CCYHA historically oversees the largest youth hockey program in Ohio and fields one of the largest programs in the USA Hockey's Mid-Am District. Our outstanding volunteer base, professional coaching and management continues to make CCYHA "The Premier Hockey Association of Central Ohio” for both house and travel Hockey
CCYHA is dedicated to the teaching and advancing youth hockey in the central Ohio area. CCYHA travel hockey program is committed to the long-term development of its players by providing competitive opportunities at the appropriate levels, where hard work and commitment to team goals are rewarded. CCYHA travel hockey strictly adheres to the Zero Tolerance Policy.
CCYHA’s goals are to develop its players’ work ethic and character, teach fundamental hockey skills, and promote good sportsmanship.
CCYHA travel hockey program provides players with an opportunity to develop in a competitive environment by providing a challenging, fun, athletic team atmosphere that provides lasting benefits to each player.
The 10U (Squirt), 12U (PeeWee) and 14U (Bantam) CCYHA travel hockey programs strive to adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of USA Hockey for the younger players. Per USA Hockey, these travel programs are classified in the ‘competitive’ category and exist for the player who has the desire and ability for a competitive experience. The competitive classification per USA Hockey for this program states ‘Balance of winning and sportsmanship is stressed, and travel for competition should be reasonable. Team objectives include local league, state and national championships.’ Sportsmanship is partially explained as ‘…exhibiting self-control and not putting too much emphasis on ‘winning-at-all-costs’.
Winning is an important part of the CCYHA travel hockey program; however, it's not the only important aspect. CCYHA understands that in certain situations coaches can and/or will create specialized lineups; however, CCYHA instructs coaches to attempt to place equal emphasis on developing all players in game and practice scenarios. At CCYHA, the balance of competition, development and winning is the ultimate goal.
The CCYHA travel hockey program focuses on a ‘child first, winning second’ philosophy. By keeping winning in perspective our travel hockey program develop players who enjoy the sport, strive for excellence, are given the opportunity for competitive play and have the chance to risk error to learn and grow. This philosphy requires a deep commitment and self-control by the coaches and parents. Parents, coaches and league officials must be role models for CCYHA players by keeping this philosophy in perspective.
If you or your child seeks a program that focuses on winning at all costs over competitive individual and team development and if you seek an environment where players are hindered from developing in a competitive environment and there is no obligation to try to be fair in the overall ice time or game situations, then CCYHA's travel hockey program is not for you. If the goals and objectives of the our program are not consistent with the program you desire, there are likely other options in the area for you and your child.
Costs and Financial Management
CCYHA provides travel hockey teams with ice scheduling, team apparel ordering, grievance management, referee scheduling, billing and registration services. CCYHA charges each team a administration fee to help cover the costs and time to provide these services to teams under the CCYHA charter.
All CCYHA travel hockey teams are self funded and self managed fiscally. Each team ‘owns’ their assets and should set the financial budget and player payment plans to suit their teams’ needs. Each head coach and team treasurer determine their team's fee structure and sets costs for services such as off-ice activities and skills coaches. The team budget must be submitted to the CCYHA Treasurer for review before the season starting.
For asset protection, tax reporting and Federal Banking Law compliance reasons, the CCYHA Treasurer and appointed team treasurer must be co-signers on team checking accounts. These checking accounts use the CCYHA EIN and are held at Huntington Bank. This also enables division specific team accounts (e.g. 10U/Squirt Major AA) to roll-over each year and not be closed and re-opened each year. Each team treasurer must pay all fees in a timely manner and manage the account to a zero balance by the end of the hockey season (this may result in money back to the players). The CCYHA Treasurer will contact the appointed team treasurer to open the checking account once all travel teams are announced.
A typical team budget is in the $20,000 - $30,000 range and individual costs may be around $1,500 - $2,600 (fees have been as low as $1200 and as high as $2,900 per player). These costs do NOT include jerseys, equipment or travel-related expenses such as gas, food, lodging, etc. Teams may participate in fundraising activities. These must be submitted to the CCYHA Treasurer for Board approval before beginning fundraising activities. It is important to note that CCYHA does not take a ‘cut’ from fundraising money collected on behalf of the team. The proceeds from all team fundraising activities are to be used by the team for operating expenses.
