Youth Hockey - catch all

tonyandpals

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Learn to Play programs. Does your town/program have one? What is the cost? How many hours on ice and how many weeks does it run?
I feel like we're too expensive, even though it takes a loss every year. It's important to getting kids into our mite program, so I get it. Wondering what we can do better.
 

OfTheCarmen

Cow Humper
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Jul 18, 2007
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My town league runs LTP October - February with hour long full ice on Saturdays and hour long half ice Sundays.

Starting in October costs $1k, starting in November is $800, starting in December costs $600.

They also have an Advanced LTP program, but the site doesnt currently have any information on that one.
 

kenneycb

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Learn to Play programs. Does your town/program have one? What is the cost? How many hours on ice and how many weeks does it run?
I feel like we're too expensive, even though it takes a loss every year. It's important to getting kids into our mite program, so I get it. Wondering what we can do better.
Can you shift people to think of it as a "loss leader"? It's a feeder system into the broader program where you will make your money, it's just a longer payback. Of course not everyone will continue on but if you lower the prices and take a bigger hit in Year 1more people you get in the front door, the more that will likely join mites, the more that will stay with it to squirts, etc.

This is way more business jargon-y than I prefer so sorry for that.
 

tonyandpals

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Can you shift people to think of it as a "loss leader"? It's a feeder system into the broader program where you will make your money, it's just a longer payback. Of course not everyone will continue on but if you lower the prices and take a bigger hit in Year 1more people you get in the front door, the more that will likely join mites, the more that will stay with it to squirts, etc.

This is way more business jargon-y than I prefer so sorry for that.
Completely agree, and we think of it as a necessity, and a feeder system. IF we don't do it, we'll lose them to neighboring towns for years, maybe their whole time in youth hockey.

Last board meeting I went in with: "If our LTP program was free, do you think we'd get more kids?" A few members said no, that if you're going to play you're going to play and the cost isn't a factor. The rest were quiet. I disagree and think people see $700 (Sep-March) and they think it's a lot and cost is a barrier to some. Now I wasn't suggesting making it free, but I wanted to use the most extreme example.

I did pitch a rebate type thing over three years. $750 or whatever for LTP, Mite year one is $250 less than normal, year two $250 less and year 3 you get the last $250 back, and now you're entrenched in the system. Again, like a fart in church. With kids leaving earlier and earlier, I'm trying to think of ways to retain them those early years and build something where they want to stay.
 

tonyandpals

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Is the LTP different than your Learn to Skate?
Yes, we have a few LTS sessions that our run by our figure skating branch. But they do feed them in to our LTP program. If a kid is close, or showing interest in hockey, we move them to LTP soon and we'll have a small group in LTP that is still sort of learning to skate a bit.
 

OfTheCarmen

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I know for the last few years, our org has participated in the Little Bruins Academy (or something close to that). I think it crosses a small gap between LTS and LTP and includes a full set of gear for a VERY low cost when you also factor in the 4-5 1-hour ice sessions. I think the Org even benefitted monetarily in some way (not sure if the ice costs paid by the Bruins thing were perhaps more than what our rink charges). I'm not on the bookeeping side of things so I'm not sure exactly how that worked out, but helping families get over that initial financial hurdle of buying a full set of hockey gear seemed to help bring kids into the program.
 

tonyandpals

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I know for the last few years, our org has participated in the Little Bruins Academy (or something close to that). I think it crosses a small gap between LTS and LTP and includes a full set of gear for a VERY low cost when you also factor in the 4-5 1-hour ice sessions. I think the Org even benefitted monetarily in some way (not sure if the ice costs paid by the Bruins thing were perhaps more than what our rink charges). I'm not on the bookeeping side of things so I'm not sure exactly how that worked out, but helping families get over that initial financial hurdle of buying a full set of hockey gear seemed to help bring kids into the program.
It's a great program for sure. I asked to get on the list this year so we could participate and they said they would reach out in the spring. When I didn't hear back I followed up and it was too late and they had already locked in the programs participating. So we're on the list for next year. I agree, it's essentially a free program that we can feed kids right into our system from. "Hey, you liked those 4 weeks? Use that gear and keep going in our program!"
 

VORP Speed

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Ours is $850 for 3 sessions per week. And this is in Fairfield County CT where everything, especially anything kid-related, is stupid expensive. You gotta get kids and parents hooked before you hit them with the crazy fees.
 

kenneycb

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Completely agree, and we think of it as a necessity, and a feeder system. IF we don't do it, we'll lose them to neighboring towns for years, maybe their whole time in youth hockey.

