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Youth Hockey
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Re: Town Hockey

Anon
anon
Like anything else it depends on the town and the birth year. I know Hingham has some good town hockey, but most of those kids play club hockey where they learn the skills. Town hockey doesn\'t teach skills on the same level as club. It\'s a crazy statement to say that town hockey is similar to EHF and E9. Which town? Which E9 and EHF teams? Sounds like you are just mad that town hockey isn\'t what it once was. The real competition comes from playing on a club team. People don\'t play college hockey just because they played town hockey. Would seem nice and simple if that were the case but it\'s not.

I have no problem with town hockey but I\'ve heard club coaches complain that kids show up tired to the club game because of the town game they played that morning.
1. what I said was that town wasn’t as good as EHF elite and also not as good as E9 (I have no experience with E9, so that’s an educated guess). I’m comfortable saying that the high level town teams could be competitive against EHF platinum teams.
2. As I mentioned, my kid does both. So it’s not some nostalgia post. I was curious why so many are down on town hockey (it seems pretty good to me at the top levels).
3. The point was more at the top Town levels, all the kids seem to skate on a top club team in addition to their town team. It’s not just my town it’s the towns they play also.
4. I think the person who mentioned depth of roster made a good point.
Don’t start using numbers and bullet points, it confused the morons on this board.

Re: Town Hockey

As one poster mentioned, it’s really depth of the team at Town Hockey because not all club kids in that town choose to play town. On a club team, the expectation and general rule is that all kids will be evenly skilled. On town, that is not necessarily the case. It’s lucky if it works out that way, but with so many kids who choose to only do town, the depth of skill may not be there. And town is 2 birth years vs. single birth year. Sometimes kids that are on club teams that are younger birth year on town teams don’t look quite as good when playing with and against older kids who may be a foot taller depending on growth spurts.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
As one poster mentioned, it’s really depth of the team at Town Hockey because not all club kids in that town choose to play town. On a club team, the expectation and general rule is that all kids will be evenly skilled. On town, that is not necessarily the case. It’s lucky if it works out that way, but with so many kids who choose to only do town, the depth of skill may not be there. And town is 2 birth years vs. single birth year. Sometimes kids that are on club teams that are younger birth year on town teams don’t look quite as good when playing with and against older kids who may be a foot taller depending on growth spurts.
This is a good point re: two age years on town teams.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
The issue is the depth of the roster and the quality of the competition. My kid also plays on a top town team and 100% of the kids also play club, but the drop off in ability from the top to bottom is more than what you'd find on a normal club team. Not sure which age group your kid is in, but at the squirt level, a good platinum team would go undefeated in the VHL top division with a 10-to-1 goal differential.
But I think for 95% of the kids out there, VHL is fine and provides extra ice time for a reasonable price. For the higher end players though, I'm not really sure what they get out of VHL besides playing with a few local friends for a little longer, but I suspect most will drop town after squirts.

Re: Town Hockey

anon
Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
The issue is the depth of the roster and the quality of the competition. My kid also plays on a top town team and 100% of the kids also play club, but the drop off in ability from the top to bottom is more than what you'd find on a normal club team. Not sure which age group your kid is in, but at the squirt level, a good platinum team would go undefeated in the VHL top division with a 10-to-1 goal differential.
But I think for 95% of the kids out there, VHL is fine and provides extra ice time for a reasonable price. For the higher end players though, I'm not really sure what they get out of VHL besides playing with a few local friends for a little longer, but I suspect most will drop town after squirts.
He’s a peewee but minor. So I think the person who mentioned the age difference was onto something. And I agree with the depth as well. I’m basically comparing 2011 club kids to 2010 top VHL teams (the vast majority of the kids on the top VHL teams seem to be 2010’s). Could be very different if I was comparing 2010 platinum to VHL peewee. Something to look at for next year.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
anon
Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
The issue is the depth of the roster and the quality of the competition. My kid also plays on a top town team and 100% of the kids also play club, but the drop off in ability from the top to bottom is more than what you\'d find on a normal club team. Not sure which age group your kid is in, but at the squirt level, a good platinum team would go undefeated in the VHL top division with a 10-to-1 goal differential.
But I think for 95% of the kids out there, VHL is fine and provides extra ice time for a reasonable price. For the higher end players though, I\'m not really sure what they get out of VHL besides playing with a few local friends for a little longer, but I suspect most will drop town after squirts.
He’s a peewee but minor. So I think the person who mentioned the age difference was onto something. And I agree with the depth as well. I’m basically comparing 2011 club kids to 2010 top VHL teams (the vast majority of the kids on the top VHL teams seem to be 2010’s). Could be very different if I was comparing 2010 platinum to VHL peewee. Something to look at for next year.
Also don't forget that many higher end club kids drop town after squirts, so the talent pool in the VHL thins out quite a bit as the kids get older. I would be very surprised if top VHL peewee teams can hang with even platinum 2010 teams. The top line may be fine but that third VHL line will be pretty weak. And this is true even for towns like Waltham that can field 5-7 teams per age group. It should theoretically provide more parity on their top team, but it doesn't. With every passing year there is just too much attrition at the top.

