The team system offers the greatest educational benefits when it:
• enables the teams to operate with a degree of autonomy appropriate to the age group; and
• stimulates close relationships between the members of the teams.

The major consideration in this respect is the range of ages within the teams.

Generally, the team system works best when there is approximately three to four years age difference between the youngest and the oldest in a team.

This is due to the fact that the more mature members of the teams will stimulate the less mature to develop. At the same time, the less mature members stimulate the sense of responsibility in the senior members and give them opportunities to exercise responsibility in helping the younger members to progress, to integrate the code of living, to gain skills, to learn how to work as a team, etc. The presence of younger members also helps the senior members to realize the changes in themselves since they were that age.

However, when the age range is greater than this, the educational impact of the team system becomes greatly reduced. This is because the difference in the level of maturity will be so great that the young people at either end of the age range will feel that they have little in common with those at the other end - and thus will informally regroup according to their natural tendency to be with others of approximately the same age!

For the national association, the fact of limiting the age range so as to enable the team system to fulfil its educational function evidently has implications on the number of age sections that the association offers and/or on the overall range of ages that it addresses.