1. I would assert that the refs are probably doing the best they can, and the refs themselves would probably welcome some sort of organization training. If the players begin to approach the guys in striped shirts as though they were friends, everybody would probably have a lot more fun...frankly, the original problem sounds like competitive egos not held in check...
2. some ways to get a public rink:
a. find a parks & rec employee to champion the cause,
[in my city, that's me...I can tell you that none of our operations would have happened if I didn't care about the sport. If another Parks' Department employee, who knew nothing about hockey, were in charge, the program would have died long ago]
b. approach the citizens' advisory board (most municipalities have one or more),
[Our municipal CAB has tremendous power in deciding what get's done, and what gets money priority...this is an important group of people who can help you]
c. have an organized, non-profit group to approach the governmental bodies,
[example, in our community, "the soccer people," as I fondly call them, are lobbying to get an 11 million, two location, 22 field complex built...their main "selling point," one that the local media is championing like gangbusters, is that they (the soccer organization) will maintain the place if the city/county will build it]
d. as mentioned above, be willing to do a lot of the work yourself,
[if the goverment built you a rink, do you have and organization that could maintain it, out of players fees, if nothing else?]
e. find out (from the Parks' department head honcho if necessary, but your city council representative should know) when the next municipal bond issue, or public election is happening & campaign for a rink to be included.
[This is where the $2.55 million is coming from that is currently constructing our new rink, which will become "the" state-of-the-art when we skate onto the big blue floor in June...keep in mind that this process -a bond election- takes years and a lot of work to pull off, but man, is it going to be worth it in five months!]
All the above have worked for us in my city, both to acquire and develop our present program, and our upcoming, expanded, new-facility program. In August, I will have a videotape (with other media materials) put together as kind of a "how to" manual that ANY PARKS & RECREATION DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY COULD USE TO DO THE SAME THING THAT WE HAVE DONE! Let me know & I will make sure that you get a copy of it.
Bottom line, the "powers that be" in your local municipality must come to believe (be made to see the light?) that the inline hockey players in your community deserve(!) a place to play just as much as all the other players in the other sports already have.
Good luck, and the above invitation is open to everybody, anywhere in the country...
Let me know how I can help.
Daniel T. Guard,
Recreation Services Coordinator,
El Paso Parks & Recreation Department, Texas
email: [email protected]