View Full Version : Lack of interest in inline hockey???
06-24-2001, 07:02 PM
I understand that the sport is fairly new (is 10 years really that new) and that it is difficult to find places to play (I know of three places in my area) and that not many schools have the funding for new sports (ok now im just making stuff up).
When are people going to start taking the sport more serious. My school doesn't indorse our high school team, they never even mention us. We didnt get funding, nor did we get recognition when our team traveled to the HS nationals tournament. But I found that it is not just my school, but many schools in my area. It seems that people just dont care about the sport enough to recognize it (which is a shame). Although our league is growing (16 teams 2 yrs ago to 45 teams now), we aren't a sanctioned Hs league.
It caused me to wonder though, if anyone else is experiencing the same difficulties we are. If the sport is really growing, why doesn't anyone want to make it an Interscholastic sport like football, baseball, basketball, tennis, volleyball, lacross, field hockey, ice hockey, rifle shooting and BOWLING. It's kinda a shame that the higher ups dont care, but it would have been nice to play for a state championship or even travel to other rinks to play local teams. I hope that in my life time, the sport WILL grow and that these changes occur, but unfortunalty I dont think anyone is ready to acknowledge that inline hockey is ineed a very popular sport, and that it is much more exciting than bowling or tennis.
If anyone else can give me some encouraging news about what it is like in your school district im all for it.
I hope you have enjoyed my sour viewpoints on this matter, but hopefully changes are in sight.
Matt Kurczewski #18
Moon HS Inline Hockey
06-24-2001, 11:09 PM
Ice hockey for my school is the same the school gives no money to play ice hockey
the school concerns ice hockey a CLUB not a SPORT
06-25-2001, 12:40 AM
Thats the same for where i go to school. I have asked for 2 years now if they can join a interschool competition thats happening in my area. But every year they have said they don't have the funding or something like that. Quite a few of players that have now changed to ice hockey as they recently built a new rink here in Auckland. This has also caused the numbers of inline hockey players to drop.
06-25-2001, 02:56 AM
The NHSIHA, Inc. ( National High School Inline Hockey Association, Inc. ) is working on developing on a National Level a league for both Jr. & Sr. High Schools across the country to participate in a leauge with a USA High School Championship to deem the National High School Inline Hockey Champions ( similar to the Little League World Series ). We are still in developmental stages and need all the help and resources anyone can supply us with dealing with the following:
1. Rinks ( inline hockey only )
2. Current teams/leagues
3. Volunteers to run regions throughout the country
any and all help is appreciated so we can get this going.
all emails should be directed to: [email protected]
NHSIHA, I NC
National High School Inline Hockey Association (NHSIHA )
06-25-2001, 08:55 AM
For what it's worth, Roller Hockey is beginning to get a fair amount of interscholastic attention in Southeren California, at least - my wife used to be a varsity coach at two different high schools; they played a regular schedule.
In New York, it's different - no one hardly seems to know or care that game even exists. We have a beautiful, brand-new outdoor rink a couple of miles from my house - it hardly ever gets used, except on weekends. My wife and I go over to scrimmage around three or four nights a week, and invariably, we're the ONLY ones there. :(
06-26-2001, 12:37 AM
in my area, neither ice nor inline hockey are school sanctioned nor funded. but, ice hockey players get letter jackets and announcments in the mornings. inline gets none. we used to have a league for inline hockey here, but it is defunct as nobody wants to play. we had four teams (two really, they were formed from two high schools with several NARCh players) but now nothing. im not sure this national thing will work, its too big right now. we need local support, we just aren't gettin it
06-26-2001, 02:43 PM
I don't think the problem we are having is a lack of interest, but instead a lack of respect for the sport. There is a ton of interest in the sport, infact it is about the fastest growing sport in the world right now. The problem is that people don't take it seriously and do not give enough respect to the great athletes that take part in the sport. People like to stay with the conventional sports, like ice hockey, football, basketball, etc... People don't want to venture out of the so called normal. Us on the other hand(The roller hockey players) know when we have found something great and cherish it. We must keep with it, keep helping to sport grow, it is our generation that has grown up with the sport who will take it to greater heights in the future. Once our sport gets the respect it deserves from the outsiders who haven't experienced the thrill of a NARCh Platinum tournament, then and only then will our sport flurish.
06-26-2001, 03:33 PM
I think the respect is one of the biggest things that is missing.
06-26-2001, 04:06 PM
what would help would be the PIAA which is the governing body for high sports in PA
06-26-2001, 05:20 PM
You had the most well thought out reply and I had to take part of the discussion.
