How u think I felt last season, even my home games were 6 hours away.. travel was crazy for me.
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>
As I said in my original reply to your post, you are entitled to your opinion, but as President of the ECRHA, I think people expect more from you than generalizations and assumptions about people's intentions.
<font color=blue>Guess I am not entitled to my opinion then since you just had to bring ECRHA into to it assuming that EVERYONE in the sun knows what league I am affiliated with. I didn't post on behalf of ECRHA, I posted on behalf of myself. I am entitled to have a life and opinion outside of ECRHA that is not reflective of or reflected on ECRHA. We are not one in the same. ECRHA is run by a very capable Board.
I assume that many are intelligent enough to know when I am posting as a person, as opposed to when I represent the league (because I usually say so when I am delivering info for the league and my posts are totally different). Perhaps you don't know the difference and it bothers you? Or perhaps I just bother you? Which is it?
Gees, do I live under a microscope?
and as far as the "blah blah blah", that is what we are beginning to sound like, so this is it for me.
Serves me right eh?
I know the feeling its 7 hours for me too... Just to home games
<i>Disclaimer:</i> This post is not intended to single out, generalize, offend, insult, belittle, patronize or put down anyone on the board or any of the previous posts - what follows are my opinions, nothing more, nothing less.
It is VERY easy to talk about national unity, starting up new leagues, and the great future this game has. Unfortunately, as those of us who have been on the IHC boards for a long time know well, most of what we read on here turns out to be little more than propoganda. Many of the purported "pro" leagues that are supposed to surface, thrive, and change the face of the sport have not lived up to expectations.
Speaking as a person who has been involved in the sport for over ten years in just about every facet of the game, including league management, officiating, and playing, I find it difficult to take anything other than a pessimistic view of many of the new leagues cropping up. After being let down so many times, can you blame me? Most of the friends I have in the inline hockey community (mainly college players at this point) seem to agree.
There's a pervasive feeling that new leagues that crop up each want to find a way to "build a better mouse trap". As such, with fairly major differences in game play, rules, facilities and season structure, is it hard to blame anyone on this board from being skeptical about the likelihood of all the major pro and semi-pro factions coming together for one uniform set of rules and regulations?
Pro Beach and Speed Hockey are beneficial in a sense, but I feel that their widespread marketing and appeal will ultimately detract from the progress that "pure" roller hockey will make with the public. As many have pointed out, I, too, have spent countless hours explaining that my version of roller hockey doesn't have ramps and isn't played with a ball.
I guess the real proof won't come for some time. I'd love to see MLRH, PIHA, IHA, WRH, etc. (sorry if I'm leaving out anyone that I can't think of at the moment) succeed in the long run, but the real key is that, although there may be room for all of these different entities to coexist, a summit to unify the rules of this sport MUST come soon.
Prove that the effort and capability to create such a system is out there, and you'll make believers out of all of us and have a great chance of succeeding. None of us WANT these things to fail, we've just seen too many halfhearted/disorganized attempts made to believe every new incarnation that comes along.
That said, I don't think Rebecca's posts are a personal attack or a false generalization of every pro league out there. She (and many others here, I might add, self included) simply knows how hard it is to keep a league afloat, much less one that pays the bills and compensates its employees properly for their efforts. It would be absolutely ludicrous to think that anyone doesn't want to see professional roller hockey succeed. You can call being skeptical of each shiny new organization an attack, short-sighted, whatever you'd like; I consider it to be a prudent, realistic approach for the time being.
Eastern Collegiate Roller Hockey Association
It's this aforementioned scepticism and disapointment that also hinders the unification of the sport. It is understandable after so many false starts, that one or several individuals want to try to make their personal vision(s) of the sport succeed - to grab the bull by the horns and show the world how it should be done right, and in addition fill a local need for adult elite inline hockey.
What is most encouraging is that this is happening simultaneously on several fronts. This serendipitous circumstance should be seized upon immediately in an attempt to crystalize these efforts into a true National League, with realistic discussions about commonality of rules, geographic territories, commonality of facilities needed, maybe a contributory money pool to help pay for cross country "interleague" or hopefully "interdivisional" play.
A clear identity of the sport must be established for it to be marketed. When you think of the other major sports, there is one version of the game that comes to mind. That there are spin offs of these games which can feed off the hunger of an estabished fan base is only a reflection of how well established the primary sport has become.
Roller/Inline hockey still needs that "primary" establishment before multiple variations can be palatable to a fan base, but more importantly - even before a fan base can be created. The sport is fast approaching a second wind - interestingly more on the adult and mature adolescent levels than at the primary youth levels. The time is now to put aside the scepticism and disapointment and genuinely try to find common ground to take advantage of this momentum.
