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Since the 07’ tryout thread has changed topic to PPE, makes sense to start a thread about the current topic.  Definitely some required reading to see some of the experiences around the PPE. 

 

 

Edited by ChiefKeef
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Forbin,  that’s the only way it stops.  By getting the majority of squirt parents to buy in elsewhere.  If people can get past the jersey and the rink,  it will effect change for the Pittsburgh hockey community. 
 

PPE was smart though, they got involved with mite hockey so they can sink their teeth in early.  This gives them every opportunity to recognize and try to break up any attempt at a birthyear going a different route.  Think of union busting.  
 

As I mentioned in the tryout thread__ if all this crap actually led to good odds of kids getting places then so be it. It doesn’t.  The Pens results with moving kids on are far behind other programs around the country and the exploit, and take advantage of local kids until they have no use for them any longer seemingly. 
 

A lot of these parents think it will never happen to them because their kid is too good__ please see linked thread above. 

Edited by ChiefKeef
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I wonder if things will change with Morehouse out and Fenway in? I can't see Fenway missing an opportunity to cash in,  but actually developing local players without all the other bs involved would be a way to gather some goodwill which into is also good for them. 

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This amazes me. PPE covers like 5% or less of the kids playing hockey in WPA and this board seems to focus 95% of its time on PPE. Have at it of course it’s just amazing to me. My kid never played PPE. Coming from a smaller non Pittsburgh organization I didn’t even really know what it was. When we figured it out it just didn’t appeal to us. In all reality my kid probably wasn’t good enough like the vast majority of local kids. 

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7 minutes ago, hockeyisgreat said:

Don't we always love to hate the perceived to be best programs?   Patriots, Yankees, PPE, Etc.  Maybe PPE has lot there way in what should be there mission.  But would we bash them if they couldn't win with all local talent?

Agree. PPE has like all organizations has its faults. But they also do alot of things very well. If we dissected every program with every youth hockey program no one would want their child to play anywhere is western PA. 

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12 hours ago, Novos51 said:

this board seems to focus 95% of its time on PPE

well, it's the drama, right?  The org is founded in drama.  Going all the way back to the acquiring the Hornets. 

At times, it's good prime time TV.  Pass the popcorn.

By the way, the message board that pre-dated this message board had very little criticism of the Hornets - only a fraction of the flak that PPE gets here.  

 

 

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The obsession with PPE is getting ridiculous. Depending on BY, there is usually at least one other high-end team option in Pittsburgh. Sometimes two other very good teams. Take your "elite" kid there if you hate PPE. And if you don't like the other options, get involved and build up a team for your kids particular BY at whatever organization you wish. It takes a bit of work but it's really not that difficult to make a plan, secure good coaching, find a good team manager, and attract the non-insane parents and great players.

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New poster. Had to jump in. Definitely have experience with a child in PPE and also one elsewhere. There are pros and cons, as with every team and organization. But isn’t 99% of youth hockey development about practice and coaching? Practicing with appropriate practice plan designed by a coach who knows how to develop kids? Practicing with peers who make you better? Getting instant and constant feedback by a good coach or coaching staff? Generally, PPE is reliable in providing this at the youth level we seem to be talking about quite a bit here. However, if you’re fortunate enough to have a great coach/parent/group of kids outside of PPE, you can get the same thing. Problem is, that’s very inconsistent. I think the bigger problem is parents setting unrealistic expectations for their 7 year old kid, and ruining it for both the parents and the kid. This is mostly noise. Do the kids really have an opinion on what we’re talking about? If they do, that’s our fault. Not any organization’s fault. 
 

Also, this discussion has been ignoring girls hockey. That’s fine, but what PPE, and some of the original influences in the girls side from Pittsburgh, has done for girls hockey is something we can be proud of. 

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5 hours ago, Jkersman01 said:

New poster. Had to jump in. Definitely have experience with a child in PPE and also one elsewhere. There are pros and cons, as with every team and organization. But isn’t 99% of youth hockey development about practice and coaching? Practicing with appropriate practice plan designed by a coach who knows how to develop kids? Practicing with peers who make you better? Getting instant and constant feedback by a good coach or coaching staff? Generally, PPE is reliable in providing this at the youth level we seem to be talking about quite a bit here. However, if you’re fortunate enough to have a great coach/parent/group of kids outside of PPE, you can get the same thing. Problem is, that’s very inconsistent. I think the bigger problem is parents setting unrealistic expectations for their 7 year old kid, and ruining it for both the parents and the kid. This is mostly noise. Do the kids really have an opinion on what we’re talking about? If they do, that’s our fault. Not any organization’s fault. 
 

Also, this discussion has been ignoring girls hockey. That’s fine, but what PPE, and some of the original influences in the girls side from Pittsburgh, has done for girls hockey is something we can be proud of. 

“what PPE, and some of the original influences in the girls side from Pittsburgh, has done for girls hockey is something we can be proud of. ”

Thats a joke, right?

