The Mission of the Schenectady Youth Hockey Association (“SYHA”) is to provide a fun, safe and properly supervised atmosphere for hockey instruction that emphasizes skill development and also promotes the establishment of value-based life lessons on the part of its players, including the importance of hard work, dedication to goals, good sportsmanship and discipline. The SYHA seeks to accomplish this mission by ensuring that its players have a fun positive and developmentally appropriate learning environment from its entry level programs through its most advanced programs. SYHA strongly believes in the benefit of our children participating in organized sports, realizing that it can best accomplish its over-arching goals of helping its players be the best hockey players they can be by encouraging them to participate in a number of different sports throughout the year. We believe that participation in properly coached sports helps to build self esteem, promote teamwork, develop the body as well as the mind, and is an important part of a healthy development process. We strive to find coaches who not only provide sound, age-appropriate hockey instruction but also who serve as educators and provide good role models for our young players, encouraging each player to be the best they can be in hockey and in life. We discourage as an association undue emphasis on a team’s wins and losses and/or excessive competitiveness on the part of its coaches; in contrast, we seek to foster the development of the skills of all players. The ultimate goal of the SYHA is to provide an opportunity for young people of all backgrounds to participate in and enjoy the sport of hockey in a positive and wholesome environment and hopefully carry the love of the sport into their adult lives.
In addition to the guidance provided by USAHockey and the NYSAHA, with which it is affiliated, SYHA has embraced the philosophies set forth in “National Standards for Youth Sports,” a publication compiled by the National Alliance for Youth Sports. The following standards were established:
STANDARD 1 - QUALITY SPORTS ENVIRONMENT Youth sports programs must be developed and organized to ensure, as well as to enhance, the emotional, physical, social and educational well-being of children.
STANDARD 2 – SPORTS PARTICIPATION SHOULD BE FUN AND A PORTION OF A CHILD’S LIFE Youth sports are only one portion of a child’s life that must be balanced with other social and educational experiences and activities.
STANDARD 3 – TRAINING AND ACCOUNTABILITY Adults involved with youth sports must receive training and important information about the program and must be held accountable for their behavior.
STANDARD 4 – SCREENING PROCESS To ensure the safety and well being of children in youth sports, individuals with regular, repetitive access or contact with children must complete the screening process.
STANDARD 5 – PARENT’S COMMITMENT Parents/guardians must take an active and positive role in their child’s youth sports experience.
STANDARD 6 – SPORTSMANSHIP Everyone involved in youth sports programs should exhibit positive sportsmanship behavior at all times.
STANDARD 7 – SAFE PLAYING ENVIRONMENT Youth sports programs must provide safe playing facilities and equipment, healthful playing situations and proper first aid applications, should the need arise.
STANDARD 8 –EQUAL PLAY OPPORTUNITY Parents, coaches, and league administrators must provide equal play opportunity for all youth sports regardless of race, creed, sex economic status or ability.
STANDARD 9 – DRUG, TOBACCO, ALCOHOL AND PERFORMANCE ENHANCER- FREE ENVIRONMENT Parents, coaches, officials, fans, players and administrators must be drug, tobacco, alcohol and performance enhancer free at youth sports activities.