Certain individual hockey players may have the skill, maturity and physical size to advance to an older age group team. However, playing “up” is a privilege, not a right, and as such, much be carefully considered in order to balance the needs of the player, the team and the organization.
This policy will address two options available to players:
1) Playing in a player’s appropriate age group and playing up one level
2) Skipping a player’s age group and playing only at the next level
NOTE: All age advancements must be approved by the JBYHA Board of Directors and the affected coaches.
Option 1: Playing on age appropriate team and on advanced team
This is the preferred option for most highly skilled players who desire to play on an advanced team and thus has simpler criteria for acceptance. The player gets the benefit and leadership experience of playing on his/her age appropriate team, that team gets the benefit of the player and the player can also benefit from the added skill development by playing on an advanced team. The player would receive a “family” discount on the less expensive of the two teams.
Criteria for Acceptance:
a) The age advanced team head coach agrees that the player has the hockey skills, maturity and physical size to play on both teams and can invite the player to play up one level.
b)The advanced team does not have a full roster of age appropriate players at the proper skill level for that team, as determined by the head coach of the advanced team. (No bumping age appropriate players).
c) Double-rostering must conform to USA Hockey rostering rules.
d) When practices or games overlap, the player participates with the age appropriate team.
2. Skipping the player’s age level and advancing to the next level team
Skipping the age appropriate team is strongly discouraged by the Board and will only be considered in special circumstances where a player possesses significantly better hockey skills than his/her age group peers and would not develop improved hockey or leadership skills from playing on the player’s age group team. The parents of the player must first petition the Board for skipping an age group in order to be considered.
Criteria for Acceptance
a) Player must be the first or second ranked player on age appropriate team as evaluated by coaches of that team.
b) Player’s skill level relative to the advanced age team should be comparable to players ranking in top half of that team (age advancement will not be considered for players comparable to bottom-ranked players on that team).
c) Coaches from unaffected teams will perform evaluation relative to age advanced team
d) Coach of age advanced team must accept the player on his/her team.
e) The coach from the age appropriate team may not veto the decision of the other coaches, but may offer an opinion.
f) The advanced team does not have a full roster of age appropriate players at the proper skill level for that team, as determined by the head coach of the advanced team.
Factors that will not be considered as criteria for skipping the player’s age appropriate team:
• Friendships or family relationships between players, parents, coaches, etc.
• Convenience of having siblings on same team
• Convenience of practice and/or game schedule
• Player’s ability to pay
• A team’s “need” for skilled players
NOTE: Exceptions may be made where the advancement or lack of advancement of a player would affect the ability of a team to form or continue at a given age level.