View Full Version : The "A" league is garbage in my town
06-06-2003, 02:02 PM
Anyone else have problems with the "A" league in their town? I generally play on the house team and last night we started a new session. When I arrived I noticed the team we were playing was made up of a bunch of guys that are usually jerks to anyone not on their team. So I get to the rink and this team is drinking beer _before_ the game. "Great", I think, they're going to be worse than usual.
So the game starts and once my team gets a 6-1 lead things start falling apart. They start whining about everything. Every time I try to skate it in they are taking full-on swings at me with their sticks. A couple of times they don't do anything from the faceoff until a goal, they just stand around until we score, angering the league oppointed goaltender. The entire time this is happening you hear nothing but personal insults from this group of clowns.
Now this really wouldn't be too bad if we had ten or so teams in the league, but there are only three. The other team is only marginally better.
The thing that got me started thinking about this was the "C" game before our game. I watched most of the second half and these guys were having fun! Somebody would make a good move or a great shot and the defensive team would smile and congratulate them.
Why can't the competitive leagues be like that? Instead it's a bunch of liquored up goons that make me fear injury every time I play (I'm only 5'7" 150lbs).
I know this is kind of whiny but I just want to have a good time!
Anyone have any good experiences in competitive leagues?
06-06-2003, 02:46 PM
You have really identified a major problem with all leagues, not only your own:
Stupid rivalries breed total disrespect...
We had the problem several years ago, until I as the league administrator just got fed up. Players around here will tell you that "that was the season that Dan cancelled the playoffs." This report is usually followed by someone else declaring, "Yeah, and we would've won it..."
What we changed to was:
1. All players sign up as individuals and are rated A/B/C. even in our Premier Division, they are still rated between themselves as a-b-c.
2. Players from each rating level are distributed among all the teams (however many) by drawing names out of a hat ("blind lottery draw").
3. The season is 6 regular season games, all teams go to single elimination playoffs.
4. Each new season, all new teams, remake the rosters, new team names, everything.
5. The league keeps all the uniform sweaters (red, white, blue, black) and somebody washes them after every game set. You could also just make everybody bring a white and black sweater to every game. The league ownership of the sweaters really adds to the quality of the league, however.
This formula totally eliminates any team rivalries. In fact, after you play three seasons, you will have played with and against every other player in the league...probably.
It took awhile to get going, several players dropped out if they couldn't always play with their a-hole buddies (sound familiar?). Now, however, most all our players credit this method of league operation with making them the players they are today: skilled, respectful of the game, and actually having fun...
If you were to ask any player in our league what the score of his last game was, they would not be able to tell you...ain't that cool...
Tonight, we have our Premier division tournament. We make the teams in this division the same way, except that you have to be one of the top 24 skaters in the league to play in this division. This division is where our advanced/elite 17's play along with our 18-22 year old elite players.
Our 17's have qualified for the USAHIL Nat's three of the past four years. After finishing 9th in the country last year, this year they outscored the Regional competition 56-8.
Our adult (18-22) team made the quarterfinals at the Inline Cup last year (the adult nat's), losing only to the DC Voltage, and the Rhode Island Thunder, finishing 7th overall.
"Dan makes us all play with and against each other. That really helps us to get better." The results speak for themselves.
If you have the ability to perhaps rent floor time and even make your own league, you can promote that your league is going to have "all the teams balanced in skill level, fair and equal. Any team will be able to beat any other team, on any given night." I'll bet that is what makes your local "C" league fun.
Good luck, it's a lot of work, but worth it if you make it happen.
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
06-06-2003, 04:14 PM
I agree with your post. We did a similar thing, but didn't add you "short season" twist, to rotate players like you do. we only had two "seasons' each about 3 months long.
But what we did was have an "evaluation" before each season and rated every player for 1 - 10 based on skill sessions and scrimmages during the first week(these results were only available to myself as league head coach and one other assistant - to avoid any disputes on the rankings).
Then we constructed teams which has a total of "player points" (1 - 10) for each player, and all teams were made to be within a 1/2 point of each other.
