Travel Tryouts will be held April 22rd - April 30th for all levels - 8U Blue, 10U - 18U Co-Ed Teams & Girls Teams
Reston Raiders Travel Try Out Policy
Reston Raiders tryouts are open to any player who is interested in playing travel ice hockey for the Raiders organization. Travel ice hockey teams are more competitive in nature and require a more significant commitment in terms of time (for both player and parent) and cost. Players must be committed to attend 2-3 practices per week and 2 or more games on the weekend.
The Raiders have a very sophisticated evaluation process that plays out over a period of time leading up to and through the tryout sessions. We feel that we conduct the most thorough, complete, and unbiased tryouts in the area. Each step of the process is documented below, including:
- Coach Selection
- Player Registration
- Tryout Sessions for Skaters and Goalies
- Evaluation Process
Before being announced as a Travel Coach for the Reston Raiders, anyone who is interested in coaching for the Reston Raiders can apply for a position by sending an email to Coach Selection Committee Chair, John Gary at
and expressing interest in being a Coach. The Raiders Coach Selection Committee (CSC) has the responsibility of evaluating all Head Coaching Candidates. They utilize the submitted applications, Coach Evaluations from the previous season, as well as observations and feedback from watching all of our current coaches. Based upon those discussions, coaches are selected and offered opportunities to coach a Reston Raiders travel team. Once the coaching slate has been approved by the CSC, the slate is sent to the Raiders Board of Directors for approval. Following approval by the Raiders Board of Directors, the coaches are announced on the Reston Raiders website.
Parent vs. Non-Parent Coaches – The Raiders goal is to always slot the best coaching candidates for each of our teams. We look to place both Parent and Non-Parent coaches on our teams. If the best candidate to teach our players at a given level is a Parent Coach, then we will place the Parent Coach in that position. A key component of the CSC evaluations during the Coach Selection Process is whether or not the coach’s son or daughter can play at the level that the team would be placed at (AA, A, B). The Club’s goal is to select coaches whose son or daughter has the ability to play at the level at which the coach is selected. In general, coaches whose children do not have the ability to play at a particular level will not be selected to coach that level.
All players regardless of experience must register for tryouts and pay the $100 tryout fee (non-refundable). On the first night of tryouts, all parents will receive the Club’s Financial Agreement (contract). All players trying out for the Raiders will be required to return the contract on the second night of tryouts. Players who have not returned a signed Financial Agreement by the third skate will not be allowed to skate nor be selected for any Raiders Travel Team.
The tryout fee can be paid by credit card online only. Players are encouraged to attend as many tryout sessions as possible, but players must attend two of the sessions in order to be selected for a team. If sessions are going to be missed, the absence must be communicated by sending an email to
or notify the staff at the registration table.
Players may request to only be considered for a particular team within an age level (example: Player only wants to be considered for a Blue or top/AA team, but not the Silver, Black or White teams). This can be noted when registering online or at the check-in table during tryouts. If a declaration to only be considered for a specific team is made, that player will not be considered for any other team and the player/family will not be contacted and asked if they want to be placed on one of the other teams at that level. If not selected to the team requested, the Financial Agreement will be voided.
- If your player is injured and wants consideration they must be registered and pay the tryout fee online.
- Players that are interested in trying out but are re-locating from outside the area may register& pay the tryout fee and accommodations will be made to allow those players to tryout.
- There will be no walk – in registration allowed. Players may register online prior to the third skate at any age level. This will allow new players or players who cannot attend the sessions beginning on April 22nd to skate. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT ANY WALK-IN REGISTRATIONS. ALL REGISTRATIONS MUST BE DONE ONLINE.
- Any returning player must have all financial obligations with the club paid in full before taking the ice.
- Any player who is rostered/under contract with another local Tier II program must have a release from that program in order to tryout at Reston, including returning Raiders.
- Any former Raider registering to try-out for the 2023-2024 travel season who has played for another Tier II travel team in the D.C. area since leaving Raiders must petition the Raiders Board of Directors to return to the Club. See Return to the Club Policy. Such petitions must be emailed to the Travel Director (
) by April 17th, 2023.
The tryouts will consist of several sessions. All sessions will concentrate on skills and competitive situations. If a player misses a session, they will only be evaluated by the sessions they attend. It is highly encouraged that players attend all sessions. NEW POLICY – Any player may be offered a roster spot following two tryouts, assuming the Financial Agreement has been signed and submitted. We encourage players to attend as many sessions as possible, but if a player will miss a session, we ask that an email be sent to
indicating which sessions will be missed.
There will be Informational Meetings administered by the Club’s Travel Director, or designated Board Members. The meeting will discuss the tryout process, club/team expectations, and any other pertinent information deemed necessary, as well as offer an opportunity for any questions parents may have about the club or tryouts. The meetings will be held virtually via Zoom Meeting on Once the dates/times are set, we'll update the confirmed dates & times. The meeting invite will be forwarded only to players currently registered for tryotus.
