Our travel team program is our largest, with close to 200 players, 13 teams (U8 – U19), and typically multiple competitive levels of play at each age bracket. Our scale, development focus, and multi-league participation (WESTCON, CHC, and CGHL) allows our players to develop and achieve their playing potential.
Coaches are highly committed to developing our players, at the same time, ensuring our players enjoy the game of hockey.
What aged players are appropriate for this program?
5 - 19
What time of the year does this program run?
Tryout are in March and April depending on the age bracket. The season runs approximately from Labor Day to the end of February or early March.
Where are practices and games typically held?
Practices are held at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford - the best ice around.
A good portion of the travel games are in CT, but we also play games in the Northeast, along with Tournaments that take place Nationally.
When are practices and how often are they?
Teams average two to three practices per week, depending on players' involvement with clinics.
How many games will they play? What days of the week?
Teams will generally play 40+ games depending on the age group. Almost all games are held on weekends and average 2 games per week.
Are jerseys provided or are they purchased separately?
Tryout jerseys are used for practices throughout the season. Game jerseys cost between $75 and $125 and can be reused while it fits your child or child's sibling.
Tuition for the 2023-2024 Season
|Lady Sharks U14||$2,700||$2,850|
|Lady Sharks U19||$1,900||$2,000|
Registration: Non-refundable $1,000 deposit due when accepting offer.
Balance can be paid in full at any time or you can follow the payment schedule which is: 8 equal payments of post-registration balance starting in May, concluding in December, except for Midgets.**
Example: Squirt Stamford resident pays $1,000 at registration and then pays $400 per month from May - December.
Players who are not 50% paid by Labor Day do not take the ice to start the season.*
Players who are not fully paid by Christmas do not take the ice in the new year.*
*These rules apply to all, including scholarship players on a pro-rata basis unless specifically discussed with the Treasurer.
**Midget payment schedule: $1,000 registration deposit and remainder of balance paid with 3 installments July - September.
What costs beyond registration fees should be expected?
Jerseys: If you are new to the program, or your player has grown, you will purchase game jerseys which cost a few hundred dollars.
Tournament: The second tournament of the year is partially paid by the families and is a few hundred dollars plus travel and hotel expenses.
Team fund: Most teams establish a team fund for a few hundred dollars which provides fun team events and holiday gifts for players and coaches.
How many tournaments will we play in and when?
Most teams play in two tournaments a year. The first is usually held in October or November and the second is usually held after the New Year.
The Sharks organize and pay for one league-wide tournament where as many of our teams as possible compete at the same tournament to allow families with multiple players to have a weekend where everyone is together.
The second tournament is organized by each team and is partially funded by the parents/players.
Where are the tournaments?
Historically, our teams have played in tournaments across the US and Canada. Hershey, Marlborough, Springfield, Montreal, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Lake Placid, to name a few.
FAQ - Moving into Travel
I don’t understand these classifications – what level is my player?
For the 2023-2024 season, these are the age classifications:
- Mite / U8: 2015 & younger birth years
- Squirt / U10: 2013 & 2014 birth years
- PeeWee / U12: 2011 & 2012 birth years
So what is my family looking at in overall commitment?
Travel hockey is a true family commitment. Expect very few 'free weekends' between September and the end of February. SYHA does however black out scheduling December 23 through New Years.
Families with one player can expect 4-5 days at the rink a week, usually with at least one weekend day encompassing an away game. There is relative consistency with practice times during the week, but the days can change. Younger players will generally have the early practices during the week, and the older players will have the later practices. Game times on the weekend can occur any time throughout day and are mostly based on when your team scheduler schedules games.
Please note: We schedule around Stamford Public Schools schedules. For those players in other school districts, there can be conflicts with Winter break and the end-of-year tournament. Unfortunately, the CHC does not release the State Tournament schedule until January (usually), which has created some vacation conflicts for some families in the past. We have no control over this. The State Tournament is important to our teams, and missing players hurts our chances and your fellow teammates.
Review the language in our player commitment policy on the website for additional information. SYHA has plenty of avenues to play hockey, like House or House Select, if your family would like a smaller time commitment.
My player likes goalie – should he/she/them try out as a goalie?
If your player is a mite, there is no need to worry about this now, Mites don’t do goalie-specific tryouts, but let the coach know your player is interested! We love goalies and always need more! If your player is a squirt and wants to be a goalie, you can register them as such or reach out to Hockey Director Mark Elliott (email@example.com) with questions.
Did you know our Hockey Director played goalie in college, and multiple head and assistant Sharks coaches played goalie? Rest assured, we have the internal coaches your player needs to play goalie.
What is the process? When do I know his/her/their team? Why is this all happening in MARCH?
We don’t really know why either 😊 Travel tryouts occur in March / April for the teams that will take the ice in the fall. Kids will be offered spots on a team (A/A1/B) based on their skill set and performance during the tryouts. You can expect to sign up for a team in early April and hear from your coach and manager around the beginning of the summer, with practices starting around Labor Day.
What if we just aren’t sure about the jump to travel?
Does your player love playing hockey? Do they want to play more than just 1-2 days a week? Then travel may be for you – with the increased ice time kids’ skills really improve when they move into travel.
But the cost!
Hockey IS an expensive sport… SYHA is a not-for-profit organization and we do our best to keep the costs down for our families. We are a league that is built around families from Stamford & it is important to the league that Stamford hockey players have a place to call home! Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about scholarship opportunities.
What about our [soccer/football/fall baseball] season?
Many kids play hockey and a fall sport – and conflicts can be tough just like anything. There is a spot on the tryout registration to note that your player plays fall sports, but know that many SYHA players of all levels play multiple sports and make it work!
Why do we want to do this?
It’s a ton of fun! You’ll be busy and sometimes tired and you will make friends that are like family and have experience for your player (and your family!) that you would not otherwise have. There is a reason kids stay in travel hockey for years… they LOVE it – they hockey, the teammates and the experience!