Thank you for your valuable feedback! I believe you've also helped to address part of the previous post by NLane.
Making Inline (High School) Hockey more than just a house league is indeed an imperative if the objective is to eventually achieve State sanctioning - a long and arduous process. Developing a league structure and organizing the scholastic team interests is mission critical in progressing in the recognition for student-athletes process.
RECOGNITION. Levels include School (club), School District and State. Like a vine, youth hockey players need to have a direction to grow. Scholastic hockey: middle school, 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 inline and ice hockey candidates, help develop scholastic programs. Building recognition is a process. Playing with your peers while representing their colors is priceless!
Easier said than done, developing recognition programs at the school and/or district level, or the State level, requires good planning, information and persistence. It also requires that all parties (or has been referred to as 'tribes' by some), need to have buy-in and participate. One example may be illustrated inside IHC and the article HOCKEY MOMS SEEK VARSITY LETTER (http://www.inlinehockeycentral.com/article.php?article_id=51434) - a story about five high schools banding tgether to regain recognition for their club programs from the school district. At the School Board meeting nearly one hundred hockey enthusiasts showed up wearing their colors which produced very positive results.
Even here in California, our so-called tribes still struggle to communicate on the topic of recognition (sanction) by the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). However, we have made progress. In fact, the San Diego section of the CIF granted sanction to roller hockey and has been governing the Metropolitan League as a winter sport (Nov-March) for several years now. This league has had up to twenty varsity teams from across San Diego County compete within the league.
Leading into its 11th year of operations, our IHF league represents and organizes competitions for 29 high schools, 56 teams and nearly 700 student athletes here in the southland (Los Angeles, Orange and Inland Empire counties). With the consistent growth of the sport in the area and new influencing factors, we are forecasting even more participation in the 2008-09 season with up to ten new high school clubs joining the league. Further north are the 6-high school teams in the El Segundo area (house league), 11-high school teams from the Central Coast High School Hockey League (CCHSHL) and 45-high school teams in the house league at San Jose's Rollin' Ice, to name a few. That's a lot of tribes to bring together, but we're trying!
The challenges faced in gaining recognition can be daunting regardless of where you are. Making the decision to start and uniting your particular tribe are the most important parts of the journey. If it's important to you and for your student-athletes to gain recognition, the end results will be worth every bit of effort, even if those youngsters just entering the sport won't know who helped them get a varsity letter playing roller hockey for their school or how that scholarship program got started.
Best of luck in all you do!
INTERSCHOLASTIC HOCKEY FEDERATION (IHF)