View Full Version : Premier killing Midwest?
12-02-2002, 03:10 PM
One of the proudest regions in the CRHL is dying. The MCRHL which used to host such great teams as Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Eastern Michigan, and other greats from the Mid-West is being ruined by the newly formed Premier League. Not only has the Premier league taken some of the best teams out of the region, but it has taken one of the best League Directors the CRHL has seen. In a hectic two month span, the region has seen three different league directors that have each had their own separate philosophies on how the region should be run. Since the creation of the Premier concept last year, the Mid West region has been left for waste. The clubs that can't afford to finance themselves for Premier, but who, I think, can still compete with many of the Premier squads have been banished to a league that consists of former 'B' teams filling in for their Premier counterparts as 'A' teams. How is this going to look when the Mid West "A" teams get bounced in the first round of Competitive Division 1 nationals? Don't get me wrong, these teams have played well, but that is against themselves not the real Division 1 teams elsewhere.
I was lucky. I entered into the league as a freshman in the Fall of 2000. The MCRHL could not have been in better shape. Michigan State had established itself as the team to beat in the nation with their two wins in the first two NCT tournaments. Purdue was emerging as another power. They even fought it out with MSU that year to take the divisional crown within the region. Also at this time Eastern Michigan was showing its dominance in not only D2 play, but D1 play as well. Nipping at their heels was Ball State. This was truly an exciting time for the CRHL. Every weekend consisted of important battles for every team involved. -Flash Forward- The last MCRHL weekend was held in Mason, OH. Six teams showed up. At that time the region hardly had enough money to finance the rink for one day. This was because the teams haven't paid their dues, but this isn't the teams' faults. A lot of teams weren't even aware of the official dues, and if they were, they were never given an official invoice of billing. This region is plagued with problems. Many teams don't know which division they are in. Illinois State declared D2, but are registered as a D1 school. Miami of Ohio hasn't had sufficient time to declare which division they are in. The former 'B' squads were forced into D1 status.
The Premier League was formed to showcase the talents of the more marketable schools. These schools also wanted some real competition. They were tired of beating up on the little guys. If you check the stats, Lindenwood seems to be in a league of their own. I suggest making a Lindenwood only league because it isn't marketable to see the Big Ten schools get demolished by a school with such un-marketable traits as Lindenwood. Or the league could drop the Premier idea, and focus on the league as a whole again instead of letting good teams in a once proud region just die out.
To see updates on the MCRHL, please check out midwestregion.net. Oh wait, the MCRHL is currently without a website.
12-02-2002, 04:29 PM
Right on brother.
12-03-2002, 06:43 AM
Wow, that was some post. Last night I received 10 different alerts to come check it out. It is something that you should be addressing with the VP and ED of CRHL immediately.
First, let me preface by stating that I don't mean to put ECRHA on a pedastal but as the President of ECRHA, ECRHA is what I know and inevitably I end up referring to it in most examples that I use.
When Premier was created, ECRHA went a bit in a uproar and the consensus of our region did not at all understand the need for it, feeling mostly as if it was a program being created to address the needs of specific regions, namely the MCRHL, and the wide gaps that existed in competition. While we understood the concept, we in the ECRHA did not feel a need for a Premier Program at this time and felt the MCRHL would be better served by concentrating on its leadership and resolving its issues within. It was a very delicate and auduous topic interally for CRHL creating more than 1 year of hostility amongst CRHL Board Members.
After a year, I have come to accept the program regardless of my beliefs for the need for it Nationally.
I am constantly reminded by CRHL people that ECRHA is out in left field and that we are doing our own thing. This lead to my temporary resignation from the CRHL Board this Winter (guised in part by what I would call needing some 'personal time') ha, gonna get blasted for that.. It is only CRHL people who say that though. Any one who understands ECRHA or attends our events sees ECRHA as serving most of the needs of our members. Most all of our members for the most part are totally satisfied with our program and the competition is extreme and tight.
