Tryout FAQ 2019-2020

AAGHA Rep Team Tryout Policies

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. When are tryouts held?


Tryouts are held annually in April.  The OWHA mandates that they are not allowed to start until 72 hours after the completion of Provincial Championships. This year the first tryout is scheduled for April 23rd.


  1. How do I register for tryouts?


Visit the Ancaster Avalanche Girls Hockey Association website at and visit the tryout page.  The link to register for tryouts is located on the tryout page.


  1. Why do I have to pre-register?


Pre-registration has many benefits.  Not the least of which is time management.  We have a limited number of volunteers available to organize and run tryouts and the online registration eases a significant amount of the burden on tryout days.  Pre-registration also allows us to have a better idea of the number of skaters that are planning to attend each tryout so that ice resources can be shifted around if possible.  Pre-registration data allows coaches to be more organized as they begin evaluating at try-outs.


Walk-in registration is accepted (though discouraged) however there is a $20 surcharge.


  1. What are the fees to tryout?


Age Division


Online Registration Fee


AA* Invite Only





Midget, Bantam, Peewee, Atom






Midget, Bantam, Peewee, Atom




Late (walk in) Registration: Fee above + $20.00 late fee [Total is $80 or $60 total]


**Goalies will receive a 50% rebate of their tryout registration fee at the time of registration.** 


  1. Many associations charge a per skate fee. Why has the AAGHA decided to charge a flat fee?


The administration of fee collection and registration management is one of the primary reasons.  In setting fees we have considered what we charged previously (per skate) and what other associations charge (flat fee or per skate) and determined that the fees we set were the best “average” based on the average number of skates (hours on ice) each player skates before being signed to a team. 


  1. How many skates are guaranteed?


Players may be released after the first skate at any given level however, using the assumption that there will be a “next level” team for them to try out for they are guaranteed at least one skate at each level. For example, if a player is trying out for the Bantam A team they are guaranteed only one skate at the Bantam A tryout.  If they are released after the first skate at Bantam A, the tryout fee they have paid entitles them to go to the Bantam BB tryouts and they are guaranteed at least one skate at Bantam BB.


‘Last’ teams will not accept walk-ins after the second skate unless approved by the coach. Normal walk-in fees apply.


  1. What level should I try out for?


All Rep players are expected to challenge themselves and to play at the highest level they can. In the best interest of the association as a whole and all of its members the intent of this policy is to ensure that we ice the most competitive teams possible throughout our rep program.  This policy will be strictly enforced.  Player registration for tryouts will be cross-referenced against previous season’s level of play and will be subject to AAGHA approval.

Therefore, each player is expected to try out based on the following criteria:

  1. i) Minor aged players that are remaining at the same division are expected to start tryouts at least one level above their current level.
  2. PBB player must start at PA
  3. BB player must start at BBB
  4. MBB player must start at MA


  1. ii) Major aged players that are moving up a division are expected to start tryouts, at a minimum, at the same level they played the previous season.
  2. AA player must start at PA
  3. BA player must start at MA
  4. PAA player must start at BAA


Exceptions to this policy will be considered but requests for exception must be submitted to the Rep Convenor in writing prior to the first skate of the team that the player is “expected” to try out for.


  1. I have read the AAGHA “tryout level policy”. Why is it not acceptable for players to try out for whichever level they choose?


While exceptions may be made to take into account individual circumstances, the intent of this policy is to ensure that the AAGHA is icing the most competitive teams while looking out for the best interests of ALL of is its members. While it may seem like a harmless decision for a group of players to stay “back” and play for a lower level team it could adversely affect the team at the higher level and may push others off the lower level team that deserve to be there. 


  1. Can I try out at a level higher than the “tryout level policy” would mandate?


Yes.  You can enter try-outs at any level you desire above the minimum level.


  1. There is a spot open on the A team, and my daughter didn’t tryout. Tryouts for the BB team are about to start and I want the coach of the A team to come evaluate her. What do I do?


Before your daughter's first skate for the lower tier team, you are expected to send an email to the Rep Convenor and both coaches advising them that you would like her to be considered for that open spot.  This would not disqualify her from consideration to earn a spot on the BB team. 


During tryouts our coaches are evaluating players and making some tough choices.  Stating your intentions at the very beginning to all parties involved keeps the lines of communication as open and transparent as possible. 


  1. I understand the “tryout level policy” however for reason “x” my daughter does not wish to try out for the team she is supposed to. Can I request and exemption and how do I do that?


The AAGHA understands that there will be individual circumstances that may warrant an exception to this policy and we are more than happy to consider all requests, but need to keep this in check to ensure that these decisions are made with consideration of what is in the best interest of ALL of our members.


Send all exemption requests in writing to the Rep Convenor at no less than 72 hours prior to the first tryout at the minimum level for your daughter. Requests submitted directly to the coach will not be considered. Please include your phone number in case we need to talk to you, however our decisions will be delivered via email, not by phone.


