Mites (U8): Ages 5-8; Birth years 2015-2018
Squirt (U10): Ages 9-10; Birth years 2013-2014
Pee Wee (U12): Ages 11-12; Birth years 2011-2012
Bantam (U14): Ages 13-14; Birth years 2009-2010
Midget (U16/U18): Ages 15-18; Birth years 2005-2008
All of our teams are co-ed
The 8U Mite level is a travel program for players 8 years of age or younger as of December 31st, that have developed their skills and are ready for team play. At the Mite level, players will continue their development with use of USA Hockey’s ADM program as a guide for 8 and under players through station-based practices and cross-ice games (Full-ice games are no longer sanctioned by the Connecticut Hockey Conference - CHC).
The goal of the Mite program is not about building a winning team, it is about developing individual skills and at the same time teaching kids about working together, having fun, and giving their best effort. When they move to the next age level, they have the tools to continue to build upon their skills and enjoy playing the game.
There will be 4 ice times per week, primarily 2 practices and 2 games per week, with game play starting mid to end of October (some weeks may have less sheets of ice depending on holidays, weather, or other scheduling conflicts).This places priority on skill development rather than game play.
The station-based practices will focus on developing multiple skills and situations that are relevant to the 8U player. Players will learn situational play rather than positional play. Meaning, players will learn how to play and support in the offensive and defensive ends. This will promote team play and engagement by all on the ice. Those interested in playing in goal will also be allowed to try the position out. At the Mite level, the use of full-time goalies is discouraged. Goalies should have experience playing in the net as well as out. It is encouraged that all players try the position at least once.
Teams will be assigned by skill after the first month of practice of the new season at the discretion of the Director with input from coaches. The first month or two of the season will focus on development through practice. We will emphasize skating, skating, skating. Off-ice training will be conducted prior to games. This will entail proper stretching, agility training, balance, hand-eye coordination.
Evaluations are required to be placed at the Mite level, which occur after the conclusion of each season.
Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam
Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam teams will get four to five sheets of ice per week (some weeks may have less sheets of ice depending on holidays, weather, or other scheduling conflicts).
Professional Instruction will be provided occasionally during the season. IPH will be provided for skaters, and ProCrease for goalies for Squirt and Pee Wee aged players.
The American Development Model (ADM) Training from USA Hockey is the model we use at Watertown Youth Hockey. For more information about ADM, see the Resources section above.
We encourage Post Practice Chalk Talk – Coach lead discussion with significant player involvement about the current weeks practice plan its application into an upcoming game plan.
There is a minimum of one travel tournament where all Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam players attend together as an organization.
Watertown Youth Hockey Plans on having multiple travel teams at all levels.
This is a great opportunity for all High School players in the area.
We field a split season team in the fall to prepare for the upcoming High School season. The midget season runs from middle/end of August until around Thanksgiving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the typical season?
The season begins in September and runs until playoffs in February or March. Tryouts are in March for Squirt and Pee Wee and April for Bantams and Midgets. Mite evaluations are in February.
Where are practices and games held?
Practices and home games are held at Mays Rink at Taft School and at the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton. Away games are held around the state of Connecticut.
When are practices and games held?
Practices are held 2-3 times per week during week days. Games are typically scheduled during weekends. There is generally one home game and one away game each weekend. *Some weeks may have less games or practices depending on holidays, weather, or other scheduling conflicts.
Are specific jerseys and uniform required?
Jerseys and uniforms are required and are not included in registration fees. Uniform ordering takes place in the spring as it takes many months for jerseys to get made and shipped.
Are there any additional tournaments planned?
Every year, Watertown Youth Hockey participates in a travel tournament where all teams in Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam travel together for fun organizational bonding and hockey. Tournament entry fees are paid by the organization, but travel, hotel, and food expenses are the responsibility of the families.
Mite teams participate in a local jamboree each year.
Tryouts for Mites, Squirts, Pee Wees, Bantams, and Midgets have been concluded for the season.