View Full Version : calihockey crazy idea to better roller hockey
08-25-2000, 01:00 AM
I was sitting there after my political science class and reading some of the stuff i have to read and some ideas came in my head. Unification!. NARCH should become something like a PAN-American style of a tournament with a bit of a twist. NARCH should combine with Globals to have an international team tournament to go along with the travel team tournament. USA inline and CIHA should be the sole governing bodies for roller hockey in their respective countries. NARCH, CIHA, USA inline and Globals all need to work together to help unify the sport. this will help with one rule book and strengthen the sports imagine in the eyes of the olympic committee and lets face it we need all 4 of these groups to be able to get a solid pro league together. for the sport to have a real chance this needs to happen. USA Hockey has the financial resources that even NARCH doesnt have. What we need is a Pro league because it will help the sport. anyone who wants to add or broaden my idea please do so. If you have anything to do with the above governing bodies i strongly encourage you to take this seriously.
08-25-2000, 01:58 AM
Nice post. Lots of ideas here.
It appears that the powers that be in this sport STILL battle each other for slices of the same small pie, rather than working together to help GROW the sport. Sadly, I don't see many of these groups willing to compromise in the smallest measure to help inline hockey grow. Instead, they badmouth each other, either on or off the record, each holding on to the little piece of the action they control.
Unfortunately, it looks like it will get worse before it gets better. I hope I'm wrong.
Let's keep the suggestions and commentary going -- it looks like it will be up to the athletes to push these organizations to work together, because they're not going to do it without a LOT of prodding.
"People have the power," sings Patti Smith. Try to prove her right. It's YOUR sport, after all.
Inline Hockey Central
08-25-2000, 03:13 PM
I just want to know why this sport needs to be in the Olympics? The Olympics as we knew them are dead. It is more of a farce than in the past, outside of a few sports that seem to feed off its cycle (swimming, gymnastics and figure skating)
As for USAHIL as the governing body? Why Indeed? Because they are the governing body for ice hockey?Because USA/RS is so woefully behind that sometimes I think they'd rather go back to playing ball and cane style? I get zero benefit from playing USA Hockey, they get my $...I get a magazine that has about 2 pages of inline coverage per issue. like WHA, they are more concerned with keeping the #$ rolling in than stepping on a leagues toes..or having them abide by the rules..
That is part of the reason why I typically play more tournaments than leagues..the $ I save from not playing locally allows me to participate in various events throughout the US..and is well spent.
Its not like they'll be asking me to play in the Olympics, and if they were the governing body for that in the future and your dreams came true..would I have to be a member to play? I think not.
As for USAHIL's financial backing..where does that come from, the ice side?
I don't see the need for unification..sure i'd like the same rules..however one company running the show isn't the answer, if that happens we'll all be out here crying for someone to provide us with options..typically the end benefactor amongst competitive groups is the end user, you the player.
Let people try and put on events, if teams support them they'll stay in business, easy enough. You vote with your tournament dollars, the best teams will continue to go to NARCh, some teams did play in Brampton and went to Global this year..but the two events are different..Global is a FESTIVAL..says so in its heading..NARCh is seeking the best teams in North America and they do have a few international teams each year, this year from Japan, 97-99 a South African Team, the Aussies in '96, etc..
If you want what's best for the sport and more importantly for those who play the game and support these organizations..competition is the answer and the results will sort themselves out soon enough..
I can understand your position but I don't think your looking at the big picture. Tournament hockey as we now have it, is primarily for elite players and does little if anything to promote the growth of the sport.
Roller hockey like any sport is a pyramid, with the elite basking in the sunshine at the top supported by a huge foundation of lesser players toiling in the shadows below.
Those few thousand players in the sunshine cannot support any sport. They aren't the ones buying licensed NHL sweaters, jackets and hats, they're teams supply them more stuff than they can ever use anyway. It's the 100's of thousands of houseleague or even want to be players that inject the money to support the pro sports. What equipment manufacturer could survive on the small market provided by elite players, particularly as they increasingly whine to get their stuff for free? Again the industry is supported by the masses bearing the weight in the shadows.
