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Just curious what you parents think of the impact all these club teams are having on Town hockey? On Cape, we are seeing first hand the effects of club teams grabbing all our best players (in our case, being taken from town to play with their old town teammates and to be coached by their old town coaches for more money on a "club" team). Was reading in town hockey page about combining different leagues in an effort to make town more competitive. Most of us grew up playing Town...most of our kids are not going to be NHL bound...but really, is this the way to go? -Conflicted parent of a club hockey kid
Town hockey is for recreational players...for fun. If your kid wants to play high school hockey or takes it serious he has to play club as they are more competitive and get more ice time.
For many of us who grew up playing it is hard to get used to... it used to be you played for your town and then any "all star" teams came second to that.... that ship sailed... town has been drained of most of the kids that can play. But make no mistake, unless you are playing in one of the better leagues in the top division you are basically paying for convenient ice time and cool uniforms. That is fine but just keep it in perspective, there are a lot of kids running around with jackets (sadly some parents as well) from "club" teams that are basically town hockey for 2x the price.... as I said, no problem with it and hopefully schedules are better and kids are having fun but level is no better.
I witnessed an open skate the other evening for a club team. You could tell the players who were town skaters and those skaters who play on club teams. With that being said, people should not bash other parents or kids for attending these events.
Honest conversation should take place between the player and parent/s. Ask them how they felt out there and use it as a tool to develop their continuing growth as player. Encourage but also be realistic.
In reality there are many club teams out there that have players on them that should not be there. Friends of a friend, grew up, played or went to school with each other. They know someone running the club, parents have $$ or some type of position somewhere. Those are the parents who are not honest with themselves or their player.
A few days later after the open skate I witnessed a Town practice. The team had low numbers,you hear the excuse the club took our best players!
Many parents have to look and be HONEST, is my skater benefitting from this experience? Is this a healthy coaching and organization environment for my skater? The drama created by the other parents, players and the organization really a good fit? Can I afford the time and $$ for this organization?
The answer to the original poster question is "YES".
Club hockey is being watered down! Town Hockey programs are being drained!
Often what the pro-town hockey parents don't see is 1) the coaching and expectations are usually better. 2) the competition is better. 3) the inside hockey contacts you develop are much better if your kid is interested in playing after high school. 4) the amount of ice time is usually superior to town. 5) the schedule is fixed in advance so you're able to plan-out your life in advance.
Sure someone will disagree with a point or two and I'm not talking about low level club because that is just a chance to move up.
I'd say if the kid wants to play in high school (if it's a competitive team) or wants to play hockey at more than a 'time killing / recreational fun' level then sign him up. He isn't going to advance to the next level if you don't take the first step.
It should not be made about skill level. Play where your kid will be happiest and look at coaching more than anything else.
No reason to bash or complicate it.
Great thread. I honestly believe the DBoard would be so much better with more thoughtful and helpful conversations like this one. Keep it up.
The positive of the current system is choice. My kid's town Mite/Squirt coach was horrible - and there's nothing more dangerous than a motivated idiot. My kid played for the Town baseball championship against his team, and he singlehandedly ruined his team's chances of winning the game.
So, we got out as soon as we could.
That meant EMHL - which is exactly what it says it is - an alternative to Town that is still a notch below EHF. It offered, as others have said, a set schedule, more ice than Town, and at a consistent location. He went from there to EHF Tier 1, then Elite. He is finishing up his HS hockey at a top Prep school, and hopes to play in college, maybe beyond. End of the story not yet written.
So, having all of these rungs on the ladder helped him to develop. Yes, it took a lot of effort to find good coaches that were focused on development, not winning, but in the end, it's all been worth it.
I swear there are times I wish my kid chose Golf or Tennis. Than I could just be a crazy " " parent and we would not be subjected to all the other crazies!!
The proliferation of the club teams is due to town team politics(not that there isn't any in club). Most Town A teams are formed at a young age, mites, and those same group of kids and dads remain on the team or control it through Bantam. Many of them also play select hockey as well. But if your son/daughter is a C mite to start, but improves each year it won't matter. That A team is already in place for his or her age group and often times controlled by townies and daddy coaches, they won't be making cuts to include your kid. The only way for your child to continue to improve, get better coaching, and more ice time is to move over to select. It is sometimes the only way for your kid to get a fair shake, if he or she is truly talented, they'll find a spot on the roster. All kids progress at different levels and maybe they'll peak at Town A or Town B or T1 White or Black and never make Elite but at least they'll have an opportunity to continue to get better if they love the sport and have the desire.
Could play on a very good town team, however, we play tier 1 black for 3 reasons:
1. Set game and practice schedule, given to us over the summer. Allows us to plan schedules for the entire season with our other kids.
2.all players on the roster are expected to be there for every practice and game unless sick (no going to football, or soccer, etc.. and having half the roster missing for practices). Serious hockey players, doesn't mean they are better than town, but they want to be at hockey.
3. NO Daddy coach, not that daddy coaches cant be good, but they can be biased.
True, true. My oldest boy was slotted a a Town B player at Mites and Squirts and the town daddies wouldn't change their opinion of kids. 'A team' kids at Squirts were good in their eyes all the way to high school. My older boy was placed as 'not so good' by these local experts. He left and played for other teams and then in high school he was a starter and played more than enough ice time. The town daddies were puzzled, 'he's not that good' they kept saying (oh I heard you). Junior teams came to meet him and now playing in college I suppose he's gotten the 'he's O.K.' from the townies. Douchebags.
