When the golden goose gets aggressive

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blindref
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Post by blindref » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:23 am

alcloseshaver wrote:Most likely wouldn't be an option in sections but some schools are looking at letting students in the games for free. I like this trend.

This makes a lot of sense
You figure half of the kids will buy some kind of food at the concession
stand.
If you have 200-300 student fans at your game, you make more than if
there are only 40 kids paying admission.
Much better atmosphere at the rink.

almostashappy
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 pm

Post by almostashappy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:30 am

blindref wrote: This makes a lot of sense
You figure half of the kids will buy some kind of food at the concession
stand. If you have 200-300 student fans at your game, you make more than if there are only 40 kids paying admission.
Much better atmosphere at the rink.
Love the idea, but that logic only works if the high school gets both the ticket revenue and the concession stand profits. That's not the case at my local city-owned ice arena.
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

greybeard58
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Post by greybeard58 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:56 am

I find it ironic that the HS Coaches would blame anyone for this problem when the HS Coaches seem to always take the top 3 Bantams for their JV and in some small associations this drops the entire program 1 level down. Why not let the Bantam age player play in his home association at the highest level possible for the whole team that way more players would be exposed to higher competition?

Mr Pauley complains about USA Hockey since the HS teams do not register with USA Hockey why should they they are concerned with teams that are in their program. Yet when it comes to the Elite League and High Performance programs the coaches are more than willing to collect the stipends then they like USA Hockey.

Sats81
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Re: When the golden goose gets aggressive

Post by Sats81 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:13 am

green4 wrote:
Goalie-Dad wrote:
Froggy Richards wrote:
almostashappy wrote:Ken Pauley's contribution to the latest LPH issue (http://www.letsplayhockey.com/teams/hig ... ockey.html) strays from his standard stay-in-school talking points and adopts a fairly aggressive attitude towards the MSHSL. It can be summed up this way:

1. The Tourney is a the MSHSL's "most valuable financial asset."

2. If the MSHSL fails "to implement the changes needed to support (MN high school) hockey," then more of the state's best players will leave high school early.

3. If more of the state's best players leave early, they won't be playing in The Tourney.

4. If The Tourney doesn't feature the best players, then fans will stop attending.

5. If the fans stop attending The Tourney, then the MSHSL is screwed.


It's a "do this or else" strong-arm attempt.

So is the logic right, or is The Tourney resilient enough to survive 80 kids leaving early each year, rather than 40? And if the logic is sound, are the changes that Pauley proposes (e.g. 20min periods, more games, allowing teams to play out-of-state) sufficient to "save" the golden goose?

I tend to believe that the state tournament is on firm ground. It's far more about the teams and the tradition and the competitive spirit than the individuals playing on those teams.
I would agree. I've never gone to or watched the State Tournament to see any Individual Players. I watch it because of what it is and that isn't going to change.
I have been lucky enough to attend nearly every state tourney over the last 30 years. Over the last 5-10 years the charm of the games has faded because the stars are not there. People want to watch a superstar kid score goals for the underdog team. The last time people really got excited and on the edge of their seats during the game was when Aaron Ness would take off with the puck for Roseau. The loyal fans will always be at the games. But its the superstars that make the tourney exciting to watch and discuss at the water cooler.
The tourney is lacking superstars? I don't buy that at all. The superstars have been at the tournament. The issue is the superstars have been leaving early. Tommy Novak, one of the most exciting players in awhile, went to the tourney twice. Dylan Malmquist has been there the last 3 years and he could be one of the top hornets of all time with a solid senior year. The Hornets were loaded with superstars last year, but they are so deep it can be hard to notice it. Bellows, Wait, and Zuhlsdorf are all very talented.
Same could be said with Lakeville North.
At the tournament EP had superstars in Spinner and Snuggarud. Roseau had Yon. Eagan had one of the best goalies in the state with Lindgren. East maybe didnt have a superstar but Beaulieu was a very good player. That leaves Centennial and Stillwater as teams that lack a player with the caliber as those above, but they also played that underdog role as they had some big upsets to get to the tournament.
The superstars are there if you ask me.
Agree with all of this above.

