My my My my

LAHA PLAY UP/DOWN POLICY (Revised November 30th, 2009)




USA Hockey does not encourage playing up; however, playing up in LAHA will be allowed in limited circumstances.




Player Movement I (Coach Requested: Restricted/Limited)


Step 1.  The age level head coach from an older age level team will be allowed to invite players to play up with the older age level team on a restricted/limited basis to assist the older age level team in games or practices.  Eligibility requirements are outlined below.  Player parent(s) must be notified and approve the play up invitation.  The parent(s), player and coaches must be in agreement that the move is in the player’s best interest.  The parent(s), player and both age level coaches must sign an agreement/waiver acknowledging that the invitation is in the player’s best interest and there is the possibility of an increase in injury risk.


Step 2.  The player will be evaluated by the two head coaches of the age levels affected by the move.  Player skill and playing ability will be evaluated.  Physical stature will be a consideration factor.  The player must be placed in the top 10% overall in skills, ability and versatility for the younger age level team before he/she can be considered for advancement.  Goalies will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Only unusual exceptions will be granted from the Squirt Division to the PeeWee Division because of the body checking aspects associated with the PeeWee Division.


Step 3.  If the younger age level head coach approves the request, the player will be allowed to play up at the discretion of the older age level coach if the following conditions are met:

(a)   the player’s ability, skill level, and versatility would place him/her in the top third (33%) of the older age level players for the position for which he/she is recruited.

(b)   to minimize the impact on the younger team’s game performance by the movement, the player must play with the younger age level when there is a game conflict.

(c)   older team player development or ice time would not be adversely affected and would only be allowed when the older team has fewer than 16 rostered players.

(d)   the player will be limited to only one age level practice session per practice night.


Step 4.  If the two age level head coaches cannot reach an agreement on the player play up request, a committee of the Coed age level head coaches spear headed by the Association Head Coach will review the case and make the final decision.


            Team’s Playing Up

A lower age level team may play at a higher age level team in a “game situation” if all the following conditions are met:

(1) coaches of both age level teams are in agreement that the “game situation” would be beneficial for both teams.

(2) coaches of both age level teams are in agreement that the “game situation” would be safe for all teams members of both teams

            (3) the “game situation” is officiated by registered and certified officials.

            (4) parent(s) of the lower age level players are notified of the possibility of an increase in injury risk.

            (5) parent(s) of the lower and upper age level player agree (verbally) to             have player participate.

            (6) “game situation” will be played a the younger age level team rules.








LAHA has no options on this issue.  USA Hockey, Inc. policy states that a player will not be allowed to play/skate down unless the player has a medical condition.  The medical condition must be documented in the form of a written statement from the player’s doctor describing the medical condition.  The doctor’s statement must be accompanied by a written statement form the player’s parent(s) requesting a “play down” exclusion from LAHA/USA Hockey, Inc. policy.  These statements will be forwarded to the Land of Enchantment Hockey Association and the Rocky Mountain District for review.  The Rocky Mountain District will provide the final ruling.


USA Hockey, Inc. does not accept stature, gender, skating/playing ability as acceptable reasons for a play down waiver.  A documented medical condition is the only basis for a play down waiver.

For a Play-up to be authorized by LAHA the appropriate form below must be filled out completely, signed and sent to the LAHA Head Coach.


Coach Play-Up Request