What minor rules player eligibility are you referring to?
I believe they are referring to this 2016 HOCO rule.
"The Conference follows a grade based system based on the player’s current grade level and assuming normal progression of school to graduation." Some feel Crabs ignores this rule, as they have players who have repeated grades and feel this is not the normal progression of school to graduation. Seems someone with the HOCO league lets this slide by.
Believe me, I'm no Crabs apologist, and I think what they're doing is despicable.
But when the HoCo rules state that they follow a grade-based system based on a player's current (this is the key word) grade level and assuming a normal progression, the way I read that is you can't have, for example, an eighth grader this year playing 2021 because you know his parents are going to hold him back in school next year. This year, he is an eighth grader, and a normal progression from his current grade is a 2020 graduation year. NEXT year he will be a 2021 graduate because he'll be repeating eighth grade.
Again, I don't think it's right, and you could argue that what they do violates the spirit of the rule. But they're not the only ones doing it. I could probably count on one hand the number of programs not using at least one holdback.
My kid is probably the smallest on his team, and yeah, he gets matched up against some of these kids with full-on man beards that drive themselves to games. But he holds his own. In the long run he'll be better off.