Why is growth so important?
If you guys all think about why all the sudden these topics became so important you are probably wanting more for the sport you love to play. We all go to tournaments wanting more. We all register with USA Inline, or USA RS, AAU, or whoever thinking we get secondary insurance when we should be getting so much more. We play in all these tournaments and just run through as many games as possibleand every tournament seems to become the same. How much does TORHS, ECHO, TOPCAT, AIRHS, or any tournament series really give back to the sport? Believe me when I tell you I am all for people making big profit, this is America and capitolism rules. I just want the most for my hockey playing dollar. AS players, coaches, fans, we are customers and nothing more. Remember most of us pay to play hockey. I want the powers that be to become rich, but I also want them accountable for helping the sport grow. We need to demand more. We also need to demand more from ourselves. I'v read every post on this new topic and I must say I'm impressed. The bottomline for most is you want the most for our sport. By admitting this we must realize the focus for some of our goals such as seeing NARCH or Worlds on TV. It is for exposure for all not just for the converted. We want to see roller hockey because we play and we would watch because we play. Why Pro Beach failed? We the players didn't watch because for better or worse it wasn't our sport. In some ways it embarressed us because the form of hockey we play is the same one our Ice friends play. Sure we don't have offsides and only skate 4 on a side and we think our game is wide open but for the most part its hockey pure and fun, just hockey. Pro beach wasn't hockey it was a sellout gimmick that had some good players take the time to play for a SoCal vacation. We need to see our stars playing legitimate hockey showing both heart and skill in front of anyone who will watch.
Our sport needs this exposure not for us to benifit now but for roller hockey to benifit in the long run. TV will really only bring growth at the grass roots level. Exposure will make more young athletes want to try hockey on inline skates. More skaters in the pool of talent and larger numbers are how we grow. Would we all watch NARCH on TV? Probably if its done right. But that is not the point. WOuld somebody watch? You bet if there are 100,000 players that play roller Hockey a large nportion will tune in. As far as we cant watch we will all be there argument, This is totally bogus.NARCH is for the elite. Elite players represent less than 5% of all the roller hockey players.I know for myself. I have coached at and played at a National Championship every year for the past 5 years and probably never be good enough to play on a NARCH team. Its a fine line between playing at USA Inline and Playing at NARCH but its a hard line to cross. So some us will never be Elite players SO WHAT. We still are the ones playing at regional and other national events. We all get the chance for a shot at glory by still working and playing a kids game. A great and glorius kids game.
WE need growth for all the players who aren't the elite. We are the 95% who pay the bills for this game to continue on. We are the one's who don't take from the sport but the ones sacrificing to play, coach, and volunteer. Anything we do can only help. Letters and signatures may or may not make a difference, How do we know? Without trying. Voicing your opinion loud and long so that the powers that be eventually listen is a place to start. I like most of you don't get payed to play in fact my love for the game is so strong that I pay to PLAY. Just like most of you. Stay positive and keep preaching to anyone that will listen, Check out Inline Hockey. The next 5 years can be great. But if we all become complacent it can also flame out. Keep with IHC and talk to anyone who will listen, voice your Ideas here and help us GROW AS A SPORT.
Coach and player
Re: Why is growth so important?
Want to defend myself quickly. I never said that people wouldn't watch because they were @ the NARCH finals. I said people signing a petition @ the NARCH finals wouldn't watch because they were there. Don't pass the petition around at the finals, pass it around at every rec game, at every rink in the country. Put the petition at every snack bar at every rink. Put it in all the pro shops and hockey stores. Put electronic versions on online hockey shops and club websites.
Here's an idea I have for growing the sport. Forgive me if I'm mistaken but I'm speaking from my own experience, and this may not be true throughout the country. I feel that a lot of improvement needs to made in the level of coaching available at the recereational level. Here's my experience. My son just turned 9 and has been playing for about 3 years. The first two years were strictly rec. We'd find the closest roller rink and sign him up. There would be 4 or 5 teams and they would almost always coached by the dad with the most free time. While I appreciated the time put in and the effort (I did it myself for a season), these people weren't always the most qualified for the job. I know I wasn't, I've never played a day of hockey in my life. Most of these teams had one or two kids who were head and shoulders above the rest, and the other kids would just stand around and watch them take over. I watched a rec. game this weekend where one team had three phenominal players and lost the game because none of them know how to play together. Anyway, after three years, my son joined a travel/tournament team. Needless to say, he was quite a bit behind the other kids. Over the past year, for the most part, he has caught up, skillwise, with most of his teamates. He has also passed most of the players who he played rec with just a year ago. I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging, actually it's the opposite. I know there are tons of other kids out there could easily have done what he did, if they were lucky enough to play for a skilled coach.
What I'd like to see is some of these skilled parents, adult players, college players, etc... get involved with the young kids just starting out. The travel kids have the best coaches around while the new kids, who could really use it, get guys like me. Do these kids have to be turned into NARCH Platinum quality players? Absolutely not. But let's teach them the game and the skills they need to have fun, be competitive and work as a team. I know that I am doing all that I can to learn this game so I can help my oldest son at home, and possibly coach my 4 year old's team if he wants to play in the next year or so.
Like I said, this has just been my experience in my area and it may not be true elsewhere.
Re: Why is growth so important?
You don't have to defend yourself. Everything you say is true and happens at every rink including the one where I coach and play as well my son plays. This is where I feel we drop the the ball the most. If we don't develop all of our players at the younger ages how will we sustain improved growth over time? Most players are introduced to our sport at the Rec level and then are exposed to the worst coaching for development. Kids that have potential are intimidated to play travel feeling inferior in skill. For all the parents,dads especially, that coach no offense its not your fault either. Some of these volunteer dads could become great coaches if they were taught. This is the grass roots delima. Not just teach our beginner players but teach all new people being exposed to roller hockey for the first time. Your comments are dead on. Petitions can't come from elite players for NARCH to get on TV it has to come from every REC player, parent, coach, fan at every rink across the country to work. Again we are the masses. Most who play rollerhockey only play REC.Do they love the game less? NO way they just haven't had enough exposure, training, coaching, to move on to the next level. Yes its true they may not have th eskill as well but thats not to say they couldn't move to the next level in other capacities like coaching, officiating, score keeping, volunteering. Thanks for your words they couldn't be more accurate.
Re: Why is growth so important?
What you said can't be more right. I totally agree.
I want to promote the sport for a couple of reasons. One, this is a great sport, and I would like to see more and more people get involved. Two, I would love to see it in the Olympics, and with more promotion someday it will. Three, for every kid who grows up playing roller hockey, and wants to keep advancing, right now the farthest they can go in just NARCH, I would like to see a professional league again. To keep every kids dream alive.
With #3, I started when I was 11, and RHI was in its first year, as I got older and continued to play 30-40 hours a week, I made that a goal. The closest I got was trying out for the Washington Power in 1999, then two weeks after, the league folded. To this day I still don't know if I would have made the team.
So I guess there are some deep personal reasons why I would like to see the sport grow. I have given a lot to this sport, and I hope it can give back to others.