Re: Town Hockey

I've had kids play both. The real difference is at a higher level D-1 high school team a 'town only' kid rarely makes the team. Maybe one spectacular athlete or a 'friends & family' of the coach getting a rare shift in garbage time. It's kind of sad that a kid needs years of club hockey just to make the varsity town team but that's how it is now.

The best then are the high school coaches walking around like they've developed these kids when 95% of their development has come from their local club teams making coach's 1980's hockey at UNH or Vermont seem like Pond Hockey.

Re: Town Hockey

I can see why people think it's 'sad' but unfortunately this is what happens when everyone does it. It has just become the norm for kids to play club hockey and town hockey has taken a back seat.

Life used to be simpler but people come around and make it all more difficult. Look at real estate prices, look at traffic. It's all normal and just the way it is now.

Re: Town Hockey

If someone wants to play hockey most towns have that option. I'm not sure what the issue is? I think some people just want club hockey to go away but that won't happen.

Re: Town Hockey

Town hockey gets a bad rap, but all three of my kids played town (in addition to club) and loved it. Some great memories doing the Waterville and Lake Placid tournaments with our town teams. I say do both if you can, through squirts at least.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
Basically, the only difference is cost. Town hockey, much more affordable and better bang for the buck. Club hockey is overpriced. Is club hockey better hockey, in some cases....yes but not in all cases. Bottom line is that 90% of the kids playing club hockey are no better than the town league players and won't play beyond high school. The sad thing is, no one will admit it.

Re: Town Hockey

ANON
Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
Basically, the only difference is cost. Town hockey, much more affordable and better bang for the buck. Club hockey is overpriced. Is club hockey better hockey, in some cases....yes but not in all cases. Bottom line is that 90% of the kids playing club hockey are no better than the town league players and won't play beyond high school. The sad thing is, no one will admit it.
One could say club hockey is overpriced but that hasn't stopped people from doing. Real estate is overpriced as well but that hasn't stopped people from buying here either.

'Bottom line is that 90% of the kids playing club hockey are no better than the town league players and won't play beyond high school. The sad thing is, no one will admit it.'

This is quite a statement as far as saying town players are no better than club players. Do you have proof of this? I see people say all the time how EHF players are better than E9 with nothing to back that up with either.

Re: Town Hockey

Is it really town hockey if it’s all just club kids playing hockey?

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Is it really town hockey if it’s all just club kids playing hockey?
At the younger ages there are some kids who do just town hockey. Just like some kids do just town soccer, town baseball, town lacrosse and so on. From what I can see once a kid decides they like hockey and they are good at it, that's where the pressure for club kicks in. There are also sooo many club hockey teams to choose from in MA that it's kind of easy. Not everyone's main sport will be hockey so those kids might just do town.

Seems like whatever the kids main sport is they need to do things beyond just town stuff. My son's friend loves lacrosse. He started out doing town lax now they've moved on to club. Same for soccer. some kids do just town hockey if hockey isn't their main sport.

Re: Town Hockey

Even town hockey seems to be a commitment which is why some people feel they might as well do club. With town hockey you still have to get up early, get the kids dressed and drive to awful places to the rinks. Someone told me they went to brockton for a town hockey game recently. If you have to drive all the way to Brockton from a place like Marshfield you might as well just sign up for club. Who wants to do that type of travel for a town sport?

