SCREENING (Niagara Sports Tournaments)


Screening Process


All U.S.A. Hockey Rules and Regulations will be applicable. Tournament Rules are posted on our website under the tournament rules link. Please note that all of our tournaments are run on a point-per-period scoring system, where each game is worth 5 points which will be divided between the two teams.


All U.S. and Canadian Teams must be registered with their respective parent organizations for the 2015-2016 season. Only U.S.A. hockey age classifications will be accepted. A certified U.S.A. or C.A.H.A. Hockey Team roster will be required before final acceptance is granted. It must also be presented at registration check-in.

Level of Competition:

Classification systems (AAA, AA, A, B, AE, house select & house) may have slightly different meanings from area to area. Expect to encounter teams that may have different eligibility or classification rules that may not correspond to what you are accustomed to in your area. The age groups for USA Hockey and those of the Canadian Hockey Association are basically the same, however, areas that have large numbers of registered players tend to further delineate within the 2-year window allowed for each age group. In these situations, teams composed of exclusively or primarily of players in their 1st year of eligibility of a particular age group will play in their respective home areas against like teams.


New York has areas that use both the two year USA Hockey age window and the single calendar year to determine the make-up of their teams. There are also teams that travel from New York who are rostered as B/travel.

Ontario has much more skill classification, per the calendar year age grouping than any USA Hockey affiliate. These include AAA, AA, A, BB, B, AE (additional entry) and House. Many governing bodies within Ontario also permits Select or All-Star teams to form for the sole purpose of competing in events.

Cleveland Suburban League uses the RPI system and classifies teams as AA, A1, A2, A3, B1, and B2.

In Massachusetts, teams are classified A, B, and C with the exception of the Boston Metro League.

In Michigan they’re referred to as “A” teams, in Ontario & Western New York they are referred to as “minor” teams. Michigan is still the only place in the universe, to our knowledge, where the A & AA classifications are age groups and not skill levels.

Ohio is growing their hockey programs rapidly, but there are not the concentrations of players you'll find in Michigan or Illinois and therefore the talent is also spread out. Each season we see additional ice arenas being built, added to or renovated in Ohio. With the addition of the Blue Jackets in Columbus, it's only a matter of time.

Indiana like Ohio suffers from a lack of ice arenas. Again there are several programs across the state and new arenas are being built each season. House program teams in Indiana do not travel to tournaments. Programs in Indiana typically form an All-Star team from their house programs which either compete in the B or A brackets of our events.

Florida also has an interesting way of organizing youth hockey. A & AA teams are typically designated as such depending on the league you choose. For instance, teams playing in the Central Florida Hockey League are all designated A teams with those teams playing in the statewide league designated as AA teams. In addition, a team can be formed in Florida for the sole purpose of attending a tournament and these teams are rostered as tournament teams.

Playing Levels - Boys Teams

Our tournament divisions are based on the following general guidelines. Variations are possible based on the skill level of specific teams:

AA - The "best" or first picked travel team within a Tier II organization. These teams will often consist primarily of "second-year" or "major" aged players within the age group. In some cases, Major A teams are also a more appropriate fit for this level.

A - The second team or lower teams within a hockey organization and/or teams consisting Primarily of "first-year" players within the age classification or "minor" teams of a suitable skill level.

B - The third, or lower, travel level teams chosen within a Tier II organization or teams that are classified as Tier III. Teams at the B levels may often be populated by many players in their first year of "travel" hockey.

Playing Levels - Girls Teams

AA - Top competitive team in an association or district.

A - Competitive travel teams that are tournament bound.

B - Recreational/House/Travel teams that are not tournament bound.

C - Developmental teams - Teams that mainly comprised of first-year players with no more than 20% returning players

Playing Levels - High School - Varsity / JV

Age divisions and classifications may vary between the U.S. and Canada and, in some cases, from state to state. The tournament director will discuss appropriate placement of all teams to ensure fair, competitive and equitable playing divisions.