Tournaments are primarily a way to raise funds. The better you are at it the more you make. But catering to an elite few does not help the sport grow. In essence organizations like NARCh, TORHS etc. are parasitical, thriving on elite players whose involvement and skills have been developed at the expense of other grass roots organizations.
If the sport is to grow at the top of the pyramid the foundation must grow first, other wise it will topple and collapse. It takes organizations like USAHIL, CHI etc to provide programs for league play at the foundation level. I know NARCh now has a sanction, but lets face it, all they're doing at the moment is selling insurance at a profit. That may please the rink owners lawyers, but it doesn't do anything to bring new players into the sport at the bottom.
We need the Olympics and we need NCAA. The promoters of the pro game have proven time and again to be greedy and incompetent. NCAA and the Olympics draw huge audiences to what they perceive to be, legitimate competition. It puts the sport squarely in the public eye without casting the veil of failure over it as the pro's have done.
It's time to wake up a bit. Everyone knows there will be "NO" Olympics or NCAA until there are affirmative opportunities for women in the sport. Who is developing a grass roots program to build the base of the women's roller hockey pyramid? To the best of my knowledge no one. I know NARCh and Global both had women's divisions and Global even had a 13 and under division which was very poorly attended. There just isn't the foundation to support the peak.
If you want growth, forget about little Johnny superstar. He's going to play anyway. Talk to the little kid down the street falling down in their driveway trying to learn to skate. Every minute and dime that "He" or even better "She" brings into the sport is new growth and money for a larger, stronger foundation, that can support a larger peak.
The unified support of the organizations that provide a forum for the development of grass roots programs is an investment in your sport. Anything else is paying a service fee for a leisure activity, on an as needed basis. Let's not confuse the two.
08-26-2000, 04:25 PM
As a league owner, I am not sure what is the best for this sport. I have supported a governing body for 6 years, but the past 3 have been pure hell with all the bull**** from within and outside.
All I know for sure, is that the kids love this sport and I will continue to do my best in keeping the politics out,and growing the sport, whether its continuing to support a national body or going on my own.
Maybe Narch should offer a program to all leagues in the U.S, Canada, Europe, to join. All they would have to do is open up a Silver division for teams within each league only. I think this would also be a very competitive division.
Narch seems to really know what their doing, and do it Well!!!!!!!!!
08-26-2000, 09:21 PM
Oh boy, sounds like CHI propaganda
"I can understand your position but I don't think your looking at the big picture. Tournament hockey as we now have it, is primarily for elite players and does little if anything to promote the growth of the sport."
Yeah, NARCh just blew away Ontario with a great tournament that has so many ice players talking about playing next year. Let me tell you that the Brampton NARCh Finals did more to promote roller hockey in two weeks in Ontario than CHI has done in 3 years.
"Roller hockey like any sport is a pyramid, with the elite basking in the sunshine at the top supported by a huge foundation of lesser players toiling in the shadows below."
Well, come on. There are many, many league players just doing fine and having fun playing week to week, and have no aspirations of playing in a tournament. "Toiling in the shadows", what is this creative writing 101?
"Those few thousand players in the sunshine cannot support any sport. They aren't the ones buying licensed NHL sweaters, jackets and hats, they're teams supply them more stuff than they can ever use anyway. It's the 100's of thousands of houseleague or even want to be players that inject the money to support the pro sports. What equipment manufacturer could survive on the small market provided by elite players, particularly as they increasingly whine to get their stuff for free? Again the industry is supported by the masses bearing the weight in the shadows."
Give us numbers to support this THEORY. Have you conducted some type of research to prove this? The manufacturers support NARCh and other tournaments because if the good players stay in the sport, the other players will also. There is no pro league in roller and the house league kids watch and see what the elite players wear and use. Also, most sponsored teams don't get free stuff, they maybe get discounts.
"Tournaments are primarily a way to raise funds. The better you are at it the more you make. But catering to an elite few does not help the sport grow. In essence organizations like NARCh, TORHS etc. are parasitical, thriving on elite players whose involvement and skills have been developed at the expense of other grass roots organizations."
