Wow, here I am with the daunting task of creating an article that will grace the pages of IHC. Northern Exposure is what Rich wants me to write about. Well, I guess this should be about inline in Canada, and how it has grown, the people involved, the teams, the coaches, all of this wonderful stuff! So I'll give it my best shot!
I'm going to have to start off at the grass roots levels. In the past 6 years I have been heavilu involved with the inline hockey leagues in and around my area. I have seen them grow, flurish, then fail. I ask myself why? These leagues get started off with someone who has a passion for the game, who wants the kids to be able to enjoy the game as much as that person does, and this is where the growing and flurishing comes from. A person of this nature is not in it for the money, rather the love of the game. Someone who does this will promote the game and make it enjoyable for youngsters to play. Then the league will reach success. This is about the time that the cities turn the tables and start running the show. Thinking about only one thing...MONEY! What happens now? We already have the player base, the programs, the rep teams. All of this goes to waist. Instead of helping the kids get better, and the game grow, they take the money and put it into their own greedy pockets. Not caring if the kids have a league to play in next year, they are happy with the money that have got from it. Granted they will keep the league alive to gain more money, but as has happened in my local league, all the good players have left. There is no competative rep team to go into tournaments. There are no really competative tournaments to go into anyways.
This is our biggest problem in Canada. The municipalities take over the leagues for the money. They don't care how the league runs as long as in the end they have the money!
The next problem in Canada is that we really don't have good competition.
Our Canadian system doesn't allow for us to have the best teams possible. We have our rep teams within our own cities. I mean, if we really want to compete with the big teams we have to start allowing regional teams, or teams such as my own will rebell and say "screw the system, we're doing our own thing". This was our only hope to compete at the NARCh Nationals. We need more flexability, or sooner or later all the teams will be on their own.
I think a system such as the one they have down in Cali. would work great. Have different teams and let the players chose where they would like to tryout. Forcing someone to play somewhere they don't want to will eventually drive them out. If this keeps happening our leagues will deminish and will no longer be.
Now, another huge problem, the people running the show. I don't know how many times I've said it, but I'll say it again sometimes for something to succeed you need to swollow your own personal pride for the sake of the team. The people who are running the CHIA have not figured out what this means yet.
If the people in the CHIA(The governing body for Canadian Inline) can't get this through their heads nothing will ever amount of their league, and I have already started seeing the demise of it. They can't take it when people challenge their ideals. Instead of taking it in and trying to make something better they just hold grudges. If they can't get passed them selves then any effort to help them is just a waist.
Well, now that I have berated the people involved, I think it is time to look at the other side of the coin. Canadian inline is not all bad. We have some of the best players around. Just look at the names, More, Walton, Smith, there are countless others who should also be mentioned. We also have some great coaches, such as Bob Bradely, and Ian Christie( Who happens to be my brother and Coach) and many others as well. We do have the backing for what could be a great national program(Those mentioned are just fron Ontario). I just think that we need the right people running the show to make it all happen, and come together. If that would be I don't think it would be far fetched for the Canadians to keep pace with the Honeybakeds, OC Blades, AMB's and so on.
Its all in our system. For our leagues and inline hockey to get stronger we need to change the systems. If we can do that, who knows what lengths Canadian Inline can reach!
Well, I hope you read all 3 parts to this, any feedback would be appreciated!
Phil Christie, Ontario Hyper Titans #24
<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Titan55 on 08/28/01 09:20 PM.</EM></FONT></P>