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There are generally two types of youth ice hockey - travel and in-house.
In-house is usually sponsored by the home rink and is dedicated to teaching the basics to skaters. The fundamentals generally taught are power skating, puck handling, game rules and basic plays.
Travel hockey is usually organized in clubs.
There are seven typical age divisions in youth ice hockey:
- I.P. (Initiation Program) (any age under 8)
- U-6 (any age under 6)
- U-8 (8 years of age and under)
- Squirt (9 and 10 year olds)
- Pee Wee (11 and 12 year olds)
- Bantam (13 and 14 year olds)
- Midget (15, 16 and 17 year olds)
The age division is based on the birth date of the player.
Youth Division Levels
Level AAA - also known as Tier I - is the highest level of competition. This division is for very skilled, experienced players in the Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget levels only. These teams compete for State, Regional and National Championship.
Level AA - also known as Tier II - offers a high level of competition for skilled players in the Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget levels. These teams also compete for State, Regional and National Championship.
Level A - is for experienced players seeking more competitive play, typically composed of all first year players for the designated division.
Level BB - this level is for players who have experience at the B level, want a higher level of competition, but are not quite ready for A level. BB is available at the Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget divisions.
Level B - is for players just learning to play the game and wishing to compete in a fun environment. This level is available at all age divisions.