Dear NHAHA Families:
We have received many inquiries regarding the upcoming tryouts and the impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on them. The North Hills Amateur Hockey Association (NHAHA, Pittsburgh Vipers, Viper Stars, and Esmark Stars) and our activities, including tryouts, are sanctioned by our governing body, USA Hockey (USAH).
USA Hockey strongly recommends the cancellation of all affiliate tryouts, district tryouts, district/multi-district development camps for all birth years for the spring and summer of 2020.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our players, officials, coaches, volunteers and families involved,” said Kevin McLaughlin, assistant executive director of hockey development for USA Hockey. “We estimate roughly 9,000 individuals or families are involved in these activities across the country and with the uncertainty of the coronavirus situation we all face and the logistics involved with these events, the leaders in our organization from across the country felt it was important to make a decision now that had best interests of everyone involved, with safety being at the forefront.”
Read the complete statement, and find other valuable information from USA Hockey here: www.usahockey.com/playersafety
At this time, all NHAHA (Pittsburgh Vipers, Viper Stars, and Esmark Stars) tryouts are postponed indefinitely. If you have already registered for this season, your registration will apply when the tryouts are rescheduled. As soon as we receive more information or guidance from USA Hockey, and/or new dates are set for the 2020-2021 Season. We will share them here and on our Facebook page.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all do our best to navigate this unprecedented situation.
Heather Ruffner, NHAHA President
and the NHAHA Board of Directors
The Pittsburgh Viper Stars will be a Tier II select program that will play an independent travel schedule, as well as participate in the Pittsburgh Amateur Hockey League (PAHL).
The Viper Stars program will offer a training program mirrored on the Esmark Tier I program, including training opportunities, both on and off the ice, currently not provided to most Tier II players and programs.
Click Here for more information on the Viper Stars program and tryouts.
Please email NHAHA President Heather Ruffner at email@example.com.
A player's division is determined by birth year, as per the USA Hockey Rulebook:
18U (Midgets): 2002 to 2003 birth years
16U (Midgets): 2004 to 2005 birth years
14U (Bantams):2006 & 2007 birth years
12U (Pee Wees): 2008 & 2009 birth years
10U (Squirts): 2010 & 2011 birth years
8U (ADM/MITES): 2012 birth year and later
The Pittsburgh Viper & Viper Stars hockey teams, will play in the PAHL at the AA, A, and B levels.
The PAHL Placement Committee, not NHAHA, determines the playing level for all teams from all associations.
Tryout Registration and Commitment fees:
All players must register online (and pay by credit card) for tryouts. (ARAMARK/Fundraising credit cannot be used to pay for tryouts.)
A commitment check made payable to NHAHA will be collected the first night of tryouts, but will not be deposited until team placement is accepted.
Vipers AA, A & B fees:
$115 registration fee*
$300 commitment fee**
PAHL Girls Teams registration fee:
$50 girls team only registration fee*
$115 girls & coed team registration fee*
$300 commitment fee**
Viper Stars Tier II teams registration fee:
$150 registration fee*
$600 commitment fee**
Esmark Stars Tier I AAA teams registration fees:
$150 registration fee*
$600 commitment fee**
Players will not be placed on a team unless they have turned in a commitment check. No Exceptions!
Using ARAMARK/ Fundraiser Rollover Funds. You may use ARAMARK/Fundraiser Rollover funds for the Commitment Fee if the funds are already earned or rolled over from last season.
To use "rollover" funds, you must complete a request form at tryouts, and the Treasurer must confirm that you have the funds available. ARAMARK or other fundraising roll-over cannot be used to pay registration fees, as you must pay by credit card when you register online.
*Registration fee is nonrefundable under any circumstance.
**Commitment fee is nonrefundable once team placement has been accepted.
USA Hockey registration (IMR #) for the current season is a requirement to be rostered on a team. It is not part of your season fees to NHAHA, and is not reimbursable.
