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What do you think hockey in the Burgh would be like without PPE?


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25 minutes ago, Saucey said:

You want more ice time? Do we want that ice time to come at the expense of cutting kids? 

Plain and simple. Yes. I grew up playing PAHL hockey in the late 90's and was cut from second squirt and peewee teams. These big organizations don't cut anyone nowadays. But that's the world we live in now and it wont change. So let them pay their season fees and go 5-9 in the B division as long as they are having fun right? Not sure about your kids, but mine hate to lose and I am totally okay with that. 

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41 minutes ago, Saucey said:

Great points.

But parents of even very low skilled players demand travel. Again, we have a very parent driven market. It gets hard for organizations to say no when everyone else provides what parents demand. And as I hear from all the AAA people...if parents want to pay for their in house player to travel to State College or what ever, who am I to tell them that probably isn't great for them developmentally, that those dollars might be better spent on individual skating lessons? (Yes, that's sarcasm.)

I think our market is currently operating on wishful thinking. Wishing we were a bigger market and operating just like the big markets do, with BY teams, loads of AAA options, etc. Instead of looking at what we have (dad coaches without much hockey experience, for example) and trying to build from there (train dad coaches until the kids who played return to coach) to get to those levels.

You want more ice time? Do we want that ice time to come at the expense of cutting kids? Our area doesn't have the ice rinks like other rinks do. We don't have private ODRs due to weather. And do parents want to pay more at those young ages? Do they want all that time? Do the kids? I have pretty good players. They weren't on top teams at squirts or on the ice more than twice a week for mites. They were not interested in more practice, either. 🤣 They didn't do privates until bantam, when they asked for them. More isn't always necessary so long as the ice touches you do get are quality, which it sounds like doesn't always happen in many organizations, particularly at lower levels. My kids caught up when they wanted to.

But we do have deck rinks. Maybe adjust in that sense, in those ways.

I'd like this area to look at what we have and build from there. Not pretend to 150 AAA players at each level or what ever. I think that holds our market back.

And what is the end goal? Should it be to have everyone running around trying to chase the dream when that is so rare, or should it be fun and development for all who want to play, regardless of how good that child may be? Right now it's the chasers driving the market, to the detriment of the majority,I think.

You are viewing it wrong.  PAHL isn't travel hockey.  PAHL is our local league.  PPE and Esmark are travel.  

If you want the lesser AAA teams to go away, make sure that your organization has a AA team coached by a non-parent and play 60 games.  Two weeknight touches a week.  Run it like the PPE and Esmark.  Don't have a vote about which tournament you want to do or whether you want an extra practice.   And most importantly, demand/require attendance.   

And PAHL should require this to be AA at Peewee and above.  Limit it to 5 organizations.  

Edited by twoboys
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3 hours ago, twoboys said:

You are viewing it wrong.  PAHL isn't travel hockey.  PAHL is our local league.  PPE and Esmark are travel.  

If you want the lesser AAA teams to go away, make sure that your organization has a AA team coached by a non-parent and play 60 games.  Two weeknight touches a week.  Run it like the PPE and Esmark.  Don't have a vote about which tournament you want to do or whether you want an extra practice.   And most importantly, demand/require attendance.   

And PAHL should require this to be AA at Peewee and above.  Limit it to 5 organizations.  

I don't disagree in theory but I think a lot of people want the extra A. They will claim that they don't, that they want the non parent coaches et al. It gives a way to save face. So even if PAHL did that across the board, still would have the faux organizations. Because the big PAHL organizations are doing these things, most of them.

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If PAHL offered a "AAA" division for major birth years starting at 12U it would be well received. Call it PAHL Premier or something. Make it a 30 game schedule and the orgs must have a non parent coach and offer 2 weeknight practice slots. Essentially making AA what it should be. They can still play their tournaments and independent games to get up to the 50-60 game mark that so many parents want and everyone is happy.

 

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2 hours ago, Saucey said:

Limit it to 5 organizations

 

1 hour ago, forbin said:

Make it a 30 game

You have to be careful with how many times a plays another team. In league play, once you hit 4 times it often times begins to deteriorate either on the ice or in the stands.

Or both.

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4 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

 

You have to be careful with how many times a plays another team. In league play, once you hit 4 times it often times begins to deteriorate either on the ice or in the stands.

Or both.

