View Full Version : Talent Dillution
05-22-2003, 06:05 PM
With all the leagues there are now, does this help or hurt inline hockey?
The argument can be made for both viewpoints.
It can be seen as good, since there is competition that it forces each league to up the ante to put on the best show.
It can be bad since the talent can become dilluted. If you have all the best players spread out, then fans have to follow more than one league in the same sport and alot of people don't like the hassle. But then the fans who do make it out to games may not see the best possible game they can, and they may say, 'oh these guys aren't that great,' and never come back. Which hurts the sport.
So which is it, more than one pro league, good or bad for the development of inline hockey.
05-22-2003, 06:48 PM
excellent question...however, I perceive that there are enough quality players to work legitimately with triple the number of present semi-professional operations.
As more and more of these begin to be business-viable on a more fully pro-player level, then a true 'major' league will take on an umbrella, major city/major stadium role, and there will be a full-blown, multi-tier, developmental system in our sport, just like the other big-time sports.
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
05-22-2003, 06:56 PM
There's lots of room to grow. In the Great Lakes area, which is where IHA is initially based, there is no outlet for all the talented players, especially when you factor in all the good players graduating from their college teams. Fans in this area don't get a chance to see PIHA teams or MLRH teams so now they have something to follow and can cheer their hometown fans. It may be more of a problem in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, PA) where there is some overlap between PIHA and MLRH as far as talent dilution and fan apathy due to too many teams to follow is concerned. With Speed Hockey, I think it's going to be different enough that it won't effect the fans or players in relation to traditional roller hockey. At least not at first.
There are lots of different parts of the country where the talent pool is growing (as more facilities are being built) and there is currently no elite leagues for their players to play in or for their fans to watch. Right now, it seems to me that the current leagues (IHA included) do not have a stable enough financial base to enter into these virgin markets to satisfy the need of elite players and fans. Keep in mind, in most cases (not all), teams do not have the financial capability of bringing in these talented players from other parts of the country.
I know someone will probably bring up all the tournament series that provide an outlet for talented players, but it is my opinion that many of these players (and their fans) are looking for an elite league to play in based on a traditional geographic model. I'm sure many of these players will continue to play on their tournament travel teams in addition to their hometown elite league team.
So basically, I believe that from a player and a fan standpoint, the elite or "pro" market is presently underserved and there's plenty of room for growth.
Inline Hockey America
05-22-2003, 09:31 PM
I agree w/ danny... I believe that most of these leagues will end up being minor leagues for the BIG league that will be formed by someone w/ really deep pockets..
In fact having a true player paid version of the pro sport(no offense to PIHA but no one there is giving up their "day jobs" yet) may just up the talent level with players now working and playing harder to reach for a version of the "brass ring"
05-23-2003, 01:33 AM
All these leagues at this point in time is GREAT for the sport. It means that people want it. If you look at the early stages of all sports they all had several leagues and they either failed, prospered, or merged together. DannyG was right with that a BIG league will eventually form, and Superstar9 is right that it will take someone with deep pockets to start it. I love what is happening and hope to see more. I'm sure the BIG league will probably incorporate a little bit of each pro league (at that time) into that BIG league. Now all we need is the person with the money....anyone have the winning lotto ticket...
05-23-2003, 08:44 AM
Sure, I have the winning lotto numbers... I'll sell them to you, heck of a deal, just for you....... :)
I'm pretty sure I have stated this before, but I think the dream of "deep pockets" is just a dream. Actually I'd call it a nightmare. Money _always_ comes with strings. ALWAYS. The 64 million dollar question is: Can you live with those strings? Trust me on this, "venture capital" should have been an ancient Chinese curse.
For roller to evolve into a "make a living pro" sport, I think it will have to grow from within if it is going to resemble anything like what is played today. It will not happen overnight, and probably none of the names will be the same, but I do think it will happen.
05-23-2003, 10:11 AM
What everyone has said so far makes senses. Looking into my crystal ball, what I see happening is that from all these traditional leagues (current ones and prospective ones on the horizon), the players, the manufacturers and the fans will determine which one they want to support. Most, or all, the other leagues will merge and/or adapt the positive elements of the "chosen" league. Other leagues will "tier" out and become "AAA", "AA" or "A" minor leagues. This will be needed because there are players of varying talent levels that want to compete in a league format.
This is where Mr. Moneybags will show up. It will probably be Mr. Manufacturer Moneybags or Mr. TV Moneybags, who will see what's been developed, see the type of players who are playing in the league and the number of fans that are supporting it and will want to get a piece of the action. Before whichever Mr. Moneybags shows up, people and players need to make sacrifices to establish a league with a solid foundation. I think that's where we're all at right now.
I was going to say that the days of people blindly investing money into a roller hockey proposition is over. They've been burned too many times in the past. However, it appears that the people involved in Speed Hockey have a unique enough concept and are well connected enough that they convinced people to invest. IF THEIR CONCEPT FAILS, IT WILL BE ANOTHER MAJOR SET-BACK TO ALL OF ROLLER HOCKEY. However, if Speed Hockey succeeds, it could help shine the spotlight on all of roller hockey, including the traditional leagues.
Inline Hockey America
05-23-2003, 12:08 PM
I don't know what level all of the players in the newer leagues will come from, but many of the players that played in RHI were AA level ice hockey players. There are alot of AA level ice hockey players out there. I don't really think dillution will be a problem any time soon. It remains to be seen how many of these newer leagues will actually survive for very long.
I think "Speed Hockey" is intended to be a dramatic departure from traditional Inline hockey and an even further departure from Ice hockey. It is a valid attempt to redefine the sport as separate from Ice hockey. Players who grow up playing the sport in this fashion, will have a much bigger advantage over players who grew up playing ice hockey as the differences in strategy and skill emphasis will begin to segregate even further from more traditional forms of hockey.