The tryouts will consist of three skates to select our Blue & Silver Teams. Players not selected for a Blue or Silver Team, would then be eligible to come back and skate in a fourth session to be considered for our Silver and/or Black teams. As was previously noted, the Raiders are moving away from birth-year based teams and will select mixed, age based teams (i.e. all players at the 10U age level - 2013 & 2014 birth years will be eligible for our top Blue team). The best players at all designated age levels, will be selected for our Blue team, and the next group of players would be selected for Silver, and so on.
Age groups that have more than 50 players registered will be split into separate sessions. Our scheduled denotes two groups for each age group. By splitting the groups, it allows us to focus on less kids on the ice at one time. The initial group assignments will be randomly assigned, generally alphabetically. As we progress through tryouts, the group assignments may be shuffled to mix the groups and evaluated players who have not competed against each other. This may impact the schedule that is currently posted for those age groups.
Goalies – Goalies should plan to attend our “Goalie Only” session (Saturday, April 22nd) as well as all sessions at their respective age groups.
During all sessions the players will be placed in skill and game based drills and scrimmages. The Head coach and several additional independent evaluators will assess the players’ performance in those drills and scrimmages, as well as using evaluations rankings from the previous season. Players will be ranked on their assessed abilities based upon how they perform in the drills, small area games and scrimmages during each session. During Skill Drills, the players will be ranked on their hockey skills (Skating-Forward & Backwards, Edges, Transitions & Speed; Puck Handling - Puck Control, Passing, Puck Protection, Body Contact, as well as how they perform in drills, small games and scrimmages in game elements) Following each session, the evaluators will meet to discuss each player’s performance during the session. These sessions will be moderated by a Raiders Board Member or assigned evaluation Moderator who has no personal interest in the outcome of the evaluation and who does not have a son or daughter involved in the tryout. The moderator’s role is to lead the discussion on each player, compile the input of evaluators and ensure that the evaluation process is conducted fairly, without bias and is consistent with the Raiders’ tryout policies.
All parents & players will follow the process below when arriving at the rink for each tryout session:
- Players check in and receive assigned pinnie. The pinnie will be kept until the completion of the third session and should be returned following the last skate.
- Prior to the first session, Parents will receive via email the Raiders Financial Agreement outlining the Travel Team fees for the upcoming season. All Financial Agreements should be returned at check-in on Night 1, but must be returned no later than the start of the third tryout session.
- Players check in for attendance purposes.
- Parents return signed financial agreements.
- NEW POLICY – Players may be offered a spot on one of our Blue teams following any tryout session where a player has skated, and a signed Financial Agreement has been turned in. Players offered rosters spots will not need to attend additional sessions. Any players who have not turned in the Financial Agreement will not be eligible to be placed on a Blue team.
Third and Fourth Night
- Players check in for attendance purposes.
- Parents return signed financial agreements (if not already turned in). Players who have not turned in a signed financial agreement will not be eligible to be placed on a Blue, Silver, Black, or White team.
The purpose of tryouts is to evaluate a player's skating ability, hockey skills and commitment to teamwork in order to place him or her on a team that will provide the best environment for improving their self-confidence, skills and enjoyment of the sport of ice hockey. A Board-approved committee of evaluators using a standardized scoring system will assess skating ability and hockey skills at each level during scheduled tryout sessions. With the possible exception of the Head Coach, evaluators may not have a son or daughters involved in the tryout for that team or otherwise have a conflict that could introduce bias into the evaluation process.
All levels will include a scrimmage component as part of the evaluation process. The previous year’s coach will provide additional input to a player’s respective hockey abilities and understanding of team concepts. That input will be solicited through standardized coaching evaluation forms that are provided to coaches prior to the completion of the season.
Following the completion of each session, the Moderator and all evaluators will meet and discuss the play of each individual player on the ice during the session just completed. Team rosters will be determined following the conclusion of the final tryout session and will be based on all of the discussions held about each player after each of the tryout sessions. The decision to select or not to select a player will be based on the consensus of all of the evaluators, not the opinion of any single evaluator, including the Head Coach or the moderator assigned to oversee the evaluation process.
If parents or players have questions about a player’s tryout evaluation, they may contact the Raiders Travel Director.
Team Roster Announcements
NEW POLICY THIS YEAR - Players selected for any of our Reston Raiders Teams will be contacted via email indicating which team they are selected for and if the Club has received the Financial Agreement, that roster spot will be confirmed and the contract will go into effect. Players not selected for a Reston Raiders Travel Team will also be notified via an email from the club. We will not be posting rosters on the website as we've done in past seasons.
All selected players following announcement of rosters must go the Raiders website and register for the upcoming season. A $500 first payment toward 2023-2024 club fees will be due at that time. Once the player registration has been completed, players will be added to the Team Roster on the Raiders website.
Questions related to this policy can be directed to the Raiders Travel Director,