View Full Version : "Pro Hockey Players"
07-14-2002, 12:02 AM
I would like to know what everyone's definition is of a 'pro' hockey (roller) player.
Please do not just generalize and say MLRH or PIHA players. Please elaborate and give specifics. For example, don't just say 'a paid player'. Say how much, what form, what type of compensation, etc etc....
MLRH is considered 'elite amatuer' while PIHA promotes paid players yet no one that I am aware of is actually receiving a 'salary' right now, and there are also a few players on teams who cleary are not of a 'professional skill level' but fill the roster.
07-14-2002, 10:54 AM
That's a hard question. As a mom who paid for many a national quest for gold out of pocket I think of any team who does not have to pay for hotel, travel or uniforms and plays a "national" final event is as close to pro as inline hockey can get. Usually this level of play is high. I have no idea what the college definition is. My son feels that pro is only when you are paid money that you can spend on anything you want (not lodging, travel, etc.) is it pro. I guess it depends on where you have been, where you stand now and where you want to go (as a player). All three locations could have different reasons for their definition of pro.
07-14-2002, 12:16 PM
If you receive financial compensation beyond that of travel expenses, I would consider that 'pro'. Getting uniforms, hotels, flights, entry fees, and equipment covered, I would say not pro.
Anything above not having to pay for anything, I consider to be a professional. To me, the term 'pro' means that you are getting paid to play, not playing for free.
I would say it has nothing to do w/ level of play. Olympians are not considered pro for playing in the olympics -- the highest level for many sports.
07-14-2002, 04:40 PM
And how many have won the men's basketball?
07-14-2002, 10:04 PM
They aren't considered "professional" because they played in the olympics. They are professional basketball players based on their large NBA salaries and numerous illegitimate children.
07-14-2002, 11:25 PM
HAHA that was funny.
Anyways, to chime in on this one, I think there's two levels of professional athlete.
There's the level of the major professional sports, where your sole profession is the sport which you participate in. You are paid to play the sport, plain and simple.
The second level is the 'minor' professional sports, in which everyone has a primary occupation unrelated to the sport (in most cases). However, the individual is expected to devote at least 50% of his/her free time to the sport in which they are playing. This means training, playing, practicing, etc. Major League Lacrosse and Indoor Soccer are good examples of this, I think.
This is the way I explain it to people who ask me about 'pro' inline. Having played in most of the pro and semi-pro leagues that have floated around since 1997, anyone that knows me knows I've always just spoken about any of them as 'semi-pro.' This is mostly because I don't hear about a lot of players in these leagues going to the gym every day, training on the rink 3-4 days a week, or even practicing at all. Or how about when you see players taking smoke breaks during games and stuff (can't tell how much of a pet-peeve this is of mine). I mean c'mon, lets sit outside in full uniform and smoke a few cigarettes during halftime and let the fans wonder why they bothered paying to watch someone like their Uncle Louie from New York City who only visits on Thanksgiving, and has to go out front a smoke a Marlboro every 5 minutes during dinner! That adds a ton of legitimacy to a semi/pro league!
I'm sure the smokers are going to flame me (no pun intended) but there's my two cents. No one's getting paid or much reimbursement at all. This is why you'll continue to get rosters with sub-professional talent (like me!); because it's just fun to play good hockey.
07-15-2002, 12:43 AM
LOL! Sean Gallagher from the Sting used to smoke at halftime! Hilarious, man. I used to laugh everytime I saw him in full goalie equipment smoking.
I couldn't agree with you more about the whole semi-pro thing. If *I* was an example of a "professional" inline hockey player, I think even I would laugh! I think it was just fun to go out and play against some of the better talent in the region, even if my knees only let it last a game and 2 shifts.
Who knows... maybe I'll get signed as a "free-agent" to the Riot and you'll have to play with me, Naz ;)
07-15-2002, 08:04 AM
My point (because I think you missed it!!!) is that the "pros" are a league above the "olympians" when it comes to basketball. The same may hold true for other sports....
07-15-2002, 08:08 AM
The semi-pro label works for me. I know the way the MLRH Warriors feel this past year was as close to pro inline as they may ever see.