By estabishing a unique identity for this sport, it will allow itself to be differentiated from ice hockey and grow - as opposed to being looked at as a "weak sister" or where you go if you cant succeed playing ice hockey. While roller hockey players may not look at themnselves in this light, certainly many ice hockey players do, as do many of the fans. (Why would we go watch/play this stuff when we can go watch/play "real hockey"?)
I hope this attempt to create a "stand alone' version of inline hockey is given an open mind by those playing the traditional version, and that it can create the kind of excitement that the original version of inline hockey was intended to - as compared to ice hockey. I hope they allow full contact though as that element adds a "reality check" that validates the sport in the minds of a lot of fans - certainly at the "Pro" level.
05-23-2003, 03:32 PM
As much as I HATE playing full check and I mean HATE!!! he has a point as far as it needs to be full check to be valid to a lot of the fans at a pro level. I agree from that perspective.. but as I player I hate that he's right.
05-24-2003, 01:06 AM
That is true, why arent there any extremely rich roller hockey lovers? lol
05-24-2003, 01:07 AM
It will happen, but how long it will take is the question?
05-24-2003, 01:09 AM
If it succeeds, it will be a major step foward for roller hockey.
05-24-2003, 01:10 AM
I dont think the dillution will be a problem either. If you build it, they will come. lol
05-24-2003, 01:12 AM
It sounds like a unique and fresh idea to me, I hope it finds success. I think that is key that it will be distnguishable from ice, because everyone does look at roller hockey as the less impressive or "weaker" version of ice.
because they're all broke from trying to get their kids to learn the game :))
05-24-2003, 01:14 AM
If there is no checking, it will not find success in this busy sports market. I dont like it that much either, but overall it will be more beneficial to the game if there was checking in this league.
05-24-2003, 01:15 AM
05-24-2003, 10:24 AM
Well, I believe arena football started in the mid 80s. They just recently signed with NBC to have 70+ games televised. They are season 17 I think.
The MLS started to organize in 1994 and first played in 1996. 7 years later, they get covered on ESPN2 occasionally and mostly regional sports networks (aka FOX sports). They came into it with $$ also.
In case you are curious: MLSnet.com reports the current average paid attendance at all MLS games: 14,050, with a peak at 23,786 and a low of 7,143. I couldn't find any data on the AFL other than they project 3,000,000 fans to attend AFL & AF2 (minors) games in the 2003 season. For reference, year 2 they got 1,129,333 at games.
So, in my usual 500 or more words, I answered your question. "Roller" will take off as soon as it can get fans, in seats, at games in significant numbers.
05-24-2003, 10:27 AM
Yep, thanks for your reply. Espicially for the figures for the "smaller" pro sport leagues.
05-24-2003, 10:32 PM
Daunting isn't it?
Personally, I feel the MLRH has a very good "product" At this point we mostly have a marketing job.
It also helps to keep in mind that both sports played by the AFL & the MLS were played in some fashion for a while prior to the current entity's starts.
I don't want to sound like I am "Mr Doom & Gloom" on this subject. It just really dismays me to hear the "hope" that Mr $$ is going to pop up any day now and everybody is suddenly going to make an AHL-like wage to play. I strongly believe realism says that in 3-5 years (maybe slightly sooner) a player could expect to make $50-$75 per game played. There is a HUGE amount of work that must occur before this can happen. For Williamsburg, I need 500-600 fans per home game plus solid marketing sales ($20k/season) to get to the point where I can even think about it.
And before anybody starts quoting the above numbers.... I'm speaking for me, not any other owner in _any_ league, currently in existence.
05-27-2003, 01:35 AM
Yes, checking NEEDS to be part of the game. It puts more fans in the seats. Fans love to see a player get creamed and make a beautiful play at the same time. Just look at those "big hits" commercials. Checking and great talent gets people in buildings.
It also helps create the great talent, so it's important that it be taught at a younger age in inline hockey.
If not, Pro Inline Hockey will always tend to use former elite level ice hockey players - who have been taught how to hit - thereby maintaining the sports semi-dependance on ice hockey as a training ground for elite level roller hockey players.
05-27-2003, 08:47 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes! Now convince all the others.
05-27-2003, 09:27 AM
Well, I think my views on this are pretty well known. I thinking hitting should be taught in roller very early on. Ian Ward, (Warriors #19) did have some interesting comments on this. His fear was that due to the reduced ability to turn & stop on roller blades vs that of ice skates that there would be many more "knee to knee" injuries in the teaching process than you would see typically in ice. The only solution I could think of to this is to start teaching them earlier. Before body mass & power get you into the range of dangerous hits. The idea being that kids learn to "take" the hit correctly instead of trying to bail out of it.
Unfortunately, this is a very hard sell as many people view roller as 'gentle hockey' and that is why they let thier kids play it. I'd better clarify that... At least down here (Southern states) that seems to be the attitude.
Williamsburg Warriors, MLRH AAA
05-27-2003, 03:02 PM
I have no fear of talent dilution for the foreseeable future. I think that there are plenty of top-notch inline hockey players. Considering that there are already two elite U.S. "national" teams in Team USA Hockey InLine and Team USA (USA Roller Sports), I believe that the players that are cut from those teams rosters at training camp could form yet another quality team that would do well at the FIRS and IIFH inline hockey world championships.
The more avenues to play, the better, I think /wtimages/icons/smile.gif
Inline Hockey Central
05-27-2003, 03:30 PM
Hey Ben you better get those people to a Warriors game. If that doesnt change their minds I have a few tales for them.
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