ECRHA continued to develop all summer to address the needs of our members so that what you describe in MCRHL would never occur in ECRHA. Not one team from ECRHA joined Premier for one reason or another although a few did have the 'resources' needed. Should a team (such as RIT for example) have joined Premier, ECRHA would only have been happy for them and would not have felt a 'loss' of team since ECRHA hovers at over 50 teams and knows that even if a team like RIT went to play premier, we would have done everything to have served that team previously. Premier is supposed to be the 'reward' not the 'alternative'. We would have known that they were joining Premier for other reasons. In all honesty, we saw NO reason why any ECRHA team should feel a need to join Premier if all the things they would get out of Premier were being achived in their own Member Organization (ECRHA). The ECRHA Board decision was made to watch Premier for a season and see what the involved teams received and how they all contributed and also to watch the MCRHL and see what transiped.
Posts like yours alarm us and confirm 'in the closet' feelings that MCRHL is in trouble. While I hope your opinion is not the majority, your opinion matters.
Now, in regards to the leadership problems:
NECRHA experienced a similar issue. NECRHA no longer exists in part to loss of leadership. (ECRHA now serves those 10 teams). Luckily strong leaders emerged in ACRHA south of us becasue there was no way that we could have served those members also. There is no way to place blame on anyone for this. The only answer lies in true leaders standing up and each individual team also having a leader. ECRHA struggles with this also but luckily has a few good ones. Volunteer work is charitable and comes from the heart. It takes the right person, especially with an extreme amount of hours needed to do the work and also thrive at school, career, personal & family life. There is no easy fix to your dilemma except to get involved yourself or become part of a solution. Solutions can only begin though when the issues are exposed and not swept under the rug. So although I am alarmed and concerned with your post, also hearing the sarcasm in it, I welcome it because it has merit and warrents action. My question is why here though? What do you want to accomplish by posting on THIS message board? if it is exposure, you got it. But please address it of those running CRHL. They cannot save you, but certainly need to be aware of the truth within. I don't think it is anything for MCRHL to be ashamed of. Where are the other voices?
I gloat about ECRHA at times but have many reasons to, unfortunaly CRHL people have become sick of me, but the ECRHA still runs and addresses the needs of those we serve. I am proud of ECRHA, proud of all the teams who do their part, proud of the staff, proud of my own contributions. I am allowed to be, yet can still remain as humble as needed and still work harder to serve the ECRHA. I have offered to share our programs else where but am told that many regions are running just fine, including MCRHL. I know otherwise and still offer assistance.
Please don't chastize Lindenwood for their accomplishments. They should not be 'penalized' for reaching the top. Someone on that team has put their time in. Lindenwood should be a model for other schools (provided they are acting like a model team and also still seeking and achieving the goals of CRHL and not just building a powerhouse team).
Please don't let anyone stifle your voice, but also be a part of the solution.
President, Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association
<A HREF="http://www.ecrha.net" target="_new">http://www.ecrha.net</A>
<A HREF="http://www.crhl.net" target="_new">http://www.crhl.net</A>
--"Thanks for making me a fighter" --C.A.
12-03-2002, 08:40 AM
Let me defend bsurh35 just a little, I served as president of the same team last year.
My guess, and he can back me up on this if he wants, is that he brought the topic to this board because nobody else seems to have the time to listen or care. That is not necessarily a fault, it's just a fact that most people who we know to talk to are busy with other responsibilities within the CRHL. I get the impression that a lot of people want to be part of the solution, but the commissioner quit early in the season with little warning, and really didn't give anyone else a chance to learn the position.