Yeah, tell you what. NARCh and AIRHS were around before CHI and USA Hockey. Talk about parasites, USA Hockey and CHI are ice organizations looking to capture roller players and sell them insurance. Don't tell me that CHI developed skills of players who played on Canadian teams at NARCh. The hockey skills of those players were developed a long time before CHI came around. At least NARCh does what it does extremely well. CHI is always involved in one pissing match or legal hassle after another.
"If the sport is to grow at the top of the pyramid the foundation must grow first, other wise it will topple and collapse. It takes organizations like USAHIL, CHI etc to provide programs for league play at the foundation level. I know NARCh now has a sanction, but lets face it, all they're doing at the moment is selling insurance at a profit. That may please the rink owners lawyers, but it doesn't do anything to bring new players into the sport at the bottom."
Hey, if CHI and USA do what they do well, people will join. It's free enterprise and rinks and people aren't stupid. CHI and USA sell insurance and have since day one, they wrote the sales manuals on that!
"We need the Olympics and we need NCAA. The promoters of the pro game have proven time and again to be greedy and incompetent. NCAA and the Olympics draw huge audiences to what they perceive to be, legitimate competition. It puts the sport squarely in the public eye without casting the veil of failure over it as the pro's have done."
CHI just needs to do a good job and stay out of legal entanglements. Serve the membership well and you'll do just fine. Don't worry about NARCh, Torhs or Airhs. CHI needs to go out and do something sensational for this sport.
"It's time to wake up a bit. Everyone knows there will be "NO" Olympics or NCAA until there are affirmative opportunities for women in the sport. Who is developing a grass roots program to build the base of the women's roller hockey pyramid? To the best of my knowledge no one. I know NARCh and Global both had women's divisions and Global even had a 13 and under division which was very poorly attended. There just isn't the foundation to support the peak."
"If you want growth, forget about little Johnny superstar. He's going to play anyway. Talk to the little kid down the street falling down in their driveway trying to learn to skate. Every minute and dime that "He" or even better "She" brings into the sport is new growth and money for a larger, stronger foundation, that can support a larger peak."
Great. If CHI can do that, go do it. NARCh does fantastic tournaments and drums up a lot of excitement for the sport. They can't do it all.
"The unified support of the organizations that provide a forum for the development of grass roots programs is an investment in your sport. Anything else is paying a service fee for a leisure activity, on an as needed basis. Let's not confuse the two."
Again, if USA and CHI do good work, their membership will come. NARCh just left a great impression in Brampton and that will help to promote the sport.
If CHI can transcend the politics, stay out of lawsuits and work hard, they can do their part to help this sport grow.
I too was blown away with the quality and professionalism of the NARCh Finals in Brampton. They did an awesome job of running a hockey tournament.
However to compare the mandate of NARCh with those of national or international governing bodies is not reasonable.
NARCh does, and is able to produce the quality they do, because it is a hands on operation of very limited scope. They are able to control every part of the operation because they wisely selected an existing target market (for the most part) of definable periphery. Then they used impeccable judgement and wizardry in their promotion of their product to capture that market. This has allowed them to maximize a per player revenue stream from a limited portion of the sport that is unparalleled.
Conventional governing bodies cannot do this. They must attempt to be unilateral in their support of all levels and regions of the sport, and they have to do it with much fewer financial resources. Consider what it costs to play in say, 2 NARCh qualifiers and the Finals, then try to download that amount on to a houseleague parent. Bottom line, you won't have any houseleague parents or players left and the sport would wither and die.
Governing bodies cannot afford to be hands on. Not and meet the scope of their perceived mandate with limited resources. The reality is that they must become administrators at least somewhat isolated from those entities they administrate.
And, how many of those entities really want administration and how many just want accreditation? Why then, if communications between the entities deteriorates for any reason, any attempt to fulfill the mandate of administering the sport is received as dictatorial. Hmmm.
Yet somehow, NARCh's hands on, My Way or the Highway approach is not.
Will NARCh be attracting more elite ice players from Canada next year? Maybe. Personally I don't see that as a good thing. We have all the skills but overall don't know how to play the inline game. More ice players isn't going to help. Let's learn the game ourselves and teach it to the new players coming in at a young age. Then they can become real winners.
