Travel 101


  • All tryouts are "CLOSED", meaning no parents are allowed in the stands or rink area while tryout sessions are in progress.

  • Players and parents must arrive early for the first tryout session to check-in. Tryout viewing is closed to non-WHA staff. The purpose of this policy is to allow the players, coaches and evaluators to conduct their work in a less stressful environment. Team rosters will be posted shortly after tryouts conclude on the WHA website.

  • While attempts will be made to find places for all committed players, there is no guarantee your child will be placed on a team. Season fees will be refunded in the event that a player is not selected for a Travel team roster. 


  • Boys and girls selected for travel teams are expected to attend both practices and games. The WHA understands that many of our players participate in multiple sports and encourages skaters to have a balanced approach to their participation when conflicts arise. Athletes competing in other sports will not be penalized for occasionally missing a practice in order to attend an event for his/her other sports team. The most latitude is provided to Mites and Squirts with higher commitment expectations for Pee Wees and Bantams.
  • Each team will have 70-­80 hours of ice time including practices and games. Families can also expect to travel to an out of town tournament once or twice during the season, hence, a strong commitment to hockey is required for players and parents alike. 

Team Coach

  • Each team will have a Head Coach selected by the Director of Coaching Operations and approved by the Board.
  • Assistant Coaches are selected by the Head Coach subject to approval of the Director of Coaching Operations and the Board.
  • The Head Coach is responsible for all matters pertaining to the coaching of the team, subject to guidelines set by Director of Coaching Operations.
  • Each Head Coach and Assistant Coach will be qualified and approved by AHAI and USA Hockey. All coaches will be subjected to an AHAI-sponsored screening program as mandated by USA Hockey.

Team Manager

  • Each team will have a Team Manager who will be approved by the Board.
  • The Manager is responsible for assisting the coach in all team adminsitration and business matters relating to the team.
  • All questions, complaints, grievances and comments shall be directed to the Team Manager. The Team Manager, if necessary, will handle each situation as instructed during Manager’s meetings.   


  • All travel players must purchase one set of home and away jerseys from the Wilmette Bike Shop.
    • Players must choose a number from the list of available numbers for their birth year and playing division (youth or girls) This becomes the player's number as long as the player remains with the WHA (See below for policy on absence years.)
    • If a player purchases a jersey, but is not assigned to a team after tryouts, the WHA will refund the cost of the jerseys. The jerseys become the property of the WHA, the name printed on the back of the jerseys will be removed and the jerseys will be used as spares, if necessary.
  • Game jerseys will be used for GAMES only - players should not wear them at practice.
  • Every player must have a white helmet and navy blue pants.
  • Neckguards and mouthguards are mandatory for all players for all games and practices.
  • All players must dress in the designated team locker room.
  • No player shall dress in the lobby.


  • Team Managers
    • Team Managers should communicate weekly with the team on schedules, games, and other relevant team information
  • Team Coaches

    • Every 2-3 weeks, team Head Coaches will send all parents an email that addresses the following.
      1. Three things the team is doing well
      2. Three things the team must improve upon
      3. The coaching staff plans for development
    • Parent and Coach Meetings
      • Parent/Coach meetings should take place in October and at the end of the season. Team managers will assist in the coordinating these meetings. 

Playing Time

  • Ice time is the coach’s most effective resource to motivate players, reward effort and teach discipline. The WHA provides our coaches with the full authority to coach their team in the best interest of the team. Some examples that may affect playing time:

    • Penalty-filled games may naturally disrupt regular shift and playing time for some players.

    • A coach has the full authority to manage playing time for teaching purposes related to mental mistakes or important character lessons.

    • Late in the period during a closely contested game, a coach may choose to play the hardest working and most productive players to change the game’s outcome.

    • In games with a big lead, a coach may choose to play players that lose ice time during closer games.

    • The coach should clearly define to his team what it takes to get “key moment ice time” and talk to individual players about what they can do to earn such opportunities.