Defensive Zone
Posts: 234
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Re: When the golden goose gets aggressive

Post by Defensive Zone » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:15 pm

Sats81 wrote:
green4 wrote:
Goalie-Dad wrote:
Froggy Richards wrote:
almostashappy wrote:Ken Pauley's contribution to the latest LPH issue (http://www.letsplayhockey.com/teams/hig ... ockey.html) strays from his standard stay-in-school talking points and adopts a fairly aggressive attitude towards the MSHSL. It can be summed up this way:

1. The Tourney is a the MSHSL's "most valuable financial asset."

2. If the MSHSL fails "to implement the changes needed to support (MN high school) hockey," then more of the state's best players will leave high school early.

3. If more of the state's best players leave early, they won't be playing in The Tourney.

4. If The Tourney doesn't feature the best players, then fans will stop attending.

5. If the fans stop attending The Tourney, then the MSHSL is screwed.


It's a "do this or else" strong-arm attempt.

So is the logic right, or is The Tourney resilient enough to survive 80 kids leaving early each year, rather than 40? And if the logic is sound, are the changes that Pauley proposes (e.g. 20min periods, more games, allowing teams to play out-of-state) sufficient to "save" the golden goose?

I tend to believe that the state tournament is on firm ground. It's far more about the teams and the tradition and the competitive spirit than the individuals playing on those teams.
I would agree. I've never gone to or watched the State Tournament to see any Individual Players. I watch it because of what it is and that isn't going to change.
I have been lucky enough to attend nearly every state tourney over the last 30 years. Over the last 5-10 years the charm of the games has faded because the stars are not there. People want to watch a superstar kid score goals for the underdog team. The last time people really got excited and on the edge of their seats during the game was when Aaron Ness would take off with the puck for Roseau. The loyal fans will always be at the games. But its the superstars that make the tourney exciting to watch and discuss at the water cooler.
The tourney is lacking superstars? I don't buy that at all. The superstars have been at the tournament. The issue is the superstars have been leaving early. Tommy Novak, one of the most exciting players in awhile, went to the tourney twice. Dylan Malmquist has been there the last 3 years and he could be one of the top hornets of all time with a solid senior year. The Hornets were loaded with superstars last year, but they are so deep it can be hard to notice it. Bellows, Wait, and Zuhlsdorf are all very talented.
Same could be said with Lakeville North.
At the tournament EP had superstars in Spinner and Snuggarud. Roseau had Yon. Eagan had one of the best goalies in the state with Lindgren. East maybe didnt have a superstar but Beaulieu was a very good player. That leaves Centennial and Stillwater as teams that lack a player with the caliber as those above, but they also played that underdog role as they had some big upsets to get to the tournament.
The superstars are there if you ask me.
Agree with all of this above.
Kind of funny! When I was reading Ken Pauley's points, I could not help but think of the Cable TV Commercials...about if this happens to you, there is a chain reaction of other events that will affect your life. Sorry, I thought it was funny. But in all seriousness, I do believe if “good players” leave and not play in the HS Hockey Tournament, most of anyone who watches or attends, and/or plays in the tournament could care less. Remember, this is one of the biggest high school athletic events in the country. The sun will come up the next day. I hope! Just my thoughts.

ilovemesomehockey
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Post by ilovemesomehockey » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:42 pm

Nothing ironic about it. He wants the best players in the state to stay and play hockey in MN.....if they feel the best place to do that in MN is BSM, then so be it....

The allure of the state HS hockey tournament helps private schools attract players. Nobody is beating down the doors to get in at schools that never get there, so it seems logical private schools and places like Edina would want to perserve the tradition.

karl(east)
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Post by karl(east) » Mon Oct 27, 2014 1:49 pm

Lots of good stuff here. First off, a visit from the Forum Spelling Police: it's Pauly. P-A-U-L-Y.

On the 7AA final attendance: yes, it was low last season, but they set a record just two years ago for the East-Rapids final. Low attendance is pretty natural when one team has to travel a long distance. There is probably a bit of East fatigue among casual 7AA fans too, since they're there every year, and last year wasn't one of their more talented teams in recent memory.

When it comes to student attendance, it usually still seems very good for the big games; it's the less important ones that have taken the biggest hit. Incentives could definitely help there. There are just so many more options and commitments now, and this is something that goes far beyond hockey.

I had a long talk with a high school coach last summer, and I think his philosophy on all of this pretty much aligns with mine. He certainly wasn't a huge fan of these trends, and would probably welcome some of the changes Pauly proposes. At the same time, though, he didn't see any sort of crisis in the current state of affairs. Early departures were unfortunate, but new kids just step in to take their places, and he thought hockey had enough cultural power in this state that the attrition won't be enough to destroy the final product. I appreciate Pauly's role in sparking the dialogue, but perspectives will differ based on where one is coming from.