07-15-2002, 10:00 AM
I would have to agree with this guy.
07-15-2002, 10:06 AM
I sure hope not this past year was by far my best year of hockey. B
07-15-2002, 10:14 AM
Don't get me wrong, I still do think that there's a good bunch of teams out there that can be considered professional-caliber. Some are in the MLRH, and most are the industry-sponsored tournament teams like Mission and Tour. I thought the MLRH made huge strides this year in recruiting decent players (in the East, at least) and putting on a good show.
But most teams aren't at the level I would consider to be billed as professionals of the sport. Most rely on natural skill, two hours of open hockey a week, and nothing else. I think if even a quarter of the players devoted some time to building on this natural skill by practicing and training more often, you would see a 1000% increase in the competition level in the semi/pro leagues.
That would also mean I'd be cut! But I'm willing to make some sacrifices for the sport!
07-15-2002, 10:22 AM
Actually most teams have 2 practices a week for 2-3 hrs only cause they do have to work the next day the play on the weekend
07-15-2002, 11:20 AM
You can consider one definition by going to the NCAA rule book on eligibility. We had a fight with them back in 1998 with our Junior Wings. We had some young players who were gearing up to play college ice hockey and also wanted to play elite travel roller hockey to hone their skills and stay in shape. They asked about ice hockey eligibilty and we asked the NCAA. They had a specific rule about this already in place that said if a player plays for an organization where they were provided with anything that gave them an advantage, if they were given equipment, provided with travel or accomodations, given free ice/rink time or obviously cash, they would forgo their eligibility. Also, by extension, if a player who played for an organization that was sponsor or supported by a professional organization would also be considered an ineligible player. That meant that because the Buffalo Wings operated the Buffalo Junior Wings, what we thought was an amateur team, any player who played for the Junior Wings would not be eligible to play collegiate ice hockey. This ruling came directly from the NCAA. Basically, there are subtle ways around this.
With that said, my opinion about what makes a "pro" player goes along with SpeedDemons. A "pro" player is one who is compensated; who does not pay to play and receives fee travel, accomodations and perhaps free equipment. A "pro" player can also receive financial compensation in the form of a per diem and/or a salary. Also, as was the case with the NARHL, if a player plays for the opportunity to be compensated through an available prize pool, that player is also consider a "pro" player even though their team finishes poorly and they receive no cut from that prize pool. The fact that that pool was available makes them "pro". This goes along with the PIHA. The players have the opportunity to be compensated by receiving a percentage of the net gate revenue. Now I don't know the what's actually going on with the PIHA, but it could be possible that if things go badly with that league that none of the players could receive any money. They would still be considered "pro" players because compensation was available to them.
So it's easy to say if someone is a "pro" player, but you have to define what level of pro player. I think that is determined by the level of compensation. Right now, the best "pro" roller hockey players play in NARCh Pro because they receive the highest level of compensation (although TOHRS Pro may be close). The level of "pro" goes all the way down to semi-pro where a player has to pay to play but there is also some level of compensation as well.
Vice President of Operations
Buffalo Wings Roller Hockey
07-15-2002, 06:01 PM
Excellent information. That would stand the inline community on their collective ears if colleges ever decided to put scholarship money back on the table!
07-15-2002, 08:06 PM
Now, according to Benny's comments/definition (and/or NCAA), I suppose where I am headed with this one is:
Do you think players from MLRH, PIHA, NARCh, Torhs, etc etc etc, should be forbidden to play in the CRHL? Where do we draw the line?
Think of it this way....
It might be easy to determine if guys like CJ Yoder, Ron Tracy, Rob Harmer (to site a few)belong in the CRHL (if they were students), but what about the....
etc etc etc
who are on rosters and play in the MLRH and PIHA?
Just picking your brains!
07-15-2002, 09:06 PM
One thing that I know for sure is that whether a player/team/league is considered "pro" cannot and should not be based on the skill level involved. In every league, even the 4 major professional sports, there is a very wide range of skill levels involved.
Deciding if something should be considered "pro" must be based on the benefits that a player is receiving in return for being a part of such a league. I think looking at the NCAA rules is a good place to start.
