View Full Version : CRHL staff on a power trip
04-15-2003, 02:27 PM
This weekend during the semi-final of the Division 1 College Championships the CRHL staff decided to bring down the sport of roller hockey rather than build it up. If you weren't at the tournament then you may not have heard what happened. Rochester Institute of Technology was set to play against University of Florida in the semi-finals. About two minutes into the game the CRHL Officials disrupted the game and told a Florida player that he coudn't play the rest of the game because his jersey did not match the other player's exactly. They were extremely similar with VERY little difference. The RIT players said they didn't care if he was allowed to play because the difference was miniscule. The refs thought it was alright, but the CRHL persisted that he not be able to play for some reason. Every measure was taken to get the game flowing with all players (borrowing a whole other teams set of jerseys), but the CRHL staff made up some other rule why this was not allowed. Finally a player from Florida sacrificed his jersey so this other player would be allowed to play. The Player tried to check-in as the new number, but the score keeper didn't know what was going on so he went and played. THe refs during the game said that a jersey change would be alright as long as they weren't switching jerseys during the game. Florida ended up beating RIT in a well played game by both sides 4-2 and that is when CRHL decided to screw over the Florida team again. They were trying to disqualify them and let RIT play in the finals, finally a decision was made that the player that switched jerseys and the captain were not allowed to play in the finals. Their reasoning for the captain being suspended was because they say the team leader knowingly let an illegal player play. I don't know how they justify this when the player was a LEGAL player and played the previous 4 or 5 games they had earlier. These prior games nothing was said about the jersey. Florida played CAL Poly Pomona in the finals and lost 4-2. Congratulations to Cal Poly Pomona for their national championship, they earned it. It's dissappointing that the CRHL ruined what would have been a good, TRUE national championship game. There must be some alterior motive behind their actions otherwise they are not trying to promote the sport. Isn't it funny how this was only brought up in a game versus a team from the ECRHA from the tournament directors from the ECRHA. Way to go Rebecca and Huck. Learn how to run a tournament for the teams and not for yourself.
04-15-2003, 02:59 PM
Well, I was at the tourney, and I was kinda bouncing back and forth between the two Final Four games, so I missed at least some of the jersey switching stuff. Here is what I *do* know...
1. Players are required to have matching jerseys, no exceptions. A couple Lindenwood players were not allowed to play the night before in their game against Towson because of this. And this is not a new rule. In 2001 I bent over backwards running around ordering and screening two sets of jerseys for players we wanted to bring to nationals (we had jerseys that were patterened off the old Dallas Stars jerseys, they changed uniforms, it was a pain to find the old ones) that hadn't really played on our A team all year. So this isn't a new issue.
2. Teams aren't allowed to wear another school's jerseys - that's how the head referee explained it to me. I don't have a CRHL rule book in front of me, but I doubt they made up a rule to "screw over" Florida.
3. I don't know about what kind of discussions went on on the floor about this. But I do know that players need to wear the jersey that they are rostered as wearing, and it's supposed to be the same number throughout the tourney. (I think this rule came about after a game at the 2000 NCT when MSU changed around our numbers/jerseys to confuse PSU.) My understanding of the situation was that no one from the CRHL knew that a couple Florida guys switched jerseys to get the guy that was originally inelible back on the floor.
Now, granted that perhaps I don't know ALL the details, there are a few things I'm quite sure of.
1. Playing with a jersey that doesn't match is not allowed. It is unfortunate, for sure, that this wasn't noticed and didn't become an issue until the Final Four. But a rule is a rule (IMHO), and Lindenwood suffered a similar issue in the Elite Eight. A precedent was set. If the Florida player was allowed to play, then Lindenwood would have had more cause to bitch and moan.
