You should play up if your child is playing with kids who are in a grade below. When they get older, no one cares about birth year - it is all about grade.
If they play up, but are with kids in their own grade...is that really playing up?
Simply "playing up" isn't very meaningful. It's not very difficult to be an average player on a below-average team. What sets you apart is to play up as a top player on a top team.
If your kid is dominating the 06 level then move him up. If he is an average tier 1 or select player moving him up will get him hurt both physically and mentally.
Everyone talks about checking. But the factor here is the big difference in physical play - going into the corners, 14 year olds will take the puck away from 12 year olds, check or no check. It's the stick grabbing, pushing, quickness, strength.
Also, a quick fast 12 year old can skate through a team sometimes. But a decent sized 14 will have a much bigger wingspan, and you have to be really fast to go that one foot extra to your left, then one foot back to your right after you get around him.
And skate between two defensemen at your own risk!
In my opinion, if your kid is willing to get in there, play up! This is the biggest jump, from 12 to 13. Yes there's checking, but the quickness needed to keep a puck at Bantam is much higher than Pee Wee.
Learning this a year early is a big help. Next year he will be a clutching, grabbing, puck taking away expert, while AA's his own age might have more skill, they wont be as physical.
Only way I would suggest playing up a year at AAA is if your kid is so good that he is outscoring the entire EHF elite 06 division by a huge margin. I'm talking about an Eichel or something like that. Otherwise there really is no benefit to playing up, let the kid dominate his age group and have fun. It only gets harder as they get older.
There is not a single 06 player that should be playing 05 EHF this year. There are few that could be middle of the pack, but no one that could impact a game against one of the top 6 team teams.
I think a couple kids on 06 Islanders could play 05-04 year. 2 big strong kids that are great skaters. My kid doesn't play on islanders but they are impressive to watch
They can’t even win their division yet they have 2 players that could play 05/04? If they are as good as you say, they would be dominating.
you are letting hate cloud your mind. easily the two top IHC players could do very well at elite 05 level
Those 2 IHC 06 kids are bigger than most 05s.