I do agree, though, that the cost of hockey is the biggest issue in the long run. It will continue to loom over the sport and, if unchecked, could turn hockey into a niche, country club style sport. Again, that's something that is far beyond the MSHSL's purview. It's hard to fight the market.

almostashappy
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Post by almostashappy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:35 pm

karl(east) wrote: I do agree, though, that the cost of hockey is the biggest issue in the long run. It will continue to loom over the sport and, if unchecked, could turn hockey into a niche, country club style sport. Again, that's something that is far beyond the MSHSL's purview. It's hard to fight the market.
Yes, it's the cost that is scaring off the families of potential mites and U8's, although the concussions aren't helping.

But I think that Minnesota Hockey and MSHSL could fight the market and bring down the costs, if they really wanted to...

For starters, they could put the Christian Brothers back into business and mandate the use of wooden sticks.
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

goldy313
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Post by goldy313 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:17 pm

I had kids play bantam A and play JV, by the time my youngest came through bantam A cost $300 with a mandatory team fee of $500 and additional costs for travel and tournaments. JV cost $110, no additional costs unless I went to an away game. It was a no brainer for me.

For a coach or AD you need a JV to schedule games and to justify your programs existence. If your short players they need to be brought up a level if it can be done safely.

Defensive Zone
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Post by Defensive Zone » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:28 pm

almostashappy wrote:
karl(east) wrote: I do agree, though, that the cost of hockey is the biggest issue in the long run. It will continue to loom over the sport and, if unchecked, could turn hockey into a niche, country club style sport. Again, that's something that is far beyond the MSHSL's purview. It's hard to fight the market.
Yes, it's the cost that is scaring off the families of potential mites and U8's, although the concussions aren't helping.

But I think that Minnesota Hockey and MSHSL could fight the market and bring down the costs, if they really wanted to...

For starters, they could put the Christian Brothers back into business and mandate the use of wooden sticks.
I would have to agree that $ is the biggest down fall in youth/high school hockey today. As the fees go up, the number of participants go down. One of my buds from south of the river said that for his son to be on a high school hockey team (varsity or jv) will cost him a registration fee of $600 and $1100 for a booster fee (buses, sports wear, coaches salary, etc.) WOW!

almostashappy
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Post by almostashappy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:14 pm

Defensive Zone wrote: I would have to agree that $ is the biggest down fall in youth/high school hockey today. As the fees go up, the number of participants go down. One of my buds from south of the river said that for his son to be on a high school hockey team (varsity or jv) will cost him a registration fee of $600 and $1100 for a booster fee (buses, sports wear, coaches salary, etc.) WOW!
Your mileage and participation fees may vary, depending on school district.
While registration is $600 for boys hockey in the Lakeville Schools, it's "only" $185 in the four ISD196 high schools (Eastview, Eagan, Apple Valley, Rosemount). Booster club fees will obviously vary based on how many bells and whistles and coach buses are bought. And then there are all of the gate fees, and the fundraisers, and the celebratory bar tabs at Eagle Street in March :)
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:55 am

We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.

Froggy Richards
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Post by Froggy Richards » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:54 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
Great point, and I don't understand why more people don't realize it. Hockey is not that much more expensive than any other sport where you travel. Dance is a great example, it costs the same as hockey and sometimes more. I don't hear anyone complaining about Dance.

Great point about the equipment. In the 80's, equipment was VERY expensive compared to what it is today, (Factoring inflation, of course). Everything was leather and made in Canada back then. Now it's made out of cheaper materials in China, Thailand, Vietnam, etc. You can outfit a new hockey player with brand new equipment for around $150-$180 today. If you go with used equipment, WAY cheaper. A new pair of baseball cleats, glove, helmet, pants and a bat will cost about the same. Yes, registration fees are higher but look what you get out of it compared to those other sports. An entire MN winter full of fun, friends and life lessons. The whole hockey being super expensive thing is mostly just false perception. Everything has a cost-benefit. Hockey is well worth it.

almostashappy
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Post by almostashappy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:07 am

SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
While today's mid- to low-level equipment may be better quality than the best available twenty or thirty years ago, it is still mid- to low-level relative to what is available today. And as your kids get older, and if/when they make youth "A" teams or high school rosters, the pressure to put the same high-end stick in their hands that everyone else on the team is using is intense. You can say that it is an individual choice, but take a close look at the skates and sticks out on the ice during high school game warm-ups...you'll be hard-pressed to see anyone playing with blue light specials.

