Stowe Youth Hockey offers programs for players of all levels for players ages 5 to 14. For new skaters, or players younger than 5 years old, Stowe Recreation offers a Hockey Initiation program starting at 3 years old. USA Hockey, Stowe Youth Hockey's governing body, classifies player ages by birth year (Jan 1 to Dec 31). Below are the USA Hockey divisions:
U-6 (Mite) - 6 & Under - co-ed | birth year 2013 and later
U-8 (Mite) - 8 & Under - co-ed | birth year 2011 and 2012
U-10 (Squirt) - 9 & 10 year olds - co-ed | birth year 2009 and 2010
U-12 (Peewee) - 11 & 12 year olds - co-ed | birth year 2007 and 2008
U-14 (Bantam) - 13 & 14 year olds - co-ed | birth year 2005 and 2006
Midget - co-ed pre-season for High School aged players.
For players in the U-10 division and above, teams may be selected by a tryout process. The number of teams at each level is determined by the total number of players registered in each division.
USA Hockey recently incorporated the ADM (American Development Model). This program lies at the core of player development. The ADM utilizes a station approach to practice in order to simultaneously maximize ice utilization while presenting players with limited time and space training. This approach serves to increase repetitions, puck touches, and skating in traffic. As a result, particularly at the U-8 (Mite) level, it serves to develop agility, balance, coordination, and speed (The ABCs). Another Fundamental component of the ADM for the U-8 level is its emphasis on cross-ice, half-ice and small area games, all designed to help foster a read and react mentality, the essence of decision-making in the sport. Each SYH division will have an ADM practice once a week.