2. The CRHL was not out to screw over anyone, their regional affiliations are simply not an issue. To accuse Huck and Rebecca of running the tournament for themselves is simply not understanding the situation. Huck, in particular, was so busy running the tournament that I know he didn't even get to watch much of it. I doubt he was involved in many secret, closed-door meetings as people plotted to screw over Florida and help an ECRHA team win the title. That's sarcasm, for any who missed it...
I'm sure some will assume that I'm just defending CRHL because I work with the league and have been involved with it so long. But that's not the case... I can speak for all CRHL staff, that they are doing this because they love college roller hockey. I can't think of any other reason these people would invest so much time and effort, especially when gratitude is often in short supply.
Michigan State University
04-15-2003, 03:04 PM
Wow. I wasn't there, hadn't heard the whole story, but that's pretty amazing. I wouldn't run off and claim that there were alterior motives right away though. My original thought was that the CRHL makes it very clear that the uniform rule should be followed long before the tournament. And I think they want that rule for a good reason. But, the league made the mistake of letting that go on for 5 games before they did anything about it. That's really a shame and doesn't make any sense whatsoever. By the time the finals roll around, all of the players should have been playing. Suspending somebody for that is just a total joke and cannot be defended in my mind. I realize where the league is going with this rule, but we're not on TV yet. We're not even close. Referees at NCT don't even all go by the same rules, figuring that out is a TON more important than being picky about a jersey, especially when you don't change it until the final four. I would love to hear an administrator defend that decision here.
04-15-2003, 03:07 PM
The jersey issue (as in, all guys have to have matching jerseys) was covered in the captains' meeting on Wednesday night. I agree that the most unfortunate part of all this is that it wasn't caught on Thursday, so Florida could have had some cheap-o jerseys printed up quickly so the whole team could play and match.
Michigan State University
04-15-2003, 03:10 PM
I understand what you're saying Mackert, but isn't there a point where the fair thing should be done. I mean my impression of NCT play is close to ice hockey hitting, no penalties, and different interpretations of the same rules on the court. Yet a team is punished because a player has a slightly mismatched jersey?? That's just ruining the spirit of the rules and of the tournament itself. IMO, it's just plain ridiculous to let some of the things go that happen on and off the court at NCT or any other CRHL event and then suspend two players for a jersey.
04-15-2003, 03:20 PM
Here are some reasons why I think CRHL's decisions were necessary, regardless of wether I agree with the rule (i'm the first to admit it was a pain in the butt getting matching jerseys for some of my moron players, but i did it).
Not letting the kid who's jersey didn't match play:
They took a hard stand on Lindenwood, and once that precedent is set, it would have looked very bad, and possibly much worse had CRHL let the U Florida player play.
Not letting U Florida wear Binghamton's jerseys:
As I read the rulebook, 406-2-a says that a player must wear the same number for the duration of the event unless the jersey is basically bled on, or torn to shreds.
If the entire team changed jerseys, this would be fine within the rulebook, except for 406-2-a. Many of the players would have to swtich jersey numbers (unless the numbers of Binghamton's jerseys exactly matched U Florida's).
The ruling is unfortunate, as it probably hurt U Florida in the championship game. However, the ruling is comepletly justified.
As for it not being mentioned until the 6th game of the weekend... did you ever slash a kid behind the play and no one noticed? If you did it every game for 5 games and got away with it, then got caught in the 6th game, would you really have any justification to complain?
Again, its unfortunate, but its the rules...
04-15-2003, 03:23 PM
This could certainly be looked at as a "spirit of the rules" kinda thing. But at the same time, the rule is there and needs to be enforced. There is a lot less gray area in whether or not jerseys match that what constitutes too much physical play.
As far as suspending two players, my understanding of the situation while at the event was that Florida essentially snuck the ineligible guy onto the floor, since he was one of their best players. If that's the case, they certainly weren't playing in the "spirit of the rules" either... Perhaps I'm not clear on what really happened, that was just the way it was explained to me. But if that is what happened, punishing the coach (and failing that, a captain, since Florida didn't have a coach) might not be that extreme of a measure.
