standard-title Age Groups

Age Groups

Levels of Play

Programs available vary from nation to nation, with the youngest age groups often beginning as young as five years old. Youth leagues typically run in groupings of two to three years depending on the size of the community and number of participants. A sample program may offer the following age groups:

  • Under 18 (as of the beginning of year of the tournament)
  • Under 16
  • Under 14
  • Under 12
  • Under 10
  • Under 8
  • Under 6

Men’s programs usually commence at 18 years of age, with some programs allowing ‘under-18’s’ to play with parental consent if no youth program exists in their community. Nations may offer as many as six senior levels of play based on competitiveness of the player/team, including Masters players (over 30 or 40 years of age in most countries).

As players/teams succeed at each level, they are normally expected to graduate to higher competitive levels of play, if offered in their communities, in order to keep programs fair and fun for all participants. Some nations offer women’s programs with many more expected to follow shortly.

Divisions for older adults are becoming more and more popular with 30+, 35+, and 40+ age levels common.

In the end, you must decide what is best for the development of your members and your program.  Keeping the game fun involves more than just rules for safety but also an effort to keep play fairly competitive so that all participants have an opportunity to succeed or feel fulfilled in the effort to succeed.  Self-esteem is an important element of amateur sports at a recreational level, and administrators should bear this in mind when developing their ball hockey programs.

World Championships International Play

U16 Boys & U20 Girls World Cup
 
A player must be of age on the first day of the year of the tournament, or later.

A player wanting to participate in the Under 16 or Under 20 tournament must be born no earlier than the first day of January, of the year of the tournament. 

Applied to the year 2018:

U20: players born 01/01/1998 or later

U16: players born 01/01/2002 or later

U20 & U18 World Championships
 
A player must be of age on the first day of the year of the tournament, or later.

A player wanting to participate in the Under 20 or Under 18 tournament must be born no earlier than the first day of January, of the year of the tournament. 

Applied to year 2018:

U20: players born 01/01/1998 or later

U18: players born 01/01/2000 or later

Masters World Championships
 

A player must be of age by the last day of the year of the tournament, or earlier.
Example: a player wanting to participate at a Master’s event, must be born no later than the last day of December, of the year of the tournament.

This is notwithstanding the exemption rule for the Men’s category; allowing up to 3 players, whom can be no more than 3 years younger. This decision must be reviewed and voted upon by the ISBHF Board of Directors. 

Applied to year 2018:

Men: born 31/12/1978 or earlier.
Exemption: 3 players born 31/12/1981 or earlier.

Women: born 31/12/1983 or earlier.
Exemption: any player born after 31/12/1983 will be dealt with on a case by case basis by the ISBHF Board of Directors – please contact David Tor at secretary@isbhf.com