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Hockey/playing up


I saw your comment about players playing down and I have a question about a player playing up. My son is an 2007 Mite his bday is 1/24. He was moved up quickly from mini mites to mites because of his skill level and development. He has played with the mites group for 2 yr now and all of the kids he has played with have now moved up to squirts. Can he move up to squirt level? Not sure where to find the exact rule about playing up.

Thank you for writing. There is no rule about playing up because USA Hockey knows that there are players that are naturally talented and advance faster than the normal kids within the same age group that they are in and they do not want to squash the opportunities for gifted players.

Having said that, USA Hockey leaves that choice up to the associations ice hockey director to determine if the player is eligible to play up.  Now, as a hockey director, one of my main concerns is the safety of the child.

A second year mite is smaller than a second year squirt.  Now depending on the skill level and height of your child, will help me determine if he or she has the ability to play up.  Plus, with all do respect, every parent feels that their child should play up.

But as a parent, you must weigh the consequences of having your child move up or stay down. Here's why. Because he's younger than his friends, if he stays in his current age group and not move up, he will have the opportunity to be a leading scorer within his age group, giving him the confidence of being a top scorer.

If he is too small or is not ready to advance, the other kids will over come his abilities as a play and the odds of scoring goals will be reduced. Now if he has an advanced skill level and you want him to be challenged, and the hockey director agrees, then he will be able to move up to the next level.  Having a player move up to the next level should NOT be determined because his friends are moving up and he wants to play with his friends.  The safety of the child is more important than making sure he advances with his friends.

If I were his hockey director and he has the skills and height so he won't get hurt, I'm all for it.

Thanks for taking the time to write.
Rob Lopez - Commissioner
University Ice Hockey League - Mexico


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Rob Lopez


I can answer all questions about ice hockey from Mites level to College. I have 15 years as a Goalie Coach, 5 years as an assistant coach, 6 years as a hockey director, and 9 years as a General Manager


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