It is important to CCYHA’s relationship with The Chiller LLC and the Columbus Ohio Youth Ice Hockey Officials Association that team bills are paid promptly. CCYHA will provide the ice and referee bills to each team’s treasurer with the expectation of prompt payment. Teams with overdue bills may be denied participation in CCYHA travel hockey with the expectation that ice time and/or referee availability will be taken from the team.
Equipment and Apparel
Each player is required to have a ‘home’ (white) and ‘away’ (dark) sweater with matching socks, helmets and pants. CCYHA values the relationship with Columbus Blue Jackets and our travel teams are branded as the CCYHA Blue Jackets. As such, certain items must match the designs of the Columbus Blue Jackets and include CCYHA designation.
The purchase of CCYHA team jerseys and socks must be coordinated through the CCYHA and our partners. As with our house apparel, CCYHA strives to negotiate a favorable fee for these items and ordering in larger quantities should help the team to receive a lower cost. This approach will also help to ensure consistency throughout CCYHA and is another service that CCYHA offers to CCYHA Travel Hockey Teams to help alleviate administrative burden. Failure to coordinate the purchase of these items through CCYHA will result in disciplinary action by the organization. Once teams are established there will be an Equipment Day for jerseys and socks.
In addition to these minimal requirements, there is the option for teams/players to purchase other apparel with the condition that they are in compliance with the Travel Hockey Team Branding Standards detailed below. These include such items as: practice jerseys, team warm-ups, hats, jackets, equipment bags, garment bags, etc. Questions regarding these items should be brought to CCYHA Treasurer.
There are several other items that travel hockey teams often purchase throughout the season. CCYHA highly encourages its teams patronize local shops that provide assistance to CCYHA, including; Team Xpress, Embroidery Design Group, Midwest Photography and Trophies Plus.
CCYHA Travel Hockey Team Branding Standards
CCYHA continues to experience increased growth in its travel program. To provide an environment of pride, respect and uniformity within CCYHA, the following equipment standards apply:
Sweaters and Socks
Both home (‘White’) and away (‘Dark’) must be Columbus Blue Jackets NHL replica sweaters and match the design/logo and color scheme adopted by the Columbus Blue Jackets team either of the current or prior NHL hockey season. The approved CCYHA logo must be affixed to each sweater.
Helmets must blue. If used, helmet stickers should be consistent for the entire team and match the scheme of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Hockey pants must be Red (can be black pants with a red ‘shell’).
Gloves can be any combination of red, white, blue and/or black.
Off-ice apparel must be purchased through CCYHA-approved vendors to utilize the CCYHA registered name and trademark. This information will be given to teams once the teams are finalized at the Manager/Treasurer Meeting.
Ice and Practices
CCYHA, like all other youth hockey organizations in central Ohio, does not own the ice facilities where their teams play and practice. The greater Columbus area has yet to experience the luxury of community ice arenas that are commonplace in many established hockey areas throughout the US and Canada.
There are many programs that compete for ice slots during a specific period of time, including high School JV and varsity hockey, figure skating, speed skating, sled hockey, learn-to-skate, clinics and camps, adult hockey, broomball, etc. For these reasons, CCYHA is not always able to select ice time at rinks on the desired days and hours of operation. However, CCYHA enjoys a very good and long standing relationship with The Chiller LLC and is very fortunate to receive a large allotment of ice at opportune times of day and night.
CCYHA travel hockey teams generally practice two times a week during the season. CCYHA intends that AA and A teams will have 2 ice practices a week. Based on availability, there may be times where teams have two full-ice practices a week and times where teams have a full-ice and a half-ice practice a week.
Coaches may choose to start optional practices a month or two before the season starts. Coaches may also express a desire to play in spring/summer Hockey leagues, purchase additional ice if available and/or conduct off-ice conditioning programs in the spring and summer. The CCYHA ice scheduler and CCYHA Treasurer must be notified in advance in order to insure proper billing and payment of ice.