Now, the premier league. What is it right now? Are there more fans? Is the competition better? Or is it only different because there are longer games and each team only plays two in a weekend? Judging by the scores, the games do not seem any closer than a typical MCRHL weekend. With the way the schedule was set up previously, most of the same teams that play each other now, played each other then, with the addition of a few more games against "lower caliber" teams. While the argument for better competition probably was valid two years ago, I personally don't think there was a huge difference between the good DII teams and DI teams last year. There are the very weak teams, but most of them are 'B' teams. In fact, I can only think of one 'A' team in DII last year that couldn't have at least competed with DI teams. I'm not claiming a DII team could make the finals at DI nationals, but I think a lot of games would be competitive. Outside of that though, DI teams wouldn't have to play DII teams if the league chose not to schedule it that way, but I don't see how THIS year, the premier league has really changed anything besides leaving a ton of teams behind.
Finally, again in defense of bsurh35, I don't think he was blasting Lindenwood. I think it was simply sarcasm pointing out that if every time teams were getting blown out, a new league would be formed with the "good teams," there would never be an organized CRHL. In any sport, there are good teams and bad teams, and as the CRHL grows, the deficit shrinks, which eliminates the need for an Elite League. I'm not ignorant though, I do understand that the Premier is intended to market the game, maybe reach out to more fans, but I'm not sure ESPN is ready to knock on the door yet.
12-03-2002, 09:29 AM
The CRHL is aware of the issue(s) within the MCRHL. The structure of the CRHL is not such that the CRHL itself 'runs' individual leagues other than the CRHL Premier Program. As such the CRHL has been working with the MCRHL to find a new director. The existance of the Premier Program has not caused the issues in the MCRHL -- rather it was the unexpected resignation of the league director. Aaron Haschel had not been the MCRHL director for some time (he was not the one who resigned) and was not planning to be the director this season -- regardless of the status of the Premier Program.
Frankly most leagues have used alumni and such for the league director role -- which has usually come as a result of the teams themselves looking for, nominating, and electing a director. Unfortunatly the teams in the MCRHL have had issues accomplishing this, mostly due to the short notice of the resignation of the previous director. The same is true with the issue you raised about the website. The CRHL does not supply Member Organizations (formerly regions) with websites. If the MCRHL does not have a website then I invite yourself or another member of the MCRHL to create one (as every other MO in the CRHL does).
It is unfortunate that the MCRHL has been stuck in this position on such short notice, but it is extremely unfair and inaccurate to catogorize the current issues as something caused by the CRHL. Regardless, the CRHL will do whatever it can to help the MCRHL find a new director and continue to run a solid league for its teams and players.
If you would like to discuss this further I invite you to email me at [email protected]
and I will do whatever I can to assist you and the other teams within the MCRHL.
I do not usually comment on issues such as this raised by players in a public forum but as the lack of a director within the MCRHL causes communication issues between the CRHL and the MCRHL I thought it would be best to include this here so that other teams/players within your league could see it.
The MCRHL has traditionally been a very strong league and I am confident it will continue to be once it overcomes this unexpected league director transition.
Collegiate Roller Hockey League
12-03-2002, 01:24 PM
I don't want anyone to think that my initial post was due to just a random outburst of anger dealing with the CRHL. I have talked to many of the teams that still play in the MCRHL, and I find they agree with me. Our region is ntohing like it used to be. Honestly, I do believe in the CRHL and its main purpose. I don't, however, believe this purpose is for the Premier League, at least not yet, but I'll try to stick to the problems with the MCRHL exclusively.
Before writing the original post, I was looking around CRHL.net. From there, I hit each region's website, except the Mid-West, of course. I was extremely happy with what I saw. Especially with what I saw out of the ECRHA. The ECRHA has a league that consists of over 50 teams that are extremely competitive. It reminded me of what I used to see from the MCRHL when I was a freshman. I want that back, and I believe the CRHL needs that back.
To answer Rebecca's question, the reason I used this message board to address the topic is because this is the only place that receives results. Look at the replies received after only one day of being on the board. It caught her attention. I've been trying to bring up anything to anyone, and this is the only way I've been able to accomplish it. I can't even get the region to send me a bill for this year's expenses, let alone get anyone from the CRHL's attention. This seemed the obvious answer.
