Jump to content
  • Sky
  • Blueberry
  • Slate
  • Blackcurrant
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Emerald
  • Chocolate
  • Charcoal
Sign in to follow this  
Lifelongbender

The Costs of AAA Hockey

Recommended Posts

We spend a good bit of time talking about the costs of hockey, and where the money goes, on this board. To the end of fostering a reasonable conversation, this article from The Hockey Think Tank is a worthwhile read:

https://thehockeythinktank.com/2019/03/26/the-cost-of-aaa-hockey/

The Hockey Think Tank always has good content - well thought out and well written blog posts. This one, agree with all of it or not, will resonate with a good number of folks on this message board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AAA hockey is strange because there is such variation in quality and travel. It seems like the teams in our area either can't or won't play each other at the younger ages (where there probably shouldn't be any AAA hockey at all) and the "premier" team is definitely Pens by u15/16 ish but they import about half the best players from all over the country. I could see a lot of price variation depending on the model and how much you could play local (and by local even meaning Buffalo, Cleveland etc.) 

 

All that being said, I'm a fan of people spending their money on whatever they feel like, so if it floats their boat (and hopefully their kids), it isn't my money they are wasting. Go for it!  I think we all have our own perspective on what costs too much or what is good for our own families but a lot of non-hockey families would probably think we are nuts if you just add up PAHL fees + high school fees.  Especially if you have more than one kid and add in the travel for several tournaments. It's all a matter of perspective. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aaaahockey said:

AAA hockey is strange because there is such variation in quality and travel. It seems like the teams in our area either can't or won't play each other at the younger ages (where there probably shouldn't be any AAA hockey at all) and the "premier" team is definitely Pens by u15/16 ish but they import about half the best players from all over the country. I could see a lot of price variation depending on the model and how much you could play local (and by local even meaning Buffalo, Cleveland etc.) 

 

All that being said, I'm a fan of people spending their money on whatever they feel like, so if it floats their boat (and hopefully their kids), it isn't my money they are wasting. Go for it!  I think we all have our own perspective on what costs too much or what is good for our own families but a lot of non-hockey families would probably think we are nuts if you just add up PAHL fees + high school fees.  Especially if you have more than one kid and add in the travel for several tournaments. It's all a matter of perspective. 

I think I agree with all of this, @aaaahockey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Lifelongbender said:

We spend a good bit of time talking about the costs of hockey, and where the money goes, on this board. To the end of fostering a reasonable conversation, this article from The Hockey Think Tank is a worthwhile read:

https://thehockeythinktank.com/2019/03/26/the-cost-of-aaa-hockey/

The Hockey Think Tank always has good content - well thought out and well written blog posts. This one, agree with all of it or not, will resonate with a good number of folks on this message board.

Finally got to read the post. Mr. Scott’s article is a fantastic itemization of the factors that are driving this sport into the ground. I’ve used greed and vanity as reasons for this but his use of money and ego are on par. That’s why it’s so important to understand how things can be so corrupted all the way down to the in house level. For every situation I’ve seen where a national level official makes a decision in exchange for a direct financial gain, I hear about a Bantam A Major coach who manipulates a tryout to ensure his kid is out on a good team or ensures the rosters are all “even”. I could never figure out which one was worse but I’ve come to realize they’re all equally disposable and part of the same problem. The sport needs major reform. As I’ve said, a shut down might be the impetus to some real change

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, The King said:

Finally got to read the post. Mr. Scott’s article is a fantastic itemization of the factors that are driving this sport into the ground. I’ve used greed and vanity as reasons for this but his use of money and ego are on par. That’s why it’s so important to understand how things can be so corrupted all the way down to the in house level. For every situation I’ve seen where a national level official makes a decision in exchange for a direct financial gain, I hear about a Bantam A Major coach who manipulates a tryout to ensure his kid is out on a good team or ensures the rosters are all “even”. I could never figure out which one was worse but I’ve come to realize they’re all equally disposable and part of the same problem. The sport needs major reform. As I’ve said, a shut down might be the impetus to some real change

