching program. Coaches must attend classes and pass tests before being certified to coach. Once certified, coaches are required to attend additional levels of classes and then must be recertified every three years. Most head coaches in the BYH system are parent volunteers.

How do I know if my child is prepared or skilled enough to play on a travel team?
Brookline Youth Hockey hires an outside hockey skills development group to organize and run our tryouts at all levels and evaluate the talent. All players trying out are rated in order of their skill level. The rankings are then broken down into team rosters by a committee, made up of BYH board members.

I've noticed that my child appears to be a less talented skater / player than other children his / her age.  Should I encourage my child to skip the tryouts?
No. There will be teams at different skill levels in each age group. Brookline Youth Hockey tries to register at least teams for each age group. Each team plays in the league division that is best suited for the team's level of play. If your child is interested in playing on a travel team, he or she should attend tryouts.

I noticed that at some levels there are two tryout times scheduled.  Is it ok if my child attends only one of the two sessions?
It is in your child's best interest to attend both tryout sessions if possible. The more our evaluation team sees your child, the better they will be able to make a fair assessment of his or her abilities.

What happens if my child is NOT placed on a travel team?
If our evaluation team does not think a player is ready for travel team hockey, the player will simply be reassigned to our instructional program for further development.

Do I just show up at tryouts with my child ready to skate?
No.  Prior to tryouts you MUST register you child online and pay the $100 non-refundable tryout fee by credit card.  The only exceptions are family discounts (the first two children in the same family pay the normal fee, any additional children in the family are not charged).  No walk in registrations for tryouts or checks will be accepted!

If my child doesn't make the team, is my tryout fee refunded?
No. It is a nonrefundable tryout fee. However, the $100 will be credited toward your payment for the following season, whether the child is playing travel hockey or reassigned to the instructional program.

When do we arrive for tryouts and how long do they last?
Tryouts will begin promptly when scheduled. Your child should be dressed in full equipment and ready to get on the ice as soon as the session begins. As such, please get your child to the rink at least a half an hour early.  Anticipate that check-in will take a few moments.  The tryout sessions last for one hour.

How will evaluators know who my child is during tryouts?
When you check-in, your child will be handed a numbered vest to wear over his or her hockey jersey. These numbers will be used to identify your child.

Do I keep the numbered vest for the second tryout session?
No. The vest will be collected as your child is leaving the ice. He or she will receive the same vest at the second tryout session, and it will be collected again after that session.

Can coaches and parents from the instructional program go on the ice at the tryouts to help?
No. The tryouts are conducted solely by the independent development company with their own staff.

Can we cheer for our children and shout instructions during the tryouts?
Please be respectful of the process and refrain from yelling out across the ice.  

What if my child gets nervous about the tryouts and doesn't want to go?
We know that children (and even parents) tend to get nervous about tryout sessions. You shouldn't! The tryouts involve participating in many of the same drills we run in the instructional program. While there might be some variations, your child should have the basic abilities to successfully participate in the drills that our tryout evaluation staff use. So please, tell your child to treat these tryouts simply as an advanced instructional session.

I have additional questions.  Who should I contact?
If your child is in the instructional program, speak to the coordinator, listed on the contacts page, or to an instructional coach.