However, I do think the NCAA rule is too stringent for the sport of roller hockey. Just as roller hockey is not yet ready to be a part of the NCAA for many other reasons (Title IX, etc etc etc), the same is true because it is not yet at the level of organization and uniformity on many levels as the NCAA-admitted sports.
My recommendation for considering if someone is a pro player would be the following (I can't believe I am actually agreeing with Andy, in part, for once). Some of these may seen a little arbitrary, but I think I've put reasonable limitations on the arguable determinations:
1) if they accept any direct cash payment for playing as either salary or per diem payments.
2) if they receive any extensive free equipment (such as skates or gloves). I would exempt minor equipment like shin pads, elbow pads, helmits, jerseys, or one or two sticks. If any equipment is given in bulk (more than 2 sticks, etc.) I would consider that a form of payment.
3) Reasonable out-of-pocket travel expenses can be refunded by a team or league without penalty.
4) Entering a tournament where the winning team receives a cash prize should be ok up to a certain (even though somewhat arbitrary) point. For instance, if a tourny fee is $500 per team, the cash prize shouldn't be $10,000, but something like $1000 or maybe even $2000 should be ok.
5) Any league that outright exclaims itself as "pro" should be considered pro. A league that considers itself "semi-pro" or "amateur elite" should be considered such subject to the above regulations/limitations.
Just my thoughs. Feel free to respond with comments.
07-16-2002, 12:27 AM
As long as the sport remains at the club level and as long as these players meet the enrollment criteria, I do not believe that these players should be excluded. I know we all believe that collegiate roller hockey will some day be a sanctioned NCAA sport, but until that day comes, you have to let them play. Unless this sanctioning happens overnight (which it won't), you will have plenty of leadtime to let these types of players know that their status may be changing. Perhaps, when this day comes, these types of players could be grandfathered. Also, you could ask our resident attorney, Mr. Picker, but I don't think you can exclude them even if you wanted to. If these players are properly registered students and wish to join the roller hockey club, then they cannot be barred from doing so, regardless of if they were "paid" or are "paid" to play the same sport. I could be wrong on this, though.
Vice President of Operations
Buffalo Wings Roller Hockey
07-16-2002, 12:31 AM
I believe High Schools teams are exempt from this rule. They are, by nature, considered an amateur organization.
Vice President of Operations
Buffalo Wings Roller Hockey
07-16-2002, 09:46 AM
Don't worry Ben -- you agreed with my brother Alan, in part. :)
07-16-2002, 10:30 AM
Your point is fine, I just don't see what it has to do with any of this. My comment was made in reference to someone's notion that "pro" is justified as being the highest level of competition. The point I was making is that in many sports, not all sports, the olympics serve as the highest level of competition.
There has also been several mentions of receiving equipment and travel expenses as justify the status of 'pro'. If that's the case, I'm proud to say I was a 'pro' ice hockey player when I was 6. We got jerseys, helmets, bags, gloves, sticks, pants, jackets, hats, t-shirts, and sweatpants. I must have peaked early.
It has also been stated that
"if they receive any extensive free equipment (such as skates or gloves). I would exempt minor equipment like shin pads, elbow pads, helmets, jerseys, or one or two sticks. If any equipment is given in bulk (more than 2 sticks, etc.) I would consider that a form of payment."
Unless you want to put a dollar amount limit on receiveing equipment, I don't think you can reasonably draw that line. I do agree that excessive amounts of equipment, like 10 pairs of $400 skates, could be seen as a form of payment.
Also, just becuase a league calls itself "pro" doesn't justify it as professional sports and should in no way affect the players standing as an amatuer. What all of these elite-amatuer-pretending-to-be-professional-leagues seem to not understand is that unless you are consistently paying players...you are not a pro league. I don't care who plays in it, you put Gretzky, Mario, Orr, and Lidstrom in the MLRH...it's still not a pro league.
From the perspsective of CRHL eligibility, there are several things to consider....
1. The CRHL operates without NCAA sanction. Therefore, they make their own rules. In order to gain NCAA sanctioning, they would have to adjust their policies (if necessary).