By the way, if you think the houseleague kids are in awe of you and are going to buy equipment because you and your elite friends wear it, I have some 900 numbers you should try.
As for being CHI propagandist, if you read my profile you'll see I'm in no position to speak for anyone but myself. And I don't have the answers either, but if we keep asking , they will come.
08-27-2000, 12:30 PM
Well John, FYI, I've spent the better part of the last 12 years trying to grow the bottom of the pyramid. You can do back and peruse the State of the Sport series here on IHC if you wish.
Fact is, 90% of those who make up the bottom of the pyramid, so to speak, don't care one bit outside of a series such as NHL Breakout. You have no idea how many arms I have to twist to get some of my friends to play in local events. To me, I can't understand why they don't wish to travel and play others to improve and they can't see that there's a lot more to roller than the local outdoor rink.
the biggest recruiter for the elite level will be the competitors, the players go back and tell their friends how much fun they had at NARCh this year, and get a few more people involved..
To me there's not a basic ladder movement..just because someone plays hockey at the recreational level, doesn't mean they'll be an elite player in X number of years...
Its a shame..but in my local area..i've not found one team, or even core players that I feel have the potential to play at the elite level...a USAHIL, Triple Crown event, sure..
So to me, the base of the pyramid is misleading..it'd be like saying we have so many millions of kids playing soccer. so our World Cup team will be great..because we have a bigger base..well how many of those kids stop playing the minute they leave HS? That's going to be an interesting stat in roller hockey..if the kids who are 12 now..are still playing in 10 years..that will say more about the sport than anything else..
There will always be local leagues to play in for those who love the game, and tournaments for those who wish to participate...just because its out of the public eye..doesn't mean it doesn't exist...skateboarding never went away..it was just reduced to those who love to ride..if hockey's the same way..I don't see that as a bad thing..all sports are cyclical..and if it gets to the point where people are trying to run me off the road once again while skating..so be it..
This string has elements of three of my favorite topics. History, Architecture and Roller Hockey.
As for the history, I am aware of and have followed the opinions you have posted in the past. In no way did I intend to demean or belittle your contributions to this sport, which by far outweigh any I have made.
However your recent post was not inconsistent with an emerging trend in this sport, where many wish to hand NARCh the keys to the bus and let them drive us to some future nirvana. This is, despite the fact that their crowning achievement thus far is simply to run a more sophisticated tournament series than anyone else, to the benefit of a select few. I think NARCh is a wonderful thing for those it benefits, but certainly not a rising Phoenix carrying the sport of roller hockey on its back.
I used the pyramid analogy for a reason. As you stated, having a larger base in no way indicates that there will be a ladder effect, transporting players to the top. No matter how large the base of a pyramid is, the top is "always" the same size. However having a larger base does provide a foundation from which the top "can reach new heights". It took the Egyptians many tries and hundreds of years to realize this.
I agree with you whole heartedly that for the vast majority of players, there is no interest in traveling, going to tournaments or playing at a higher level. They do however require places to play, equipment to play in and if in significant numbers, a competent voice in the world of sports. Unfortunately most of them will never realize or care who that voice is. That is exactly why the special interest groups like NARCh and others should be prevented from gaining a broader power base within the sport.
This sport has limited resources and if we expect to compete with the likes of basketball and soccer we need to allocate them carefully. The sponsors should be supporting development of the sport in places like community centers, that may afford basketballs and soccer balls, but definitely not roller hockey equipment, instead of giving all-star uniforms to unappreciative well to do prima-donna's. The promotional value and positive press would provide much better returns to the sport than producing some glitzy video commercial that would only ever be viewed by a few hundred people.
A successful sport is in essence a large team. Showering all of the praise and granting special privileges to the best player may not be in the best interest of the team. Winning against strong competition will take the best efforts of all of the members working together. There will have to be chemistry and winning teams do not function as democracies. If we look upon the governing body as being the coach and the members as being the players, we need to select the coach very carefully.
