U8 (Mite) Programs

8U Program (players 8 and under – birth year 2015 and younger)

USA Hockey (the governing body of American youth hockey and the US National teams) has conducted significant research on how best to develop players beginning at the U8 (Mite) level.  As a result of this research, in 2010 USA Hockey began instituting the “American Development Model” (ADM), which includes recommendations and mandated changes to U8 (Mite) level programs that wish to remain sanctioned by USA Hockey. NYH has reviewed the research, believes that USAH's approach is the best way to develop younger players, and like many other local programs, is making changes to conform to USA Hockey’s requirements for U8 (Mite) skaters.  We began this transition in 2011 and have continued to evolve our U8 (Mite) offerings to be responsive to our families while conforming to the ADM Principles. NYH will have three programs for U8 (Mite) age players in support of the American Development Model.


8U Development

NYH researched other game opportunities for the 8U Development program and, begining in the 2018-19 season, we decided to join the Town Line League at Bajko Rink in Hyde Park. We think this offers the best development opportunities for the players and the best value for our families. Other programs that participated in the Town Line League last season: Norwood, Dedham, Hyde Park, Westwood, Allston-Brighton, and Parkway. 

The 8U Development program expands on the in-house program and begins to introduce additional practice/skills during the season and games against non-Needham teams. This program targets kids who have been in the in-house program for two years and are ready to take the next step in their hockey development. In the 2023/24 season, the players will participate in approximately 18 cross-ice games at Bajko Rink in Hyde Park on Sunday mornings. 8U Development will continue to have regular practices on Saturday mornings at St Sebs and have supplemental practices and skills during the year. The dates, locations, and times for the supplemental practices and skills will vary during the course of the season and will typically be posted in advance. In total the kids will have approximately 50 touches during the course of the season. We plan to have five 8U Development teams of 7-8 players per roster.  Teams for games will be divided up based on ability to ensure fun and competitive games. The projected cost for this program is $1,500. Tryouts are not required for mite dev -- coaches will evaluate players at the beginning of the year for team placement. NYH reserves the right to move a player to the in-house program if the coaches feel the player needs more instruction before placement in 8U Development.


8U Travel

8U Travel program expands on the 8U Development program. This program is targeted for the strongest age level players. Typically players will have spent a year in mite development or two years+ in our in-house program. We are planning on having three 8U Travel teams in 2023/24 with rosters of 11-12 players per team. The teams will play in the Valley League and play 25 cross-ice games. Practice locations and times, game times and locations will vary as they do with all our other travel teams. There will be no preset scheduled practice times. Once the Valley League posts the game schedule, the 8U teams' practices/skills schedule will be posted.  Over the course of the season between games, practices, and skills the mite travel teams will have approximately 85 touches. The projected cost for this program is $1650. Players will be required to tryout for the Mite travel teams. Players not chosen for travel teams will be placed in the 8U Development or in-house program.

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