Important 2020-2021 RAHA Tryout and Program Information
Hello RAHA Players and Families,
As you know, tryouts for the 2020-2021 Ridgefield Amateur Hockey Association travel season begins Monday, March 9th when we kick off with Mite, Squirt and Peewee Goalies. This correspondence will hopefully clarify the process, answer some of your questions and emphasize some great new additions to the coming season’s Lions’ program.
Updated Tryouts Information
Mites, Squirts and Peewees- Monday 3/9, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Bantams and Midgets- Saturday 4/11, 2:30-3:20 AND Monday 4/13 4:00-5:00
Important Reminder: Goaltenders MUST also attend age-level tryouts!
Day 1 Saturday 3/14, 12:45 – 1:45 PM
Day 2 Sunday 3/15, 9:00 – 10:00 AM
Day 1 Tuesday 3/10, 5:10 - 7:00 PM (***all Squirts attend one session Day 1)
Day 2 Wednesday 3/11, 5:10 - 6:10 PM (Group 2) OR 6:20 – 7:20 PM (Group 1)
Day 3 Saturday 3/14, 2:00 – 3:00 PM (Group 2) OR 3:10 - 4:10 PM (Group 1)
Day 1 Thursday 3/12, 6:40 - 7:40 PM (last names A-M) OR 7:50 – 8:50 PM (last names N-Z)
Day 2 Friday 3/13, 6:40 – 7:40 PM (Group 2) OR 7:50 – 8:50 PM (Group 1)
Day 3 Saturday 3/14, 5:00 – 6:00 PM (Group 2) OR 6:10 – 7:10 PM (Group 1)
We will be adding a fourth session – date and times to be announced
Day 1 Thursday 4/9, 5:00 – 6:00 PM (last names A-M) OR 6:10 – 7:10 PM (last names N-Z)
Day 2 Saturday 4/11, 9:00 – 10:00 AM (Group 2) OR 10:10 – 11:10 AM (Group 1)
Day 3 Monday 4/13, 5:00 – 6:00 PM (Group 2) OR 6:10 – 7:10 PM (Group 1)
Day 4 Tuesday 4/14, 5:00 – 6:00 PM (Group 2) OR 6:10 – 7:10 PM (Group 1)
Day 1 Thursday, April 9: 8:00-9:00 PM (last names A-M) OR 9:10-10:10 PM (last names N-Z)
Day 2 Saturday, April 11: 12:00-1:00 PM (Group 2) OR 1:10-2:10 PM (Group 1)
Day 3 Monday, April 13: 8:00-9:00 PM (Group 2) OR 9:10-10:10 PM (Group 1)
Day 4 Tuesday, April 14: 8:00-9:00 PM (Group 2) OR 9:10-10:10 PM (Group 1)
All players will be assigned pinnie numbers the first day of tryouts and will have the same numbers throughout the tryout sessions. By the morning of the second day of tryouts, the players will be reassigned to earlier or later sessions according to pinnie number and color, and those reassignments will be posted on RAHA’s home page, prior to the next day’s tryout time.
Requirements for Tryouts
Preregister online at the RAHA website www.ridgefieldhockey.org
Prepayment of the tryout fee
$115 for Mites
$125 for goalies
$225 for all other age levels
A deposit check for the 2020-2021 season tuition
Mites - $1,500 (Tuition is waived for 2014 and 2015 Mites)
Squirts, PW and Bantams - $2,500
Split Season Midgets – Full tuition
Additional Programs for the 2020 – 2021 Season
RAHA is pleased to announce several key features to next season’s program:
We will be formalizing three phases to the season -
Phase I – Skills – During this phase we will focus on early season skills beginning with the RAHA Camp starting on August 17th. This was a great success last year and aside from a couple minor tweaks to improve the format, we plan to continue the RAHA camp. Additionally, we will use the first 6 weeks of the season to focus on additional skills sessions each week run by the program coaches and Sully’s team. Lastly, the practices and drill curriculum will focus on skills based work in the context of team based practice drills. This phase will run until Oct 2nd.
Phase II – Systems – The Systems section of the season will build on the Skills phase. We will begin to incorporate more systems work done specific to age levels to help build game concepts, positioning and hockey sense. Practice drills and curriculum will be designed to leverage skills built into system drills. Additionally, we plan to provide each team with a full sheet for team practices each month from Phase II through the end of the season. The systems phase will begin on Oct 5th and run through the end of the season.
Phase III – Compete – The Compete section of the season will include a third session a week designed to have players compete in 3v3, 4v4 and 5v5 scrimmage settings. The purpose of this phase is to leverage skills and systems training in live scenarios with coaches instructing on better hockey awareness, creativity as well as player and puck movement. Phase III will begin on Nov 30th and run through the end of the season.
We will be dropping the off-ice program in 2020-2021 as a result of member feedback and low participation.
We will continue to offer the goalie exclusive training each week for our goalies. Mites – Midgets are welcome to attend these sessions.
As has always been the case, we will maximize the ice available to us at Winter Garden. When and where we have exceeded the available ice we will need to explore ice options at Danbury and Brewster as needed.
Additionally, we understand RAHA schedules and family conflicts can be a challenge. We are very conscious of this and are looking to formalize the upcoming season schedule in advance and keep it consistent throughout the entire season. From time to time, issues will come up and in the event we need to adjust schedule, be assured that we have explored every conceivable option before making a schedule change.
Assistant Coach Board Review and Approval - RAHA greatly values our volunteer assistant coaches who devote their time assisting our coaches and developing our hockey players. To ensure RAHA continues to provide the best coaches for our players, the Board will be evaluating and approving all volunteer assistant coaches.
