Agreed, leagues are watered down and the fact the adults running Mass Hockey and FED/E9/BHL/TIER 1 wont allow inter league play also has huge impact on development. This is not a FED vs. Everyone else argument - the top 3-4 FED teams are undoubtedly the best in their age group. But the fact they wont play top E9 teams hurts development - why beat up a bottom FED team when you could play a more competitive top E9 team. Top E9 teams could play mid level FED teams, plenty of local competition there too. And the top FED Tier 1 teams could easily play most E9 and Fed teams. From a development standpoint wouldn't it make more sense to play better teams out of league. It's a shame those running Mass Hockey and these leagues wont put the development of kids first - instead of $$$$ and MHR.
Not sure why you're blaming MA hockey, they have little to no control over Select hockey. (Season long full ice mite teams anyone?) New England Select hockey programs and the leagues they play in (and own) are all for profit businesses. The sooner you realize this the better. They don't have organizational philosophies, they don't use lower level teams as feeder teams for the upper level teams, and they could care less if your child is developing as a person or a player as long as your checks keep clearing. And the MHR thing. Programs don't care about those either. That's just you folks and your coach who want to be able to brag to their friends that your kid plays on the 8th ranked tier II team in the state...but we're on the rise!
Mass Hockey could step in and dictate some structure to the whole situation. Other states do it. Just put them all in one pool and run a parity tournament in Sept, then start playing the regular season in October.