CCYHA travel hockey teams normally play in the Buckeye Travel Hockey League (BTHL), independent schedule, or Midwest Girl’s Hockey League at the appropriate level of competition. However, new and different travel league options are evaluated prior to the start of every hockey season.
The exact number of league games will directly correspond to the number of teams registered in each division, ranging from 14 to 30.
Non-league Play and Competition
CCYHA travel hockey teams have the option to schedule as many non-league games and tournaments as desired. The number of games and amount of travel is up to the coach and the parents. As a general rule, a parent can expect 40 to 65 games of league play, tournaments and non-league games over a six-month season. Teams typically schedule three to seven tournaments a season.
In the past, the Travel Blue Jackets have hosted an annual tournament (Clash in Columbus in October - Columbus Day weekend) with teams from Illinois, New York, Indiana, Canada and other surrounding areas. Typically, the AA team of each division is expected to participate in this tournament.
CCYHA coaching applications are submitted online and reviewed by the Coaching Placement Committee, led by the CCYHA Director of Operations. CCYHA abides by USA Hockey’s policy concerning coaches. Per this policy, all coaches are screened via a background check conducted by USA Hockey. CCYHA also takes into consideration moral character, ethics, hockey skills and knowledge level of all candidates before making coaching selections.
CCYHA established three tiers of professional coaching if a parent head coach is not an option. Our goal is for the players to obtain the maximum coaching benefit, while making it logistically feasible and economically reasonable.
Professional Head Coaches
Teams may follow this path if necessary, but it's more often seen in the higher-level teams.
This person is in charge of preparing and running team practices and is responsible for all aspects of preparing and coaching team games. This includes setting and enforcing team rules (out of town curfews, game attire, etc.), pre- and post-game routines (warm ups, chalk talks, etc.) and setting the lines before a game, running lines during a game, etc.
The team is responsible for compensating coach fees for practices and games and for compensating the coach's food, lodging and transportation fees for away games.
The Professional Head Coach is in charge of the team and accountable to the Director of Operations, the Board and its select designees.
A skills/bench coach is responsible for preparing and running team practices and to coaching as many game as possible. This person is responsible for all aspects of preparing and coaching team games. This includes setting and enforcing team rules (out of town curfews, game attire, etc.), pre- and post-game routines (warm ups, chalk talks, etc.) and setting the lines before a game. During a game, this person is responsible for line changes and any changes to line composition.
In essence, this person is responsible for the practice and game coach responsibilities, but not accountable to be at all team games/practices (unlike a Head Coach). It is the responsibility of the skills/bench coach to work with the head coach in this capacity and to ensure that proper bench staff is in place for the games when he/she is not available and ensure that the head coach is properly prepared to run the bench.
When a skills/bench coach runs the bench for a game, the team is responsible for compensating the coach for his/her services.
When a skills/bench coach runs the bench for away games, the team is responsible for compensating the skills coach for any food, lodging, and transportation fees incurred by the skills coach.
Exception: In the event a family or a parental relationship exists within the team, the coach’s food, lodging, and transportation fees shall not be the obligation of the team unless decided otherwise by all parents of the team.
The skills/bench Coach is accountable to the Director of Operations, the Board and its select designees.
Skills Coaches - Travel
Head Coaches (typically parent coaches) have the option of obtaining skill coaches. This person is in charge of preparing and running team practices in conjunction with the head Coach. This person is also responsible for working with the head and assistant coaches to properly prepare for games. While it is encouraged that a skills coach runs the bench for team games or attend games, it is not a requirement. Whenever a skills coach runs the bench for a game, the team is responsible for compensating the coach for his/her services.
Exception: In the event a family or a parental relationship exists within the team, the coach’s food, lodging, and transportation fees shall not be the obligation of the team unless decided otherwise by all parents of the team.
The skills coach is accountable to the Director of Operations, the Board and its select designees.
CCYHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and all travel teams are chartered under CCYHA. As such, all coaches and players must follow the policies and procedures of CCYHA.