A lot of the details and decisions related to this were in a closed door meeting (that included the Florida captain, I know), so I might not know everything that there is to know. Just throwing out thoughts. :)
Michigan State University
04-15-2003, 03:26 PM
Alright, sorry it was wrong to accuse anyone of secret plots. That is going overboard, but speculation always comes up when everyone agreed (the RIT players and the officials) that the jersey was not significant and a couple members of the CRHL staff decide to ruin the game. I don't see how CRHL can stand by their claim to progress the sport when something like this happened. Hopefully it will be discussed so it can be corrected for next years NCT. THE main question is WHY did the CRHL care so much if no one else did including the people actually playing the game?
04-15-2003, 03:31 PM
I can only guess here... But I believe it was just that a rule is a rule, and it needs to be enforced. If CRHL starts selectively ignoring rules (just because it happens in a Final Four game, for instance), that just opens up a whole new can of worms. Then can Lindenwood complain that the rule WAS enforced against them in the Elite Eight? I would imagine so.
I think it's a testament to the kind of players we have in the CRHL that the RIT guys were fine with this - in terms of letting the Florida guy play, even if technically he shouldn't have been able to. CRHL players, by and large, are the most agreeable group of roller hockey players I have the fortune of being around. But just because both teams agree on something like that doesn't really mean it's legal. The CRHL just needed to enforce its rules, I think. *shrug*
Michigan State University
04-15-2003, 03:36 PM
Listen, this is obviously a person by person opinion, I've tried to say that I think it could be "justified" by the rules and really still no be "justifiable." You used the word necessary though. I don't think I could ever agree with that. You have a good point about sitting the kid out that made the jersey switch, but the captain?? He was just doing everything he could to help his team win, and it's not fair to punish a team because they don't have a coach. In the future, this will be a rule that has to be enforced, but I'm of the opinion that the league is not at a place where this rule should be enforced to the degree it was. I wasn't there, I don't know how bad the jersey was, but from all accounts, it doesn't sound that bad. It's a different case if the jerseys are very different, easy to notice, and look terrible, but just from hearing people talk, this didn't seem serious enough. I could be wrong though, I wasn't there.
04-15-2003, 03:57 PM
I think there is also something to be said by those teams who are NOT playing in the game. If I were on Lindenwood's team, and CRHL let U Fla slide, when Lindenwood lost 2 players, I would be enraged! We have rules to keep the playing field level, and ensure that no each team is given an equal opportunity.
Also, RIT isn't exactly an objective opinion, they had more issues with pants than probably any other DI team in ECRHA.
Oh and who was the team with the translucent orange helmets? That looked awesome with their uniforms!
04-15-2003, 04:09 PM
The captains are held in high regard in CRHL. It is their responsibility to disseminate information to the players on their team. At the captain's meeting, this was clearly discussed, and any questions were put to rest. One team had jerseys that were a very close match, but ordered new ones to conform to the uniform rule. The captain was told the player could not play, now, unless the captain simply could not distinguish between the 2 players on his team, it is his responsibility to ensure the player did not continue to play. Since he made the choice to let the player play, after being directed by CRHL Staff not to, the kid is subject to disciplinary actions.
While the team captain let things happen in the interest of his team, what he did was a violation of a direct CRHL decision. Once CRHL passed judgment on the situation, and he overrode it, he cheated on his team's behalf. Yes, he cheated, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but the kid cheated, and he, and his team were punished.
If RIT pushed it, they would have had a bid to the National Championship Game, and the whole U Fla team would have been suspended. In my mind they should have, seeing as U Fla didn't accept their awards or shake hands at the end of the game. If RIT went, at least someone would have gone home with their hardware.
04-15-2003, 04:14 PM
You may need to re-read the rule book again. All rule 406-2-a says is that if a jersey is deemed unwearable, the captian must inform the officials of the jersey change. No wear in that rule does it say anything about blood or injury.