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
anon
Even town hockey seems to be a commitment which is why some people feel they might as well do club. With town hockey you still have to get up early, get the kids dressed and drive to awful places to the rinks. Someone told me they went to brockton for a town hockey game recently. If you have to drive all the way to Brockton from a place like Marshfield you might as well just sign up for club. Who wants to do that type of travel for a town sport?
Marshfield is 35 minutes from Brockton you a** wipe
Who the **** wants to go to Brockton for anything *** dumpster ?

Re: Town Hockey

My point is it says basically everyone playing town hockey plays for a club too. So it’s basically club level hockey. There are town programs where if you play on a club team then you can’t play in the town league. A kid who is just playing town most likely won’t be able to be competitive with a club player. It’s not to say the town player is bad, it’s just hard to keep up with kids who are dedicating more time to a particular sport.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
My point is it says basically everyone playing town hockey plays for a club too. So it’s basically club level hockey. There are town programs where if you play on a club team then you can’t play in the town league. A kid who is just playing town most likely won’t be able to be competitive with a club player. It’s not to say the town player is bad, it’s just hard to keep up with kids who are dedicating more time to a particular sport.
Right. My kid plays town soccer and baseball. No club for either of those sports. It's likely that as time goes on the kids playing club soccer and baseball might be better than him. Oh well. There's only so much time.

Again not all kids who play town hockey are playing club hockey. I would imagine it depends on the town too. A lower socioeconomic town might have kids just playing town hockey and no club...a town where people have more money will likely have kids playing town and club or even just club.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Is it really town hockey if it’s all just club kids playing hockey?
This is a good point. Maybe when I read people bagging on “town hockey” I should think of it more as “town hockey where most of the kids on the team only do town”. I personally wouldn’t - hockey is fun and even if you’re not the next big thing there should still be a place for you to play. But at least it makes a bit more sense.

Re: Town Hockey

It probably is harder for the kids who play just town to get ahead if the majority of the town kids on the team are playing club. It seems stupid in a way. But this is what is happening. Loads of town kids play club as well. I think people should make a choice between the two- not do both.

Re: Town Hockey

I think the moral of the story here is that if everyone (my kid included) just played town hockey it would benefit all. The club owners who sell you the dream would disagree but for the normal people think about the money and time you would save. All while still being able to enjoy watching the little bender play. Albeit closer to home. It would also help out the real ELITE players having a more competitive schedule.

Re: Town Hockey

Again, I think it's like telling people living in the city of Boston to just use BPS. Yes, it probably would help the schools in the long run and the education would be ok but no one wants to take the chance. So...private school it is.

Honestly though do you really think town hockey would provide the same type of skills and development that club hockey does? I just don't think it would. Towns pay employees less than clubs. They have less money.

I also think there are too many club hockey teams in MA and the leagues/teams are not evenly distributed. It still comes down to geographic location as well. No one wants to drive that far for club hockey practice. The same teams seem to end up being good year after year. And the same teams end up being bad year after year.

So many people here say most kids don't go on to play D1 or college hockey so why do so many parents invest in this? I guess to see what might happen...to say they tried.

Re: Town Hockey

So for our town, we have 3 squirts teams. Every kid on squirts 1 plays club. Maybe half the kids on squirts 2 do, and I'm pretty sure none of the squirt 3's.

I don't know about other towns, but our town coaches do absolutely no coaching. I don't blame the parent coaches, but their primary commitment is to their kids' clubs, so the town program is just extra ice time for the kids. The skill levels also vary too much for the coaches to do anything - the kids on squirts 1 range all the way from fed elite to upper gold so it's very hard to teach skills or drills actually useful for all the kids.

Re: Town Hockey

One of the dad coaches in my town for kids my sons age is a surgeon... I'm sure he really has lots of time to be a coach.

Re: Town Hockey

anon
Again, I think it's like telling people living in the city of Boston to just use BPS. Yes, it probably would help the schools in the long run and the education would be ok but no one wants to take the chance. So...private school it is.

Honestly though do you really think town hockey would provide the same type of skills and development that club hockey does? I just don't think it would. Towns pay employees less than clubs. They have less money.

I also think there are too many club hockey teams in MA and the leagues/teams are not evenly distributed. It still comes down to geographic location as well. No one wants to drive that far for club hockey practice. The same teams seem to end up being good year after year. And the same teams end up being bad year after year.