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9 hours ago, Theroadtobeerleague said:

“what PPE, and some of the original influences in the girls side from Pittsburgh, has done for girls hockey is something we can be proud of. ”

Thats a joke, right?

You don’t think what Kathy Pippy has done for girls hockey isn’t impactful? I’m not claiming the girls program as it is being run right now is perfect. Some people certainly have philosophical differences in that regard and I see both perspectives.

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58 minutes ago, Jkersman01 said:

You don’t think what Kathy Pippy has done for girls hockey isn’t impactful? I’m not claiming the girls program as it is being run right now is perfect. Some people certainly have philosophical differences in that regard and I see both perspectives.

Oh it was impactful.  It destroyed the older 16U and 19U levels at PAHL as the Pens and Steel City started grabbing a bunch of players that didn't belong at those levels to fill out rosters.  And since there isn't a strong base of girls continuing to play at that level, you get divisions with 3-4 teams or no division at all.

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56 minutes ago, HereWithPopcorn said:

Oh it was impactful.  It destroyed the older 16U and 19U levels at PAHL as the Pens and Steel City started grabbing a bunch of players that didn't belong at those levels to fill out rosters.  And since there isn't a strong base of girls continuing to play at that level, you get divisions with 3-4 teams or no division at all.

Name a girl FROM Pittsburgh that has had a SUCCESSFUL Division 1 hockey career WITHOUT one of the following:

- Selects Academy

- Shadyside Academy

- participating in a Spring/Summer tour with Pippy

- spent time at another hockey boarding school

Pens Elite Girls take credit for girls that got rostered, played for a year wearing the jersey, and never once stepped foot into UPMC for “training”. 

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36 minutes ago, Theroadtobeerleague said:

Name a girl FROM Pittsburgh that has had a SUCCESSFUL Division 1 hockey career WITHOUT one of the following:

- Selects Academy

- Shadyside Academy

- participating in a Spring/Summer tour with Pippy

- spent time at another hockey boarding school

Pens Elite Girls take credit for girls that got rostered, played for a year wearing the jersey, and never once stepped foot into UPMC for “training”. 

Over the past 4-5 years, it seems to be that the opposite is happening on the girls side when compared to the boys side. (I'm not counting the 19U prep team, as that's how those teams pretty much work in any organization) There are quite a few Pittsburgh girls that played with PPE starting 10U/12U, but then moved away later in their youth hockey careers. I really don't want to drop names on a public forum since they are minors, but if you look at the US Jr. National Team, you'll get a flavor. You could also look at that 14U National Championship team they had a few years ago. That's a good example too.

I agree PPE will likely take credit for anyone, boy or girl, that played for even just 1 year, that makes the next step. Frankly, I think almost any organization will/would do that though. 

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4 hours ago, Jkersman01 said:

You don’t think what Kathy Pippy has done for girls hockey isn’t impactful? I’m not claiming the girls program as it is being run right now is perfect. Some people certainly have philosophical differences in that regard and I see both perspectives.

Kathy Pippy = Marriott Rewards

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Yeah I can remember when there were 8-12 teams in PAHL girls 14u and 19u.  In recent years, it has been as low as 3-4. 

But I hear things are picking up again.  PAHL has gone to major and minor divisions which should help, as some teams go independent and individual players play boys only due to no competition. 

Note that the growth at 12u is due to the grassroots movements in J-town, State College, Westmoreland, and girls-only programs like you find at Foxes, NP, and elsewhere.  And where is mid-am on this whole topic?  

 

 

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Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We've had a few dealings as a PPE customer.  It was good.  At times.  But not always.  

One kid tried out, made a black team.  Placement was fair.  Liked the program, and the practices.  Liked it all, except the power skating.

In our second season - again, liked it all.  Had a better coach, good manager, good practices, competitive games.  Had another good year and got great experience.

Unfortunately, during the season, had a disagreement with the organization about a policy.  Can't elaborate here, but the next season, our player was cut. 

Was our kid legitimately overtaken by better players?  Possibly.  

Watched that team the following year and their two new additions.  One was better.  One was not better.  But such is life.  It is a hard conversation to have with your child - but we did, and we moved on.  

Another kid tried out a few times, couldn't break in.  Felt most who made it were rightfully placed.  All except one - who couldn't keep up.  How this one made the team every year is a mystery. 

After a few rounds of tryouts, our kid observed that many of the incumbents don't even try at tryouts.  Eventually stopped trying out; felt it was a fix.  Again, we moved on.

So in the end, our time in the organization was good.  It is not easy to get in.  At times, felt like bystanders, maybe victims, of politics.  Is that unique to PPE?  Probably no.  We didn't agree with the way they did everything, but youth hockey is not run as a democracy.  

 

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11 hours ago, Jack Handey said:

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  We've had a few dealings as a PPE customer.  It was good.  At times.  But not always.  