2. Examine the situation from the perspective of what benefits the CRHL and roller hockey as a sport. Does banning a very talented college student from the CRHL for playing in some half-assed pro league, where he made $200 for the summer, help or hurt the CRHL?
3. Whatever the CRHL's policy is / will be, it will have to be montiored and enforced by an organization that does not have the resources that the NCAA has. Imagine trying to track, investigate, and justify rulings on player eligibility. "Well it seems Bob got $200 for playing in a Narch Regional, and after we audited his expenses and consulted our legal team, we've deemed that he has profited from this." Or better yet "Our records show that you received 2 pairs of skates and 3 sticks on 2 separate occasions over the 12 - month fiscal year, which is in violation of article 163b of amendment 6." Seriously, this is a club sport...a well organized, awesome club sport. Until we have access to the resources of the NCAA, this is all just be discussed hypothetically. The CRHL needs a standard policy that will be easily monitored, is fair, and is in the best interest of the CRHL. A roller hockey player getting a couple hundred bucks to play for a summer, and a blue-chip basketball prospect getting $100,000, a house, and a handful of luxury suv's are on different planets. Let's remember what we're dealing with.
And with the current state of "professional roller hockey", I would find it very disturbing that anyone could lose the opportunity to compete at the college level becuase of participating in one of these leagues.
FYI, I don't play or have any involvement in the CRHL or the pro-league du jour
07-17-2002, 07:57 AM
Woo, ok good.
07-19-2002, 08:27 PM
For argument's sake, let's say the basic living wage is around $30k per year. I think that a "pro" player should make enough money to pay his or her bills. If the season is only three months, he/she should make something between $6k to $8k. Otherwise, the player is just playing for fun or ego, which is fine, but doesn't mean "pro."
07-23-2002, 07:43 PM
I played in the CRHL a few years ago when I was an undergrad. I know it's way more organized today, than the first CRHL tourney I played in when we got smoked by Mich St (we got smoked by them again the next year, but this time in the 2nd round!) My question is, is there an eligibility limit for players? ie 4 years of "active" play? Also, does the CRHL still determine eligibility based on the university's club sports eligibility for students? I remember when I was playing, our school required that a club sport member must be a full time student. However, other schools in our region had different rules. One school in particular only required that the player be enrolled in a minimum of 1 class. In my opinion, since roller hockey is only a club sport, it shouldn't make a difference if a player has played in MLRH or NARCH. However, I think the CRHL should (if it hasn't already), make a requirement that players should be full time students at their universities.
07-23-2002, 09:41 PM
From what I understand the rule is that a student must be taking at least 6 credits (about two classes), at least in the ECRHA (old Mid Atlantic region of the CRHL). I know that if a school has more strict rules for their club sports such as all students must be full time, they would obviously have to preempt any CRHL/ECRHA rules, as long as they are more strict.
07-24-2002, 01:02 PM
CRHL rule at least 6 credits and you must fulfill the requirements of your school's club sports requirement.
The CRHL rule is a player gets 5 years of eligibility. However, that rule began in 1999 w/ the creation of the CRHL, so some guys were playing college roller before that, but not as part of CRHL.
That's why old bastards like Andy can play while in Grad school. You know what your problem is Dunlop.......
07-24-2002, 02:27 PM
So I have 4 years of eligibility left when I become a grad student this year? I'm just kidding. I would hardly make an impact to justify checking my eligibility. It's good to hear that there is finally a "term limit," if you will, for players today.
07-24-2002, 08:27 PM
This eligibility requirement has been in the books ever since the creation of CRHL back in 1998-99. Next year could be the last year of college hockey for many players. We have seen this year that players from Junior Colleges have become ineligible, as JC players only get 3 years eligibility. They could transfer to a 4 year school and use the remaining 2 years, however.
08-15-2002, 02:05 AM
Tommy Tyler is a professional roller hockey player. he plays for the pro division in narch and he tears it up.
09-19-2002, 02:23 PM
Tommy Tyler plays for the Hyper Slipjacks in the senior Plat. division. I do not believe he has played Narch Pro. Yes, Tommy is an awesome player that will be on a Narch Pro team soon.
09-20-2002, 04:02 PM
How much is his contract for?
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