Should 1999s And 2000s Be Allowed Another Year Of Junior Hockey?

Blenheim Blades
Blenheim Blades vs Dresden Kings action – Photo by Wyatt Williams/

It’s a debate happening right now on social media.

Should 1999 born players be allowed another season of Junior C, and should 2000 born players be allowed another year of Junior B and Junior A?

There’s definitely no easy answer. In some leagues like Junior B, Junior A, and the OHL, this overage season is where players earn college and university commitments, or professional contracts.

For others, it’s simply an opportunity to have one more season of playing a game they love competitively.

But what would leagues filled to the brim with 20, 21, and 22 year old players look like?

It would be competitive, that’s for sure. There would be an abundance of bigger and strong players, who aren’t youth anymore, but adults.

It would also take the focus of development out of these leagues, as the inclusion of more adult players, would mean less space for 16- and 17-year-old players.

Some talk has been that 16-year-old players would not be permitted into these leagues at all. This discussion has been based around the presence of more players who would be older and stronger, and the physical safety of young players.

Truly, there is no right answer. It’s been hard for most athletes of all ages losing a season of games due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it comes down to it, someone will lose a year or more of Junior eligibility. Will it be those on the beginning of their journey, or those at the end of their journey?

In the lower ranks of Junior hockey, do we value competition, or do we value development and advancement?

We want to hear your opinion. What do you think on this debate?

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