Author Topic: Spring Hockey  (Read 10017 times)

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Reply #40:
 June 18, 2024, 08:48:17 AM
Skipjacks are gone. BB eliminated them with the purchase of Palmyra and York. Not sure where all the kids went, but saw a lot of Skipjack helmets at Palmyra tryouts
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Reply #41:
 June 18, 2024, 11:40:38 AM
"I think a better way to do this would be for the AAHA District to force players to tryout for AAA teams in a geographical radius to a rink. If you got cut then you would be allowed to tryout out for another rink. I mean PHC gets kids from NY, CT, VA, MD. It is ridiculous."

So you want the districts to force players to only play for teams in a certain radius to their home? So you are against clubs having competition for players? Clubs will raise fees because they will know players are trapped and locked to them. Why limit it to AAA , why not make that for tier2 as well? That sounds kind of like you are in favor of living in a dictatorship. So your saying if you have a job making $85k a year and you could leave that job for another outside your "radius" making 95k you shouldn't be allowed to take it.

Are there more AAA players now or more parents willing to pay for AAA? I really don't there are more. I think because you have mid grade AA players playing AAA and mid to high A players playing AA to fill a team it just makes it look like there are more actual AAA quality players. AAA used to be for the best, not anymore.

I disagree about how many AAA players there are at the younger ages. I think every AAA team has at least 4-5 legitimate AAA players. The better teams have 8-10. AAA before 2nd yr Bantam is really about size and not so much about skill. I would eliminate all AAA league teams before Bantam and have not higher than AA. I would then limit travel for games and have more practice sessions. Most games would be against teams not further away than 1 hr. I would have a league of just SJ and SE PA counties and play teams over and over again. I would have tournaments that are local and invite teams from MD, North Jersey and Central PA. this would allow for more practices, force teams to stay at their geographical rinks and have rinks concentrate on things in this order: 1- skating/edge work, 2. passing while skating, 3. defensive coverage for F & D 4. shooting with a concentration on shooting from the waste down on the goalie and 5. shooting and passing quickly. If every rink did these things I think more kids would keep playing after 13-14 yrs old, kids would develop the proper skills to compete at a higher level once checking starts, ad the bigger kids would not get the benefit of better coaching/more ice time. So many good players are frozen out because they are just smaller/late bloomers. I would also shut down every Spring Team by May 15th. This would force kids to get off the ice, develop other muscles, improve overall athletic ability and make them better hockey players. You say limiting people to geographic rinks would allow rinks to raise prices, well prices are skyrocketing and rink jumping has not helped. I think pricing would stabilize and force all rinks to improve their products. What good does it do for kids to have Hollydell have 4 B teams at some levels? It just limits ice time. AAA tournament teams could be formed before Bantam and the kids that want that could tryout. Something is seriously wrong in ice hockey on the east coast and it is not too many AAA teams. It is parents thinking short term and not realizing you will not know if your kid has a chance to play a higher level until the are 15-16 yrs old. Everyone needs to wake up for the betterment of ice hockey but more importantly the kids!

Also your argument about living in a dictatorship and not allowing kids choice is a false premise. We are talking about youth sports. I am talking about limiting kids until are Bantam level. Remember there is not national tournament before Bantam so what does it matter if you take up this model. Also Little League has thrived for years under the limited radius model, but they are a non-profits. I know "non-profits" are probably evil organizations in your mind, but youth sports should be non-profit. Non-profit means you must put your profits back into the rink, kids programs and even lowering prices if you made too much money. They allow you to hold a surplus in case emergencies arise, but the money goes back to the kids! Minnesota is doing it the right way and the east coast states are falling way behind. Things need to change and change fast!
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Reply #42:
 June 18, 2024, 01:53:34 PM
It is typically the same comments about kids playing on levels they should not be in...AA playing in AAA etc.  Isn't that in all sports though?  Is AAA hockey really watered down, or is just easy for some to say?  Don't you think there are actually more developed and talented hockey players now than many years ago?   It always appears to me these younger players are now becoming more developed in many AAA organizations.   Sure there are problems at any organization in fact none of them are perfect in the Delaware Valley that is for sure, but I think the development has increased.  Heck the NHL game as evolved so much as well how can you not expect east coast AAA hockey to do the same. 
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Reply #43:
 June 18, 2024, 03:01:03 PM
It is typically the same comments about kids playing on levels they should not be in...AA playing in AAA etc.  Isn't that in all sports though?  Is AAA hockey really watered down, or is just easy for some to say?  Don't you think there are actually more developed and talented hockey players now than many years ago?   It always appears to me these younger players are now becoming more developed in many AAA organizations.   Sure there are problems at any organization in fact none of them are perfect in the Delaware Valley that is for sure, but I think the development has increased.  Heck the NHL game as evolved so much as well how can you not expect east coast AAA hockey to do the same. 