You can't ignore fundamental economics. The cost of renting a school gym for an hour-long practice is four or five times less than the cost of an hour of ice. The most expensive pair of basketball shoes for sale on the foot locker web site is $275. While a high quality baseball bat will cost as much as a high-end hockey stick, Easton offers a 1-year warranty on their bats, but only a 30-day warranty on their sticks.

Some may be quick to note that many/most youth hockey associations are willing to work with families going through financial difficulties. The problem there is getting those families that need the help to be willing to ask for it. It certainly doesn't help when that request has to be made to a fellow parent who is treasurer of the local association or high school booster club.

As for travel team costs in other sports...yes, kids are expensive, and there are some youth activities that are more expensive than hockey. The difference, in my opinion, is that private gymnastic clubs and dance studios have always been beyond the reach of blue-collar family incomes. The reason why we are the State of Hockey is that the sport has been played by blue-collar family kids, and has been an option for almost every family budget. It'll be a sad day when that's no longer the case, and when the best financial argument that can be made to take up the sport is that it's no more expensive than ballet.
Froggy Richards wrote: Yes, registration fees are higher but look what you get out of it compared to those other sports. An entire MN winter full of fun, friends and life lessons. The whole hockey being super expensive thing is mostly just false perception. Everything has a cost-benefit. Hockey is well worth it.
It is easier to make that cost-benefit decision when you played the game yourself, and when you've grown up in the State. The demographics aren't favorable when you look at the young families in (and moving into) Minnesota. And saying "look what you get out of it in comparison" can be 100% true but still not make a difference. You can just as easily say "Yes, the cost of a new Mercedes is higher, but look what you get out of it compared to those other cars."

To bring this rant closer back to my original post, the biggest risk to the Tourney and MN high school hockey isn't that we're losing our best players to Ann Arbor or juniors. The biggest risk to our sport is that we are losing the state's best athletes to other sports, way back at the start of the pipeline.
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

puckbreath
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Post by puckbreath » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:54 am

almostashappy wrote:
SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
While today's mid- to low-level equipment may be better quality than the best available twenty or thirty years ago, it is still mid- to low-level relative to what is available today. And as your kids get older, and if/when they make youth "A" teams or high school rosters, the pressure to put the same high-end stick in their hands that everyone else on the team is using is intense. You can say that it is an individual choice, but take a close look at the skates and sticks out on the ice during high school game warm-ups...you'll be hard-pressed to see anyone playing with blue light specials.

You can't ignore fundamental economics. The cost of renting a school gym for an hour-long practice is four or five times less than the cost of an hour of ice. The most expensive pair of basketball shoes for sale on the foot locker web site is $275. While a high quality baseball bat will cost as much as a high-end hockey stick, Easton offers a 1-year warranty on their bats, but only a 30-day warranty on their sticks.

Some may be quick to note that many/most youth hockey associations are willing to work with families going through financial difficulties. The problem there is getting those families that need the help to be willing to ask for it. It certainly doesn't help when that request has to be made to a fellow parent who is treasurer of the local association or high school booster club.

As for travel team costs in other sports...yes, kids are expensive, and there are some youth activities that are more expensive than hockey. The difference, in my opinion, is that private gymnastic clubs and dance studios have always been beyond the reach of blue-collar family incomes. The reason why we are the State of Hockey is that the sport has been played by blue-collar family kids, and has been an option for almost every family budget. It'll be a sad day when that's no longer the case, and when the best financial argument that can be made to take up the sport is that it's no more expensive than ballet.
Froggy Richards wrote: Yes, registration fees are higher but look what you get out of it compared to those other sports. An entire MN winter full of fun, friends and life lessons. The whole hockey being super expensive thing is mostly just false perception. Everything has a cost-benefit. Hockey is well worth it.
It is easier to make that cost-benefit decision when you played the game yourself, and when you've grown up in the State. The demographics aren't favorable when you look at the young families in (and moving into) Minnesota. And saying "look what you get out of it in comparison" can be 100% true but still not make a difference. You can just as easily say "Yes, the cost of a new Mercedes is higher, but look what you get out of it compared to those other cars."

