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The programs available begin with the youngest age groups commencing at 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 as of December 31: 

* Junior (under 18) 

* Girls U18 

* Bantam (under 16) 

* Girls U16 

* Pee Wee (under 14) 

* Girls U14 

* Atom (under 12) 

* Girls U12 

* Novice (under 10) 

* Tyke (under 8) 

* Squirt (under 6) 

Mens programs usually commence at 18 years of age with some exceptions allowing under 18's to play with parental consent. In Canada, there are five divisions of play Men’s A, B, C, D, Recreational based on competitiveness of the player/team. Masters Open (over 31) and Master’s (over 40) are also available for any individual interested in participating in the old-timers leagues. 

The National Ball Hockey Association of Canada offers five levels of play at the Women’s level of play which are determined by skill and age (Master’s) level of play: 

* Women’s ‘A’ 

* Women’s ‘B’ 

* Women’s ‘C’ 

* Master’s Open 

* Master’s 

As players/teams succeed at each league 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.