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High School & Prep Hockey
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Re: RI HS is dead as well

anon
HS hockey is dead in MA & RI because high school hockey doesn't do much for player development. If your player has talent, you go the U16 route and jump to prep after a few years, better than riding the pine for a season or two while the HS coach rolls his two lines of juniors and seniors. If your kid is borderline, you go the U16 route because HS coaches don't even try and develop younger players any longer and JV hockey is really, really bad. You then realize your player may not have caught up to player A above but he's better than most of the HS talent so you go to U18 and hope that he's just a "late bloomer" and with just a bit more development, he has a shot playing in college. Meanwhile, an 8th grader takes in a game or two at the HS level to see what is in store next year and he and has parents realize how bad the hockey has become, the coach is a nut case, and oh yea, he's only rolling two lines so the problem continues onto the next class.

I have no idea how to make HS hockey relevant again. I don't blame the parents sending their kids FS because they will get more development, that's just a fact. Hard to get upset with the coach as the AD is pushing for wins plus the coach is always only a few parent whines away from getting canned so he needs a winning record so he'll have a shot at another job. I'm not blaming the FS programs for selling a dream, it is a free market economy and if parents didn't want it, they wouldn't exist.

This has been debated ad nauseum and I've yet to see a real solution short of state hockey org's coming in and blowing the whole thing up and starting over again, perhaps using MN as the model. I'm sure that would lead to a number of lawsuits that the clubs and rink owners would win and besides, as we've already seen, the owners will just self insure and go without a USA Hockey sanction because the money is too good.

I won't say HS hockey is dead but it isn't what it once was and most likely, never will be again.

Very true! It seems like in MN it is more of a cultural influence. Very much community based with strong roots. It is a much better model. Not sure we can "Put the toothpaste back in the tube" around here. Not sure we have enough "like minded" who would set their own personal agendas aside for the better of the whole. Too bad because we all lose!!

Re: RI HS is dead as well

Yeah, I agree I don't think there is a way to bring it back around here. I think the poster that brought up age limits is onto something, that is it will really take changes from above to affect changes to local business model. I don't think you could make it only D-III as many kids drop down from D-I to D-III if things aren't working out for them, just look at the UMASS Boston team, for example. Perhaps an age limit, i.e. you can't play Varsity hockey after 22 or 23 and it would start a change. I'm sure that would lead to a host of other unintended consequences so it won't happen anytime soon.

Re: RI HS is dead as well

Not sure I see the correlation here. You may want to rethink it. The problem with HS has NOTHING to do with D3 hockey. The problem with HS hockey is poor coaching, which leads to NO development. If you rethink your position, you would realize the result would be an INCREASE in FS club teams, and weaken HS hockey even more.

Think about it. Where do most public HS kids play in the fall? Bad 1/2 season teams coached by daddy's. Where do prep kids play? Legit programs coached by Prep coaches. The public HS player moves from a bad 1/2 season to a science teacher teaching dump and chase, big hit hockey. Result? Goon, no skill, terrible hockey. Throw in the boosters volunteer parents or legacies, and even more benders make the team. So, the player gets 16 practices and 16 games for bad 1/2 season hockey followed by bad public HS hockey that consists of 36 practices and 20 games. That's a total of 52 practices and 36 games from Sept - Feb.

For a 15 or 16 yr old with skill and a has a chance to play college at 19, well, the 100 practices and 70+ games with real coaches with better players is a MUCH better option. Keep in mind that most HS's have a few studs, a bunch of duds, and a few in the middle. The better players DON'T benefit from practicing with the coach's buddies kids who can't catch a pass but ride pine on 3rd or 4th line as a favor. Not even close from a development standpoint. Hockey is also a game of muscle memory and repetition. Logic and basic math tells you the 88 skates a kid gets playing HS vs. 170 with his club team playing with and against similar skill level is a way better option, if a kid wants to develop.

So, lower the age of D3 hockey player eligibility, you basically just increase the FS participation.

Strange you can't see it that way. Be happy you don't work for me or you'd have more time to hang on the DBoard trying to convince others that HS can be revived.

Re: RI HS is dead as well

Personally I see nothing wrong with the current situation. Let the true studs move onto FS and give the good/average kids who are going to hang up the skates at graduation a chance to play for their school and in front of families and friends. The quality of play may suffer a bit but H.S. hockey will survive.

Re: RI HS is dead as well

Agree. If you apply basic economic prinicles, more club team will actually force HS hockey to improve.

Quiz for the DBoard faithful. Why?