Expand the territory where you play to cut down on the times you play a team. Add teams from Ohio, etc. Then that gives people 'better competition' that they are looking for.

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13 hours ago, sadday4hockey said:

 

You have to be careful with how many times a plays another team. In league play, once you hit 4 times it often times begins to deteriorate either on the ice or in the stands.

Or both.

I would keep it to 5 teams.  Have each team play the 4 other teams either 3 or 4 times.  Frankly, what these parents/players want is to play less PAHL games and not more.  By keeping it to 5 teams I think you make it so each team is competitive.  The more teams you have the more likely you have some teams that aren't very good and this defeats the whole purpose.

If 4 games this sets up nicely for two home games and two away for each team.

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18 minutes ago, twoboys said:

I would keep it to 5 teams.  Have each team play the 4 other teams either 3 or 4 times.  Frankly, what these parents/players want is to play less PAHL games and not more.  By keeping it to 5 teams I think you make it so each team is competitive.  The less teams you have the more likely you have some teams that aren't very good and this defeats the whole purpose.

If 4 games this sets up nicely for two home games and two away for each team.

I believe that PAHL rules limit games to 2 home and 2 away for each team.

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I try to look at the long game if I can, not always able but I try.

My kid got into hockey because he learned to skate early and it just seemed normal to progress to playing.  He had the usual little kid dreams of making it in The Chel and skating the cup. He never placed higher than A Major Black but enjoyed every season and made a lot of friends along the way.

Second Bantam year he decided he wanted to take hard courses and make good grades so he now only plays for his school.

A whole lot of kids of his generation are gonna make some really good coaches in a few years when they finish college and have players of their own. Perhaps that is the long term effect of PPE and all of the other orgs around here. More kids that played the game pretty well and can then pass it along to their own kids. Better coaches, better development, maybe that is the win that is gonna come.

 

My .02 worth

Actual mileage may vary 

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17 hours ago, forbin said:

If PAHL offered a "AAA" division for major birth years starting at 12U it would be well received

This won't get participation from the teams that are true national contenders.  And by the way, they all think they are national contenders. 

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5 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

This won't get participation from the teams that are true national contenders.  And by the way, they all think they are national contenders. 

Couldn't they still be true national contenders and play a PAHL schedule plus independent games? Don't they already do that?

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1 hour ago, Chinstrap said:

I try to look at the long game if I can, not always able but I try.

My kid got into hockey because he learned to skate early and it just seemed normal to progress to playing.  He had the usual little kid dreams of making it in The Chel and skating the cup. He never placed higher than A Major Black but enjoyed every season and made a lot of friends along the way.

Second Bantam year he decided he wanted to take hard courses and make good grades so he now only plays for his school.

A whole lot of kids of his generation are gonna make some really good coaches in a few years when they finish college and have players of their own. Perhaps that is the long term effect of PPE and all of the other orgs around here. More kids that played the game pretty well and can then pass it along to their own kids. Better coaches, better development, maybe that is the win that is gonna come.

 

My .02 worth

Actual mileage may vary 

Dude, you did it wrong. You crushed his dreams of skating with the Cup. Harder courses in school instead of faux AAA? Crazy you.

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1 hour ago, Jack Handey said:

This won't get participation from the teams that are true national contenders.  And by the way, they all think they are national contenders. 

I think the whole point was to get the kids on the lesser AAA teams, like Icemen and the Preds, to play PAHL.  These kids are the kids that love hockey and want to play as much as possible.  This means more practice and more games.  They also want a non-Dad on the bench.  They want the matching bags, etc.  Basically, they want everything that PPE and Esmark offer and regular PAHL teams don't.

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1 hour ago, twoboys said:

I think the whole point was to get the kids on the lesser AAA teams, like Icemen and the Preds, to play PAHL.

They all walked away from PAHL to begin with, citing that they were too good for the local competition. 

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3 hours ago, forbin said:

Couldn't they still be true national contenders and play a PAHL schedule plus independent games? Don't they already do that?

No.  Playing a local schedule would give credibility/plausibility to other orgs and they have nothing to gain by doing that.  If they win, they were supposed to win.  If they lose, then they are exposed as noncontenders.

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23 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

They all walked away from PAHL to begin with, citing that they were too good for the local competition. 