To bring this rant closer back to my original post, the biggest risk to the Tourney and MN high school hockey isn't that we're losing our best players to Ann Arbor or juniors. The biggest risk to our sport is that we are losing the state's best athletes to other sports, way back at the start of the pipeline.

Right on.

I had kids in hockey, and one in basketball.

The costs weren't even close.

Defensive Zone
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Post by Defensive Zone » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:01 pm

puckbreath wrote:
almostashappy wrote:
SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
While today's mid- to low-level equipment may be better quality than the best available twenty or thirty years ago, it is still mid- to low-level relative to what is available today. And as your kids get older, and if/when they make youth "A" teams or high school rosters, the pressure to put the same high-end stick in their hands that everyone else on the team is using is intense. You can say that it is an individual choice, but take a close look at the skates and sticks out on the ice during high school game warm-ups...you'll be hard-pressed to see anyone playing with blue light specials.

You can't ignore fundamental economics. The cost of renting a school gym for an hour-long practice is four or five times less than the cost of an hour of ice. The most expensive pair of basketball shoes for sale on the foot locker web site is $275. While a high quality baseball bat will cost as much as a high-end hockey stick, Easton offers a 1-year warranty on their bats, but only a 30-day warranty on their sticks.

Some may be quick to note that many/most youth hockey associations are willing to work with families going through financial difficulties. The problem there is getting those families that need the help to be willing to ask for it. It certainly doesn't help when that request has to be made to a fellow parent who is treasurer of the local association or high school booster club.

As for travel team costs in other sports...yes, kids are expensive, and there are some youth activities that are more expensive than hockey. The difference, in my opinion, is that private gymnastic clubs and dance studios have always been beyond the reach of blue-collar family incomes. The reason why we are the State of Hockey is that the sport has been played by blue-collar family kids, and has been an option for almost every family budget. It'll be a sad day when that's no longer the case, and when the best financial argument that can be made to take up the sport is that it's no more expensive than ballet.
Froggy Richards wrote: Yes, registration fees are higher but look what you get out of it compared to those other sports. An entire MN winter full of fun, friends and life lessons. The whole hockey being super expensive thing is mostly just false perception. Everything has a cost-benefit. Hockey is well worth it.
It is easier to make that cost-benefit decision when you played the game yourself, and when you've grown up in the State. The demographics aren't favorable when you look at the young families in (and moving into) Minnesota. And saying "look what you get out of it in comparison" can be 100% true but still not make a difference. You can just as easily say "Yes, the cost of a new Mercedes is higher, but look what you get out of it compared to those other cars."

To bring this rant closer back to my original post, the biggest risk to the Tourney and MN high school hockey isn't that we're losing our best players to Ann Arbor or juniors. The biggest risk to our sport is that we are losing the state's best athletes to other sports, way back at the start of the pipeline.

Right on.

I had kids in hockey, and one in basketball.

The costs weren't even close.
How true! Can you imagine though a high school football player has to pay for his helmet, shoulder pads, jerseys, pants, and also have to pay rent on the use of the practice field and stadium during game days? Maybe in reality, this is closer than we think. Just my thoughts.

green4
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Post by green4 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:37 pm

Froggy Richards wrote:
SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
You can outfit a new hockey player with brand new equipment for around $150-$180 today. .
That's short changing it a bit. I went on Hockeygiant.com for about 5 minutes and took the cheapest of every item of equipment including a hockey bag and it costs about $250. Without the bag it costs $210. Now thats fine if you want to play in pick up games with no checking, but if you are a kid, Im not sure you want to buy a $25 helmet when we know so much about concussions. Regardless of what league you play I would probably get better skates than the cheapest pair because those will probably be uncomfortable. Im not saying you should go overboard because there are options that are decent in quality and price.
If I was going to get a person started with all new gear I would recommend quality skates, hemet and knee pads. After that, maybe a stick, but elbow, shoulder, gloves and breezers you could buy at the cheapest price and you would be fine. So with nicer skates, helmet and knee pads it would cost like $405 and thats without a bag. Thats also with a $20 wood stick so if you wanted a decent composite stick its more like $490.