I'm as disappointed as anyone that our governing bodies seem to have their heads in the sand and that our ice hockey cousins currently appear to think a low cholesterol diet might be a good thing.
But before we mutiny, let's make sure that Mr. Christian doesn't turn out to be a closet Captain Blye.
08-28-2000, 03:49 AM
I always respect your opinions, as it is obvious that you know a great deal about inline hockey and the issues facing it. However, I disagree with you on the Olympic question. If you get right down to it, when were the Olympics ever free of politics, cheating or "professionalism"? Perhaps early on, but not for the last 30 years or so, excluding some incredible performances by amateur athletes that truly stunned the world. (Including 1980's "Miracle On Ice," which I think you'll agree did wonders for the sport of ice hockey in the USA.)
When I edited Triathlete magazine, I remember hearing an argument by one athlete's agent that the Olympics were a joke, and he ran through all the arguments one can easily find to denigrate that obviously "worldly" event. Now triathlon is in the Olympics, and in a short time, billions of people around the world will be introduced to a sport they've never heard of. I can't but think that the exposure will help the sport of triathlon in some fashion.
I for one will never play inline hockey in the Olympics. One, because I might be 65 before the sport makes it to those hallowed games. Two, because I stink. However, those facts in no way make me less inclined to want to see our great sport in the Olympics. No, I want to see some teenagers and young 20-somethings battle it out for Olympic gold in the sport I love. With no pro league to strive for, why not the Olympic dream?
I'll do everything in my power to make that happen, and I hope I live to see the day.
(Oh, and from one Team FB alumnus to another, keep your head up... as you know, despite checking being prohibited in inline hockey, the hits keep on coming :)
Inline Hockey Central
08-28-2000, 12:27 PM
Something that I have always considered are the kids. Even tho we talk governing bodies and professional athletes, let's remember some of the stats and where sports are heading in our present day. As an organizer of a houseleague and rep league, I find that sports in general have gone overboard. My honours undergraduate degree in recreation has illustrated a need for a dramatic change in how ADULTS perceive sports. The majority of kids who play organized sports quit by the time they are 13 or 14. Those that do pursue sports have even smaller chances of playing professional sports. They must achieve athletic levels beyond what we normal everyday citizens can fathom. After highschool, they have college or university. If they can make it, they must be drafted etc. At each level, the amount of people/kids who make it is greatly diminished. Kudos to those kids that do make it.
On the flip side, let's focus on those kids who don't make it BIG. Let's focus on those kids who want to quit by the time they are 13 and 14. these are the kids that need our leadership and guidance to use sports as it should be used ... stress-relief, social skills and to assist in the development of decent human beings. I think that the blame should be on the adults who get involved in political games. If we want to change future political situations, teach the children how to make those changes. Teach them effective tools to making a difference. Our children are only capable of things that they learn from previous generations. Teach them wisely. There will always be political and governing bodies in our sports programs. Let's try to put less blame on them and make ourselves responsible. Each and everyone of us is responsible for our actions. If we, as adults take responsibility for our kids, the role of these governing bodies could be reduced. Hell, maybe, we wouldn't need them for insurance. they could begin to develop and foster young chi,ldren programs. Maybe they could develop skills programs for all ages, genders and abilities. Through my rose-coloured glasses, I would like to see all children playing for fun, to learn new skills and to develop their social graces. The only way I know for this to happen is for me and other "mature" adults to teach these skills. What can we expect from our kids if they are seeing parents screaming at refs and coaches. What can we expect from parents' who try to re-live their childhood through their children. Grow up and be the adults. Let your kids be kids. If we start with ourselves, maybe, just maybe the larger organizations will begin to change????
who knows? I know that it is a radical concept (teaching our children), but some of our greatest leaders were/are radical in their thoughts and ideas ....
08-28-2000, 02:27 PM
My point was not that any one group take the reins for the entire sport...however I do like the new NARCh Sanction program that was initiated this year.
For once an organization may be strong enough..to provide some needed competition..which should benefit the consumer..so many rinks go along with USAH because they have a mix of ice and roller at their facilities..or because its just been the the way of business over the years..it will be interesting to see if they, USAH, comes back with any type of investment back program...