Continuing with last season, the Peewee and Bantam AA teams will compete in the Eastern Junior Elite Prospect League (EJEPL), exposing players to elite competition. We are also exploring adding the Squirt AA team to the EJEPL. This will be an additional cost to those who accept positions on these two AA RAHA teams.
Tuition for the 2020-2021 Season*
Mites - $3,000 ($50 discount if paid by check)
Squirts, Peewees, Bantams - $4,750 ($50 discount if paid by check)
Squirt, Peewee and Bantam AA Teams - $5,070 ($70 discount if paid by check)
Midgets - $1,950 ($50 discount if paid by check)
An additional pre-season Midget program may be added
*Increased tuition fees are due to increased coaching and ice costs for the 2020-2021 season.
Coaching for 2020-2021
We are pleased to announce the following confirmed coaches for the 2020-2021 season. We believe RAHA is able to offer the finest coaching in the area, continuing a long tradition of building skills through the age levels and producing game-winning talent at the highest levels.
(Please note, the final number of teams and assignments cannot be finalized until the process is complete. We will do our best to carry as many teams as possible based on numbers, acceptances and travel skill level.)
U18 - Sean Sullivan and Easton Oliver
U16 – Anthony Lobianco and Nick Dinicola
U18 Open – Nate Allen and Alex Rowella
AA – Anthony Lobianco and Nick Dinicola
A - Peter Bafundo
A1 – Mark Elliott
AA - Andy Marchison and Sean Sullivan
A – Gil Alicea
A1 – Matt Savona
B – Mike Bruno
AA - Hunter Alicea and Alex Rowella
A – Mike Zarro
A1 - Michele Gintoli
A - Billy Cosolo
B - Ryan Avery
C - Greg Fischer
Skating Coach – Cathie Bonner
Skills Coach – Anthony Lobianco
Hockey Director – Sean Sullivan
Prior to EVERY session of tryouts, the head coaches will talk to the players and lay out how the session process will go, the skills they are looking for, and how each session will proceed. We ask that all players be dressed and ready to listen 20 minutes prior to scheduled ice times.
The coaches of each age group will determine what each session of tryouts entails. Age level coaches are not on the ice during tryouts, but observing and making assessments from behind the glass and in the stands. There will be on-ice coaches to direct the players through drills, small games, and scrimmages.
For the Midget, Bantam and Peewee level players, there will be some portion of tryouts during which players will be divided to assess offense/defense-specific skill-sets.
Lastly, there will be an independent evaluator at every session, who will evaluate all players and provide unbiased feedback regarding player performance and score for each session. Please do not approach the independent evaluator to discuss any aspect of the process while we are in tryouts.
Following each tryout session, coaches and the independent evaluator will review every player’s performance score and reassign players by pinnie number for the following day’s tryouts.
Goalies will be independently assessed by Mark Elliott and Matt Grogan during the goalie-specific tryouts and additionally reviewed by team coaches during their age level tryouts. Goalies MUST attend both tryout formats.
All players will be assessed based on standard hockey skills—skating, stick-handling, passing, shooting, competitiveness, etc. and by the less tangible standards of hockey sense, coachability and character.
This past season’s coaches may potentially be asked for feedback and rankings on players from the 2019-2020 season where additional evaluation and team selection criteria is needed.
Every year members of the board are assigned as Age Level Directors (ALDs) and to ensure fairness they are assigned to an age level that the ALD DOES NOT have a child/player trying out at that age level. This year’s ALD assignments are:
Midgets —Eric Presbrey, Patrick Walsh and Elizabeth Zimels
Bantams — Kim Hulber and Vera Hertwig
Peewees — Patrick Walsh and Jared Kurtz
Squirts —Danielle Scesa and Hillary Kao
Mites —Eric Presbrey and Dave Turberfield
Age Level Directors check –in players, collect deposit checks, facilitate evaluations, gather and process data specific to player placement, and present the teams once chosen by the Coaches based on their tryout observations and the independent evaluator input. The ALDs do not choose players for team placement; however, they do ensure a fair process for EVERY player, confirm, approve and communicate the final rosters out to RAHA families and players.
RAHA will make best efforts to stay within the USA Hockey recommendations for bench depth,
Mites (U8) - 8-10 skaters
Squirts (U10) - 11-12 skaters, 1-2 goalies
Peewees (U12) - 11-14 skaters, 1-2 goalies
Bantam (U14) - 12-15 skaters, 1-2 goalies
Midgets (U16, U18) - 14-18 skaters, 1-2 goalies
Please note, final numbers or teams and team sizes are ultimately left to the ALD’s and head coach’s discretion.
Notification and Acceptance
For the Squirt, Peewee and Bantam levels, the AA teams will be chosen and notified by phone, within several hours after the end of the last tryout session. Players will have 24 hours in which to accept or decline their positions.
The A, A1 and B team assignments will be assigned and posted within 48 hours of the end of tryouts. Team assignments, by pinnie number, will be posted on the RAHA home page. These players and will also have 24 hours in which to decline their team placement. Players wishing to decline will need to notify their specific ALD in writing by email, and their deposit checks will be destroyed or returned. For those accepting a team position, there is no need to contact RAHA, and their deposit checks will be deposited after the 24hour period has expired.
Important dates for the 2020-2021 season
The season kicks off AUGUST 17, 2020 with a week of "skills boot camp" led by Sully’s Hockey Academy. The kids will be participating in on-ice, off-ice and video “chalk-talk” sessions.
On-ice team practices commence the week of August 24th.
For the first six weeks of the season, there will be one night dedicated to Sully’s skills sessions in addition to regularly scheduled practices.
The regular season practices will conclude the week of March 5th.
We will again be taking off the period between Dec 23rd and Jan 4th.
Stay tuned for Gear Day dates that will be scheduled close to the completion of tryouts.
We hope that this information has been helpful, and please reach out with any questions or comments.