The person who is obsessed with Cape hockey, the Caps, the Hurricanes and bad mouthing people relentlessly is pushing an envelope here. Clean it up.
My son played town with his buds and was happy, however, when he decided he needed to progress we made jump to EMHL. He landed with a great coach and assistant coaches. Team is much better than his town team. They are learning and having fun. My thoughts is if you have a great coach stick with him and keep developing. Don't worry about e9/Tier 1 at the beginning. As soon as he is no longer challenged in the division then you try to find a move up but better make sure the coach is just as good or better than the one you are leaving
It's people like you that give youth hockey a bad rap! Kids are developing and if you have not had a reality check....if you have a good coach, work hard and some god given skill it does not matter where they play at ages 8-14. They develop....sorry to say my kid is not a bender, duster or got cut...had offers to play at higher level and chose the coach over league....sorry you are so short sighted...actually no, sorry for your kid!!
Too many parent's on here obsessed with how other citizens spend their money. If they work for a living and want to pay for select hockey stop concerning yourself with it. Parents pay for Skiing, Dance, Club Soccer, Golf, Figure skating, Oboe lessons, etc...why the obsession with the fact that some parents pay more $ for their kid's hockey. Who cares? A little research and a simple excel spreadsheet would show you that they may be actually getting more for their dollar. Some certainly are not, some definitely are.
Moving past that could a dad with some memory and experience answer these few questions relating to town vs select because I honestly have no idea: Question 1: Back 10-15 years ago were town games as short as they are now (50 minutes of ice equating to maybe 30-32 minutes of actual hockey due to running 3rd)? I am guessing this is one of the biggest reasons for moving a kid. I would rather drive 1 hour for a 45 min stop time game I have known about for months, than drive 20 minutes for 33 minutes of hockey I just found out about this month.
Question 2: When did House Leagues go away from the youth/town scene? These allowed less serious kids a fun way to play without parents having to travel. Now all these parents think they need to go play neighboring towns at the C (3,4,5) level. These poor folk are getting all worked up from the meaningless travel and seem to be taking their anger out on the free thinking citizens who simply choose select hockey for their child.
Here is my $0.02, take it or leave it.
years and years ago when Town was where all the kids played, back when you pulled your hockey bag out of the basement in September to see what didn't fit anymore after it sat for 5 months, you had true "select" teams.
The top kids from the area would be asked to play on a select team, and you would play an extra game or two on the weekends and maybe have an extra practice a week. Then came Metro league, and again, the top players were selected or asked to play.
My thoughts are this. With that system, the kids who were the best, got better due to more games and playing with competitive and comparable players. The kids who had the potential to be better players wut were not asked did not develop. Therefore you had the best get better and the good stay good or average.
The proliferation of select and club teams in this area provided a way for "bubble" kids or kids that wanted more but were not at that level yet a place to improve and play more with the expectation of moving up to the elite or true "select" levels.
However the expansion was bigger than the sport itself, which led to kids being asked to play on Tier 1 or AAA or "select" teams to fill spots out of necessity and not because they were, or would ever be at that level. Now it is out of control and any kid with good parents and a few bucks can make it on a lower team at a respectable organization unless they are absolutely horrible, leading to select and AAA and Tier 1 teams being worse than Town hockey.
It has given parents a false sense of talent, by allowing kids not at that level to play at that level ! This was readily apparent this week with BB free skate, where outside players came in and took almost all of the roster spots for Elite and Teir 1 teams, and those kids who never should have been there for the past two years are looking for Town tryouts because they cant make it anywhere else, and the parents saying " they played elite EHF for the past two years" are meaningless when compared to kids outside of thier little circle.
In closing, yes it is watered down at all levels, and will not change much as long as people are willing to pay, but each year thee will be lots of parents and kids who realized they were chasing a ghost and there kids truly does not belong, unfortunately, for everyone there will be another kid and parent chasing that same ghost, so it will continue. So you will end up with town A teams that need to fill their rosters with B/C players, Elite teams that need to fill thier rosters with Tier 1 AAA players, and AAA and Teir 1 teams that need to fill thier rosters with Town A/B/C players... It will probably never end any time soon
Now THERE is a topic Elizabeth Warren could advance instead of her non-stop "Me! Me! Me! Look at me" embarrassment that she has become. take back the rinks. At least it would have some impact on her constituents instead of promoting gridlock, denouncing one of the region's biggest employers (financial services) and immature Twitter fights with the president.
So, what do the parents do if the kid is better than the kids on the best town team at his age level? AAA gives the kid an option to play with kids on their level....oh by the way, improving so they can move up in the future if the kid works hard and has some skill. After all, they are still young, most of those younger elite/T1 kids end up not being the best anymore....gotta love the late bloomers! Eichel; Kessler so on...not saying any of these kids are going to the NHL but all kids dream!! Most select teams have far more ice time and provide decent skills for those late bloomers to develop...the only parents that are left wondering is the elite mite that didn't stay elite as the years went on....nothing anyone can do about that!
It happens in every sport. Happens in school too. We just don't start message boards for those activities to air out our frustrations. All this talk happens in private.