Placement on a Team
Team placement will be announced on the website shortly after the last tryout date for each division. More specific information will be supplied at tryouts. You will have 24 hours, after notification, to decline placement on a team. After the deadline, your commitment check will be deposited and will be nonrefundable.
Tier II / PAHL Team Placement:
NHAHA will make a placement recommendation, but the PAHL determines the final ranking of ALL teams in the league. NHAHA cannot guarantee of the level of play for any team playing in the PAHL.
NHAHA will ahere to all policies of USA Hockey and Mid Am in regard to placement of players, including Mid Am Rule 27 regarding players wishing to play up to a division older than thier assigned playing division by USA Hockey:
RULE 27. Skating Up:
The Mid American Hockey Association Policy on skating up is that a player cannot be moved up more than one year in age. For example, a first year squirt canot be moved to the PeeWee level. A second year squirt may advance to the Peewee provided the following criteria is met:
Your board must have a defined policy relative to the procedure that the player's parents must follow in order to request that their child play up.
Only requests that have been made in writing to your immediate governing board should be considered.
Players must have demonstrated the skill and mental maturity required to move up.
Your Board should have an evaluation team of coaches (or coach in chief) making the determination and should not include coaches of the teams that are losing or gaining the player.
Your Board must reserve the right to reverse its decision in the event that the player experiences difficulty with the move.
PAHL DOES NOT PERMIT 2012 ADM/MITE 8U PLAYERS TO PLAY-UP ON A SQUIRT TEAM.
NHAHA discourages a player moving from his designated division of play but does not forbid it. NHAHA recognizes that USA Hockey has set down specific age guidelines so that players will have the greatest opportunity to succeed, have fun, and play hockey safely. Keeping in mind that the greatest challenges to a player moving up an age bracket are moving from Peewee to Bantam and from Bantam to Midget, NHAHA strongly urges parents to consider all possible ramifications before requesting such a move.
The following guidelines are in place to guide the player, player parents, and the organization through this process. In order to begin the “playing-up” process, the player’s parents or guardian must provide the NHAHA Board, through either the President or Head of Coaches, with a written request prior to tryouts. If the player’s parents were unaware of this requirement, the player may attend the first night of tryouts at the older level but must present the required letter before attending the second night of tryouts. The request must provide the player’s age, playing experience and reasoning for wanting to make the move.
Upon receipt of the letter, NHAHA will permit the player to tryout at the older age division. However, being permitted to tryout at that division does not mean that NHAHA will place the player on a team at that level. The decision whether to place a player on the older age division will be made after the tryout process is completed.
NHAHA has a minimum of three tryout sessions in order to evaluate each player as accurately as possible. It is strongly recommended that all players attend all tryout sessions in order to facilitate this evaluation process and make it as accurate as possible
However, it is recognized that through no fault of their own some players may not be able to attend all of the tryout sessions. In the event that a tryout session must be missed the evaluating coaches will evaluate that player as best they can from what has been observed and place that player accordingly and the parents will recognize that the evaluators have done the best evaluation possible under a handicapped situation.
If any player is unable to attend any of the sessions, his intent to play for NHAHA in the next season must be shown by registering for tryouts, no later than the first night of tryouts, with a doctor’s excuse stating why the player is unable to participate and the anticipated date he will be able to participate.
At the conclusion of the tryout process:
If that player played for NHAHA the previous season, the Head of Coaches and President working together will consider the written evaluations of the previous season’s coach(es) as well as what team he played on the previous season and, if they deem it necessary talk with previous coaches. Depending upon circumstances which include but are not limited to the number of players participating in tryouts who will be assigned to each team, the Head of Coaches and the President of NHAHA will:
If any player is unable to attend any of the tryout sessions but has not played for NHAHA previously, he/she must contact the Head of Coaches and request a supplemental tryout. Contact information for the Head of Coaches is available on the CONTACTS page of this website.
NHAHA recognizes that after the tryouts are over there may be reasons to assign or to reassign a player to a team. Following are guideline for possible circumstances.