I must admit that I heard echoes of some of what you have said on this board in this article, @The King.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An interesting and well written article. I've never understood the whole squirt and peewee AAA thing. Seems like a total parental bragging situation. Those parents are generally the ones who spend $3k at the team store decking themselves out in the team garb. Honestly, if it weren't for the ADM rules, I could see AAA mite teams being a thing. I think the organizations would make an absolute killing off of that. To comment on the money side of this - my coworker took his family of four to Disney for a week last year and spent over $14,000. It's your money, spend it how you want. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, forbin said:

An interesting and well written article. I've never understood the whole squirt and peewee AAA thing. Seems like a total parental bragging situation. Those parents are generally the ones who spend $3k at the team store decking themselves out in the team garb. Honestly, if it weren't for the ADM rules, I could see AAA mite teams being a thing. I think the organizations would make an absolute killing off of that. To comment on the money side of this - my coworker took his family of four to Disney for a week last year and spent over $14,000. It's your money, spend it how you want. 

If you read his insinuation about the split ice situations, its a point that many people have made about adm. The more people you put on the ice, the more money you make. But the costs never come down. Why? (That’s a rhetorical question). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, forbin said:

An interesting and well written article. I've never understood the whole squirt and peewee AAA thing. Seems like a total parental bragging situation. Those parents are generally the ones who spend $3k at the team store decking themselves out in the team garb. Honestly, if it weren't for the ADM rules, I could see AAA mite teams being a thing. I think the organizations would make an absolute killing off of that. To comment on the money side of this - my coworker took his family of four to Disney for a week last year and spent over $14,000. It's your money, spend it how you want. 

PPE is already making a killing off of AAA Mites.

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, BACKCHECKING said:

PPE is already making a killing off of AAA Mites.

 

The ironic thing about this is that the level of play, the training and instruction they receive, and the fact that they only play each other (besides a couple of jamborees) is essentially the exact same thing that the RMU mite in house program is doing. And RMU does it A LOT better in my opinion. I know this personally, my kid did both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, forbin said:

The ironic thing about this is that the level of play, the training and instruction they receive, and the fact that they only play each other (besides a couple of jamborees) is essentially the exact same thing that the RMU mite in house program is doing. And RMU does it A LOT better in my opinion. I know this personally, my kid did both. 

Come on, which sounds better around the water cooler at work, "My kid plays Pens" or "My kid plays RMU". We both know the answer to that!  Also which jersey is cooler?

Edited by aaaahockey
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, forbin said:

The ironic thing about this is that the level of play, the training and instruction they receive, and the fact that they only play each other (besides a couple of jamborees) is essentially the exact same thing that the RMU mite in house program is doing. And RMU does it A LOT better in my opinion. I know this personally, my kid did both. 

(Hearsay)

 I have heard that they use a local AAU team to play in some AAU tournaments in MI.

Why do they only play each other?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, forbin said:

An interesting and well written article. I've never understood the whole squirt and peewee AAA thing. Seems like a total parental bragging situation. Those parents are generally the ones who spend $3k at the team store decking themselves out in the team garb. Honestly, if it weren't for the ADM rules, I could see AAA mite teams being a thing. I think the organizations would make an absolute killing off of that. To comment on the money side of this - my coworker took his family of four to Disney for a week last year and spent over $14,000. It's your money, spend it how you want. 

I saw FULL ICE “AAA” mites in Buffalo a few years back. Kids dead tired skating halfway up the ice. It’s a parent thing. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/7/2020 at 7:21 AM, Lifelongbender said:

We spend a good bit of time talking about the costs of hockey, and where the money goes, on this board. To the end of fostering a reasonable conversation, this article from The Hockey Think Tank is a worthwhile read:

https://thehockeythinktank.com/2019/03/26/the-cost-of-aaa-hockey/

The Hockey Think Tank always has good content - well thought out and well written blog posts. This one, agree with all of it or not, will resonate with a good number of folks on this message board.

In my opinion the best part of the article - my hockey rankings has killed development. That statement is so true. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, BACKCHECKING said:

(Hearsay)

 I have heard that they use a local AAU team to play in some AAU tournaments in MI.

Why do they only play each other?

They do 2 practices per week and then scrimmages against each other (there are only two teams) on weekends. When my son played we went to 3 jamboree tournaments and all three were played as red level half ice just like all the other PAHL programs do. This was two seasons ago so maybe things haven't changed? I wouldn't be surprised if the parents were petitioning for more travel tournaments. To each their own I guess, it just wasn't our scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I often wonder how many Crosby's, Kane's, Iginla's, Lidstrom's, etc. never were... purely because of cost and accessibility. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, BACKCHECKING said:

(Hearsay)

 I have heard that they use a local AAU team to play in some AAU tournaments in MI.

