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Author Topic: AA now water downed  (Read 521 times)

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AA now water downed
Topic: September 13, 2021, 11:22:44 AM
My son dropped down from AAA to AA and switched programs. We figured it would be more fun, less travel and less money. One of my biggest gripes about Tier 1 hockey was the travel and lack of quality teams. The majority of teams we played were no better than AA/A hockey teams, so we figured why not just play AA hockey and spend less time traveling. Of the last 6 games my sons new team has played, 5 out of 6 teams are no better than an average A team.  Its like the tier 1 situation all over again. People say some Tier 1 leagues are better than others, some have upper and lower divisions. What's the point of playing Tier 1 hockey if you're in the lower division? wouldn't that be more like AA? I don't get it? Its the same for AA. Hockey programs putting together AA teams that are no better than an A/B teams. They get crushed and for what, so they can say they play AA or that the organization offers a AA option? Has hockey gotten this diluted that not only is tier 1 hockey becoming watered down, the same thing is happening at the Tier 2 level? What is the solution? I have always looked at AAA as the best of the best top to bottom. AA should be for kids that are bubble AAA players that need more time to develop and most likely will go on to play AAA in the near future. But why are parents and teams so delusional to think that just because they have a AA team that the kids are worthy of the title? I think teams and parents need to really evaluate the teams they are putting together and how good the kids really are. The level of play for your child and their ability don't matter, parents want to think it matters and it doesn't, but the declaration of what designation you choose as a program does matter. It doesn't help the true AA teams that are looking to get challenged and play good hockey and it certainly doesn't help little Johnny to go out and get crushed 10-0 for half the season. In that situation nobody wins. Time for a reality check.
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Reply #1:
 September 13, 2021, 02:32:02 PM
Agreed. Too many so called "elite teams" out there with mediocre talent calling themselves whatever
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Reply #2:
 September 13, 2021, 06:24:26 PM
Just curious, where and what level?  The DVHL seems to be limited with AA teams at most levels.  16U has the most teams at 14.  All the other levels are 8-11 teams at most for AA.
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Reply #3:
 September 13, 2021, 07:25:12 PM
I think the issue at AA level is all the additional "AAA" teams, which should be AA. Those "AAA" teams refuse to.play the better AA teams because it would diminish the "AAA" brand when they get beat or play a close game with AA.

Now the true AA teams have difficulty. The watered down "AAA" teams which are really AA won't play them and the AA teams are really A.

Curious what level are you encountering the issue.
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Reply #4:
 September 14, 2021, 08:03:50 AM
Are these games you've played so far league games, EJ / AHF, or tourney? 
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Reply #5:
 September 14, 2021, 09:53:06 AM
I think the issue at AA level is all the additional "AAA" teams, which should be AA. Those "AAA" teams refuse to.play the better AA teams because it would diminish the "AAA" brand when they get beat or play a close game with AA.

Now the true AA teams have difficulty. The watered down "AAA" teams which are really AA won't play them and the AA teams are really A.

Curious what level are you encountering the issue.

This is pretty much the issue. You also have a few over zealous coaches out there who only want to play AA regardless of the team's talent.

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Reply #6:
 September 14, 2021, 10:21:35 AM
2008. Mix of 2 leagues. I agree that the lower AAA teams should play the better AA teams, but it never happens because the AAA teams don't want to lose to a AA team. The whole system sucks.  I guess its just how it is. As long as tier 1 level will require a AAA team at all levels from mites up it creates too many AAA teams which unfortunately waters down the hockey from top to bottom. Too much money at stake to change it. Instead of having 15 AAA teams in a state maybe have 5 and have the other kids play tier 2.
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Reply #7:
 September 14, 2021, 04:47:11 PM
Is your son playing on a pure '08 team or on the 14U AA team?  It feels like every minor birth year now has their own pure team which doesn't help and to your point waters down the AA classification. 
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Reply #8:
 September 15, 2021, 02:20:17 PM
This is where I think soccer does things better than hockey. Travel soccer doesn't have different tiers like hockey. There are also possible 10 times as many kids plays soccer so you have way more levels of play in soccer so it makes it a little hard to compare. Of course there are higher level teams/leagues that cater to the top players, but most of the leagues around PA/NJ and I assume the rest of the country don't have any exclusivity to then.
My daughter's current team formed 5 years ago where they were going into u12. This was when US Soccer changed the age classifications to go by birth year (previously they were grouped by b-days between August through July). They were the top team at this age group in their club, but weren't playing in comparable AA division. I'm guessing in hockey terms they would have been A National. Over the last 5 years they have gotten better and added more higher level players. During this time, they moved into the top division of another league, then the next year into in 3rd division of a better league and now the last 2 years have been in the 2nd division of that league. At this point it would be the equivalent of playing AAA. The only thing they had to do was apply and be accepted to those leagues. Its not like the AYHL where a club like Comcast(or whatever they are called these days) are blocking PHC from entry because they don't want another club in their area in the same league.
Hockey needs to get rid of tiers. Leagues need to allow other teams in if they think they can compete. Make it a team by team evaluation. A few years ago that Palmyra 03 squad would have been better off playing in the AY instead of the DVHL. They should have been able to move up. The Little Flyers have been fielding a lot of shitty teams for years. Those teams should be in the DVHL. Unfortunately, this will never happen because of $$$. The LF know they won't be able to charge $6000 to play in the DVHL.


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Reply #9:
 September 17, 2021, 09:31:30 AM
I think it also hard to tell which programs are truly "AA" in August/early Sept, as many programs just began practicing a week before showcases. My son's all new team will be much better in a month
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