So many people here say most kids don't go on to play D1 or college hockey so why do so many parents invest in this? I guess to see what might happen...to say they tried.
A lot towns around me have Driscoll doing power skating and our town does that plus hires out a college coach to run their skills. I dont love the skills but considering a lot of club hockey parents hate their teams skills (me included) town (ours anyway) offers competitive options. that said Most of the kids that play Bantam now all play club and for those that dont you can see it in their play. My son got on the club train late (PeeWee minor) my daughter got into club as a Squirt Minor. She is learning things on the ice he didnt learn till he moved to club. Coaching matters more than anything.

Town coaches can be great but if their kid is good most likely they will move them to club and leave the coaching position in town to someone else. Its better hockey for the most part especially where most practices have 100% attendance. town practices are at best %50 full (my experience) and generally the non club kids are the ones attending because they do not have a club team to miss the practice for.

Town hockey is great if you can afford to play it and club hockey together. My son loves his club teammates but playing in tournaments with the kids he grew up learning to play with and go to school with is a far better experience. I understand why last year a group (possibly multiple) of kids bailed on their club team to parti****te in states with their town team. Winning a meaningless EHF playoff vs winning a state title with your best friends is an easy decision in my book.

The EHF keeps their playoffs on the same weekend as the Town State Tournament purposely, its actually ridiculous.

Re: Town Hockey

anon
anon
Again, I think it\'s like telling people living in the city of Boston to just use BPS. Yes, it probably would help the schools in the long run and the education would be ok but no one wants to take the chance. So...private school it is.

Honestly though do you really think town hockey would provide the same type of skills and development that club hockey does? I just don\'t think it would. Towns pay employees less than clubs. They have less money.

I also think there are too many club hockey teams in MA and the leagues/teams are not evenly distributed. It still comes down to geographic location as well. No one wants to drive that far for club hockey practice. The same teams seem to end up being good year after year. And the same teams end up being bad year after year.

So many people here say most kids don\'t go on to play D1 or college hockey so why do so many parents invest in this? I guess to see what might happen...to say they tried.
A lot towns around me have Driscoll doing power skating and our town does that plus hires out a college coach to run their skills. I dont love the skills but considering a lot of club hockey parents hate their teams skills (me included) town (ours anyway) offers competitive options. that said Most of the kids that play Bantam now all play club and for those that dont you can see it in their play. My son got on the club train late (PeeWee minor) my daughter got into club as a Squirt Minor. She is learning things on the ice he didnt learn till he moved to club. Coaching matters more than anything.

Town coaches can be great but if their kid is good most likely they will move them to club and leave the coaching position in town to someone else. Its better hockey for the most part especially where most practices have 100% attendance. town practices are at best %50 full (my experience) and generally the non club kids are the ones attending because they do not have a club team to miss the practice for.

Town hockey is great if you can afford to play it and club hockey together. My son loves his club teammates but playing in tournaments with the kids he grew up learning to play with and go to school with is a far better experience. I understand why last year a group (possibly multiple) of kids bailed on their club team to parti****te in states with their town team. Winning a meaningless EHF playoff vs winning a state title with your best friends is an easy decision in my book.

The EHF keeps their playoffs on the same weekend as the Town State Tournament purposely, its actually ridiculous.
wow sounds like the EHF is a problem league for sure. What's up with them? Can't play states for your town? Can't play against E9 teams? **** them.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
No. It is not. Stop kidding yourself.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
No. It is not. Stop kidding yourself.
What, exactly, am I kidding myself about? I’ve seen EHF platinum first hand (my kid skates on a very good tier 1 peewee minor team, but not elite) and I’ve seen the top tier VHL peewee games first hand. The top tier VHL teams could absolutely compete with the EHF peewee minor platinum teams. As someone brought up, it’s not apples to apples because most of the top VHL peewee teams are 2010’s, whereas peewee minor is 2011’s. The one year age gap makes a huge difference at that age. And the vast majority of kids on the top VHL teams are also on high level club teams to begin with! I have no horse in this race. My kid does both. But I was curious to figure out why so many people thought town was bad hockey. I think I got my answers. Depth of the team lines makes a difference. Thinking about town hockey as more than just the highest levels.. I think this is the point where I’m supposed to say something like “sorry your kid got cut from a VHL AAA team”.

