This is just to compare AA vs AAA. One thing AA parents don't understand is how much you pay for AA compared to AAA. My kid played 10UAA as a 2012 last season at a BB rink and now plays PW 2012 AAA at non-BB rink. Let's compare costs:
BB AA (2022-23) AAA (2023-24)
Tuition- $3495 $5100
Uniforms- $430 $800
Power Skate (20wks) $40 x20=$800 $0
Semi-Privat clinics (20) $50x 20= $1000 $0
April-June practice $600 $0
Summer Camp $500 $0
travel/hotel/food (4 trips)$2800 $3000 (4 trips estimated)
Skate Sharpening $416($8 each) $0 (AAA teams are free)
Total $10,041 $8900
I save $1,141 playing AAA at non-BB rink. People at lower levels never total up the non-team money they spend. We get 4 hours ice a week (including a power skate and skills), 2 day a week free practice April 2023 -End of season in 2024, free skate sharpening, 4 day/ 6hr/day summer camp, free to join other teams practices if we miss our practice, professional off ice trainer & 1 hour video teaching a week. AA we got 2 practices a week, 1 x/week skill (when ice time was available, we got 8 skills all year), had to travel 2 x's for showcases & 2 times for tournaments, no free skate sharpening (adds up), no summer camp, no professional trainer & no video.
AAA is way worth it when you total up what you spend compared to what is included. Also, my AAA travel is not bad, especially compared to AHF that now has teams in Division in Maryland, CT, & NY! My kid was good enough to make a AAA team, yours is not so you are jealous.
Also to the person that wrote teams that win 8 games should just play AA I agree if the team is getting blown out by 10 goals a game. But there are some new AAA teams that may win only 8 games but are very competitive (losing by 1-3 goals a game) that deserve to play AAA. These teams just need time to jell as a team as most established AAA teams have 7-8 player cores that have played together since mites. Since being at AAA for 7 games I can already see the difference between AA & AAA. Top AA teams might compete against lower level AAA teams but to top 80% of AAA teams will destroy top AA teams. The speed of play, passing, skating ability, skill level and most importantly goalie play are just superior. If a AAA kid lacks a little skill, guaranteed they are one of the best skaters on the ice. If a kid is just an ok skater, guaranteed they are top 3 most skilled on ice.
My buddy and his son came to games this weekend because his AA team was off. The kid did not make the AAA team and wanted to see what it was like. The father and son could not believe how fast and physical a 2012 AAA game is compared to his AA team (which is a top 11UAA Pure team in AHF). After the game when his son was with my son, my buddy remarked he was happy his son (top player on his team) did not make the AAA team. He said he would not be able to keep up and his confidence would suffer. He never got it until he actually watched a AAA game, but now he does. AAA just has better players which = better play. With this said, puberty is the great equalizer!