I think the issue is how AAA players are coached and how much ice time they get compared to lower levels. The 10U & 12U AAA players are typically just bigger than the lower level players. They are not necessarily better. I saw it with my own son. He grew 3 inches since January, made a AAA team and can now compete with these kids. He is 12U minor and lucky he grew. Most smaller kids don't grow until 14-15 and then it is too late for them as them moved to other sports. Something needs to be done to keep these late bloomers in hockey. Also the bigger kids when younger have a tough time adjusting when they are not the biggest or strongest anymore. I watched a ton of AAA games and was at Dunlop's this weekend. A lot of the younger AAA players are good shooters, good passers and just ok skaters. They get by on being tall with a reach, with the tallest players usually the best. The smaller kids try to make up with skating, but usually get bullied once in tight quarters. The game is built on skating and not size/physicality. Something needs to change. Maybe do what football does at younger ages and have weight limits per level rather than age. You would get some smaller players able to play AAA if this is done.
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Reply #44:
 June 19, 2024, 08:06:02 AM
It is typically the same comments about kids playing on levels they should not be in...AA playing in AAA etc.  Isn't that in all sports though?  Is AAA hockey really watered down, or is just easy for some to say?  Don't you think there are actually more developed and talented hockey players now than many years ago?   It always appears to me these younger players are now becoming more developed in many AAA organizations.   Sure there are problems at any organization in fact none of them are perfect in the Delaware Valley that is for sure, but I think the development has increased.  Heck the NHL game as evolved so much as well how can you not expect east coast AAA hockey to do the same.
Players yes, better teams no. Like the other comment said which I agree with this part of his post. Teams have 4 legit AAA players leaving 12+ that aren't and that is the problem. It absolutely waters everything from AAA on down. I refed for 11yrs and AAA was better before because the team had 10+ legit AAA players on the team. Fewer AAA teams makes stronger teams at all levels better.
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Reply #45:
 June 19, 2024, 08:12:33 AM
I'm well aware of little league baseball and non profits. I was a little league coach, on the local league board and township rec board. Are you really trying to compare little league baseball to youth hockey? Well lets start with the fact just about every small town in America has a ball field, hockey can't say the same. It is easy for little league to be non profit when 90% of the funding for the field maintenance comes from the town it is in. I'm pretty sure just about most rinks don't get maintenance paid by the towns they are in. What you watch in Williamsport is All Star teams from the local league not just one town. Some of the area a league covers is much larger than others and may fall out of the radius you'd may like. What is your radius? How many would be excluded if a rink doesn't fall into your radius?

As the comment that said in Michigan they care more about scholastic then they do travel. He thought that Minn., Wis and Illinois were the same way. Maybe that's the way to do it. I know they have a bigger, better pool of players in their schools than we do but what he said makes sense.

You can still find non-profit clubs. I think the LVPY are still non-profit and the thing is the fees are right up there with for profit BB rinks. Rinks are in business to make money, to make money they have to charge enough to cover all their cost and then some to put money in the owners bank account.