almostashappy
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 pm

Post by almostashappy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:01 pm

green4 wrote: That's short changing it a bit. I went on Hockeygiant.com for about 5 minutes and took the cheapest of every item of equipment including a hockey bag and it costs about $250. Without the bag it costs $210. Now thats fine if you want to play in pick up games with no checking, but if you are a kid, Im not sure you want to buy a $25 helmet when we know so much about concussions. Regardless of what league you play I would probably get better skates than the cheapest pair because those will probably be uncomfortable. Im not saying you should go overboard because there are options that are decent in quality and price.
If I was going to get a person started with all new gear I would recommend quality skates, hemet and knee pads. After that, maybe a stick, but elbow, shoulder, gloves and breezers you could buy at the cheapest price and you would be fine. So with nicer skates, helmet and knee pads it would cost like $405 and thats without a bag. Thats also with a $20 wood stick so if you wanted a decent composite stick its more like $490.
Might want to add:
- Hockey jock shorts with velcro sock holders (or a garder belt);
- Neck guard (at least at the youth level, when parents still have some say);
- thin boot socks;
- mouth guard (I suppose you could reuse one from a different sport);
- Tape (black, white, clear);
- Wax;
- Skate sharpenings (although, does Hockey Giant still do free sharpening if you buy skates there?);
- "Outdoor" skates, or twice as many sharpenings on your one pair;
- UnderArmor/drywick (especially for those rare outdoor practices);
- Replacement laces, rivets, blades;
- Second stick once the first one breaks;
- Third stick once the second one breaks;
- Febreeze/PineSol/some other deodorizer that won't work.
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

Just Checking
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:12 pm

Post by Just Checking » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:33 pm

Almost,
Don't forget the $20 for the airbrushed white stocking cap, that mom has to buy little Joey that should say "Puck Hog" but instead calls him a "Dangler"

Froggy Richards
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:15 am

Post by Froggy Richards » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:41 pm

green4 wrote:
Froggy Richards wrote:
SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
You can outfit a new hockey player with brand new equipment for around $150-$180 today. .
That's short changing it a bit. I went on Hockeygiant.com for about 5 minutes and took the cheapest of every item of equipment including a hockey bag and it costs about $250. Without the bag it costs $210. Now thats fine if you want to play in pick up games with no checking, but if you are a kid, Im not sure you want to buy a $25 helmet when we know so much about concussions. Regardless of what league you play I would probably get better skates than the cheapest pair because those will probably be uncomfortable. Im not saying you should go overboard because there are options that are decent in quality and price.
If I was going to get a person started with all new gear I would recommend quality skates, hemet and knee pads. After that, maybe a stick, but elbow, shoulder, gloves and breezers you could buy at the cheapest price and you would be fine. So with nicer skates, helmet and knee pads it would cost like $405 and thats without a bag. Thats also with a $20 wood stick so if you wanted a decent composite stick its more like $490.
When my son started Mites three years ago we bought a starter package. Brand new CCM equipment. It was the lowest end stuff you could buy but perfectly adequate for a Mite 1. The package had a bag, gloves, shins, shoulders, elbows and breezers for $79.99. Bauer Helmet was $49.99 (X-mas present from Grandma) and Bauer Vapor Youth skates were $49.99. He started with a $10 wood stick. Later in the year we upgraded to composite for $69.99.

I originally forgot to factor the stick. So $190 got him started with equipment that was perfectly adequate for a beginner, Mite 1.

I also had a friend this year that bought equipment through the MN Wild program. $100 got him EVERYTHING, including skates, helmet and stick. This was open to any kid in the Duluth area when they were at the Heritage.

Granted, that is just entry level. But the idea is to get these people to see what Youth Hockey is all about and then make the decision on whether or not they see the cost benefit.

Full Disclaimer: My kids equipment three years later is A LOT more expensive than $190. He has two sticks that each cost more than that now.

almostashappy
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 pm

Post by almostashappy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:09 pm

Froggy Richards wrote: I originally forgot to factor the stick. So $190 got him started with equipment that was perfectly adequate for a beginner, Mite 1.

I also had a friend this year that bought equipment through the MN Wild program. $100 got him EVERYTHING, including skates, helmet and stick. This was open to any kid in the Duluth area when they were at the Heritage.

Granted, that is just entry level. But the idea is to get these people to see what Youth Hockey is all about and then make the decision on whether or not they see the cost benefit.

