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Everything posted by Corsi

  1. The head of the WPIAL was on Pittsburgh radio this morning (93.7 The Fan) and she addressed this exact question. She alluded to it being a cost issue and said that hockey has its own league (PIHL) that handles the affairs of the league. I worked in public education for years and had the chance to talk to a few athletic directors about why hockey wasn't an official school sport and was treated as a club sport. The answers almost always had to do with cost, insurance, or Title IX requirements.
  2. Great point... I was lucky, I only coached my own son up until he moved up to Pee Wee and then we switched to a larger organization that already had experienced coaches in place. I still volunteered and helped out with practices when it was needed, but I rarely had to go on the bench anymore. What you say is really accurate about "experienced" hockey parents having an influence is true, but that is a symptom of the lack of parental education that goes on within organizations. When parents aren't being taught something they will naturally listen to whoever is around that seems like they know what is going on and what they are talking about. This especially true with younger kids and their parents as they are just starting out in the sport.
  3. It is probably less than 50% of parents that have played at best, and I'm not counting the dad that started playing beer league at 28 years old and thinks because they started watching hockey in 1990 knows everything there is to know about the game and how it's supposed to be played, just parents that grew up playing the game and have that as a point of reference. I agree that Mom's yell the loudest and that Dad's are on the refs the most, but again I feel like these are the parents who didn't grow up around the game and think they know about the game, but actually "know just enough to be dangerous". These are the parents that I never wanted to be anywhere near when watching a youth game. There's a reason that, from my experience, that the parents that grew up around the game for the majority of their lives are usually the parents who watch the game from a corner of the rink away from the shit show that happens in the stands.
  4. I've heard some horror stories about soccer and baseball when you get into the kids playing tournament teams, not so much at the lower levels.
  5. We shouldn't limit this to just hockey. It is across all youth sports and at all skill levels. There's a reason leagues have issues with getting officials, coaches, and other volunteers when they get to spend their freetime dealing with idiots.
  6. Yes, from what I heard from some parents the top division was Tier 1 AAA, the middle division was Tier 2 AAA, and the bottom division was a "high AA/low AAA" division.
  7. Kids develop better with practice than they do with games. If you bring it back to what Preds are doing by going independent, the SHAHA '09 model is probably more economical. Play your PAHL schedule, add a few tournaments, and then a fill in the rest of your 50-60 games by playing multiple "home at home exchanges". Cost would be more than PAHL, but you are getting more out of it, but still substantially less than going full independent or PPE.
  8. Thanks Forbin. I've been lucky enough to be around youth hockey between playing and coaching for probably upwards of 90% of my life and have coached from Mites to Midgets. Most parents don't get the education that is needed for them to understand truely what the odds are of their player moving on to higher levels, or even what those levels look like from a skill level. Unfortunately, with experience we know that the jump from "B" to "A", "A" to "AA", "AA" to "AAA" all get exponentially harder as a player moves up the ladder. I will always go back to parent/player education as being the most overlooked aspect of youth hockey. To steer the discussion back towards what we were originally talking about, there is some value in discussing and watching kids at 12U play. I've been lucky enough to watch kids that you can already see are going to be able to advance and thrive at 14U because they do play a borderline physical game at that age, while there's also the other end of the spectrum of the kids that shy away from contact at 12U and are going to struggle greatly and probably end up giving up the game, or not advancing to higher levels of play because of that. I do believe this is where the value of having major/minor at 12U and up would be valuable and also illustrates why teams might chose to go independent. I've always felt through the years that higher level of play will almost always = more physicality because the players have better control of their bodies because those players are better athletes in general. If you have a team that is going to physically dominate other teams in their "home" league, then there is value in going independent. Anything can happen during a game and a team can/will run into a hot goalie sometimes and lose a game that they dominated every other aspect of. Should that team have to dominate teams that they are going to beat 95% of the time or maybe play a schedule that ends up in a .500 or .600 record and the kids get challenged?
  9. I don't think a few teams choosing to not play a PAHL schedule is necessarily hurting the growth of the game. I'm probably going to sound like a broken record, but there's plenty of ways to do this, but teams playing games vs. out-of-town teams as opposed to PAHL wouldn't be anywhere near what I would argue could help "grow the game". These players still live in Western PA and will probably play PIHL for their schools as they get older. If you want to "grow the game" here's a few suggestions that would be way higher on the list than teams playing independent: 1. Better "learn to play" Programs 2. Find ways to make the cost more affordable 3. Better parent education programs 4. Coordination with other sports to allow kids to participate in multiple activities at the same time instead of forcing early specialization due to conflicting schedules. 5. Organizations/coaches have honest conversations with parents about where their player truly is skillwise. There's a big jump when an "A" player moves to "AA" and there's an even larger jump when a "AA" player jumps to "AAA". Parents who are "undereducated" from a hockey perspective won't understand this and thus make decisions based only on the number of "A's" Feel free to add to the list.