In the end..there should be various groups that all have a hand in how the sport is run..well if its going to benefit the player..I just hope that the current status quo by some organizations change and they are made to realize they should be working to appease us and not vice versa. In no way am I for one group having control over the entire sport of inline/roller hockey..in that case it'd be not much different than what we experienced over the past couple of years...
08-29-2000, 01:02 AM
I don't know... your ideas seem far too reasonable and mature to work. LOL. Great post.
Inline Hockey Central
08-29-2000, 01:04 AM
Without naming "names," what are some of the problems you've had to deal with as a league owner in the past three years? Perhaps throwing them out there for discussion will help us to find solutions.
Inline Hockey Central
08-30-2000, 08:23 AM
Your post concerned two points - The Olympics & Unification (of controlling bodies). On the Olympic question, I agree with your sentiment but Richard's logic. While the Olympics have not yet inspired me to buy a javelin or a vaulting pole, I realize that there are many around the world who are inspired to try Olympic sports simply because they are Olympic.
As to governing bodies and unification - I am with you. I believe the Inline market will take care of the sport's problems over a relatively short time. The Market, and in this case I mean the idea market as well as the $$$ market, is messy, exasperating, fun, invigorating but too unstructured for some (most?). I think consolidation and power concentration of governing bodies is not going to be real productive at this point.
When Richard stated in his response to Cali: "It appears that the powers that be in this sport STILL battle each other for slices of the same small pie, rather than working together to help GROW the sport. Sadly, I don't see many of these groups willing to compromise in the smallest measure to help inline hockey grow. Instead, they badmouth each other, either on or off the record, each holding on to the little piece of the action they control."
He was so right.
I did it myself in this string. I started off with what I thought was a reasonable, but opposing response to Jim's opinion's. Then after the NARCh biased post from Zuphockey I began defending my position by criticizing NARCh, even though I respect and admire them for being the best tournament organizer around, bar none.
What I should have done, what we all should be doing, is proposing new idea's to improve and grow the sport. Richard commented "on the same small pie" and if we keep bickering it won't get any bigger. If we work together it will grow so that no one has to go hungry.
What if the major governing bodies across the continent got together and formed a governing council?
The council could then divide the pie up in such a manner, that each governing body supports growth in the sport in the area's where they have demonstrated expertise and success in the past. Work with their strengths, not their weaknesses.
USAHIL, USARS, WHA CHI, etc. could get out of the business of running numerous, meaningless, national championship tournament series. I'm sure these are an unnecessary drain on resources of both time and money that could be better invested in grassroots programs, to promote growth at the club level.
Instead, they could throw their support behind NARCh in a single, multi-tiered tournament series for the whole continent.
NARCh would benefit by a huge increase in the number of available teams and competitive levels. They could go to a multi-tiered qualifying system with championships from houseleague to platinum. In turn there would have to be some form of support for the organizations that have developed the players from the grass roots level. All teams participating in NARCh from Junior down would have to be a member in good standing of one of the councils governing bodies, including any residency requirements they might have. This would keep some self serving individuals from cannibalizing legitimate club systems to put together their perception of a dream team for NARCh. As well it would encourage more of the elite players to participate and contribute to the major governing bodies at the club level.
As a result, I can visualize a dramatic increase in development programs within each body. The teams participating in NARCh would no longer just be representing themselves, but also their host governing body.
There would have to be some flexibility in regard to free agency. The level of expenditure to participate in NARCh would preclude 100% attendance from every team. However it could be limited to a couple of players per team and again, they would have to be members of the teams governing body in good standing. USAHIL free agents playing for USAHIL or affiliated teams etc.
I know it would be difficult and issues like revenue sharing would be highly contentious, but imagine the possibilities. All of the players on the continent encouraged to contribute to and participate in the programs of a few strong organizations. Augmented by a Continental Championship tournament series that really means something.
To me, that?s a goal worth working for.
08-31-2000, 04:47 PM
that was said so right
09-01-2000, 01:37 PM
sounds like a plan!!!!!!!!!
Since Narch knows this sport and is succesful, I suggest that Narch is at the top of the Pyramid.
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