Skylands Development League is a 3-on-3 league for kids 10 and under. The league offers one practice and a one game slot per week for approx 10 weeks. The emphasis is on fun, skill progression, and player development while de-emphasizing stressful, high-pressure, game scenarios and ultra-competitive play.
The league is designed using suggested guidelines of USA Hockey's American Development Model (ADM) which wants to focus more on individual skating and player skills while getting more ice and puck touches throughout the season.
FALL - SDL Graduation/Skill competition will be Dec 8th.
The Winter 1Season begins on Wednesday Dec 12th with an evaluation skate & Saturday, Dec 15th with first set of games.
Weekly league practices begin on Wednesday Dec 19th
Weekly games begin on Saturday, Dec 15th and continue until Feb 16th.
WINTER 1 - SDL Graduation/Skill competition will be
Feb 23rd. now 2/27 @ 7:10pm.....
The Spring Season begins Saturday March 2nd. Details to follow.
ALL PLAYERS MUST BE USA HOCKEY REGISTERED.
To register, your skater with USA Hockey,CLICK HERE
If you are interested in coaching or helping out this season, email one of the SDL contacts below.
What are the advantages of SDL and ADM?
The goal of the SDL is to accelerate player skill development by concentrating the game area to a smaller area. This allows for more ’puck touches’ per player per game. It also allows for more shots, more goals, more saves, and more fun. ALL FOR LESS MONEY.
The days of the ‘superstar’ kid rushing the puck end to end around everyone else, playing ‘breakaway hockey’ is over as are the days of the less skilled players ‘hiding’ on the ice and not getting anywhere near the puck. Players are always involved in the play.
This concept is derived off of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, specifically in the FUNdamentals stage for girls and boys age 6-10. Its focus is more on skill development and de-emphasizing intense competition.
What are the minimum skill requirements needed for a skater to play in the SDL?
The league has set a set of minimum skill requirements to help skaters and parents decide if their player is ready for the SDL.
The skill requirements are outlined in the "Future Ranger" - Hockey Head Start program:
- • All skaters under the age of 6 must pass Hockey 5.
- • All skaters above the age of 7 must pass Hockey 4.
By meeting these minimum requirements, skaters are given a better chance to perform and progress in the league. If skaters are not able to meet these requirements, they can sign up for Hockey Head Start to acquire and/or enhance their hockey skills.
How is the league divided up?
The league will be divided up by skill level, not by birth year. Depending on the number of skaters in the league, there will be multiple teams of 8-10 skaters each. The teams will be divided by skill level with advanced teams playing comparable teams and intermediate/ beginner teams playing the same.
Why are the teams and divisions skill based?
By separating the players by similar skill levels instead of by age, coaches are able to better prepare and execute practices to maximize the growth and progression of all the players. For coaches, it helps to eliminate the huge disparity in skill level that can exist on some teams between a kid who is a ‘superstar’ and one that might be just learning to skate. The games are also more engaging for the players who find that they are competing with and against other players that are closer to their skill level. Players are not bored or overwhelmed in game situations.
What does a ‘focus on skill development’ mean?
Instead of focusing on game type situations (plays, strategies, positional hockey, rules and penalties) players and coaches focus on further developing players skills. Players are left to go out and just play in games. (Think of it as more organized pond hockey… with practices.)
What is the Evaluation Skate?
The first skate of the season will be the Evaluation Skate. Players will run through a typical practice and be evaluated on different skill sets. Through the evaluators, the player will be assigned a rating number which is the average of all of the evaluators’ scores. Skaters will be sorted by average with the larger ratings skating in the advanced division and the lower half skates in the intermediate/ beginner division. The Evaluation Skate is not to determine whether or not a player meets the minimum skill requirements of the league.
How are practices run?
Practices will be run in a station style set up. Each team’s head coach will run a station and each team will practice as a unit while rotating through all the stations. The head coaches and the practice plan will be overseen by the league coordinators. This will allow all players to be exposed to all of the coaches that are in the league, not just their own, who will be coaching them during the Game Sessions.
What will players use for jerseys?
Jerseys are included in the price of the season. They will be one of eight solid colors. The jerseys are the player's to keep after the season or they can exchange their jersey at the front desk for a Stick and Puck pass (or similar).
What are the games like? When are they?
Game sessions are broken up into two games, back to back every Saturday morning. The bumpers will be set up along each blue line creating two game-play areas on each end with a ‘bench area’ in the middle/neutral zone. Nets will be set up on each side boards and players will skate cross ice for approx. 24 minutes. After that, the teams will take a break and reassemble to play one of the other teams in their division and play another approx. 24 minute game.
Who will be coaching the teams?
Coaches will come from either the town based programs or from interested parents who can skate and want to get involved in helping out. It is the leagues desire that along with player development, the coaches will be developing their skills as well as developing and ever-evolving Coaching Curriculum. Coaches will run drills and practices along with the SDL Coaching Curriculum. The league is always looking for new people who can commit to coaching a team. If you are interested in coaching, contact one of the rink representatives below.
What is the Coaching Curriculum?
The Coaching Curriculum is a program developed by the SDL coaching coordinators to maximize the progression of all the players’ skills as they move up through the league. It is also an effective way that coaches, players, and parents can help identify individual player’s strengths and weaknesses in different skill sets.
Can my kid learn to skate in the SDL?
No. The SDL is for skill development. Players need to meet minimum skill requirements in order to play in the league. If players want to learn to skate or enhance their hockey skills, they can sign up for the Hockey Head Start program and then move up to the SDL when they are ready.
Can a skater sign up for SDL and HHS?
Yes. Players are welcome to sign up for both if they wish.
Where does my skater go after SDL?
Once skaters reach the age of 10, they become eligible to play full ice games at the Squirt level. They have the option to play for any of the town organizations at the rink, play for a rink run and coached house league team, or tryout for the Skylands Kings squirt travel hockey team. There are also many full year and seasonal clinics at the rink that skaters can attend. These clinics are offered both during and after they move on from the SDL.
Director of Hockey Operations
Phone: 973-697-1600 x121