One kid tried out, made a black team.  Placement was fair.  Liked the program, and the practices.  Liked it all, except the power skating.

In our second season - again, liked it all.  Had a better coach, good manager, good practices, competitive games.  Had another good year and got great experience.

Unfortunately, during the season, had a disagreement with the organization about a policy.  Can't elaborate here, but the next season, our player was cut. 

Was our kid legitimately overtaken by better players?  Possibly.  

Watched that team the following year and their two new additions.  One was better.  One was not better.  But such is life.  It is a hard conversation to have with your child - but we did, and we moved on.  

Another kid tried out a few times, couldn't break in.  Felt most who made it were rightfully placed.  All except one - who couldn't keep up.  How this one made the team every year is a mystery. 

After a few rounds of tryouts, our kid observed that many of the incumbents don't even try at tryouts.  Eventually stopped trying out; felt it was a fix.  Again, we moved on.

So in the end, our time in the organization was good.  It is not easy to get in.  At times, felt like bystanders, maybe victims, of politics.  Is that unique to PPE?  Probably no.  We didn't agree with the way they did everything, but youth hockey is not run as a democracy.  

 

You make some valid and fair points. It often feels PPE is always under fire. Yes they do things wrong but they do alot right for pgh hockey. They give you exactly what you sign up for and pay for. Great hockey, great coaches and some of the best teams in the county. Politics play a part and not everything is fair but life isn't fair. There are other organizations out there charging similar prices and selling the AAA dream that do not come close to  offering teams that can even compete at the level, the training is mediocre at best and development is non existent. I don't need to mention these organizations but we all know who the faux AAA teams are locally. I cant even put all the blame on the organizations, the parents get some blame to,  they fall for it all to have the extra A for their kid who likey won't go anywhere beyond beer league. 

Edited by Sticktime56
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I'm surprised no one has brought up the BS that PPE pulls at the younger levels. They pick all the players as one large group over the summer, then do not announce who made which team until as late as mid September. They leave all those kids and parents on the hook thinking they made the top team so they have no option but to stick around when they are finally told they got cut from elite.

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I have to ask. Mario’s kid. Morehouse kid - now they are really pushing girls hockey. who high up with political & financial pull has a girl playing ? 


as for PPE in general - this will be the hundredth time I’ve posted it here - it’s still the best program in western pa if your kid has any real junior hockey or beyond aspirations. esmark midget is a distant second. It doesn’t give me any joy in making that statement. I watched a lot of shady things happen in the years my boys played up there, most of it was for a certain kids birth year but it did trickle to other birth years a bit. 

Edited by Danner27
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5 hours ago, Danner27 said:

I have to ask. Mario’s kid. Morehouse kid - now they are really pushing girls hockey. who high up with political & financial pull has a girl playing ? 

No one, I believe. Basically when local boy parents caught on to the black team scam and they started having trouble fielding teams, they moved the model to the girls.

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14 hours ago, Saucey said:

No one, I believe. Basically when local boy parents caught on to the black team scam and they started having trouble fielding teams, they moved the model to the girls.

I don't think it's anything more than that girl's (women's) hockey has been a trendy thing-as women's basketball, also-to talk about and get behind. By pushing girls hockey it's a great marketing opportunity ("Hey, look at us! We're at the forefront of getting behind women's hockey!"). While also being a previously untapped niche where PAHL was collecting the money of the players, where now PPE can get some of it. 

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35 minutes ago, nemesis8679 said:

I agree with the first part of your comment but don’t know about this part. They didn’t add any girls teams. They still filled out 2x teams at 10u and 12u (never had a problem filling the black teams here even if they have struggled, especially at 10u level), then 1 the rest of the way. Some 19u modifications were made, yes. But that greatly benefited the excel program; so that was self serving. Basically they added an extra off ice workout every week. No additional on ice, and charged a bit more. I think it really speaks to the first part of your comment as to the ‘investment’ made on girls hockey. 

Edited by Jkersman01
Reply fail- comment about the pulling from PAHL I was reacting to.
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People have moved their girls to Michigan to play Tier 1 because of her (kathy's) role\influence at PPE. Over the years I have heard a lot more people bad mouth kathy than praise her. It seemed like many of the PPE girls that were invited on pippy's summer tour wound up at selects academy. I feel it (Kathy, PPE Girls, Selects Academy, etc) deserves it own thread if those that were there and lived through it both positive and negative side would be willing to share their stories.

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7 hours ago, GrumpyOldPucker said:

People have moved their girls to Michigan to play Tier 1 because of her (kathy's) role\influence at PPE. Over the years I have heard a lot more people bad mouth kathy than praise her. It seemed like many of the PPE girls that were invited on pippy's summer tour wound up at selects academy. I feel it (Kathy, PPE Girls, Selects Academy, etc) deserves it own thread if those that were there and lived through it both positive and negative side would be willing to share their stories.

The firstest of world problems. 

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