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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.