Looking at our collection of posts on the subject at hand -it becomes obvious how sensitive we all are to our vision of the sport, and the direction it is going or should go. What IS common to all who have posted - is the desire to see the sport anchored and established. As I mentioned in an earlier post - inline hockey has at it's core a sense of the maverick and as such draws individuals who are to some degree in love with their own independant thinking (and at some point playing I would wager). The time is come in this sport for the "players" to mature - as they do when they move up into the ranks of the elite in the game itself - and coalesce into a team.
I agree, and that is a very valid point about interleague play. Cross country games will generate more hype.
Ben, that's probably the best description of rapid expansion I've ever heard!!! LOL!!!
May I ask where this "hype" should be generated? In what media? Among ourselves? Who talks about MLRH or PIHA or IHA, or WHRL yet outside the "community"? How may people even know it exists or what it is?
Not intended to belittle the concept of raising the awareness level, but there is so much more groundwork to do to "generate hype" at a national level - much of which takes money, that spending sums to have intecontinental games seems to me like an imprudent expenditure.
Could that same money not be used to take out ads in major newspapers and really generate some direct hype? Have some articles written for major sport magazines expounding the resurgence of inline hockey "breaking through" to the Pro levels. Articles written about the sudden "explosion" of new leagues forming, incorporate part of the arcticle from USA Hockey magazine about "exploding the myths about roller hockey". Get some media coverage for the sport in a major venue if we want to generate hype. Talk about National Playoffs with the best Teams from the Western Division playing the best teams from the Eastern Division to give the sense of a true continental League.
If the WRHL league and IHA could be incorporated into the picture, then you can hype international play and growth as well - creating similar credibility - without having to spend nearly as much. There's a variety of ways to generate more hype for the money IMHO.
The industry as a whole needs to be made aware that the sport even exists at these elite levels - look at the reaction in here from people when Richard changed the post heading to "Professional Roller Hockey" - "what - there is pro roller hockey?"
Because so many of us are deeply involved with this sport and often through this board, we tend to see the sport through much different eyes than the average player or fan. We assume a level of awareness that is not out there because we talk daily about these issues in a very small community.
Obviously I am not opposed to creating hype, and generating credibility for the sport - that is a mandatory fuction of development. However it is equally important that all concerned fully grasp how limited the budgets are at this point and how important it is to spend these limited promotional funds effectively. For this sport to draw support, sponsors and investors, the most important issues will be "a love of the game, a belief in it's growth potential, and a vision of it's financial viability" - not necessarily in that order. Promotions which address these issues will be the most effective in securing investors with the real capability of generating major support. If under close scrutiny a potential investor looks at money spent unwisely - he will immediately begin to lose confidence in the management leading the venture. A love of the game is not enough to draw the support that is needed, nor is creating a belief in it's growth potential. A cohesive, well managed business plan developed out of these first two factors, promoting an easy to grasp, well defined product will go much further than casting money upon the waters in hopes of creating an illusion of prosperity and drawing in a few fish.
By having a growth plan that leaves local leagues the autonomy to earn money from their "sector" but still be part of a "National League" through some fair level of contibution, a much more appealing picture can be portrayed to potential investors on multilple levels.
The concept that one is getting in on the ground floor of a major development in a sport which has the vision to be both National and local, which allows players to play the same game and fans to expect the same thing wherever they view it, will be much more attractive than knowing one version of elite inline hockey has a couple of intercontinental games.
Also with a game plan like this - the elite levels of the sport can continue to draw new developers like Mr. Lefebvre, and Mr. Gulikaw expanding the sport in a controlled fashion, but allowing them to still focus on the local scene, not be saddled with major financial obligations (such as intercontinental travel) before they can support it. Their contributions to "the league" could be limited to a mangeable "promotional fee" which in return would give them the stature of belonging to a widely accepted National League - piggy backing on it's national promotional programs.
Sorry about the "Tirade" Mission, but I really want to use every opportunity to push a national Men's Elite/"Pro to be" program which has a viable and consolidated vision.
Our papers will print high school stuff but not non-pro adult events. You can send the score in and they'll list it but that's about all.
If you would like a Washington D.C. team, I would be more than interested in helping out.
I will send you an email
Excellent post. Extremely well argued. Keep up the good work.
Inline Hockey Central
Inline Hockey Central
Hi Rich ........I can almost see Danny from this altitude.