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Watertown Youth Hockey 8U Program Outline 2018-2019


The goal of the Watertown Youth Hockey 8U program is to introduce boys and girls to the game of ice hockey.  To not only promote skill development of our players, but to encourage, support, and motivate players to gain confidence, creativity, sportsmanship, teamwork, both on and off the ice. We will be using USA Hockey’s ADM guidelines as a tool for development.  The program is divided into 3 separate programs based on age & skill level.

  • Intro to Hockey (ages 4 & up)
  • Junior Redwings (ages 5 & up)
  • Mite (ages 6-8 only)

Intro to Hockey

The Intro to Hockey program is for beginning skaters ages 4 and up with an interest in playing the sport of hockey.  Here we will focus on the fundamentals of skating, stick handling, passing and shooting, with an emphasis on skating.  With many that have never been on skates before, the intent is to get players used to the feel of standing and moving on ice.  We will be using station-based activities by placing players in small groups to get maximum involvement. We will progress late in the first session and into in the second to incorporating the use of a hockey stick for those that are ready as determined by the coaching staff.  The goal by the end of the program, is that players are able to skate with proper form both forwards and backwards, are able to stop with at least “snow plow”, are able to turn from forwards to backwards and vice versa, to start to build confidence in use of skate edges, can properly hold and use their stick, with an introduction to passing and shooting. After completion, the players should be ready for Junior Redwings. 

There will be (2) sessions with (12) 45 minute ice times each, on Saturday and Sunday mornings at Taft Mays rink. The first session will run from October through December.  The second session will run from January to March.  Helmet, skates, and gloves minimum are required.  Second session - full equipment required if ready for stick use.

Cost per session $275. Sign up for both sessions $450, USA Hockey registration also required - $40 (birth year 2011 and younger is free)  

Click Here to Register for Session 1

Click Here to Register for Full Season

Junior Redwings 

The next step in the program is Junior Redwings for ages 5 and up, that have completed the Intro to Hockey but are not ready for Travel play.  Here the players will continue to develop individual skills and become more proficient skaters, stickhandlers, passers, and shooters.  We will be using USA Hockey’s ADM program as our guide.  The intent is to provide station based activities (usually grouped by age) that will work on more skating techniques, stickhandling, passing, shooting, and the start of team play with the use of mini in-house Cross-ice games. We will schedule a few friendly games with other programs towards end of the session to add some fun with other kids that are learning the game as well.  There will be 3 ice times per week.  The first 2 practices will focus on skill development through the station based activities.  The 3rd practice will involve some skating drills and then break up into teams and play Cross-ice games. This will allow the kids to have fun and put the skills they are learning to use.  By the end of the year, the goal is for the players to have improved on skills and are ready to start playing in a team setting and continue to advance their development at the next level.  Players should have the ability to skate properly forwards, backwards, transition forward to backwards, use edges in turning and stopping, be able to pass, receive passes, and shoot the puck.

Season runs from September through February. 3 ice-times per week (1 weekday, 2 weekend). Full-equipment required. Jersey included 

Cost $1050 per player (payment plan available). USA Hockey registration also required - $40 (birth year 2011 and younger is free)  Click Here to Register


The 8U Mite level is a Travel program for players 6-8 years of age 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). Evaluations are required to be placed at the Mite level, which occur after the conclusion of each season. 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. 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.  This places priority on skill development rather than game play.  WYHA will determine the number of tournaments/jamborees that are participated in and will give notice during the season.  We will also follow CHC rules for end of year tournaments/jamborees.  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.  On lower level teams, it is encouraged that all players try the position at least once. 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.  That when they move to the next age level, they have the tools to continue to build upon their skills, and enjoy playing the game. 

Season runs from September through March. 4 ice-times per week. Full-equipment required.

 Cost $1475 (payment plan available),


USA Hockey registration also required - $40 (birth year 2011 and younger is free)

To register visit www.wyha.us

Hamden Sports Center will also provide equipment discounts for our Intro & Jr Redwing programs.  Mention the program you have registered for and players name to receive discount. Hamden Sports Center is at 2858 Whitney Ave, Hamden, CT  203.248.9898

Martin L. Brown

WYHA 8U Director