Development Stream FAQ's (Whitby Girls Hockey Association)

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WGHA Development Stream Program FAQs

What is DS?

Development Stream (DS) is a subset of House League intended to further develop those House League players looking to bridge the gap between House League and Competitive Hockey (in skill or availability).  DS is also for those players who do not wish to make the commitment, in time or cost, to competitive hockey but are seeking more competition and skill development that is not afforded by house league alone. The House League Development Stream Program (DS) began in 2011 as a pilot project in response to requests from members of the OWHA to find a solution to bridge the gap between house league and competitive (rep) play. This season 2021-22, we will have teams for all divisions U9 - U18.

Who can play?

It is important to note that the DS program supplements the house league program meaning that all DS players must be registered in house league and attend house league games and practices regularly. This may result in players having two games/practices on the same day. DS teams will not schedule games or practices that conflict with the house league schedule without consent from the Executive. All House League players may tryout and there are no residency restrictions.

How can players try out?

As a development program, every house league player is eligible to attend a tryout. Tryouts are conducted and from there, cuts are made such that teams will have a maximum of 17 rostered players (2 goalies, 15 skaters). There are 8 spots for extended player roster positions to act as alternates to practice with the team and play when rostered players are absent. No other players can be on ice for DS practices or games unless part of the rostered 17 core players or 8 extended player roster.

How will teams be selected?


Each team will consist of a maximum of 15 skaters and 2 goalies along with with 8 selected extended roster players that may attend throughout the season. In order to play on a DS team, the player must attend all tryouts for her age group or receive an exemption in advance from the DS coach of that division and approved by the HL executive (2ndVP and Jr HL Director). DS teams are intended as a development program for House League players to improve their game and as such the team selection may reflect this intention at the discretion of the DS coach and tryout evaluators for that division.

Why was my daughter cut at the tryouts?

Players at tryouts are evaluated and compared to the other players at the tryout. Background information on a player may be taken into consideration such as their performance during Wolf pack ice, past performance Other factors such as the purpose of the program (development) may also be factors being considered. Please ask the coach as to why your daughter was cut and you may express your concern to the JrHL and 2nd VP of HL directors and the Director for Player and Coach Development. If there are less than 15 players and 2 goalies at the tryout, the executive along with the coach will make a decision with respect to the team.

How many games and practices will there be?

For the 2021-22 season the OWHA has stipulated that U13-U18 DS teams can play a maximum of 8 exhibition games against other DS teams and enter a maximum of 3 DS tournaments.  Games/tournaments are to be scheduled without conflicts to House League games. U9 and U11 will be allowed 8 games only and no tournaments. The number of practices will be determined by the coach in consultation with the team and parents to match desired commitment and budget levels after taking consideration the predetermined allocated ice from the WGHA to the DS teams.

How much travel will be involved?

This will depend on what other associations will be icing DS teams and the number of games and tournaments that a DS team choses. We anticipate that associations such as Kingston, Barrie, Leaside, Markham, Clarington, Oshawa, Aurora, Mississauga, Durham West, Oakville, Burlington and Etobicoke will ice teams. As such, travel should be within a 60 minute distance other than any “away” tournaments that teams choose to enter.

How much will it cost?

The largest expenditure for hockey teams is the cost of ice. In addition to ice costs, there other expenses such as jerseys, tournament entry fees, referees, etc. that will come into play. Each coach will prepare a team budget that will be determined based on team costs and size. As a rough estimate, the cost per player is expected to be approximately $1000-1200 (that is an upper limit estimate) assuming a team of 17 players.

What is the difference between an Evaluation Skate (Wolf pack) and a Tryout?

Wolf pack sessions are ment to give players extra HL development and a sense of what a tryout is like without the pressure of going through an actual tryout. Consider it much like a dry run or a practice tryout. Players cannot be cut from an wolf pack skate and attending an wolf pack development skate does not represent an obligation or intention to attend a DS team’s tryouts.

Where are the schedules for DS teams posted?

Each DS team will communicate the schedule once it is known. Because other associations cannot hold DS tryouts until November 1st, it is difficult to book games with other associations in the event that there is a lack of player interest and teams are not formed. Once a DS team holds its tryouts and the team is approved by the WGHA Executive, the schedule is formed fairly quickly as games are arranged and tournaments booked.

Development Steam Tryout Dates, Times and Locations will be posted on the website.

Questions or Concerns not addressed above?

Please discuss with your division’s DS coach or for U13-18 contact a Director for House League at [email protected]  U9and U11
 contact  the Junior House League Director at [email protected]