Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey

USA Hockey removes usage of traditional age classification names (pee wee, bantam, etc.)

Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey
An action photo from the 2016 “midget minor” state playoffs. Photo by Michael Caples/MiHockey


By @MichaelCaples –

There is a big change coming to youth hockey, and it’s all about names.

Based on a rule change by USA Hockey, age classifications will no longer have name labels like ‘midget’ or ‘bantam’ in the USAH rulebook.

Instead, all age categories for youth hockey are to be referred to only by age number – 12U, 14U, 16U, etc.

Within the legislative proposals addressed at USA Hockey’s Annual Congress, ‘Legal Council #3 Amended’ is the document in which the name changes take place; the proposal was approved by the board of directors.

The ‘intention of proposal’ states: “To remove references to age classifications using Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget, and instead refer to them using age categories.”

USA Hockey’s Legal Council and Disabled Section submitted the original proposal.

The proposal states that the ‘housekeeping changes’ of removing the names would take place in these areas:

  • References to age classifications would list ages only
  • ADM chart would list classifications by age only
  • Split Season Dormant Program would remove references to “midget”
  • Under age coach examples would refer to age categories only
  • Junior relocation section seeking information on “midget” teams would refer to 18U
  • References to “Midget Hockey” would refer to “Youth Hockey”

You can see the approved proposal here.

How age categories will now be referred to:


  • Seventeen (17) and Eighteen (18) – 18U (Midget)
  • Fifteen (15) and Sixteen (16) – 16U (Midget)
  • Fifteen (15) Tier I only – 15 (Midget)
  • Thirteen (13) and Fourteen (14) – 14U (Bantam)
  • Eleven (11) and Twelve (12) – 12U (Pee Wee)
  • Nine (9) and Ten (10) – 10U (Squirt)
  • Eight (8) and Seven (7) – 8U (Mite)
  • Six (6) and Under – 6U (Mini Mite)


  • Seventeen (17) through Nineteen (19) – 19U
  • Fifteen (15) and Sixteen (16) – 16U
  • Thirteen (13) and Fourteen (14) – 14U
  • Eleven (11) and Twelve (12) – 12U
  • Nine (9) and Ten (10) – 10U
  • Eight (8) and Seven (7) – 8U (Mite)
  • Six (6) and Under – 6U (Mini Mite)