Tryouts for any sport can be stressful for both parents and players. After all, you child is being judged and rated, right? Wrong. That's not the purpose of our tryouts. The purpose of our tryouts is to find the right team for your child so they can have the best possible hockey experience. We do not measure the success of our season based on wins and losses; but by how happy our players are, how much they have developed as athletes and hockey players and whether they want to come back and play for us next year.
So please relax and have fun, and encourage your child to do the same.
Format and Schedule
Each player must attend at least two of their three tryout sessions (Mites must attend both of their two scheduled sessions). Players are divided into two groups and we play a full-ice scrimmage (U8 players will play half or cross-ice). We will email you with your players group assignment a week prior. Specific dates and times will be posted a few weeks prior to tryouts.
Following tryouts, we will contact you by email and offer you a position on one of our teams. We ask that you register your child online and pay the deposit (or let us know you will not be taking the spot) within 24 hours of being notified.
How many teams?
Every year at tryouts parents ask: how many teams will you have at each level? The answer is: as many as we need. Because our owner also owns the rink, we have tremendous flexibility with our ice schedule. This is a benefit many organizations do not enjoy, and so they are limited to a fixed number of teams. Depending on how many players attend tryouts, we could have as few as one or as many as four teams per age level.
Are tryouts the only thing considered in team selection?
For returning Walpole Express players, we absolutely include the advice of your coaches in making decisions on where to place your child. Your coaches have seen your players all year long. They have a much better idea of your player's skill level than someone who only sees them in two tryouts. For new players who have not played on Walpole Express teams in the past, clearly tryouts is all we have to go on. But for returning players, your coaches will have significant input into the process.
Some teams will bring in independent evaluators to pick teams based soley on tryout metrics. We don't agree with this philosophy. To find the right place for each player, we need to understand that player as best we can, and consider all inputs. Certainly your coach's input is valuable in that process.
At the Walpole Express, every player on every team is equally important. We do not favor our "A" teams over our other teams. We do not favor full-time players over alternates or practice players. Every player is an equal member of the team, and every team is equally important. Tryouts should not be stressful, they should be fun. Whatever the result, your player will be placed on a team that is a good fit based on ability and experience. And your player will have a fun and successful season. That is our goal above all: for our girls to be happy, be confident and have a fantastic time at the rink.
If you have any questions whatsoever about this process, please feel free to contact us.