I think the main thing here is being consistent when you enforce rules. If you are going to enforce one, then enforce them all. I can count 6 players in the program who wore #0 as a jersey #, and according to the rules, jerseys may only use the #'s 1-99. And this is something that should not be caught at the NCT itself, as rosters are sent to CRHL weeks before.
04-15-2003, 04:20 PM
Once again, please get your facts straight. UF showed the upmost repsect for the Pomona kids. The shook the hands after the game, and stayed out on the rink to clap for them as they received their awards.
My question is, this is the D1 championship game, held in a region where 17 teams competed from. How come the stands were only filled with players from UCF, USF, UM and Pomona fans?? Please state facts that you can back up instead of making assumptions.
04-15-2003, 04:27 PM
You are mistaken. The Florida team shook hands with Pomona. They also told Pomona that their not accepting the awards was nothing against them, but a stand against the CRHL. If you really think that RIT should have played in the finals then you might want to talk to RIT about that. A couple players said they wouldn't even play in the finals if UF was disqualified. The Lindenwood case was different in that i think their players jerseys looked nothing alike because their regular one's were stolen. I may be wrong, didn't get the whole story. The UF player's jersey was VERY similar. Nothing was said all year or during the NCT tournament until the semi-final. As a friend of the Florida organization they have said that RIT and Pomona were great sports and classy teams and that they only have problems with the CRHL. Also JMU, since you don't really know what went on, THE referee of the game said it was alright for the players to switch jerseys. It all comes down to the fact that a jersey or number doesn't make a player. You are calling the player that switched the jersey an iliegal player, but he was legal. Played all year long and was eligeble to play. You can't make it out like Florida snuck in a ringer because you are giving false facts to outsiders.
04-15-2003, 04:34 PM
406-4 says a player must stay in uniform for the entire game. The kid that took off his jersey violated the rule when he took his jersey off.
As for the 0 and 00s, I agree, this is something that should have been enforced. The uniform rule was only enforced for the tournament after a team contested a player's uniform based on his pants not matching the rest of the team. I would guess that CRHL would have taken the same stand on teams with 0's and 00's had someone mentioned it.
Did you ever mention to anyone from CRHL that players were not allowed to wear 0 or 00?
You're right, the rule should have been more tightly regulated, and it was a blunder that was made because many people overlook the rule. There was no reason to overlook the Matching Jersey/Predominant color pants rule, as it was posted on CRHL.net AND a topic of conversation at the captain's meeting.
When this rule came to my attention, I posted a message to all the ECRHA teams to make sure they had no player who wore 0 or 00 on their rosters for next season. That was today, so forgive me, as I know some ECRHA teams had 0s on their teams.
04-15-2003, 04:36 PM
I was told the Florida player did not shake hands at the end of the game, I apologize to the Florida players, and their friends for this factual error.
04-15-2003, 04:39 PM
04-15-2003, 04:44 PM
I know FOR A FACT that some teams in the region went home after they lost their games. we're talking about a big region, where to play a game in Feasterville meant a drive over 10 hours for one of the teams in the regions. Some schools flew, just as I did at winternationals, after some schools are done playing they have a flight to wait for, why not watch some hockey?
04-15-2003, 05:07 PM
I think what RIT did was a true show of class. They knew a rule was broken, but they were beat in a fair game. But RIT doesn't make the rules, nor do they enforce them. The referee made a judgment call that was not his to make. The decision on uniforms is to be made by CRHL Staff, not the ref. Referees make mistakes, most refs haven't memorized the CRHL rulebook, and some of the rules are usually never tested, so expecting a ref to know a player must stay in uniform for the duration of the game (and thus, not switch jerseys) is a bit unreasonable.
We all know the rule book needs revision, but if its revised is anyone going to pay attention to it? Why don't we just throw it away and play street hockey? In my mind, if you have a problem with a rule, it needs to be called to the attention of CRHL so it can be resolved, but ignorance is no excuse.
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