Last board meeting I went in with: "If our LTP program was free, do you think we'd get more kids?" A few members said no, that if you're going to play you're going to play and the cost isn't a factor. The rest were quiet. I disagree and think people see $700 (Sep-March) and they think it's a lot and cost is a barrier to some. Now I wasn't suggesting making it free, but I wanted to use the most extreme example.

I did pitch a rebate type thing over three years. $750 or whatever for LTP, Mite year one is $250 less than normal, year two $250 less and year 3 you get the last $250 back, and now you're entrenched in the system. Again, like a fart in church. With kids leaving earlier and earlier, I'm trying to think of ways to retain them those early years and build something where they want to stay.
I have a hard time cost isn't a factor and wonder if that's some people's personal experience / biases clouding their judgment. The rebate thing is a great idea to get lock-in.

Plus you could take the $750 in float and invest it in some crypto so the program will fund itself.
 

OfTheCarmen

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My son needs to work on crisp, flat passing for going D to D in offense and for the occasional cross ice pass starting the breakout. I looked at some of the passing/rebounder type trainers and they're pretty darn expensive. I found some foam edging meant for synthetic ice that can adhere to most things and it works amazing.

https://www.hockeyshot.com/collections/hockey-flooring-accessories/products/edge-rebounding-foam

I put one down (didnt even adhere it) next to the garage wall and it perfectly sent a light green biscuit right back. I'm planning in putting a few around the garage walls and then putting some on some heavy wood that can moved around to create different scenarios.

I have no affiliation with the company, I'm just cheap and thought others might be interested in a cheaper option. The foam pieces are $8 and shipping seems to be a flat $20 unless you spend something crazy like $200 (though not that crazy if you're buying synthetic ice I guess).
 

tonyandpals

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I have a friend whose son (2011) could maybe fill in sometimes. He lives in Needham so probably not your full time guy. No idea how good he is.
We played against this friend today in a Peewee game! Great game, tied 3-3. We were down 3-1 going into the 3rd but fought back for the tie. Got two texts from parents about 40 minutes before the game, whose kids who played earlier and were wiped out/sick. Only had players ten players for the game to begin with, eight wasn't going to cut it. With no time to call up squirts my 2014 suited up and another sibling (2014) of a kid on the team played too. They were both going to be there watching, so why not play with their brothers? They're at the top of the 2014 group and the peewee team is playing a low AA schedule. They hung in and my little guy even went end to end before missing the net. It was so fun seeing them out there together though.
 

tonyandpals

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Just had a nice showing up in Waterville. 2-0-1 to advance to the 2/3 game. Down 1-0 early in that game and came back to win on 2-1 with the game winner coming with about a minute to go in regulation. Got beat in the finals pretty good by Providence Hockey Club in the final. But this was a team that went there last year and didn't score a goal. Big step forward this year at 3-1-1.

For the wanna be officials in this thread, you make the call on this play. What you got?
View: https://imgur.com/a/wcMQfW0
 

Doubleback Drew

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For someone who’s son is now a junior in high school, thanks for posting this video. Brings back some great memories of that place. Although I don’t think the Golden Eagle Lodge was sorry to see us go!
 

OfTheCarmen

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I've got a cross check at 0:03, and then just a tripping at the end even though my fun-meter would be calling for a penalty shot.
 

tonyandpals

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He had a trip, but he was like a deer in headlights. Felt a bit bad. He came towards our bench and our HC was telling him it was a textbook penalty shot and if he could explain what he had, and why it wasn't? The guy/kid(maybe 17-18yo tops) literally just stared at him in silence as he asked the question...calmly. It was extremely odd. He finally went moved along once the HC stopped asking. But, but he never responded. It was just odd. Could have owned it a bit and simply explained, but hey. Puck don't lie...

ensuing pp (same kid)

volume warning / screaming moms

View: https://imgur.com/a/e9QEzNw
 

OfTheCarmen

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Y'know what, I'm gonna change my answer. I went and looked up the USA Hockey rules, and by that logic it seems pretty cut and dry. I've always assumed there was some kind of verbiage around "separation" between the puck carrier and the defenders. Maybe there was back when I played, maybe that's a holdover from NHL, who knows.

Glad he ended up getting the goal anyway.
 

OfTheCarmen

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Not a coaching issue at all, but I just needed to vent and I figured this made more sense than the "things that bother you" thread.

My son joined a different team this year after the disaster that was last season. I wanted him to play for the Springfield YellowJackets (lots of our old hockey crew ended up there after his prior team imploded), but his best friend/Goalie (and a couple other kids from last year) ended up wanting to go somewhere else.

