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WMHA to try spring tryouts for the first time, starting April

Woolwich Minor Hockey’s 2014-2015 season tryouts are coming early this year: April through to May. It’s the first time the association has held early tryouts, something many leagues are moving towards due to several advantages, said president Rob Waters.

“There are a couple of benefits: one for us as an executive association, there’s a huge rush to get all of our players rostered on teams and some teams want to go in tournaments in early September so they have to pick their team early; we have to do all of the administrative [work],” said Waters this week.

“We’re doing that for 34 teams in a week and it’s very difficult. This way we can have 10 teams picked in May, which we can do over the summer. The other advantage is that teams can fundraise all summer; there might be some financial benefits to that.

Players may also have the flexibility to better plan next season’s tournaments, something that was made more difficult with previous late-summer tryouts. With more time on their hands, players’ families can be included in the decisions and scheduling, Waters added.

“You can do a lot more planning because the team is picked. We’ll start the year off in September with teams already picked.”

The WMHA received permission from the Township of Woolwich to keep the ice pads frozen this spring and hope to get about six or seven sessions of ice time for the trials. First up, following the completion of the AAA and AA tryouts in other centres, WMHA will run tryouts for A and AA teams from Major Novice to Major Bantam.

The next step will be to set up exhibition games, as New Hamburg teams are also planning for spring tryouts. Scheduling details are still up in the air, this year being a pilot project.

“This is new for us. We are trying to get the dates nailed down for the tryouts so people can plan; I know people are trying to book vacations and we don’t really have it buttoned down yet. Hopefully it works and it’s well received by people so we can do it again next year.”

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