We had an incredbly successfull season, and huge numbers of tie games. We also had a minimum of parental griping because they saw how fair the teams were instead of the "stacked" teams which had often been prearranged by parent coaches in the past. While this part of the problem(parents) is not part of your league in an adult division, the griping still remains. We also had a rule that no parent could coach his/her own child on a team. Once we got past the intial griping - it worked great. It required two sessions to get enough information to properly "evaluate" players, and the evaluation must be done by someone who all respect for being fair.
06-08-2003, 02:23 PM
Thank for the reply. This is absolutely fantastic idea. I'll pass it along to the league administrator. My only fear is the complete collapse of the league since there's only about 20 guys that play.
06-08-2003, 10:35 PM
a set of caveats: there are several factors that contribute to apparent "team imbalance" no matter what you do. We have found it a good idea to acquaint all our parents, and adult players with these...
1. Non-attendance by key players will skew the team' place in the standings. We have had teams that never once had all their guys here til the playoffs came around, and then kicked butt. During the season, however, they were always "a day late and a dollar short" in almost every game. Poor season record, but ran through the playoffs.
2. Unknown players...no matter how much you get to see somebody, the brand new, first-season guys are always an x-factor. Some of them outperform their rating, some under-perform. This can skew a team's place standing, obviously.
3. Some guys/gals, over the course of the season, all-of-a-sudden just blossom into skilled players seemingly overnight. All of a sudden, "how did Bob get that good?! Holy enchiladas!" Bob's team was unbeatable because Bob ended the season a whole lot better a player than he started out. Bob wasn't supposed to be his team's A-player, so he in effect, gave his team an extra A-player...
4. Underperformers that are supposedly known..."Ya know, Jeff isn't any better now that he was two years ago...all his age group peers have totally passed him up in skill level development...the League Administrator counted on Jeff to be a little higher performer than he was, so, over the course of the season, his team was less successful than everybody would have liked, especially if ya get two "Jeffs" on the same team...
The bottom line, we make sure to tell everybody, (a) the teams are balanced in skill level, and "even." (b) there are a number of factors that will cause teams to perform with differing levels of success over the course of the season. (c) somebody will come in first, somebody will come in last, no matter what you do. (d) here comes next season, no matter how well or dismally you did, you get to sign up again, let's go have fun, eh?!
Incidentally, each division in our league plays once a week. The average player plays in 2-5 divisions (all for the same $20 player fee, no matter how many divisions you want to participate in). Each season consists of 1 pre-season game, 6 regular season games, 1-3 playoff game dates, depending on how far you go in the playoffs.
This is ten weeks of play, sandwiched into that three month period Mike mentioned above. This leaves three week dates as "open dates," for holidays and dates when a plurality of tournament teams are galavanting off to SixPac or USAHIL regionals or nationals. Remember that all our tournament team players must play in house league, or they don't get to play on the tournament team.
So our seasons last three months just like Mike's. The usual player gets 15-35 games each season of recreation league play. With training games, in-house tournament play, and travel-team tournament play, a player can get 150-250 games of hockey in this program, all for $80 per year...
I recommend this program format to everybody. Ya gotta get a municipally run rink, but the hard work is worth it in being able to produce a quality program for very little player expense.
Let me know how I can help.
<font color=purple>DannyG</font color=purple>
06-09-2003, 12:54 AM
Danny the same thhing happens in the leagues here in Las Vegas. We have teams that won't be that good during the regular season but kick everyone else butt in the playoffs. It is totally a f*$&ed up situation but it won't end untill our league director will end it. I think not all teams should make the playoffs. THey also don't want to make higher level leagues because they make no money there. I want to know what kind of crap that is. THey won't move the better teams up a division they instead leave them in the lower divisions. Hopefuly this changes or we get a 2nd facility.
06-09-2003, 09:05 AM
Leagues here won't let a player play in the playoffs unless he/she has played in more than 50% of the regular season games, even if they are on the initial roster. That way at least players have an idea how good the team can be.
06-09-2003, 11:31 PM
Thats a good idea imo.
Obviously we are not talking "Major League" lol
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