As a newcomer I viewed inline/roller hockey as a great way to train for ice hockey. However, the more I play it the more I wish there was organized play.
I don't see inline hockey as another sport, I just feel its plain ol' hockey for those of us without ice. Now, to answer the questions posed...
Without a professional major league inline hockey won't be very popular. Why? Kids! Kids need heroes, kids like to emulate and immitate. That's the new school of any scene and without role models this kids wont be interested in this branch of hockey.
And there's a great opportunity for a symbiotic relationship between inline hockey and say major/pro ice hockey. How? well hell, it gets out there playing! "No ice? Oh gee, well I'll just play in the local inline league. Hell maybe I wont be able to play in the NHL but I can play major league roller hockey".
Another thing I feel a little indifferent about *AT THIS TIME* is the lack of strategic play in roller hockey. The whole ice hockey, blue line thing really sparks an interest in me. Then again I've only been playing for a few days so take it with a grain of salt. Regardless of how I feel, I like that roller hockey is different enough to stand a different favor of hockey. I think all this is healthy.
Bottom line: We need a league in all those hockey towns.
My humble two cents
06-26-2001, 07:25 PM
I would just like to broden my response. I am very much in agreeance that inline hockey needs a professional league(RHI) if we still had it would be the perfect place for youngsters too look to for role models. Basically the only place you can look for a role model these days is the NARCh Pro Division. When you see the game played by C.J. Yoder, Boyd Sutton, Jami Yoder, Mark Wolf, and countless others you really begin to get a sense of just how great the sport of inline hockey could be. Also, having the NARCh Pro teams younger kids who are playing on sponsored teams(My team Sponsored by Hyper) have people too look up to in their own system if you will. I for one think it would be great to see the likes of the Hyper, RinkSide, Mission, Tour Mudcats, Tour/Labeda West, CCM Hosers, Team Bauer, and all the teams in the NARCh Pro division have a TRUE PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE to play in. I think it is something that is not un reasonable. I mean, look at the NARCh Championships, in just 8 year they have grown from a 36 team tournament, to over 300 teams this year!!! It is the biggest hockey tournament in the world! I think roller hockey needs a great orginazation like this to put together a pro league with the teams that play NARCh, and as time goes by expand, have teams in all the highly marketable cities, eg: Anahiem, Toronto, St. Louis, Los Angles, Detroit, Montreal, Buffalo, Chicago, Orlando/Miami, the list goes on and on!!! I whole heartidly feel that this is what we need for our sport to flurish!
But I come back to my first point, people have to start to respect inline as its own sport, not just an outlet of hockey! Inline is a vastly different game, I play AAA/Jr.B ice hockey in Canada, and I also play on a team that plays NARCh Platinum and they are two very different sports!
06-26-2001, 10:04 PM
We should all give up and play ice hockey......Back to reality - It unfortunately boils down to supply and demand--once the demand is is large enough, you will be supplied. Don't forget that the people you're trying to show the demand to don't read this post and don't go to NARCH. Someone mentioned something like their league grew from 16 to 46. That's great, but who else knows about it. Who knows about the demand for sanctioning. Why not find out the address(es) of the decision makers (school board?), and have everyone from every team, plus their parents, write a nice letter to these people talking about the league, and how sanctioning would be a great help. 500+ letters requesting sanctioning is sure to get notice. You might also write to the local paper and news programs about your letter campaign. They're likely to stand behind your cause.
Everyone can benefit from doing stuff like this. Like I said earlier, the people you need to show demand to do not read this message board.
06-27-2001, 02:05 PM
Does it really matter if the people that make the desicions see this?? No it does not. All we are doing on here is talking about ways to make inline hockey as a whole get better recognition. We are trying to gather ideas, and maybe use some of them in the long run. We are just putting together a colaboration of ideas that we think will help get better recognition to this great game!!!
06-27-2001, 02:41 PM
Thats what i was refering to, but the biggest problem is the lack of facilities that could be used. There are only a handfull of rinks in Pennsylvania, and u need to have enough that all the districts have access to a rink in their general facility. But from what I have seen in the ways of progess in the Pittsburgh area, it is quite encouraging that someday we will have a PIAA state championship for Inline Hockey.
