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"He used to play town but when the daddy coach of the A team tells you that your son will be on the B or C team without him ever actually seeing my son play or try out told me all I needed to know about how our town picks teams..."
This is EXACTLY what killed Town Hockey. They killed it themselves.
The Daddy's-in-charge got so caught-up on making sure their kid, their buddy's and the B.O.D.'s kids all made the A team and then when the half of the potential A team leaves for Select hockey the Town Daddies all cry foul, preach the virtue of Town Hockey and wander around town bad-mouthing the kids that left saying "that hockey isn't any better....those kids aren't very good so let them leave..... it's not like any of these kids are going to be playing college hockey anyways...."
Town Dads don't know it yet but the reality is for the town players is "it's not like any of them are going to be playing varsity hockey anyways."
There it is, The old town Daddy coach excuse again. Of course you realize the vast majority of coaches in select hockey are also daddy coaches whose kids are playing for free and more often than not playing at a higher level than they probably should be. It's a sweet deal if you can get it.
In a nut shell, the top major year town teams are normally very solid and in most cases a step up from the minor year select teams. (The kids are older, bigger and stronger so it only stands to reason.) These top Major year town teams, especially at the upper levels (Bantams/Pee Wee's) are typically populated with a good number of select players who use it to get an extra practice and game a week. (Remember the good old days when it used to be the other way around and in order to play select you had to be rostered on a town team. If you haven't figured it out, Hockey has become all about the money people, your money.) If your player is one of the town kids that never makes a major team as a minor year player, then playing just select is probably the way to go because the drop off roster wise on the minor year teams can be pretty dramatic. If your player is one of the minor year kids that plays on the top major year team AND wants the extra practice/game a week, then it's a no brainer. Let them play both. The top Major team/major season year may be a wash, but if you're kid is having fun who cares, he's still getting the extra practice/game a week and working on his game.
Lastly, remember town hockey may be the only opportunity older birth year kids get to play with kids a year ahead of them in grade level. Do you really want you're player to get to high school never having played with kids that were older, bigger, stronger than them. It's the unspoken flaw in the birth year select system that hockey has become.
Whoops, Looks like we've hit a nerve with one of those older birth year parents who burned his bridges in town hockey and has been shelling out the cash for years so his kid can be the oldest player and biggest kid on the ice. (Either that or he's an owner that doesn't want the flaws of the select system exposed so the cash keeps a flowin'.) Do what you want. No one is forcing you to do anything. Just pointing out that plenty of kids do play both and it's mainly to get that play up year in with the older kids at the Per Wee and Bantam level. Not sure how ego comes into play there. It's not some sort of state secret and it really shouldn't upset you so much. It's a lot of hockey, no doubt, but doable ONLY if your kid wants to do it. (Mites and Squirts need not apply. Way to young for both.) If it's a forced thing it's not going to work and his/her grades will probably suffer. If you're player can get the playing up year by jumping an age group in selects come Bantam age, great. Rare but great. Just don't systematically bash town hockey becuse you had a bad experience. It had it's pro's and con's, just like the select system does.
Not one player, parent or coach on a town team wants a player who only comes once in a while to show off his skills
If you have an 06 that is so arrogant that he would consider playing with his friends from school a waste of time, you have more issues than we are talking about here. You should help him to get his priorities straight because he sounds exactly like the elitist, self-serving brats that are being brought up in this generation thinking that somebody owes them something.
It's not so much the 'daddy coaches' that killed town hockey it's more the daddy selection process and the BOD of daddies to go along with it all. The 'daddy coaches' that coach in select hockey at least they see the lay of the land - the daddy coaches in town hockey I worry for them and their kids. "Here, play with these kids...here you will be on the PP and the PK and score 3-4 goals a game....that's what it is all about."
Valley league town hockey is good? I have no clue. Go watch a South Shore Conference town hockey game and you will laugh your tail off. You just won't believe it. On the South Shore the kid has to leave after Squirts....as in he MUST leave.
Its not "fun" for town teams to have a player show up and play once in a while. It is actually insulting to the other players and any normal coach would not want it. It would never fly in the EHF so why is it fine in town?
Parents and players take town hockey very serious. Most of the players don't have the skill to leave and play at a higher level so they play where it is appropriate for them.
But saying it is recreational and for fun is wrong.