  1. How are requests for exception reviewed?


Once requests are received in writing by the Rep Convenor they will be reviewed in collaboration with the Head Coach of the team the  player is “expected” to try out for and the Director of Player and Coach Development.  Decisions are final and will be communicated to you prior to the first skate via email.


  1. How are teams selected?


The “Selection Committee” consists of the Head Coach, 3 independent (un-biased) evaluators and at least 2 members of the Board of Directors.  The following paragraph from the AAGHA Constitution is our direction with respect to team selection:


“A Selection Committee will be appointed by the Board of Directors for each Rep team in each division. The Selection Committee will be comprised of the Head Coach of the team plus two (2) members of the Board of Directors. Board of Directors members who have a daughter trying out for any Rep teams in the division will not be eligible for the Selection Committee for any team in that division. The Board of Directors members will provide input to the Head Coach and ensure players are selected on merit. The Head Coach, at her/his sole discretion may employ others to assist in evaluating the tryouts. All the above notwithstanding, but subject to players being selected on merit, the final decision on team members will rest with the Head Coach.”


  1. How are players evaluated?


Players are evaluated objectively on various skating, shooting and stickhandling skills as well as “intensity” or compete level and are benchmarked in comparison to the other skaters on the ice.  The objective evaluations are used in combination with pre-tryout game and practice scouting, previous coach’s player evaluations and the coach’s desired skill set to make team selection decisions.


  1. With so many players on the ice at once, how can we feel certain that our daughter has been given a fair “look” at tryouts?


While that is a legitimate concern, keep in mind that the evaluations taking place at the tryout are one part of the process.  Also, remember that what coaches are doing at the initial skate is “benchmarking”.  These evaluations are used in combination with pre-scouting players in games and practices prior to try-outs, speaking with players former coach(s) as well as inter-division collaboration among coaches.  It is our goal to have coaches participate in and review evaluations from the team above them.  For example, there is an expectation that the Midget B coach would be attending all Midget BB tryouts and observing as well as reviewing all evaluations with the Midget BB coach as they complete their team selection which in essence gives them twice as many evaluations to base decisions on.


  1. How will my daughter know if she has been selected for the team?


Following a fair amount of feedback regarding the former process (lining up and receiving letters) being less than ideal, the AAGHA has moved to an online process for posting team call backs.  At the beginning of tryouts each player will be assigned a unique identifier number that will follow them through tryouts.  Each team will have a web link that players will be able to access to view a list of numbers of players being asked to return to the next tryout.


  1. Can I see a copy of the player evaluation forms?


The forms are confidential and will not be disclosed to parents.


  1. With the transition to online communication of team selections will there still be an opportunity for feedback from the coach after the team has been selected?


After final player releases, there will be an expectation that coaches make feedback available to those players released at the final skate.  It will be at the coach’s discretion how they will go about this (by e-mail, phone call, face to face) but it will be available.


We can't guarantee that the coach will be able to talk to a player who is released during one of the first two tryouts. The coach is very busy during this time of year and there are often too many girls for him or her to provide this opportunity for every girl.


  1. My daughter is injured but she would like to be considered for a rep team for next season. What should I do?


Injured players unable to attend tryouts that want to be considered for a team must register and pay the tryout fee applicable to that particular team. They will be notified of status by the coaches of respective teams along with the other skaters trying out.  After registering your daughter, contact the coach via email and cc the rep convenor at to explain/discuss the situation.


  1. My daughter has only played House League hockey to date but she is interested in trying out for a rep team. What is the cost of rep compared to House League and how does the time commitment differ?


Initial registration fees paid to the AAGHA are the same.  Additionally, each rep team has a team budget that covers the AAGHA Rep Team Fees, Tournament entry fees, off-ice apparel, additional training etc… Proposed budgets are typically provided at tryouts.  Depending on the division and level this will typically run (on average) somewhere between $1500 and $2,200 per player.  AA teams will typically be higher and can be more varied depending on the amount of extra training they choose to do.


Rep teams typically have 2 practices and 1-2 games per week.

Though not guaranteed and there will always be exceptions, travel loops are typically confined to within 1h15m max.


  1. How are the team rep fees that are paid to the AAGHA used?


Rep team fees paid to the AAGHA are payment for use of additional ice, uniforms, referee costs and league entry fees


  1. I hear Coaches and the Association talk about ‘Resident and Non-Resident’ players. What does that mean?


In the greater City of Hamilton all Girls Hockey Associations receive what is known as "G" plan subsidized ice.  Essentially this means that the AAGHA receives an approximate 50% discount on the actual rate that ice users pay.


Each year it is the responsibility of the AAGHA to provide documentation to the City to receive this benefit. One such piece of information is our registration numbers which includes our total players, number of rep and house league teams, and their divisions of play. We must also disclose if the registered player is a resident or non-resident. 


Non-Resident players are players who do not live in the greater City of Hamilton (i.e.: Brantford, Burlington, Caledonia, Cambridge and Grimsby, Haldimand & Norfolk County).

Resident players include players who live in Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and Waterdown.


As an Association, there are limits on the number of non-resident players allowed to qualify for Plan G ice.  This is a percentage of total registration and includes both Rep and House League players.


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