Did they decide they were too good for local competition or did they want a non parent coach, more games, more practices, and all the cool swag that comes with "AAA"? 

I can totally see why 15 year old kid whos played 9-10 seasons of PAHL and dealt with terribly run practices, flakey teammates, 7am games in state college, coaches who phone it in, playing the same kids you've played for years, etc... would want to try something different. 

Aren't some the best parts of playing tournaments the fact that you get to play out of state teams? I personally hate going to a tournament and playing another PAHL team. Having the opportunity to play teams from OH,NY,MI etc is also a big enticing part of "AAA" for a lot of people.

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2 hours ago, forbin said:

Did they decide they were too good for local competition or did they want a non parent coach, more games, more practices, and all the cool swag that comes with "AAA"? 

I can totally see why 15 year old kid whos played 9-10 seasons of PAHL and dealt with terribly run practices, flakey teammates, 7am games in state college, coaches who phone it in, playing the same kids you've played for years, etc... would want to try something different. 

Aren't some the best parts of playing tournaments the fact that you get to play out of state teams? I personally hate going to a tournament and playing another PAHL team. Having the opportunity to play teams from OH,NY,MI etc is also a big enticing part of "AAA" for a lot of people.

Many AA PAHL programs offer those perks - non-parent paid coach, more games especially of the independent variety, swag, etc without the AAA price tag.  

An extra A does not guarantee you will get better coaching and more games either - shitty coaching exists at all levels.  Many PAHL teams played over 50 games last year, which is a lot considering COVID shutdowns during the season.  As for PAHL teams playing other PAHL teams in tournaments, that's what you get when you go to the cookie cutter Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit and Niagara destinations.  

Most AAA teams don't play lots of tournaments - they play showcases or a series of games with select teams within a 3-day span, usually Fri-Sunday.  More travel for sure but you will play against teams from all over.

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I know AAA teams don't play a lot of tournaments. I was using that scenario to emphasize the wider variety of opponents at the AAA level, but that point can be argued as well as a lot of AAA teams end up playing the same teams multiple times a season. 

I was more trying to say that I get why people turn their back to PAHL after a while. The grass is always greener on the AAA hill, right?

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18 hours ago, Jack Handey said:

They all walked away from PAHL to begin with, citing that they were too good for the local competition. 

Need to be pushed. Competition from out of town is better. Weak reason, one of those 'save face' reasons since the teams being played aren't ranked better or anything.

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I've heard it said on other sites, If everyone who says that they play for independent teams because PAHL is not competitive enough would play in PAHL,  That would be a much stronger league.

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1 hour ago, Ron Shock said:

I've heard it said on other sites, If everyone who says that they play for independent teams because PAHL is not competitive enough would play in PAHL,  That would be a much stronger league.

Agree 150%

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12 hours ago, Guru said:

Agree 150%

But then you wouldn't be able to say you're part of an independent AAA team and wear those fancy sweaters.

It's absolutely true that if those players all played in PAHL it would be a much stronger league, but the strength of opponents is hardly the only, and probably not even the primary, reason most of those players aren't playing PAHL. It's chicken or egg, really, but at this point that's not EVER going to change.

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Speaking of PAHL, I was told a few weeks ago PAHL is only expecting 4 or so U16 AA teams. possibly only 3 AA teams at U18. Is/if true, the blame was placed on the faux AAA teams along with an independent predators AA U18 team. To me, 3-4 AA Teams at midget seems really low, but if the talk is true about all the faux AAA teams in western pa at the midget levels I guess I’m not surprised. 

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21 minutes ago, Danner27 said:

Speaking of PAHL, I was told a few weeks ago PAHL is only expecting 4 or so U16 AA teams. possibly only 3 AA teams at U18. Is/if true, the blame was placed on the faux AAA teams along with an independent predators AA U18 team. To me, 3-4 AA Teams at midget seems really low, but if the talk is true about all the faux AAA teams in western pa at the midget levels I guess I’m not surprised. 

Interesting, I would think just off the top of my head I could name at least 6 or more organizations that had tryouts for AA U16 teams.  It all comes down to placements doesn't it?  Maybe there are 4 really good teams and then the rest? I would think NP, Allegheny, Renegades, Shaha, Mt Lebo, South Pittsburgh (Rats), Preds, Viper Stars, & Foxes  In no particular order and Maybe Armstong also?

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