Travel hockey is travel hockey. Maybe you are talking inhouse?
If people are taking recreational / Town hockey 'seriously' then it time to move up. It's a place to try hockey and see if you like it - nothing more.
Move up to what? I have both a town and elite player and both sets of players parents and coaches take it serious. Not all kids are good enough to play out of town hockey and guess what...after the EHF most of those kids won't be good enough to go any further than possibly high school hockey.
You need to look at what kids sports are really about. Let me give you a hint..
It's not about being the next big superstar.
Hey so enjoy it. If you want to spend your Saturday afternoons whacking a puck around and laughing it up in an 8-0 victory over some rancid team of misfit toys and football players trying something new for the first time then that's great! But please hold the 'they take it seriously' stuff. You can put lipstick on a pig and at the end of the day it's still a pig. Just enjoy it and see it for what it is.
I do see it for what it is. It is kids playing the game of hockey and taking it serious. The better question is what do you see your elite hockey as? A stepping stone to some professional hockey career? With 90% of the players I would doubt even college hockey? I think you need to take a step back and take it for what it is. Yes better quality hockey than town but still just kids, soccer players, baseball players smacking a puck around. Enjoy your Saturdays at the rink.
Kids that are interested in actually getting better at a sport, playing with a goal or goals, putting in the time with a commitment to a sport. I go sown to the beach and play volleyball but I have no plans if being good at it or being serious about it.
Town hockey players do put in the time and commitment and get better. Kids do not have to play EHF hockey to be hockey players. They take it serious because it is their team. I think you are forgetting who hockey is serious for. You do realize it is serious for your child and not you right? Have you ever seen a 6 year old play basketball or baseball? As a parent we know it's not "the game" of baseball but to the player it is. In the car they will recap plays, bad calls by the umpire, catches, missed, their team game they take serious.
I got a good giggle out of your goals comment. What big goals does your child have with hockey? The NHL? College? What is he 8 or 9?
It sounds like the landscape north of Boston is very different than the rest of the region. I do know 8-10 years ago you could have made the same case for Town Hockey south of Boston but those horses have left the barn.
The disconnect on this argument is that many of the club parents left town hockey before or during mites when the practice times were terrible and the vast majority of the kids lacked focus (kids were 5 or 6 years old). What those folks don't realize is that by peewee/bantam, the top team from each town actually plays pretty good hockey. Playing at that level can be a worthwhile endeavor for a player also on an EHF or E9 team.
And I'm talking about the top team at each age group, not the B or C team. Teams that are made up of mostly select players, so it's not one or two kids showing up when they can to take all the ice away from the regular players. It's a team almost exclusively made up of club players. Check the scores page for VHL Elite or AAA divisions. Lots of forfeits. That's because if a VHL game conflicts with a club game, most of the team can't make it and they are forced to forfeit.
Your right about the disconnect, but it's not because of bad ice times and daddy coaches. It because these whack job 05/06 parents fled town hockey in mass in mites because they didn't want their kids playing the USA Hockey ADM cross ice hockey that the rest of the country has been using for over a decade. (Hum....has anyone checked how many MA kids were on the U18 national team roster lately?) I guess I'd be angry too if I'd been "forced" to pay for "select" hockey since before my kid could even tie his own skates. (And probably still can't) So forgive them for not knowing that some parents kept their kids in town hockey (oh the horror), or that many kids actually do play both town and "select" at the Pee Wee and Bantam level and there's nothing wrong with that, and that the upper level valley league, particularly at the Bantam level, is very solid (and physical) hockey. (Bantam is 02/03 this year for you "select" only types that only deal in birth year.) So let's all ease up on them. They've had it tough bouncing from program to program with their kids looking for a home. Give them a little time to figure out that in 2 to 3 years other kids will be allowed to hit their kids back (1 to 2 years if they play Valley League middle school hockey) that the E9 doesn't even exist after U14 (02 birth year this year for you "selectively" challenged parents) and that "select" hockey is a big money grab, even if it does give you a little better bump in competition over the minor year town teams. The only thing we ask of you in return is to please stop making asses out of yourselves in the rink and on the board, and just let your kids have some fun playing a great game. If they're lucky (and healthy) enough, hopefully they still want to and be able enjoy playing in high school.
I'm an 06 "elite" dad and I can't stand the elite nonsense. Some of the worse people around behind your back