Full Disclaimer: My kids equipment three years later is A LOT more expensive than $190. He has two sticks that each cost more than that now.
There's no question that we're trying really, really hard to make it really, really easy for parents to get their kindergarten-aged rug rats into hockey. In addition to cheap gear, registration fees for Mite1 players are $0 in many places as well (not counting MinnHockey/USAhockey membership). And how many Mite1 programs have 6am ice times at rinks 15 miles from home?

It's a smart tactic...get kids in the door, get them on the ice for two years, and make it that much harder for parents to tell their kids that the family can't afford them to continue once the fees jump and they grow out of their old equipment.

But "high-information" parents are going to be smart enough to look down the road before their kid hits the ice. The same web page that highlights free registration for Mite1's might list a $1300 fee for Bantams further down the page (along with a separate $150 try-out fee). They'll ask their friends and neighbors, or the older parents hanging around the arena, about how much of an investment they're going to be making in the sport. And as friends/neighbors/older hockey parents, we should be honest about what lies just down the road (always including the good/great/incomparable aspects of the game, of course).
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

Froggy Richards
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:15 am

Post by Froggy Richards » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:21 pm

almostashappy wrote:
SCBlueLiner wrote:We are our own worst enemies when we talk about the cost to play hockey. When recruiting it's the first objection we get because the perception is out there that it costs so much to play. Truth is that hockey, while expensive, is not much different than any other travel sports these days, or dance, ballet, cheer, etc. Actually, I am surprised at the reasonable cost of high quality hockey equipment these days. Years ago when I played equipment was expensive (given inflation). Today you can get mid to low-level equipement that is much better than anything I ever had. You can also spend a ton of $$, but that is an individual choice.

The cheapest sports I can think of for my son to participate in are youth football (and we all know how that sport is trending), rec baseball, and rec soccer. Notice the rec part in those sports. Travel soccer, baseball, travel anything costs money.

Kids are expensive. I think we all know this.
While today's mid- to low-level equipment may be better quality than the best available twenty or thirty years ago, it is still mid- to low-level relative to what is available today. And as your kids get older, and if/when they make youth "A" teams or high school rosters, the pressure to put the same high-end stick in their hands that everyone else on the team is using is intense. You can say that it is an individual choice, but take a close look at the skates and sticks out on the ice during high school game warm-ups...you'll be hard-pressed to see anyone playing with blue light specials.

You can't ignore fundamental economics. The cost of renting a school gym for an hour-long practice is four or five times less than the cost of an hour of ice. The most expensive pair of basketball shoes for sale on the foot locker web site is $275. While a high quality baseball bat will cost as much as a high-end hockey stick, Easton offers a 1-year warranty on their bats, but only a 30-day warranty on their sticks.

Some may be quick to note that many/most youth hockey associations are willing to work with families going through financial difficulties. The problem there is getting those families that need the help to be willing to ask for it. It certainly doesn't help when that request has to be made to a fellow parent who is treasurer of the local association or high school booster club.

As for travel team costs in other sports...yes, kids are expensive, and there are some youth activities that are more expensive than hockey. The difference, in my opinion, is that private gymnastic clubs and dance studios have always been beyond the reach of blue-collar family incomes. The reason why we are the State of Hockey is that the sport has been played by blue-collar family kids, and has been an option for almost every family budget. It'll be a sad day when that's no longer the case, and when the best financial argument that can be made to take up the sport is that it's no more expensive than ballet.
Froggy Richards wrote: Yes, registration fees are higher but look what you get out of it compared to those other sports. An entire MN winter full of fun, friends and life lessons. The whole hockey being super expensive thing is mostly just false perception. Everything has a cost-benefit. Hockey is well worth it.
It is easier to make that cost-benefit decision when you played the game yourself, and when you've grown up in the State. The demographics aren't favorable when you look at the young families in (and moving into) Minnesota. And saying "look what you get out of it in comparison" can be 100% true but still not make a difference. You can just as easily say "Yes, the cost of a new Mercedes is higher, but look what you get out of it compared to those other cars."

To bring this rant closer back to my original post, the biggest risk to the Tourney and MN high school hockey isn't that we're losing our best players to Ann Arbor or juniors. The biggest risk to our sport is that we are losing the state's best athletes to other sports, way back at the start of the pipeline.


Despite a brutal recession, hockey participation has grown in MN in the last 5 years. How do you figure we're losing the best athletes? Nothing against Basketball or Wrestling, but they aren't even in the same league as Hockey, and those are the other Winter sport options.

