Hanover Hockey Association, at the March, 2012 Board meeting, approved a slate of changes and updates for the Mite age level. This is in coordination with USA Hockey (USAH), who is working to implement the American Development Model (for more info about ADM goto http://www.admkids.com/), and the New Hampshire Amateur Hockey Association (NHAHA). This includes changes to ages, schedules, game formats and practices. A summary is below.
WILD MITES - House League
Eligibility and Overview:
Players ages 6-8 as of December 31 for the current season, who have played one year in the LTPW program, are eligible for Wild Mites (WM). This a developmental House (local) Mite program. Players ages 4-8 (as of December 31) with no organized hockey experience must register first with the Learn To Play Wild (LTPW) Initiation Program. The WM program is important to player development as skating and puck skills are taught and reinforced while the fundamental elements of team/positional play, rules and games are learned. The program is designed so that players can spend multiple years in Wild Mites and it is recommended that players 8 and under consider a second year in the Wild Mite program before moving to travel hockey. The WM program starts with a clinic-style pre-season followed by a team season including team practices, games between the HHA Wild Mite teams, and some games between Hanover teams and house mite teams from other local associations. These games will be half-ice games with four skaters on a side and goalies. Wild Mite Program plans to have four teams within the program this year.
The season begins on Saturday, October 29 at 9:10 AM at Campion Rink. Very important that players arrive early on the first day to receive their team jersey and to have enough time to get ready. While attendance at all practices is strongly encouraged, Hanover Hockey encourages young players to try other sports and activities. So if a player will miss a practice or game, all HHA asks is that the player (or parent) notifies the coach in advance.
Program Focus and management: The Initiation Programs (LTPW and Wild Mites) are designed to introduce children to the sport of hockey while developing skating, puck handling (such as passing, receiving, shooting , etc...), and team skills. There is also an emphasis on learning about hockey and having fun in a team-oriented environment.
A committee of HHA Board members and coaches from this level provide oversight and management for Learn To Play and Wild Mites.
Eligibility To join Travel Mites (TM), a player must be 7 years of age by December 31 and completed at least one full year of House Mites (HM).
Teams Travel mite players will start the season together. Initially, players will not be designated onto specific teams. Within several weeks, the coaches will divide TM into several groups/teams based on each player’s ability.If the total number of travel mite players is not sufficient for multiple teams, there will only be one TM team.
Season, Practices and Games
TM will play a 5-month season that begins in early-October and ends in early March. Players on TM are expected to participate in all practices and games. TM will have 1-2 station-based/skills practices each week and at least 2 weekend ice sessions. The weekend sessions may include games. Currently 15-20 games comprise the TM schedule. Every attempt will be made to schedule these half-ice games against appropriate competition. The majority of games will be against local competition (Hartford, Woodstock, Barre, and Rutland); however, some games may occur in Manchester, Concord, or Burlington.
TM may participate in several jamborees/tournaments. These may involve an overnight stay on a weekend (HHA covers the entry fee for one tournament, while TM families absorb the cost of additional tournaments). In the past several years, TM has played in a Thanksgiving tournament and end of year tournament. Both tournaments occurred in Burlington, VT.