I don\\\'t think I\\\'m understanding what problem you\\\'re solving for. My kid is one of those kids that will probably play Juniors for two years before playing DII/III. So, I guess that means we can relate to the issue pretty well.
Neither he, nor I, have any objections to that. I\\\'d say he even looks forward to being able to focus just on hockey for a bit. It\\\'s a heck of a balancing act to maintain honors level Prep school grades while also playing hockey six of the 9 academic months, 5 to 6 days a week, something he has had to do pretty much since the 5th grade at this point.
Maybe we are in the minority in not seeing college hockey as a part-time activity while attending classes on your way to your full time career. But, how many DI/II/III athletes are choosing a school - probably true in any sport, and probably the Arts too - based on the academics? I mean, full scholarship kids at DI schools are told what to major in (*cough* *cough* General Studies). If my kid wants to major in Chemistry and a school comes along that offers him the right hockey opportunity but has a crappy Chemistry program, do you think he will turn it down? You need a Masters degree today anyway.
If you REALLY want to solve a problem, make it mandatory that the Full Season and Tier III Junior programs attractive to kids 16 - 18 hold practice and games no earlier than 5 PM. A lot of these kids are making major compromises to their HIGH SCHOOL education to play hockey. And it\\\'s worse north of the border.
5pm ice is prime time for youth. Jr\'s tend to practice in the am while u16/u18 kids are in class. After school the ice is available for u16/u18.
Owners have a good thing going. Not that there is anything wrong with that!
I understand that. But, 15 year olds are eligible to play (and do play) Juniors as long as they turn 16 by December 31st. So, how do those morning practices fit in? How about all the billets on the high end full season U16/U18 teams?
Sure, it's good for the rink owners. Not so good for the 15 - 18 year old players that are being forced to choose.
I agree, but that schedule supports all. Makes the most sense for owners and probably players in most cases. Some JR teams practice early before school or have relationships with local public and privates ( if not online) where they make it work. Billets tend to go to local public, privates or Online. Not perfect but seems to work.
Ice schedule makes the most sense as previously mentioned but certainly not idea. A 15-16 year old playing juniors is likely T1 or T2 juniors where they have everything in place to support.