New rule to go into effect for the 2017-2018 season that was approved at the 2016 USA Hockey Annual Congress. Full context is below but basic guideline is a 12U player, boy or girl, can not play on a team that may lead to a National Championship. A team that may lead to a National Championship is a Tournament Bound Youth Tier 1 or Youth Tier 2 14U,16U,18U , Tier 1 15 pure or Tournament Bound Girls Tier 1 or Girls Tier 2 14U,16U,19U. This DOES NOT affect a 12U playing on any Tier 3 team or any non-tournament bound team.
Beginning in the 2017-18 season, no player 12 years of age or younger (as defined in the age classification chart for the current season) is eligible to play on a team intending or declared to compete in the District or National Championships or playoffs leading thereto. A player 13 years of age or older may play on a youth or girls’ team in an older classification at a District or National Championship Tournament only if the applicable Affiliate’s rules or decisions, and the applicable local program’s rules or decisions, permit that player to do so. A player residing in one Affiliate may not play on a team in an older classification in a different Affiliate unless both the Affiliate where the player resides and the Affiliate where the player desires to play have granted permission to play in an older classification. In the event a youth or girls player has been denied the permission to play in an older classification in the Youth or Girls’ District or National Championships on a team in an Affiliate other than the Affiliate where the player resides, the player may appeal such denial to the National Championship Appeal Committee.
All other requirements, rules, regulations, operation and procedures of all USA Hockey District and National Championship Tournaments shall be set forth in the District and National Championship Tournament Guidebook.