One of the mistakes that many players. who are finishing up their last year of junior hockey, make is playing past their 21st birthday without being enrolled full-time in university or college, leaving themselves with only 3 years of eligibility to play NCAA Division 1 hockey.
What happens if I turn 21 during the junior hockey season?
If you play a junior hockey game after your 21st birthday you will lose 1 year of NCAA athletic eligibility leaving you with 3 years remaining. This rule applies only to Division I.
How can I turn 21, play junior hockey, and still retain NCAA eligibility?
Using the NCAA “transfer rules” you can continue playing junior hockey after your 21st birthday and retain 4 years of athletic eligibility if you enroll full-time at a college institution that does not sponsor a hockey program. Although you will lose some of your 5-year academic eligibility you will not lose any of your 4-year athletic eligibility.
When should enroll full-time if I am going to play junior hockey after my 21st birthday?
In order to avoid the hassle of registration when the hockey season is busy, you should enroll full-time in September. Also, in order to avoid difficulties with the NCAA Clearinghouse, you should register with the Clearinghouse before enrolling full-time. It is important to note that once you enroll in college level courses you can no longer write the SAT.
Does the rule apply to Division II and III?
No. The 21-year old rule applies only to student-athletes wishing to compete in Division I. It does not apply to those student-athletes wishing to compete in Division II and III.
If you think we can help you understand this rule or other regulations, please drop us a line.
← Back to Newsletter