A category of hockey after high school or midget age, but before college or pro, generally 16- to 20-year-olds, with the occasional 14- and 15-year-old.
Born out of Canada, junior hockey teams of various levels play out of thousands of small towns up to the biggest cities in Canada. However, a rich history of junior hockey began in the United States and continues to grow today, as well as other countries around the world.
In the United States and Canada teams are broken down into Major Junior, Junior A, Junior B and Junior C with many different tiers and distinctions depending on the region.
Most university college teams have players who have played junior hockey until they were 19 or 20, thus making college hockey players older than most other sports. Some junior hockey players are already drafted by a National Hockey League - NHL team because the draft age is 18.
Junior hockey has different rules than amateur or minor hockey, generally more lax rules on fighting and wearing of facial protection. Again, this differs across the different leagues and levels.