I come from the past. Not your past; an alternative one, where inline hockey is a sport still very much in its infancy,where the biggest college teams in the country still play in gymnasiums, the only people who come to watch are a few girl friends and hangers on, and the idea of athletic scholarships for any sport, let alone hockey are a far off dream.
Right now, you'd be forgiven for thinking - "wow, I didnt know they had skates back in the 20's", and you'd be right, because I play college hockey in the present day. In Europe, the UK to be precise.
I'm an avid reader of the posts on this board, and whilst I realise that people seldom get on the internet to wax lyrical over things they are happy about, I cannot help but be struck by the whiney, unhappy tone that many of the posts here seem to take. In the US, college roller hockey is both administered and played at a level that i doubt is achievable in the UK within the next 10 years (but I'm all for changing that). Although many people in the US have worked hard to bring collegiate hockey to the level it is at today, I'm sure that many of the people who post messages bashing Lindenwood, the CRHL board, or frequently both, have done nothing but turn up and play for their teams, never giving a thought to all the work that has gone into developing the fantastic structure you have in place.
As I see it, the collegiate community has a fantastic opportunity to make roller hockey a respected, entertaining sport on a national level - largely free from the politics that dog the larger organisations in the sport. The situation is the same here too - whilst several organisations bicker over the direction and development as a sport as a whole, college teams play tournaments with little or no outside interference, doing whats right for college players (this year will see our first ever national championships). Obviously, there are continuity problems, with people only being at school for 3-4 years, but we are finding ways to work round that; as you already have.
So next time you think about flaming the Lions for beating another Premier team 10-0, or the CRHL because you aren't happy with the way your league is being administered, spare a thought for your cousins over the pond - you dont realise how lucky you have it.
Why not suggest a way around the "financial assistance" issue? Sure, its difficult for a team who gets $600 from their college to compete with one that is supported in the way that Lindenwood is, but instead of just getting pissed at them for building a program rightly the envy of the nation, think of a way to level the playing field, and post it.
College = Degree = Education = The lump of meat between you shoulders does more than nicely fill up a hockey helmet.