Saratoga Youth Hockey offers programs for players of all levels for players ages 4 to 18. USA Hockey, Saratoga Youth Hockey's governing body, classifies player ages by birth year (Jan 1 to Dec 31). Below are the USA Hockey divisions:
- Learn To Skate-Ages 4 to 10 years old
- Mite - 8 & Under
- Squirt - 9 & 10 year olds
- Pee Wee - 11 & 12 year olds
- Bantam - 13 & 14 year olds
- Midget - 15 to 18 years old
For players in the Squirt division and above teams are selected by a tryout process. The number of teams at each level is determined by the total number of players registered in each division. Teams play a regional schedule and participate in the Tech Valley Hockey League.
New! Mite Age (8 & under) Programs for 2017-2018 Season:
USA Hockey has incorporated the ADM (American Development Model). This program lies at the core of player development. The ADM utilizes a station approach to practice in order to simultaneously maximize ice utilization while presenting players with limited time and space training. This approach serves to increase repetitions, puck touches, and skating in traffic. As a result, particularly at the 8U Mite level, it serves to develop agility, balance, coordination, and speed (The ABCs). Another Fundamental component of the ADM for the Mite level is its emphasis on cross-ice, half-ice and small area games, all designed to help foster a read and react mentality, the essence of decision-making in the sport.
SYHI is committed to following these ADM principles. Saratoga Youth Hockey’s entry level programs will now offer four levels of participation:
- In the fall and again in the winter, SYHI offers a Learn to Skate program that runs for 8 weeks (see Learn To Skate on Team's tab).
- In the winter session, a Learn to Play program modeled after the 6U American Development Model (ADM) developed by USA Hockey runs concurrently with the Learn to Skate program (see Learn to Skate on Team's tab).
- Participants that wish to further their hockey experience can advance out of LTS and/or LTP into the Mite House program, also modeled after the ADM. There will be a station based practice session each week and a cross-ice game night as well as opportunities to participate in local cross-ice jamboree tournaments with other organizations (see Mite House on Team's tab).
- Those 8U participants who have excelled in their skill development will be invited to try out for the Mite Selects Program. The Mite Selects Program will provide more advanced skills training following the ADM, while offering more local cross-ice or half ice competition. The Mite Selects program will meet separately from the Mite House program for practices and half-ice games, but will also incorporate ADM training principles and practices. We are currently working with organizations involved in the Tech Valley League to form a division within the league. Mite Select players will have opportunities to still play in local jamborees, but will also play in the Tech Valley League, with home and away games around the Capital Region. A goal of this program is to adhere to a 2:1 practice to game ratio. As Herb Brooks noted, “Competition without preparation is anti-development, so the primary emphasis of training at this level is skill development coupled with game concepts (see Mite Selects on Team's tab).
Please see the Teams tab on the top Menu Bar for up-to-date information about each program.
NOTE: For Complete details on SYHI Programs, Tier Levels, Tryout Process and Registration Rates, please review the SYHI Age Level Programs & Structure Document and the Age Classifications for the 2017-2018 Season below: