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Yale Youth Hockey Association
Play-Up Policy

It is the policy of the Yale Youth Hockey Association that each registered player will play in his/her age level as set forth by USA Hockey Rules. However, individual requests to play-up may be considered by a Select Committee, and reviewed on a case by case basis. The Yale Youth Hockey Association recognizes that in certain situations it may be appropriate and/or beneficial to a player’s development to play-up to the next age level. The Committee will consider and evaluate a player’s development potential in his/her actual age level versus potential for success in an older age level. The Committee will also consider the fine balance between the best interest of a player requesting to play-up and the Yale Youth Hockey Association teams and players in both their actual age level, as well as older level. A player requesting to play-up must be selected to play for the A/Highest Tier older level team only. Players requesting to play-up are not eligible to be selected for lower Tier teams at the older level.
There is an increased risk of injury for participants playing outside of their actual age classification. However, USA Hockey and Yale Youth Hockey Association allows the movement in certain situations if specific guidelines are followed:
A player will not be permitted to move up more than one year in age, except in very rare and specific cases. For example, a first year Squirt cannot be moved to the Pee Wee level. A second year Squirt may advance to the Pee Wee level. This will apply at Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam levels.

Only requests submitted in writing by the participant’s parents or legal guardians will be considered. This request must be submitted and received by the President  - Yale Youth  Hockey Association at least 14 days prior to the first day of Try-Outs or the Evaluation Skate.
A player requesting an opportunity to play-up must also try-out for his/her actual age level team. For example, a Mite level player who is granted a play-up request to Squirt must register and try-out for both Mite and Squirt level teams and pay the try-out registration fee for both Mite and Squirt, or they forgo the opportunity to play on the Mite team if not selected for the Squirt team. If the player is selected for the older level A/Highest Tier team they will be credited for the younger level try-out registration fee. If the player is not selected for the older level A/Highest Tier team they will not be credited for the older level try-out registration fee.
The Committee will evaluate each request. Criteria for allowing a player to play-up will be based on the evaluation of the player’s skill and ability to contribute to the older team, the player’s emotional and physical maturity level compared to the older team’s players, physical size and number of players at each level. The play-up player must be projected to be a dominant player on the older team. If the player is not projected to be a dominant player on the older team, then it is highly questionable whether playing up is truly in the best interest of that player or the team.
Allowing players to play-up from a non-checking division to a checking division represents the greatest risk and will therefore receive additional scrutiny.
The Committee decision is final.
Per Connecticut Hockey Conference Rules, once a player has participated on a team at a higher USA Hockey age level, the player is not permitted to play for a team at his actual USA Hockey age level for the remainder of the season (Play-up; Stay up Rule).
Upon request, the participant’s parent(s)/guardian must sign the Yale Youth Hockey Association Risk Acknowledgement and Liability Waiver, acknowledging the risks associated with playing outside of a player’s actual age classification.

Yale Youth Hockey Association Risk Acknowledgement and Liability Waiver...Click Here

Yale Youth Hockey Association