  10. Heard from a few sources that they won't return calls from PAHL '09 teams when they try to schedule them.
  11. Highest Ranked PAHL Teams: '09: SHAHA '08: Steel City '07: Allegheny '06: Steel City '05: Allegheny
  12. Thank you twoboys. That is exactly what I posted last week when it comes to higher skilled players at the younger age groups. When you have that happen at a smaller organization there isn't a population of like skilled players to pull from, so the better players and their parents have to make choices as to where to play.
  13. I don't think he's "bashing" anything. I've been involved with both ends of the spectrum and there's pluses and minuses when it comes to both. Within PAHL, there are more organizations which would be considered on the "small" side and only a handful on the "large" side. I believe that RJUSHL's point has been that in the current make up of the league, small organizations are at somewhat of a disadvantage on the ice simply due to the numbers game. I haven't read any of his posts and had the feeling that he's anti-small organizations. Much of what he's stating, is for the most part, true within the landscape of PAHL. The reason some organizations are at a disadvantage is due to their location and the the population of the area where their rink is located. It is nearly impossible for organizations like State College, Indiana, Lawrence County, and Beaver County to compete with the likes of Mt. Lebanon, SHAHA, Allegheny, etc on a yearly basis. It is not those organizations fault, it is simply a numbers game and I feel that RJUSHL is just pointing that out when he is making references to "small" and "large" organizations. This ultimately does come into play when you are talking about placements and the competitive balance within the league.
  14. Yes, a larger organization with more players in each age group has a better chance of having players across all skill levels, while a smaller organization will normally be forced to place players on the same team that would be divided by 2 or more teams in a larger organization. Then there's a decision to be made if you play at a lower level and allow the few high skilled players dominate or play at those players skill level and force the less skilled players to either work to catch up or get exposed at the higher level. It can be a really difficult decision for for the organization to make.
  15. I asked around last night and apparently this exact thing happened a few years ago with a State College team. My friend phrased it like this, "they had a really good goalie and a AAA level defenseman and ended up playing in the championship game." That team was apparently bumped to AA after blowing everyone out in their placement games and then finding their own appeal game that they were competitive in. The "one or two players" scenario seems to hold most true at the younger age levels, where speed and experience can let a player or two have an extreme impact on an entire team.
  16. Does anyone know the last time a team successfully appealed and was moved up a division? Also, is there any history with teams appealing to move down?
  17. I understand what you are saying on some level, but you are misrepresenting how the that tournament in question brands it's divisions: Is home to the premier AAA fall youth ice hockey tournament featuring Elite AAA Division and a AAA/AA Division. Top teams from North America and around the world come to Detroit for the most competitive youth hockey tournament in the world all in one major city. What I pasted into it is taken directly from the site for the tournament you referred. Yes, they have an Elite AAA division, but the other division is branded as AAA/AA. Elite AAA is for Tier 1 teams and AAA/AA is for Tier 2 teams regardless of independent or affiliated. Say what you want about if going independent is a good idea or if these independent team should be considered AAA, but all the teams in the AAA/AA division are doing is finding comparable opponents who are outside their region. My kids are long past youth hockey age, but if traveling an additional few hours to find competitive games vs. teams we haven't already seen upwards of 4 times between scrimmages, play-in games, regular season, and playoffs is a trip and an expense that I would have been more than willing to incur.
  18. Not sure I agree with this as a blanket statement... for example earlier in this tread someone made the comment to the effect that "SHAHA 09BY is going to be a powerhouse in PAHL AA this season". Should a Tier 2 team in that situation only stay local or only travel to Cleveland, Buffalo, and DC and have a good chance of seeing teams that they just beat up on 6 days ago? I'm not trying to start an argument, but asking a legit question because of the Tier 1 comment above. That statement holds true for B and A level teams, but not the situation I proposed above.
  19. Also remember, the further you travel, the less likely you are to see local teams. Buffalo, Cleveland, and DC are all relatively close to Pittsburgh. Stretching out to Detroit, Boston, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia may give a team a better chance at avoiding having to play local teams out of town.
  20. A team's manager or head coach needs to contact the tournament director prior to registering and ask for a list of participating teams in whatever division they plan on entering. Most will give you this info and then decide based off the other teams that are participating. If the tournament is unwilling to do this, I would suggest moving on to something different, there's enough to go around. No reason to go to NY or VA to play teams that are 20 minutes down the road.
  21. I feel like the discussion of fees for these teams misses the point that parents who are taking their kids to play for these teams are not concerned about fees, or are willing to "make it work" because they've already been sold on whatever promises the organization/team has made to them. Putting PPE into the conversation about PAHL teams leaving to go BY is really an apples to oranges comparison. Parents who make the call to go to PPE know they are going to pay more, regardless of if they are paying for perceived development/exposure or for them/their player to be able to say they play for the logo on the front of the sweater.
  22. Not sure this specific example, but I also believe the coaches fee also covers the coaches hotel for tournaments/out of town trips. No idea about meals and other expenses.
  23. No, only those minor BY teams that want to pursue playing at AA. In this scenario if you are a pure minor BY but are not AA then play at A major, etc. There would still be a placement process for those teams with what I proposed above.
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