The simple answer or the thesis is town hockey can not compete and remain a true not for profit. They need to own a rink so the can have set ice times they need a board that is not filled with townies trying to keep their friends together so they can go on benders with their benders together they need true skills and off ice and they need to play at highest level possible...never happen they can never compete....
Agreed. Another issue is I do not think you can own a rink with just one sheet of ice and break even (seeing as though most oganizations would need to finance some of this as well) You would need multiple sheets of ice which makes the cost of construction and land acquisition go up.
Next you would need to field an elite team of your own and with the current numbers I really doubt that would be possible.
I am thinking you would need to condsolidate a few town programs into one - Fundraise like crazy and build a rink with at least two sheets of ice and have a board that knows that the product on the ice is marketing for the business.
Town hockey will remain a niche sector where parents can pay a a smaller fee for their kids to play hockey. But the best players will continue to leave for the better opportunity.
And I think thats ok. This is about the kids developement and if they can play against better compettion and get more ice time for practice than its a win win.
Basically, the history is this: About 10-12 years ago the shift kicked into full speed. As the exclusive Metro League was suffering from in-fighting more professional organizations surfaced in the region giving the kids better or at least consistent coaching, more ice time and better competition. The better kids went there and the better kids got...well, better. A youth hockey 'arms race' began...the results of taking the better players and giving them more and the results were seen at the high school level and kids who went on to play after high school were all coming out of these specialized programs. Other qualified (and some not so qualified) coaches saw an opportunity to monetize the youth hockey arms race and make a lot of money at it so more organizations popped-up. As more organizations popped up it wasn't always the better players leaving...now anyone with an interest in actually playing D-1 or D-2 high school hockey was climbing into the arms race that became youth hockey. The spiral continued taking many of the marginal Town Hockey players away until Town Hockey became a true recreational league of kids trying out hockey (at the post Squirt level and beyond) and having some fun at it rather than attempting to develop into better players who might actually play on a better than average high school team or after high school.
Most people on the DBoard left Town Hockey and jumped into the youth hockey arms race attempting to develop a hockey player. The cost, time commitment from both the parent and the kid and the obvious better play has turned many parents into elitists when it comes to hockey...and thus the disdain for those who merely want their kid to have fun. The parents of Select Hockey players need to see results (or at least act and talk like they see results) for their time & money they put into youth hockey.
I’ll second that.
You don’t always get what you pay for with upper level club hockey, but it’s your job to put your kid in an organization and more importantly a healthy coaching staff to achieve the goal : developing their 100% potential wherever that may be for your kid. What ever level it may be. Their hard work and positive results are the “Fun” that they are playing the game for not the pizza parties.