06-27-2001, 03:23 PM
In my humble opinion the problem with respect of our sport has nothing to do with the lack of a quality pro league. In fact as many of you have stated the pinnacle of our sport has been NARCH at the platinum level. If our sport wanted and needs the right exposure to fall into the mainstream it already exists. If Narch could get on TV every year on a cable sports network nationally our sport would thrive for the next 5 to 10 years. Instead we get Pro Beach Hockey because ESPN thinks the beach sells veiwership better than rollerhockey does. Trying to form a Pro league that is never going to fill large arenas will fail over and over, history has proven this time and again. Not just in Roller Hockey but many upstart leagues fail in many sports. Us who know Inline hockey know who the stars are. The Boyd Sutton's and CJ Yoders are the players our kids aspire to but the masses still don't know there is a version of Hockey played on wheels. Instead of trying to make a pro league work why not promote the pinnacle of our sport that already exists,NARCH.
The other issue that stunts our growth is the alphabet soup of governing bodies. Who really cares about the growth of roller Hockey? USA Inline, USARS, NARCH, or any other upstart organizing body. Tournament organizers such as TORHS, AIRHS, ECHO, care about the sport as long as they profit, but who is selling the sport for growth. USA Inline is well organized but I feel we are still teh stepchild to Ice. USARS and AAU are both way to mired in politics and regional control to take this sport in to the big time. NARCH cares about NARCH. Many of us started Playing inline hockey due to lack of Ice or Ice Time yet our sport tries desparately to dissassociate itself with our Ice bretheren. Whomever wants to lead our sport to respectability must figure out how to combine the masses of all hockey players, fans, volunteers, of both roller and Ice without the politics getting in the way.
I can tell you our sport is beginning to lose its momentum of the past 5 years. In Florida USA Inline cancelled a regional at one of our best facilities for lack of teams wanting to participate. I know for a fact that last year this would never have happen. Every year we become diluted with a new tournament series to support that does nothing to give back to the growth side of rollerhockey. Every tournament series with the exception being NARCH are the same. Pay your entry fee, Be early for your game, wait because tournament is behind, hurry up and warmup, play games, go home. I dare say if you are at a regional event in your area and just walked in for the championship game of an age group, you may not know that the championship game is being played, because its just another game the promoter got to get done to finish that weekends event. 2002 Olympics with hockey getting primetime coverage our sport will have another boom. Are we going to carry momentum for our sport to grow when every kid wakes up and asks his mom and dad for a hockey stick and some inline skates when the olympics are over? Not if the powers that be at USA Inline, USARS, TORHS, and every other entity that controls a segment of players in our sport are prepared or even care.
Our sport currently caters to the elite player that represents less than 10% of the people who play. Our organizers due very little at the grass roots level which represents the majority. We have to turn our priorities around to get respect. The elite player will benifit more because our sport will grow faster. The 2 goals of Inline hockey should be 1rst. Unite the entire hockey community and sell our sport as hard as possible up to the 2002 Olympics when Hockey exposure will make the inline numbers explode. 2nd get NARCH on TV, even tape delay and let everyone see the good players playing at the highest level. And start our sales approach at the grass roots level any kid that picks up a Hockey stick is important cater to them and our talent pool will grow and move INLINE HOCKEY closer to the MAINSTREAM.
Just an opinion
06-27-2001, 05:57 PM
I agree with Narch getting air time on ESPN2. I dont see how this would be hard.
What other leagues have failed? Major League Soccer seems to be thriving. WNBA is doing fairly well.
06-27-2001, 08:54 PM
My earlier post was ain support of action, rather than just pssing and moaning. The point that I failed to make to some readers, was that merely sharing your needs/grievences with this message board, will not make the "decision makers" anymore aware than crying into your pillow.
In fact, you mentioned gathering ideas and putting together a collaboration; AMEN. Why not. Let's compile this collaboration and have Rich post a final draft of a letter, that anybody can printout, write it in their handwriting if need be, and mail it to their local school officials, high school sports governing bodies, or whoever they need to.
While we're at it, we might as well start a similar letter campaign to ESPN for some NARCH coverage. It's about time they started taking this sport seriously too. What's the worst that could happen, you waste 34 cents on a stamp?
06-27-2001, 11:34 PM
Man, we are good, I am down with getting together a ton of ideas(only if EVERYONE will contribute). I think we could be stumbling onto something great!!! I will write a more lenghtly post tomorrow!!!
GOod to see the support!!
06-28-2001, 02:00 AM
Titan, Richard and friends,
Let's get orgnazied. Can we get a petition going for have Narch aired? Im not sure how this all works but Im sure RICHARD knows:)
06-28-2001, 09:09 AM
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