Why do they only play each other?

My son played AAU full ice Mites and it was pretty cool. We went to Michigan,  Buffalo,  Cleveland x2 and Rochester to name a few. There were some blowout games and a lot of really good games. 

Yes every year there is some parent somewhere looking for the best kids because while I liked the half ice to start, there is only so much your kid can learn doing that. If your kid is good and has played half ice for 3 or 4 years they get BORED and if a kid gets bored with something what are they going to do??? (Quit). 

If I remember correctly the teams out of Chicago, Cleveland, Rochester, Buffalo and some Canadian ones were named after their respected AAA teams at higher levels. 

My son also plays roller and dek-hockey,  in dek they teach the kids 5 vs. 5 Full rink with positions at the 4-6 year old age group. 

Edited by Pucks11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not completely against the full ice mites because I have seen kids get bored with not playing "real" hockey. I honestly didn't even know the Pittsburgh area offered it. I do think the ADM model with cross ice and half ice helps them develop. Id rather see a bunch of small area puck battles and lots of scoring chances rather than a ton of half ice stretch passes and wide open ice. There are certainly the group of skilled 7 and 8 year olds who can handle it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Pucks11 said:

My son played AAU full ice Mites and it was pretty cool. We went to Michigan,  Buffalo,  Cleveland x2 and Rochester to name a few. There were some blowout games and a lot of really good games. 

Yes every year there is some parent somewhere looking for the best kids because while I liked the half ice to start, there is only so much your kid can learn doing that. If your kid is good and has played half ice for 3 or 4 years they get BORED and if a kid gets bored with something what are they going to do??? (Quit). 

If I remember correctly the teams out of Chicago, Cleveland, Rochester, Buffalo and some Canadian ones were named after their respected AAA teams at higher levels. 

My son also plays roller and dek-hockey,  in dek they teach the kids 5 vs. 5 Full rink with positions at the 4-6 year old age group. 

As stated above a few years ago. I saw one of these genes in Buffalo,  Watched about a period. There may have been a total of 5 shots on goal for both teams. Sure it was good cardio but there was ZERO development going on. One kid on each team trying to get breakaways. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Danner27 said:

As stated above a few years ago. I saw one of these genes in Buffalo,  Watched about a period. There may have been a total of 5 shots on goal for both teams. Sure it was good cardio but there was ZERO development going on. One kid on each team trying to get breakaways. 

Must have been a bad game, it happens. I know the kids that my son played with developed pretty well. The coach they had taught them to play as a team. Yes there was the occasional stretch pass or end to end but all in all I think that it helped for the following years to come that they were playing already. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some organizations have their Mite kids graduate later in the season from cross ice to half ice with the placement of temporary boards to run two games simultaneously rather than two cross ice games with the neutral zone used as a skills area during games.  I am in favor of this over 7-8 year old playing full ice, as they have plenty of time ahead of them to learn about off sides, icing and line changes on the fly.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pucks11 said:

Must have been a bad game, it happens. I know the kids that my son played with developed pretty well. The coach they had taught them to play as a team. Yes there was the occasional stretch pass or end to end but all in all I think that it helped for the following years to come that they were playing already. 

I’m thinking it was the junior Sabers, I can’t be sure as it was sometime ago. What saw would give zero skill development. Just my opinion. I still think checking should go back to peewee. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AAA Hockey is a scam.

If PIAA would have some balls and bring Hockey In PIAA Let the High School share the costs then there wouldn’t be Club Hockey AAA holding all the Cards.

Look how MN and WI do it High School is NO #1 and you have to stay in your Zip Codes until death.

High Schools buy the rinks and pays for Hockey.

NCAA recruits those High Schools Hard.
Look how many make it to NHL.

Very few PPE kids get drafted to USHL and parents paid all that money.

If they do Excel, North Catholic and PPE you are looking at $32,000 to $34,000 a year with Travel.

When was last time PPE put someone into NHL? Not the PGH Hornets.

It is all because PPE brought these clowns in from the Midwest all they did was raise the costs according to Chicago Price. I give the U16 Coach Credit he good the others are terrible Coaches.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...