I wasnt super against it, but I didnt love that it's playing at one of the rinks that BlackBear gobbled up in CT. At tryouts, they had a section of the ice cordoned off to not skate on. The explanation was some kind of pipe issue and should be fixed soon. Couple weeks later, they end up taking the entire sheet of ice down. This would have been in mid April (tryouts were in early April). They didnt have any ice over the summer and our season start was pushed back multiple times from mid-late august to today (most orgs have been skating for at least 2 weeks at this point) with practices scheduled for Monday and Wednesday and our first game scheduled for this Saturday.

Friday we got an email from the head of the org that the ice will not be ready and they're in communication with BlackBear and we should hear something more soon. Last night at 8PM we get a message from the org directors forwarding a mail from BB stating they're "hoping" to have things settled by Wednesday or Thursday and they're going to try to accomodate ice time for teams missing their sessions at other BB rinks. They blamed the heat and humidity last week as the specific reason they were not able to hit their commitment date.

At this point I have zero faith in BB to actually get this ice ready when they couldnt manage to do it over the span of 4 months. I'm hoping this isnt a complete wash and we're not scrambing to find a team in a couple weeks if this drags on.


So frustrating...thanks for listening.
 

tonyandpals

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That sucks, OTC. As someone who used 'rink convenience' as a huge factor in shopping for our first club team, this would drive me nuts. Are the seeking ice anywhere else? I've heard of programs getting the rug pulled out from under them and scrambling to find ice all over the place. Maybe the options are more limited out your way? I hope it works out...

I have a rules question for you all. I haven't looked it up, because I didn't think I needed to.

USA Hockey - 10u
Delayed penalty call.
Next stoppage is an icing, iced by the team who is about to go on the power play.
Where is the ensuing face off?
 

OfTheCarmen

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Without looking it up, I would assume the delayed penalty would override the icing and the face-off would be in the zone of the team who was called for the penalty. I will say, face-off location has one of the most head-scratching things to witness from refs as my son has gone through 10u-12u. The craziest one is the seemingly haphazard "intentional offsides" and where the face-offs end up. Feels completely random depending on the ref and their interpretation of the rules. I'm going to guess that the refs put it at center ice and have no idea if that would be correct or not.


With regards to the ice, BlackBear has doubled down that the rink will be ready by Thursday and has scrambled to schedule everyone's practices on Thursday and Friday. My sons team ended up with 7:30PM Thursday and 8:40PM Friday and our game slot on Sunday (1:10PM) is still on the books. They still have their Livebarn disabled so I have my doubts as to whether they're actually going to have the ice ready by then. They own 3 other rinks wihtin 30 mins of our home rink (2 of which have 2 sheets), but those rinks are homes to other org's so it's not like there's a ton of "free" ice around I imagine.
 

tonyandpals

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I hope they make it in time for Thursday, and it smooths out the rest of the way for you guys. Good luck..

re: the icing - One ref had it all the way down (the normal spot). The other ref had it outside the zone of the team that iced it, which I had never heard of before. He explained it as, the icing doesn't go away, and the team that did not ice the puck shouldn't be penalized for the icing. I though the penalty would trump the icing call, but he stood by it saying by having the draw in the offending teams zone + 1 was the USA hockey compromise. Sure enough, that is the rule.
 

OfTheCarmen

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The good news - His team skated Thursday night and tonight, getting their normal 1/2 sheet and full sheet practices in.

The bad news - The ice doesnt look great, but hopefully its something they continue to work on.

Will be quite the culture shock in our first game this weekend when the team that normally skates at the new UConn rink comes to our rink for a game. I was just happy he was able to get on the ice, and he came off both nights with a big smile saying he missed being on the ice.
 

Dummy Hoy

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So the great referee purge has finally hit us…my Daughter’s Mite A team played this saturday and when I got to the rink the game before us had a coach reffing. That of course raised my suspicions and I ran home to get my skates, pants, and bucket. I found the head of my Org (who has a lot of USA and Mass hockey pull) and asked him and he said that I should prepare to ref all home games- the shortage of refs meant they were sacrificing the lower levels. I don’t mind, although it’s obviously not ideal.

Of course neither he nor the south shore conference bothered to mention this to me, good thing I was proactive. Of course I’m not surprised the SSC fucked something up
 

OfTheCarmen

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Is Mite hockey there full ice?