Re: Town Hockey

Anon
Anon
Anon
Relatively new to this board. Really entertaining. Nice work to all. Question though - why does everyone think so poorly about town hockey? I have a kid who plays for a very good tier one EHF team and also plays on his top town team. The town games are pretty high quality, and almost everyone on the teams at that level skate for high level club teams (whether they always show for the town games is a different discussion). So what am I missing? the quality isn’t as good as elite EHF or probably E9 (I’m guessing) but after that? Seems pretty similar to platinum EHF (in my experience at least).
No. It is not. Stop kidding yourself.
What, exactly, am I kidding myself about? I’ve seen EHF platinum first hand (my kid skates on a very good tier 1 peewee minor team, but not elite) and I’ve seen the top tier VHL peewee games first hand. The top tier VHL teams could absolutely compete with the EHF peewee minor platinum teams. As someone brought up, it’s not apples to apples because most of the top VHL peewee teams are 2010’s, whereas peewee minor is 2011’s. The one year age gap makes a huge difference at that age. And the vast majority of kids on the top VHL teams are also on high level club teams to begin with! I have no horse in this race. My kid does both. But I was curious to figure out why so many people thought town was bad hockey. I think I got my answers. Depth of the team lines makes a difference. Thinking about town hockey as more than just the highest levels.. I think this is the point where I’m supposed to say something like “sorry your kid got cut from a VHL AAA team”.
there are plenty of EHF platinum teams that suck and probably are the same as some town hockey teams.

Re: Town Hockey

Simple - play town hockey first when you start out and get a ton of confidence. If/when you DOMINATE at that level, move to a higher level. Keep doing that until you can't dominate anymore and then you are at the correct level. Throwing a young kid not ready into the highest level first is a recipe for ruining him long term.

Re: Town Hockey

My kids played club through midgets and we tried town hockey a handful of times over the years. Every year and every organization was the same. Coaches kid sucked, as did the coach, but spent half the game on the ice. Half the coaches can't skate and have never played a game in their lives. It is exhausting to watch and honestly isn't worth the time and effort. The clicky parent groups and townie coaches will wear you down. If you want to know who is making the "A" team just read the board member list as it will be their kids. Just go play club and if for nothing else get the better ice time. Town hockey gets hosed on ice times at most rinks.

I wish town hockey worked as it is the way things should be but unfortunately it is broken beyond repair.

Re: Town Hockey

Correct. The disenchantment with Town Hockey really started to gain momentum on the south Shore about 2005-06. So many parents had it with the Townies destroying the experience by placing the wrong kids on the A-B-C teams. I remember asking one of the board member parents "why don't we have an outside judge decided who makes which team." His answer - "you don't get it, do you." and then all the private teams started popping up. The parents got involved and corrupted the thing and basically killed it. Now Town is basically rec hockey for kids who want to try it out before checking starts.

Re: Town Hockey

One reason I think people do club over town is town ice times are not good. Unless you like taking a 45 min drive at 5am for a 6:10 am sat game for your little 6 year old. People pay for the better ice time, has nothing to do with how much their kid stinks or doesn't stink. Getting up at 5am with a kid is pure hell the rest of the weekend. My kids are in HS now and we did the club and town thing for one year. The ice times made it easy to decide screw town hockey.

Re: Town Hockey

I feel like town hockey has been 'dead' for a while. People seem to do it on the side. What are people upset about?

Re: Town Hockey

If your kid likes hockey, and you want them to play on even a decent high school team you need to get them into club. The sooner the better. Some of the decent D3 and D4 teams are all club kids never mind D1. This is the same for most other high school sports like soccer, basketball, baseball, lax, etc. The only sports left for kids who play strictly town to make varsity are football and track. Everything else is all Club kids. Maybe it’s not fair but it’s the way it is.

Re: Town Hockey

The biggest difference between kids who never play club vs. those that do, is generally speaking, the kids that have never played club (and are decent players), never reached a level in town where they can't skate around the other team.

This creates a massive problem for them when they get older and transition into late middle-school and into High School, the ice gets smaller, and creating time and space becomes more difficult.

They can't make that transition because they've never had to.

Club hockey when appropriately placed, teaches your player how to create time and space, essentially the most important piece of playing hockey.

Now, add to that the potential of more ice and better run practices, you can see why the spread grows between a player playing it vs. not playing it.

I will say there are many clubs around that are no better than town by way of overall talent. But at the end of the day if you add a good practice to a kid who loves it, they'll develop.