I agree that 4 legit AAA players are on a team leaving 13-14 that shouldn't be and that is the problem. AAA used to be for the best youth hockey players and that is not what it is anymore. And yes it waters down everything from AAA and below. I umped  baseball for 19yrs going to Williamsport 3 times to work the Little League World Series which is 100% volunteer and was a hockey official for youth hockey, college and even did some ECHL games for 11yrs and can tell you that AAA is not as good as it once was. I stopped both in the past 4 yrs because parents, coaches and players are out of hand.
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Reply #46:
 June 19, 2024, 11:38:44 AM
I think the AAHA should have an open forum where parents can spit ball ideas to improve the sport. I think a lot of time parents are left out of the equation and we have good ideas that can stir debate and then a consensus is reached. I think the rink owners, especially the for profit rinks, are too powerful. Parents need a say and having parents that have older kids speak out is helpful because they have been around longer. I look at the status of youth sports (not just hockey) in the us and so many kids are getting priced out. To reach the top level in hockey, soccer, baseball, field hockey, lacrosse and other sports you have to play club. Club sports cost a ton of money and travel is a huge add on cost. Snyder hockey is free but the coaching is not the best. Football and Basketball are still 2 sports kids can play in school and in basketball playing on a club team, sponsors pay for almost everything. I think we miss so many kids that are great athletes and would love hockey because of price. We miss too many athletes that would improve the game.

Getting back to AAA, most rinks have the coaches pick the team. This leads to too many coaches picking kids they like or kids that are really good, but not team players. Look at PHC last season- 2014 has a kid traveling 1hr45min from near Toms River, 2013 has kid 2 hrs near Sea Bright and 2hrs in Staten Island, 2012 had a kid from CT and 2011 had kids from Staten Island (2), Maryland (2), Brooklyn (1) and Dallas TX (1). How is this representative of Hollydell's rink? Aren't there AAA teams these kids can play for closer to home? This is what I mean by restricting kids to rinks in a geographic area. Little Flyers has kids Virginia, Maryland, North Jersey at multiple levels. Same for Jr. Flyers. How is this good for the kids at those rinks or ice hockey? Will kids who are middle of the road AAA players get pushed out because these rinks brought in "superstars" form 2+ hrs away?

I have 5 kids. Their main sports are- 2 play ice hockey, 2 play soccer and 1 does not play sports. Soccer is bad, but they play on club teams, travel a lot, but every kid is within 45 minutes of the club location. Ice hockey kids have 4 kids on both teams that are 2+ hrs away from the rink. How is this good? It also gives a false impression that the rink is a good development rink when these AAA teams recruit kids from other rinks so naive parents get duped into thinking there rink can develop their kid. PHC had their 2012 & 2011 teams fall apart. LF had huge turnover at 2013 and 2012 level. Jr F is a mess at all but 2012 age. Choice has hurt these rinks and their reputations, but they still sucker parents into thinking their rinks are great.  I am not sure what the solution is, but I 100% sure there is a huge problem with SE PA and SJ ice hockey!
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Reply #47:
 June 19, 2024, 03:31:55 PM
I actually agree with what you’ve said about giving more kids access to hockey a la Snider but rinks are also for profit entities who exist to make money.

Disagree with the idea that geography should determine where you play. This isn’t Minnesota. There aren’t good teams doing great jobs of developing players on every corner. The reason some of the teams you mentioned fell apart isn’t because of geography but because of internal issues with rink, team, coaches. PHC 2011/2012 has been a breakup waiting to happen for years. Most of the kids have been together since Mites and like any family conflict and unhappiness are gonna happen. LF 2012 didn’t have a large turnover. They’ve added pieces this offseason which was always Shayne’s plan. If you think kids playing out of their geographical area is a problem now wait till Midget. Many, if not most,  have kids from up and down Eastern seaboard.
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Reply #48:
 June 19, 2024, 06:38:58 PM
If only all clubs would have someone who has millions and millions and millions of dollars to leave to their club. Even Snider is flawed in the fact that at younger ages players go to other rinks to develop and then go to Snider at 16 to try and get the Ed Snider scholarship. The East Coast will never be able to touch that region in hockey.
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Reply #49:
 June 20, 2024, 09:52:36 AM
Do you want to know how to improve players? Focus on skill development. Ten years ago when my son was U10, I volunteered to work the penalty box for a tournament in Hershey. I got to talking with a parent from the other team, Piedmont Predators. I was impressed with Piedmonts players skills, specifically their skating and passing. I asked the parent how the club was run. He said from Mites to PeeWee level, the kids are on the ice 4 times a week. Two practices during the week, 1 practice on weekend and 1 game. I had tried for years to implement a similar program but no one wanted it because parents can’t cheer for their kids at practice.

When Keith Tkachuk coached his sons, Matthew and Brady, he focused on skill development. Many of those players, not just his sons, moved on to play at higher levels.
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