View Full Version : Sick to my Stomach
06-04-2003, 09:06 AM
I am not sure how much people keep up on the progress of rollerhockey in certain locations around this nation, but I would like to sound off on the sad state of things in Buffalo.
With NARCh coming to town this weekend we produce a one page schedule, with more than 4 teams in only 1 division and no atom, mite or squirt participation. Does anyone else see a problem with this?
Just to give everyone an idea of how it is locally, basically the Buffalo Wings, or should I say the NIKE Buffalo Wings, are the local organization providing rollerhockey leagues. The problem with this is it is run by Wings players, refereed by Wings players when Wings teams are playing, and within the various skill levels you can find players playing for a team in each level.
Not only what I just mentioned but holding tryouts for travel teams that only previous Wings players know about or anyone who even remotely knows their website. I tried out for an Adult Gold team and could not believe the poor turnout. Can we truly say that these teams are the best Buffalo has to offer???
Anyways, for anyone or any organization looking to hold a tournament in Buffalo, could you please try and advertise outside of the Wings organization. In Buffalo there are multiple facilities where rollerhockey is played, the only problem is that these leagues do not have the organizational setup of the Wings. But there are players and teams within these leagues that truly would offer great competition and show exactly the type of rollerhockey Buffalo has to offer.
Thank you all for reading this. I look forward to hearing your remarks.
06-04-2003, 09:48 AM
Unfortunately, you've hit the nail right on the head. When I was the Vice President of Operations with the Wings from 1997 to 2002, it was the goal of the organization to dominate the roller hockey market in Buffalo. I know this sounds bad, but we felt we could create a quality organization that the best players would gravitate to. Look at the numbers: in 2001 when the Wings operated their summer only programs at the Amherst Pepsi Center, the house league had over 100 teams and over 1000 participants split almost 50/50 with youth and adults. The Buffalo NARCh Regional was one of the top 5 NARCh Regionals in North America based on total team registration. It's been downhill ever since. Keep in mind that the Wings have not run the Buffalo NARCh Regional for the last two years. The Pepsi Center has.
That's one of the reasons why the Wings and I parted ways. I was very saddened to see a once-proud organization start to crumble. The Wings could no longer afford me and I was not a happy camper anyway. It takes money to let people know what you have going on; things like the tournaments, camps and clinics, travel league tryouts, etc. The Wings have been operating on the cheap for the last few years as they keep trying to get out from under their debt generated from their pro team. Yes, four years after the pro team stopped playing.
You're right, there are some pockets of pretty good roller hockey in the Buffalo area (Rochester, too) that's not associated with the Wings. That's why I created Inline Hockey America. As much as I have some grand plans for IHA, all my programs start in my own back yard. I'll still be working with the Wings program, but no longer on an exclusive basis, which was the case when I was employed by them. Obviously the two other big programs are at the Pepsi Center and the Epic Center. As a matter of fact, I have a meeting with the Pepsi Center later today. I know Mike Weiss, the owner of the Epic Center, and he told me he is willing to work with IHA. I also know some of the Town Rec. Directors, who operate roller hockey programs at their municipal ice rinks in the summer. There are some other smaller leagues out there that have a couple of really strong teams. My goal is to bring them all together under the IHA banner.
How will IHA do this? By creating local area high school roller hockey leagues and college leagues. After they become developed, these leagues will be linked with other high school and college leagues. I will also create local travel leagues where the best teams from each Buffalo-area rink/league can play each other. IHA will help coordinate the individual schedules for the various rink/leagues and bring in tournaments, camps and clinics and PUBLICIZE them through a central calendar and through co-op advertising dollars. IHA will basically form a roller hockey network in the Buffalo/Rochester area.
For those of you not from Buffalo who may be reading this and wondering why should they care about roller hockey in Buffalo, IHA plans to do this in other cities. I think if you look at the state of roller hockey in your hometown, you'll see a lot of similiarities. There's no one out there bringing the roller hockey world together. Some out there claim they are. Let me know how IHA can help.
Inline Hockey America
06-04-2003, 12:39 PM
All that and you don't even give the kid a link, Benny? C'mon now! :)
http://www.inlinehockeyamerica.com is IHA's site if you're interested.
Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association
http://www.ecrha.net<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mikeburke on 06/04/03 11:40 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
06-04-2003, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the added info. I actually already had the info for the IHA and have been waiting to see how it affects the current situation here in Buffalo.
It is great to see as a former ECRHA player for RIT how the league has flourished, especially since I was around for years 1 and 2. I guess this may contribute to my added frustrations in Buffalo as I continue to see other leagues flourish and hear from former teammates about their local leagues.
Thanks again for the info.
06-04-2003, 04:16 PM
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>
In Buffalo there are multiple facilities where rollerhockey is played
OK, this will make my life a bit easier if you can help me out here:
ECRHA is still undecided if we are to return to the Buffalo/Rochester area. We really wanted to hit the Albany area but can't find a rink! Our scheduling is almost done actually. Our #1 problem is facility vs. season. If you can help us out with the following it would be much appreciated and will help us determine if we are to come this season.
-Rinks (we have had events at Epic and Kenan)
-event must be in November or early December-this cuts out rinks who have ice during that time
-Facility must be safe, quality, and sportcourt prefered.
-Facility must be currently owned/operated and not one that is soon to be owned operated.
Thanks for your help.
06-05-2003, 02:42 PM
Currently, the following facilities offer rollerhockey:
Nichols - Dann Memorial Rink (Buffalo Wings)
Amherst Pepsi Center
Mineral Springs (Americanstreethockey.com)
The last four facilities are small rinks / roller rinks.
Nichols will have the roller floor ripped out for ice hockey by the end of the summer.
Pepsi Center will do the same.
That pretty much leaves you with Epic and Kenan.
If anyone else knows of a facility year round in Buffalo let me know.
06-05-2003, 02:45 PM
sounds like Buffalo area needs a municipal, year-round roller hockey facility...
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
06-05-2003, 04:58 PM
Thanks guys. Same stuff I discussed with Benny. Thanks Benny also.
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