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10-18-2009, 08:08 AM
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Played,coached, scouted, evaluated youth hockey since the 1950's. Let's get down to the basics.

Each category is divided into first year and second year.Most youth hockey jurisdictions follow the calendar year. Jan 1 - Dec. 31.A youngster may be viewed as an "old" or a "young". A 7 year old born Jan 1(old) is grouped with a 7 year old born Dec 31(young), but there is a big difference in their physical, mental, cognitive abilities because of the 363 day gap.

Evaluations. Most organizations will run evaluations - cones, skating, shooting,passing, timed, etc, of all the registered players.The comparisons should be available at various levels - his teammates, organizational history, age expectation. Ask to see the evaluations to appreciate how your son rates. A "young" who rates very high and is ahead of the "old" is advantaged.

Few other points. Getting exposure to other sports is a plus since it developes discipline and athletic skills. Also playing decision-making type games or problem solving helps.

Good luck.

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