Yes, Haschel has not been the league director for some time, but in my original post, I said the problems began with the whole "concept" of the Premier League. When the teams left last year, that is when we lost Haschel, and the region hasn't been the same since. Before the director's surprise resignation, there was no communication between the director and the league. Haschel had to come back to run last year's and this year's MCRHL opening meetings. I am extremely happy that the region has finally announced the new director, and I'm confident he'll do a great job, but regardless of what he can do, the MCRHL will still be hurting without its top competitors. Teams such as Ball State, Western Michigan, Illinois State, Miami of Ohio, etc., all need the competition to stay competitive within the nation.
One last defense, without the help of cakeuneke. I was not in anyway making fun of Lindenwood. They have done great things out there. I was, however, picking on the Premier League. They want a competitive league. If they want to be competitive, I suggest taking Lindenwood out because right now, they are too good. By using my term "un-marketable," I was only implying that Lindenwood isn't nearly as popular as a Michigan State or a Michigan.
I encourage anyone with ties to the MCRHL to speak out, and also to take Rebecca's advice. We need to do as they do in the ECRHA. We need to contribute to our league in more ways than just by playing in it. I truly don't believe the region will be healed until our teams come back, but it definitely wouldn't hurt to have us step up, and make what we have into what we used to have.
12-03-2002, 04:15 PM
I have been in the MCRHL for 3 years now. The first thing I noticed when I was a freshman was how unorganized everything seems. My captain would say three days prior to an event that he needed "X" amount of money. My first reaction was to blame everything on that captain, but now I am in the same boat as he was. I now understand that MCRHL causes a lot of problems with the teams because of a lack of communication, organization, and dedication. No one tells anyone when they need to pay money, no one tells of changes in the schedule or the budget. I am not trying to brag, but when I was 19 I ran my own business and I was a lot more in tune with what was going than anyone in the CRHL is with the MCRHL. The CRHL just stays out of it, the only person from the CRHL that I have ever seen do anything or try to, is Aaron Haschel.(Thank YOU!)
Think of it like this. MCRHL and its teams (Ball State, Western Michigan, Miami of Ohio, etc.) are customers of the CRHL. Right now those customers are not happy because the are not receiving good customer service. So...the teams are either trying to play in a different region (take their business elsewhere), fix the current problem (giving feedback to MCRHL and CRHL), or don't give a damn. Sooner or later teams are going to just drop out and do their own thing. I know of teams in the MCRHL that are thinking of leaving and just playing in tournaments like NARCH, TORHS, until someone steps up from the CRHL to do something.
Just a question for the CRHL contacts, What does Eric Habert do? or Andrew Macmillan? or John Huck? Besides the jobs stated on the CRHL website. Why can't they do more? And if they cannot get HELP somewhere else? Obviously these guys cannot do it themselves. Look for someone to hire for a different position.
12-03-2002, 07:32 PM
This probably isn't my place to say something as I am just a insignificant high school student with little chance of getting into college unless I can bring my grades up and fast. But I don't feel you should criticize guys like Eric Harbet, Andrew Macmillan, or Jonathan Huck. I don't know any of these people other than having read their posts on these message boards. I respect the fact you are your teams captain (or so I assume) and that plus college can be a huge load. But why not help out yourself? There are other things you could do than criticize. However it is constructive criticism and in any way am I to "bash" you. I happen to agree with most everything you have said but you being in a position that you have an opportunity to take action where as in my position I can't do anything other than sit here and read go to school and try to get into college so I can have the opportunity to play in college. If I was in your position then I would gladly volunteer to help out any way I could because I love this game and would love to see it grow. I am all for helping this game grow. I hope you all are too!
If you would like to constructively discuss this further, please feel free to email me at [email protected]
or call me at (717) 278-4721. I would prefer email as we may include a number of people in on the same conversation, saving time and energy.
Efforts are already underway addressing the above concerns.
CRHL Vice President
Competitive Program Director
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