Only asking as when my son was playing Mite hockey in our local town org it was all half ice (4x4) and we always had a coach from the home team reffing. We also had autohorns going off every 2 mins for scheduled line changes. There werent really many face-offs and no actual penalties, with obvious icing/offsides being impossible due to half-ice.
 

Dummy Hoy

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3/4 ice, 4v4, small nets. Our 3v3 house mite league has a high school kid ref, that's 1minute buzzer hockey. South Shore Conference is 4v4, actual referees, and maybe 20 programs (?) jump to 5v5 after Thanksgiving. I'm glad we don't.
 

Dropkick Izzy

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SSC only goes to full ice for Mite A. The remainder stay at 4v4 for the season.

Our first game out of the chute (3/4 ice 4v4), I had to don the skates. It got a little chippy at the end but with no offsides, icing or penalties (technically) it wasn’t terrible.

With that said, I wouldn’t be able to call a full ice 5v5 game with infractions. No friggin way.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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I have a rules question for you all. I haven't looked it up, because I didn't think I needed to.

USA Hockey - 10u
Delayed penalty call.
Next stoppage is an icing, iced by the team who is about to go on the power play.
Where is the ensuing face off?
We just had this situation over the weekend for the team I coach-2012 EHF elite. Faceoff was outside the attack zone for the team going on the power play. We had two experienced refs and they seemed pretty certain of the call despite protests from the other bench.
 

tonyandpals

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How about this one. Shot from the point. Tipped by a forward with a high stick. Goalie makes the save and covers it. Where is the face off?
 

OfTheCarmen

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It would be a negated high stick so just a normal goalie freeze face off in the zone like Lupe mentioned.
 

tonyandpals

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It would be a negated high stick so just a normal goalie freeze face off in the zone like Lupe mentioned.
Agreed! Had a coach arguing against that last weekend, saying it should go all the way down...

Saw a shit-show go down at a tourney in Tampa this past weekend. There was a hit from behind call in a U14 game that the player was given a "#22 minor penalty and a misconduct". I'm not sure if it's automatic misconduct with the hit from behind call, and if it was a game misconduct, or an X minute one. Either way, the kid was in the box and after the stoppage when his penalty was up, he heads to the face off dot. Opposing coach yells to the refs that the wrong kid came out of the box and that 22 had a misconduct. They come back and chat with the scorekeeper, taking a LOT of time. In the 20 minutes or so delay, yes 20 minutes, two coaches get tossed from the offending team side, f-bombing the refs on their way out, calling them a joke. A coach on the other side got tossed for trying to show the refs the livebarn video of them calling the original penalty, which you clearly hear the # and the misconduct call. Game gets called with 10 minutes left in the 3rd. Just a bizarre one all around.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Coaches and parents that bring this insane intensity to youth hockey is ruining it for the kids. I saw a video over the weekend of the Flames elite 2012 assistant coach pull his kid off the ice, physically lift him up and throw him off the end of the bench onto the concrete. He then dug his knee into his back and pulled off his skates and walked him out of the rink, the last half of which, his mother was right there doing nothing to stop it. The head coach just turned the other way and ignored it. It was completely sickening. The assistant coach has apparently been fired by the organization, which means he will likely pull his kid to the e9 where he will still be allowed to torture him from the bench. Having played against these guys for a number of years I can say the kid is a really nice and super talented player who will ultimately be ruined by his father. Sad shit. NESC has locked the livebarn feed from the game in hopes the severity of what happened won't be picked up by the rest of the league, but hopefully its too late.
 

OfTheCarmen

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Holy crap to both those stories. These are the times that part of me is glad my kid is only "good" at hockey. We played in the B division of a tourny over the weekend (his team this year is a true A1) but we know that the A division in most tournaments is really AA. We watched some of the A games and we would have been outclassed severely.

Bantams, with only 4 second years and they run pretty small in general. They won the tourny after going 3-1 during seeding and winning the 2/3 game and playing great in the finals to beat the team that they had lost to earlier. B division only had 4 teams and even then there was a fairly marked difference between the top 2 and bottom 2 teams.

Our biggest gotcha moment was one of our kids got called for a major & ejection in our first playoff game for boarding. Kid turned at last second so he caught his numbers. For sure its a penalty, but all tournament they had been handing out "2 and 10's" (really 1.5/8) for the same thing and he ended up not being able to play the championship game. He took it pretty hard, but he came to cheer the team on and he got dressed late in the third and got on the ice to celebrate with his team.
 

OfTheCarmen

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About damn time. I'm at my son's practice and annoyed at the 5 kids out there right now without them on. And we're in CT where CHC already mandates it.