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I am afraid you are looking at it from the wrong angle. All people needed was a little bit of motivation to move on.
A few years ago there were really only one reason to leave town:
The kid was so good, he needed to play at a higher level.
Then people wanted to start "Keeping up with the Joneses". As soon as the best player or two leaves town, the next best kid becomes the best and then he feels like he should leave.
This created a little bit of demand.
Demand creates and opportunity for supply which equals $ for club hockey owners.
Then this just spiraled out of control.
Towns got weaker, elite programs added select teams so they could cash 15 checks for the best 1-3 kids in a few towns that weren't quite good enough to play elite.
Then more clubs sprang up. That gave more supply and the demand caught up. Weaker players felt they could keep up with the Joneses and other people found any reason at all to leave town.
Ultimately, some teams with elite labels are no better than town teams. The one thing to understand, and why these teams exist, even if they are no better than town: Choice.
Here is an example. Say I have a town player that is decent not terrible, not great. Say I coach my son's team. Say I play in a big town. I have no say over who will be on my son's team. I can look and try to guess, or I can make a few phone calls, find a weak program looking for a low level select team....think EHF Tier 1 white or EMHL. I can grab my kid's teams 5 best players and my college buddy's kids 5 best players from the next town over.
Now we have the same level team, we have control on what kids and what families we spend the year with. We have a set schedule, we skate 2 nights per week plus skills.
I think this happens a lot. Coaching in town can be thankless, at least in club you get some say in the team you have. A good coach will convince those players to come.
the last 2 posters are dead on however don't compare the EHF Tier 1 White with the EMHL. what went wrong there was the split division. take the top 12 teams and send the rest to the EMHL, don't split. look at the 03 Tier 1 white kings. killing teams. They are better than bottom 4. killing teams. Same issue with the 02 division. Top 2 or 3 teams are better than bottom 4 black teams. first, town programs are WAY more political than club programs. sad. second, don't confuse "wins" with commitment and convenience. club sports at the 2nd level are about that. players committed to developing and set ice. you don't get that with town hockey. you get 1/2 teams skipping practice and daddy coaches who don't know how to and not allowed to coach. canada has had club hockey at varying levels for years because it's their way of life. no one bashes their model. club hockey bashers are the parents of the town player not able to make even the 3rd club team.
final point. this is the way of sports now. don't fight it. embrace it.
Not really, it's just that our town B team could probably beat the select (tier 1) teams that I looked at and the number of skates are the same per week: 2 practices, 1 skills and 1-2 games per week. Save the $950.
Name one single town program where kids consistently play through their entire youth years and actually have an impact at the high school game?
There are only a few public schools that matter. Maybe 5-6 at most. Hingham killed their town midget teams so they are all club kids. Others like Reading, Framingham, Winchester, Braintree....
I'd add: Franklin, Wilmington, Burlington and Woburn also...however going forward these top public schools that keep most of their kids will have next to zero kids that played just town only
Agree 1000% it's hard to go from recreational hockey to competitive hockey at 15-16 years old. The cows are outta the barn by then.
Add Arlington and Tewksbury
Kids do go from town A to public high school varsity hockey, happens all the time.
Oh sure they do but not at competitive D-1 schools. And if they do its to keep the bench warm for the playahs.
didn't know arlington and tuukasbury had hs hockey.
Reading. That's one town. Look up the kids who won the Super 8 in that town a few years back, going on a rampage against
Catholic schools in the tournament. Many played together since mites in town youth hockey. Just an example of a program that works.
Love the posters adamant their town Bs beat Tier 1s?
Save it, it's not going to happen ever again. The All-star teams the Catholics can put together using 25 kids from 17 different towns will not be topped by a public ever again. It was a cute tournament format but it's days are over.
Look at a town like Hingham that won the Super 8 in 2010 and last year they had one town hockey player on the third line and the rest of came out of various south shore programs.
Turn out the lights for town hockey at Squirts.
The Canadian rep system is much better
There is nothing wrong with playing on your top town team if it is a strong program but you should also supplement that with a club team even as an alternate, especially at squirt major and above.
Many on this thread are way off. My son has played town hockey (in a strong town hockey program )and EHF tier one (black) for several years. consistently his town team just doesn't have the practice time and commitment from the players on the team. The two teams / leagues could not be more different. His club team makes play after play, is more physical, plays like a team and the coaching is better. The town team can't execute a lot of simple basic plays consistently and they don't know how to move the puck.
Yes there are plenty of good kids that only play town, but it's hard to be ready of HS hockey playing town only. In my experience, there are 1-2 kids on most tier one teams that could play at the elite level.