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DHA Announces New Processes Beginning with the 2018-19 Season

By Dayton Hockey Association, 03/14/18, 11:00PM EDT


DHA is always striving to improve and streamline the hockey experience for our families. As a result, we are excited to announce some new processes for the upcoming season. These new systems will affect our division names, our evaluation process, and our team formation procedures beginning immediately.

Here’s what you can expect going forward:

Dayton Stealth Division and Team Names

Beginning with the upcoming season, we will no longer divide our teams into house and travel divisions. To be honest, we don’t have any “house” teams in the truest sense of the word, except our Learn to Play program.

We will still maintain different divisions that require different levels of commitment in terms of both time and money, as well as representing different skill levels, but want to recognize that our teams represent a full spectrum of travel, skill, commitment, time, and effort. As always, the number of teams and their respective placement within each of these divisions will be determined based on numbers, interest, and skill levels on a season by season basis. 

Our new divisions will be as follows:

  • B Division – This division will be comprised of our teams that participate in the Midwest Youth Hockey League (MYHL), and/or any comparable league or independent schedule, as well as our Learn to Play program. This division will primarily include Dayton Stealth parity teams, although there may be instances where tiering or select/tournament teams may also be included. Teams within this division are great for any level of experience and/or skill, and will focus on more local competition with less time and financial commitment than teams in the A Division.  Some of these teams may also be based (primarily) out of a single rink where/when possible, and when ice allotment allows.
  • A Division – This division will be comprised of our teams that participate in Buckeye Travel Hockey League (BTHL), Little Caesars Amateur Hockey League (LCAHL), Ohio Scholastic Hockey League (OSHL), and national prospects showcases, and/or any comparable league or independent schedule. This division will include Dayton Stealth Tier I (AAA), Tier II, AA, A, and high school teams. Teams within this division require a much more serious commitment to the sport, and substantial travel for games. They may also require a higher level of time and financial commitment, including encouragement and/or requirements for additional training both on and off ice, and during the “off” season.  These teams place more emphasis on competition, and coaches and independent evaluators will select players at their discretion. 

Dayton Stealth Player Evaluations & Team Formation

Beginning with the 2018 – 2019 season, here’s what you can expect for player evaluations and team formations:

  • ALL teams (except Learn to Play) will form in the spring.
  • Evaluations will be held by age division, and will include ALL players in all divisions 8U and older.
  • All players (8U through 18U/high school) will be expected to register for, and skate evaluations in the spring.
  • The B Division is open to players of all skill levels, and anyone who wants a more relaxed experience or less of a commitment may elect to play in the B Division, regardless of their performance at evaluations.
  • The A Division will be offered based on skill and merit as determined by the group of coaches and independent evaluators.  All players will be considered, regardless of past performance or playing history.  Head coaches from the A Division will make final determinations as to roster, with guidance and assistance from the independent evaluators.
  • Learn to Play will remain flexible, as it always has. DHA does encourage early registration, even for Learn to Play.
  • Early regular season registration will be mandated. As a result of the evaluation process, players will be offered roster spots on teams; however, please note player accounts must be in good standing (no outstanding balances) prior to a player being offered a roster spot on any team. To accept the offer, the player will need to register for the regular season and provide an applicable, but non-refundable, deposit equal to or greater than 1/6th of the registration fee for that team. These offers will carry a deadline for acceptance and payment of the deposit/first installment of the registration fee.
  • Streamlined, and consistent payment plans for regular season registration fees will be mandated. Participants will be offered four (4) payment options: 1) Payment in full online; 2) Payment in full by check; 2) Six (6) equal monthly payments by credit card; 3) Six (6) equal monthly payments by check. The first payment (or payment in full) will be due at the time of registration for and acceptance of your offer for a roster spot. Payments will then be due the 15th of each following month with the final payment due no later than November 15, 2018. All registration fees must be paid in full no later than November 15, 2018.
  • Streamlined and expedited uniform ordering. By forming all our teams in the spring, we will be able to order all our uniforms (game jerseys, socks, etc.) in July, so all of them will be in player’s hands before their first game of the season.  

Why We Are Making These Changes

  • DHA wants to ensure transparency and fairness in the evaluation process. By forming all our teams at the same time and holding simultaneous, age division evaluations, we will automatically permit all players to be considered for all skill divisions and truly split them up by skill level.
  • Forming teams early permits kids to get to know their teammates and bond with them over the summer. It also permits teams and players to begin skill building earlier by making use of the off season, if the team and families so desire.
  • Early team formation allows teams longer to fundraise or find sponsors, which can allow for extra games, tournaments, or gear.
  • Early team formation will allow us to order uniforms and matching gear earlier (eliminating issues we’ve had in the past).
  • Knowing where your child will play and what the associated costs will be will provide simplified payment plans and streamline the financial aspects of hockey. This will allow families to plan earlier, and remove the scramble to get hockey fees paid right before Christmas. By establishing set payment plans and systems with known payment dates, everyone will be able to plan accordingly, and it will eliminate surprises by preventing the outstanding balance from slipping the mind.
  • Knowing how many teams and players will be participating in DHA programs will simplify our ice scheduling and contracting. We will have a better grasp of our ice needs prior to signing contracts, and will be able to reduce wasted ice time and money.


What You Need to Do to Prepare for These Changes and Next Season

  • Watch your inbox for announcements about evaluation registration opening.
  • Register your player for evaluations when that registration opens.
  • Be sure to have your player attend the evaluation sessions for his/her age division.
  • Plan to register your player for the 2018 – 2019 season once you receive the offer for your player’s placement.


We’re looking forward to launching this new process. We still anticipate most of our teams to take the ice sometime between late August and mid-September.

If you have any questions about DHA’s new process, please feel free to contact any of the following executive committee members:

Aaron LaFave, Director of Coaches –

Vince Crum, A Division Commissioner –

Dave Huss, B Division Commissioner –

Sheri Hayes, Treasurer –

Anita Griggs, Registrar –