View Full Version : Wow. Just wow.
05-04-2008, 06:07 AM
This is an article that everyone involved in our sport should read. It is probably the best article on inline hockey that I've read in about 10 years, in terms of really putting our sport's situation in perspective:
One thought that comes to mind immediately is this: Why do people think they need to buy a $100+ stick? I think it's the "keeping up with the Jones' syndrome. I have never paid more than $30 for a hockey stick, and I can tell you'll score just as many goals with a decent wood stick as you will with a $100+ composite stick -- if you have a strong backhander and wrister. This reminds me of the guy who showed up at the beach in Santa Monica in 1995, wearing a pair of brand-new $500 skates. He could hardly stand up, but he had the "best" skates out there. What a joke.
I say invest in TIME, working on your backhand and wrister and slapshot, and you'll save money AND score more goals.
The prices that manufacturers in our sport are charging for equipment are outrageous. If they had brains in their heads, they'd lower the prices of equipment, focus on kids, bring in hundreds of thousands of new players to the sport, and give inline hockey the revival and renaissance that it deserves. That's not likely to happen, however, as long as the "old school" folks who run hockey in North America are in charge. I wait, hopefully, for the day that all those old farts retire, so inline hockey can once again be the worldwide phenomenon it was in the 1990s.
05-04-2008, 11:12 AM
That's a nice article, sums up what is going on in roller rinks across the country, look at the center circle in Rahway, nj... Used to be a hockey hot bed.... Now all they have is adult ball hockey and roll out turf for the rest of the week.... Its sad to see...
As for the 100+ sticks, I'm a victim... I use them... Do I have to? No... But luckily I can afford it and for me, they dont break as quick... I'm a big guy (230 lbs) I used to use wood all the time but my bottom hand kept going through them, so now with the expensive ones, they last me 3-4 months and I limit my slap shots to when needed. Also helps with the durability by not winding up every shot that is taken.
Another point on declining numbers is that there is no varsity letter to be earned here in Nj so why would kids want to play something they can't be recognized for in high school by friends and teachers?
05-04-2008, 11:13 AM
You could never keep up with me, but thanks for trying
05-04-2008, 01:20 PM
That's a nice article, sums up what is going on in roller rinks across the country.... Another point on declining numbers is that there is no varsity letter to be earned here in Nj so why would kids want to play something they can't be recognized for in high school by friends and teachers?
As a PE Teacher you would know the importance of a Varsity letter for any student athlete. Understandable that inline hockey is not a recognized sport and that it is declining in interest in your area as you report. But there other means of recognition to help high schoolers! This speaking from both experience and a look to the large number of scholastic leagues across the country.
I did a quick visit to the websites of rinks in the NJ area, although not 100%, and didn't find any high school league. This is a very important segment in this sport!
"To me, high school inline hockey's growth, or lack thereof, will play a huge part in our sport's future."
~ Richard Graham, Publisher, Inline Hockey Central
"It's the most important program in the state."
~ Joe Noris, former NHL player and owner of Skate San Diego in National City, CA
“That’s the fastest growing segment in roller hockey – the scholastic divisions. For this sport to be very successful in the long term, that is where it’s going to come from for the most part. You create that interest at the school level, and everybody wants to wear their school colors.”
~ Keith Noll, AAU National Inline Hockey Chair
Like a vine, youth hockey players need to have a direction to grow. Scholastic hockey; middleschool, high school and college, are important growth steps and help them cling to the sport. If you want to make top-notch tourney players, pro inliners and ice hockey candidates, help develop scholastic programs. Building recogntion is a process. Playing with your peers is priceless.
Indeed the article Richard brings to our attention is insightful and illustrates the competition for participants and space at some facilities. Even in the hotbed of So CA, while the sport is rebounding somewhat, we are experiencing some attrition due to Lacrosse which now has state sanctioning for high schools. The decline in the sport's numbers have been far too evident and for far too long and this article, in my opinion, offers no solution and only compounds challenges to the sport.
If you want some insights about helping with recognition for high school student athletes, just ask! There's a big following for scholastic hockey in these forums, and I personally will gladly share some of the positive programs of our league.
Hockey Helping Hockey. One Community United.
Interscholastic Hockey Federation (IHF)
05-04-2008, 05:28 PM
Good article. I have written before about what we face in Western New York. For a variety of reasons I have feeling that in-line is about to burst in this area. I think (hope-with good reason) that Buffalo In-line Hockey Group will grow to 32 or so teams in 3 age groups in the fall. Believe it or not we have just had a group of investors inquire about our availability (we currently rent rink time). Things are looking up.
05-04-2008, 11:48 PM
It seems that Indiana is always the last to catch on to something, but it is exciting to say that a local rink converted one of their two rinks into a sport court inline hockey rink for the the months of April-August. They purchased enough court to build a training facility during the winter months, as well. They plan on doing this annually. They didn't start advertising until the week the court went in three weeks ago. We have a solid adult league, and a stable youth program. They admittedly got a late start for the youth, because other sports are in full swing. We have already had an adult tournament, and State Wars try-outs will be hosted here within the next month. It may not be an upswing, but it is definitely exciting.
05-12-2008, 01:43 AM
I live just north of Detroit. and in my city we have had 5 rinks for a few years now, and they are just starting to put sport court down. so far one rink is done. it is now the only rink people play at. on any given night there are probably 20 people out there playing. i absolutely love it.
as for the sticks. I've always used wood, under $30 as well. i was thinking of splurging and buying a $60 composite stick, but if it breaks, ill be extremely upset. i don't trust these sticks.
love the site. keep up the good work.
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