CCYHA travel hockey teams, as licensed under CCYHA, are directly governed by the CCYHA Board and Board designees. The head coach of each team is in charge of his/her respective team and is accountable to the Board and its select designees for all aspects of the team he/she coaches. In addition to the head coach, each team is required to have at least one assistant coach and a team manager. In situations where a skills/bench coach exists, this person is accountable to the Board and its select designees.
The head coach and assistant coaches are in charge of the on-ice activities game scheduling, etc. For teams with an assigned skills/bench coach, this skills coach will be responsible for directing the head coach and the coaching staff on all aspects of preparing and coaching team games. The team manager, with oversight from the head coach, is in charge of the execution of the off-ice activities and has the authority to oversee and manage the team’s financials in conjunction with the team treasurer. The head coach and/or team manager oversee the structuring of parent-volunteer participation.
All coaches are encouraged to hold a mandatory team prior to the season with all parents and coaches for the families to get to know one another and to provide an overview of the season, team goals/objectives and expectations. They also can identify volunteers and to address questions, concerns or suggestions.
CCYHA players and coaches should reflect themselves in a positive and responsible manner and act as ambassadors of CCYHA, its sponsors and the sport. Players and parents are representatives of CCYHA on and off the ice at home and while traveling with CCYHA teams.
On-ice and off-ice misconduct while participating in a CCYHA event can be grounds for discipline. The CCYHA Code of Conduct states ‘All players, coaches, parents, team and league representatives shall conduct themselves in a acceptable manner and shall be subject to disciplinary actions from their coaches or official representatives of CCYHA during the hockey season. The head coach of each team in CCYHA shall have full authority over the conduct of players and coaches within the confines of the rink and area near the rink…’
Travel players are generally expected, but not required to view hockey as their primary sport during the travel hockey season.
Ice hockey is a multi-faceted game; several considerations will be used by CCYHA to determine team composition and player selection.
Hockey at this age and level focuses on learning, developing, being active, team camaraderie, and the challenge of competitive play. Additionally, a travel hockey season is longer than a traditional House Hockey program, lasting typically six months or more. As such, there are several factors and player traits a coach must consider when evaluating players in order to select a competitive-oriented hockey team.
The objective in making player selections is to use several factors and player traits, including:
Self control and Energy level
Individual skill (forword/backward skating, transitions, stick handling, shooting, passing)
Communication and listening skills
Ability to be coached
High regard for sportsmanship
Respectful of teammates, coaches, officials and adults
Ability to handle adverse situations
Enjoyment of the game
Positive, results-oriented attitude
Response to positive reinforcement
Competitive in nature
Parental Goals and Objectives
Aligned with the philosophy of the CCYHA travel program
CCYHA will hold at least two try-out sessions. Potential players must attend at least one session to be eligible for initial selection. It is highly recommended that all players attend all sessions to be evaluated properly. More sessions may be added later to account for injuries, new residents, etc.
If CCYHA holds a separate goalie tryout during a separate time, goalies MUST attend the goalie session and at least one regular tryout sesion to be considered for a travel team.
All tryout fees must be paid prior to tryouts. Only players in good financial standing with CCYHA and the other youth hockey organizations in town will be permitted to try-out.
2017-2018 Season Updates
Every year, there are a number of players from other leagues who tryout for CCYHA travel hockey, often without plans to accept a position with our program if offered. This increases the number of players to evaluate. Similar to past years, there will be a tryout fee of $100 for all players who sign up to tryout for CCYHA travel hockey. New this year, we are implementing the prepayment of a $300 commitment fee, which also will be due during the tryout sign-up process.
The $300 commitment fee will go toward a player’s travel fees for all players who are offered and accept a spot on a CCYHA travel team. If a player is offered a spot on a CCYHA team and accepts the same or lower-level offer at another organization (eg: AA offer at CCYHA and AA offer at other organization, or AA offer at CCYHA and A offer at other organization), they will lose the commitment fee. If they get a higher-level offer at another organization (eg: AA offer at other organization and A offer at CCYHA), we will refund the commitment fee. We also will refund the commitment fee to players who tryout for CCYHA and are not offered a spot.
