fter finally arriving home from the ECHO National tournament in Georgia I must say I have never been more displeased with a tournament in my life. Although most of the divisions seemed to be run rather smoothly the Adult division quickly became a circus. The scheduling for our team was changed three times making it very inconvenient to get any sort of rest having to play at 1:00 am Sunday night only to return to be the first game Monday morning at 8:40. We were willing to push our games back later because we drove over ten hours from MD to play. With this being said the scheduling only got worst after three of the six adult teams participated in major fights, one being a bench clearing brawl (The classiness of a couple of the adult teams was atrocious but that will be saved for another post). With certain key players being suspended from the top teams we were stuck waiting around for hours to see if we would even get to play again. Kudos goes out to the Mercenaries for allowing us to play for a medal although tournament directors did not do the appropriate thing by reseeding teams knowing two dropped out. Sparing many details ECHO made no effort to help our team out even though we helped them out by moving our schedules around for them. Furthermore the officiating was overall terrible, not just for our team but for what seemed like every team at Nationals. If your going to have a National tournament get some refs who wont make you look like a joke. Congratulations to all the teams and although never at an ECHO tournament again I hope to play you soon. If anybody else that was there has anything positive or negative to say about their experience this past weekend please reply. I would like to hope things went well for other teams.
06-26-2008, 10:51 AM
I will agree that it is shame that two adult teams chose not compete due to suspensions, but that is not the fault of a tournament series, but the fault of the players involved in the incident. They actually had enough players to compete, but chose to forfeit rather than play with a short bench. You gripe about officiating, then you fault the tournament series for players being suspended for fighting. That doesn't make sense. If we had LET the players play, then I can see your complaint. Do you feel that the calls made were not by the book?
You also claim that we did nothing to help you out, but you were already elimanated from the play-offs prior to the suspended players becoming an issue. Put that fact aside...we got the Mercenaries to agree to play you for the bronze medal even though, as previously mentioned, they had locked up third place and your team had been elimanated. Thank you to the Mercs for having the class to play the Thrashers! We had an open time slot due to a forfeit...and they gave you a second chance at a medal.
I don't mean to throw you under the bus...but venting this way on a public forum and mis-stating facts is no way to right a situation. We all agreed in ATL that it just plain sucked the way the adult division panned out due to suspensions. Add to this the fact that one adult team had to back out at the last minute due to a health issue and did their best to piece together a team at the last minute. All this considered, we made every effort to get your team another game, even though your team had been elimanated from the play-offs fairly, prior to the circus events. After you had been elimanated, we asked your team if you would like to stick around and play an exhibition game (free of charge). Then, instead of just "playing for fun" against the third place team, they raised the stakes and offered to play your team for the bronze medal...which they had already won. And you say we "did nothing". :confused:
Finally, in regards to the early Monday game...we asked the teams if they would rather play later and the majority voice said "no, we would rather get on the road early" since this was the last day of the event.
If you still had issues, you should have spoken to us at the event. Virtually everyone I have gotten feedback from in regards to this event have all been positive.
If you want to say it is a "shame" that teams had to forfeit games...go ahead. I agree. If you want to say it is a "shame" that a team didn't even show up for their last game...go ahead. I agree. But faulting ECHO Hockey is directing your anger/frustration in the wrong direction. Trust me, as much you were disappointed, we had to deal with it to...so we are right there with you, frustrated with the way it turned out. There was the potential to have some GREAT games in the finals for that division. On paper, the final four would have been some great hockey.
Now...all that being said, we were happy to see your team at the event. You are a great group of guys and we were glad to see you make the trek down from Maryland. Once the emotion from the weekend has passed, I am sure you will realize that your frustration should be directed at the other teams...rather than ECHO Hockey.
I appreciate your response ECHO. I do feel that the point of this forum is to get some discussion going. I know you say I should not vent on here but if I were to write you guys directly I donít think it would accomplish anything. I am not blaming you guys one hundred percent and the teams that were involved with fights are at blame as well. My main issue was the way it was handled with our team and the things we were told one minute by one tournament director and another thing the next by somebody else. Yes we were eliminated but there should have been a reseeding before our game against the Eagles, especially knowing some teams may not show up. With four teams left after the skirmishes the two winners go to the gold game and the losers to the bronze. Once again I understand you guys had a tough time trying to work out everything and the main reason for this post was to see if anyone else had some issues. I am glad to hear however that your feedback was positive and I hope that next year teams decide to show some class so you guys donít have to go through this again. Good luck with future tournaments.
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