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USHL Age Restrictions To Change? Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 7 Dec 2015  
By: Grace Breseman

This April the NCAA will vote on whether or not to raise the age limit from 20 to 21. There’s a lot of uproar about this and it’s easy to see why. An age change like this would eliminate a year of NCAA college eligibility for an athlete over the age of 20. 

It just doesn’t seem entirely fair to do this to a player just because they’re more experienced. The USHL could then use players a year earlier and they won’t finish the program that many players use to improve upon their skills before playing in the NCAA. 

Unless the NCAA will change their age to 21 and up will lose a year of play time, it’s not fair to the players to take away a year of their time in the NCAA. 

The USHL is a league that is built to make players better by allowing a higher level of competitive skill. In no way should the NCAA take away any of the opportunities that the USHL offers its athletes. 

Not to mention, the age change would really only benefit the Big Ten teams who scout younger and younger with their players and don’t like other schools coming near their talent. Many other colleges can only take those who are older, however this does give them a greater competitive edge because of their age and more advanced skill set. 

Graduation rates are so high among the players who enter the NCAA after completing their time in the USHL so why would anyone want to change what they already have? If it’s working so well then why would anyone even consider changing it? Ultimately it comes down to the six coaches from the Big Ten who went straight to the NCAA to put in on the agenda for April without consulting any other teams. 

Hopefully the NCAA committee won’t vote to up the age limit, as it would only hurt the players who have been doing so well with the USHL program feeding right into the NCAA career. I guess we’ll have to wait until April to find out. 

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