At the Mite through Peewee levels, everyone should play. The focus should be learning each position, the skills required, and the strategies involved. Once a player reaches the Bantam level, they face the adversity of earning ice time. Players are bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. Injuries occur, and as a result a larger roster is required. Conversion matters, as winning games becomes more important. Special team’s privileges are earned, and those special teams are composed of players with a specific skill set and work ethic. That being said; no player should only see a few minutes of ice, during a game. This is a waste of time and money! Everyone should see a regular shift, unless a player is being penalized for poor behavior or performance. At the Bantam level, players are also on the radar for Junior, Prep School, NCAA, and Professional scouts. At this point, given a higher tier of hockey, the game becomes a lot more serious! As parents, you should not stand in the way of your child earning their ice time. When they are 18, they will have to fend for themselves. You are doing them a disservice by fighting their battles for them.