This change places the focus on the CCYHA players who are committed to our program and allows our evaluators and coaches to focus on players who are interested in playing travel hockey with CCYHA.
Tryouts can be a stressful time for players. Our goal is to make the process as stress-free and enjoyable as possible for the kids so they have a positive experience. For this reason, parents will not be allowed to watch tryouts from inside the rink. This allows players to focus on the tryouts and eliminates added stress and outside distractions. Parents are welcome to remain in the lobby of the building if they choose. The Ohio AAA Blue Jackets have used this approach for many years with very positive feedback from parents and players.
Teams and Team Composition
CCYHA travel rosters must have at least 13 full-time skaters and 1 goalie. Team rosters are considered full at 17; however, the final number of players will be determined by the team's head coach.
The number of teams will be determined based on number of players trying out, available ice time and talent level. Coaches may roster the allowable number of players per USA Hockey regulations.
'Play Up' Requests
Players who wish to ‘play up’ to a higher division of play must contact the CCYHA Director of Operations prior to trying out. There are CCYHA bylaws which govern our play up rules.
To provide an element of non-partial skill evaluation, compensated independent evaluators will be used to provide input and scoring during the try-out process. Independent evaluator criteria:
- No children or relatives trying out for the division being evaluated
- Extensive hockey background and/or experience teaching and coaching hockey: Professional, Jr. and/or College Division I experience is preferred
Evaluators will rate player skill and ability and make suggestions to the head coach for final team selections.
Selection and Eligibility
Quote from U.S. Olympic team and former Calgary Flames President of Hockey Operations GM Brian Burke on selecting the players for the 2010 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team:
"You can't just take the best 23 players; we have to take players who can perform specific tasks at a high level, even if that's a grunt task, even a blue-collar task if people can do it well.”
“If you look at the course of a hockey game, the jobs that players are called on to perform, some of them aren't glamorous, winning the key face off in your own end, killing penalties or blocking a shot at a key time. These are the things we're going to need to be successful."
Players will be selected based on several intangible traits versus just stronger individual hockey skills.
Hockey is a team sport and individuals with stronger skills but who are selfish can be counterproductive to achieving team goals and upset team chemistry. Hockey is a long season and the right team chemistry (on and off the ice) is crucial to a successful program. Coaches will keep this top of mind when making team selections.
The head coaches will work together with the CCYHA Director of Operations on team composition. The head coach will utilize a mix of evaluator recommendations, player and parent references, current and past coaches’ insights, and parental expectations to make team selections.
If a head coach decides to select a player ranked outside of rankings 6 to 15 on the evaluation, or to not select the second ranked goalie, the coach must explain the exception rational to the Director of Operations. The top 5 ranked players (i.e. top 3 forwards, top 2 defensemen) and the first ranked goalie are initially considered ‘locked’ for a given team.
Every attempt will be made to notify all players of team selections within 24-48 hours of the final tryout. The goal is to have ‘first picked’ players contacted within 24 hours of the final tryout. The goal is to have all teams finalized within 72 hours of the final tryout date for that division. After players have been notified and accepted, they will be posted on the CCYHA website under the tab – Travel Hockey.
The Board reserves the right withhold an offer to any player for reasons such as failure to meet financial commitments (applies to any organization, beyond just CCYHA), disciplinary issues, player/parent zero tolerance issues, etc.
A player who has been offered a roster spot and who has accepted may be removed for disciplinary reasons, violations as a result of player or parental violation, CCYHA and/or USA Hockey policy, or a failure to meet financial commitments. Pursuant to the CCYHA Code of Conduct, section 5.14, a player’s removal from a Travel Hockey Team roster may be done only by the Director of Operations and the Board of Trustees.
The coach retains the right to suspend or discipline a player whose actions are deemed abusive, violate team policies or are detrimental in any way. Individual team policies must be approved by the CCYHA Director of Operations to ensure consistency with CCYHA and USA Hockey policy and philosophy.