With the USPHL set to take the ice under a U-20 format, announced try out dates and within USA Hockey’s senior full check rule system; they may have inadvertently started a tidal wave of change.
TJHN has been flooded with phone calls and emails asking if the USPHL could possibly pull this off under USA Hockey sanctioning. The answer would appear to be yes.
Based upon consultation with hockey people and legal counsel, it would appear that the USPHL can do virtually anything they want within the 18 to 20 year old age groups. Could the age ranges be challenged by an older player wanting to compete, yes, but they are not likely to have success.
USA Hockey already has several age distinctions within the senior, or adult hockey classifications. Over 40, Over 30, or Over 50, the age distinctions are already in place. Under 20 would fall within a “precident” already established allowing these age classifications within USA Hockey.
Several current organizations are now also looking at using this model as well. Current junior leagues denied expansion are looking into making the switch. Current AAU teams are also looking at making the switch.
The competition for players within this age group, under this model could heat up over night.
The other issue? New groups are already said to be forming around the country that will use this same format to develop new leagues and avoid having to deal with USA Hockey’s Junior Council.
More problematic for the USPHL? One group in the Mid West is investigating developing a much less expensive pay to play league under this model! One source said, “under this model we could develop a league in the State of Minnesota alone and no player would pay more than $4000.00 a year to play. We would never have to leave the State for travel and it could become an extension of High School hockey allowing us to keep our players home.”
Who wins if this movment catches fire?
Youth hockey at the Midget level will grow once again. Adult hockey numbers will also grow. Junior hockey numbers as they are now classified will shrink.
The USA Hockey Youth and Adult Councils will gain more voting power and the Junior Council could become obsolete in short order.
Stay tuned for breaking news on the USPHL and EJHL from TJHN