Minnesota

2002-03: 44,868
2008-09: 52,333
2012-13: 53,935

Ten-Year Growth: 9,067 (20.2%)
Five-Year Growth: 1,602 (3.06%)

Notes: The self-proclaimed State of Hockey certainly has a strong case for such a title. Despite a slight drop after a record-high 54,951 registered in 2011-12, it has the highest hockey-playing population in the country. Minnesota’s raw growth over the last 10 years is rather impressive, seeing as you wouldn’t expect a well-established hockey state to continue such a dramatic rise. However, 20.2 percent growth for the country’s biggest hockey state over a 10-year span is nuts. Especially due to the fact that Minnesota’s vaunted high school league is not affiliated with USA Hockey, meaning many of its players may not be registered with the organization. So Minnesota’s numbers could be even higher. It’s quite impressive overall.

almostashappy
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 pm

Post by almostashappy » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:08 pm

Froggy Richards wrote:
almostashappy wrote: Despite a brutal recession, hockey participation has grown in MN in the last 5 years. How do you figure we're losing the best athletes? Nothing against Basketball or Wrestling, but they aren't even in the same league as Hockey, and those are the other Winter sport options.

Minnesota

2002-03: 44,868
2008-09: 52,333
2012-13: 53,935

Ten-Year Growth: 9,067 (20.2%)
Five-Year Growth: 1,602 (3.06%)

Notes: The self-proclaimed State of Hockey certainly has a strong case for such a title. Despite a slight drop after a record-high 54,951 registered in 2011-12, it has the highest hockey-playing population in the country. Minnesota’s raw growth over the last 10 years is rather impressive, seeing as you wouldn’t expect a well-established hockey state to continue such a dramatic rise. However, 20.2 percent growth for the country’s biggest hockey state over a 10-year span is nuts. Especially due to the fact that Minnesota’s vaunted high school league is not affiliated with USA Hockey, meaning many of its players may not be registered with the organization. So Minnesota’s numbers could be even higher. It’s quite impressive overall.
What's the quote about lies, damn lies, and statistics?

It would have been nice if you had posted a link to your copy-and-pasted data/text. Not that it was too hard to find with a google search:

http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/09 ... 2003-2013/

A 20% increase in youth hockey players over a 10 year period where the number of Minnesota residents under the age of 18 increased by only 1% is impressive. It is also, however, misleading. As I suspected, the raw numbers include both boys and girls (not to mention adult memberships). There was an explosive growth in the number of community-based girls hockey teams over that period of time, and I'd expect that the lion's share of that 20% growth came from there. Since this is a boys hockey forum, and since apples and orange comparisons have limited value, it would have been better if you could have compared the number boys playing the sport over that same time interval.

I don't think that I ever claimed that we are currently losing the best athletes to other sports. I did say that was a strong risk. And total participation rates have nothing at all to do with the quality/skills/athleticism of those players. Comparisons in participation rates between boys hockey, boys basketball and boys wrestling might be useful, if you had them. But I'm afraid that we're past the point where we can consider other winter sports as hockey's only competition. More and more young athletes are (for better or worse) focusing on only a single sport and playing/training for it year-round. So it's really whether Minnesota's most athletic children are picking hockey as their main sport, instead of any other sport (e.g. football, lacrosse).

And again, it's about the pipeline. Things may be fine now, but look ten years down the road, when today's Mite1's are in high school. There's a reason why associations are bending over backwards to keep their numbers up at the lower age levels.
Two minutes for...embellishment (ding!)

Froggy Richards
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:15 am

Post by Froggy Richards » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:31 pm

almostashappy wrote:
Froggy Richards wrote:
almostashappy wrote: Despite a brutal recession, hockey participation has grown in MN in the last 5 years. How do you figure we're losing the best athletes? Nothing against Basketball or Wrestling, but they aren't even in the same league as Hockey, and those are the other Winter sport options.

Minnesota

2002-03: 44,868
2008-09: 52,333
2012-13: 53,935

Ten-Year Growth: 9,067 (20.2%)
Five-Year Growth: 1,602 (3.06%)

Notes: The self-proclaimed State of Hockey certainly has a strong case for such a title. Despite a slight drop after a record-high 54,951 registered in 2011-12, it has the highest hockey-playing population in the country. Minnesota’s raw growth over the last 10 years is rather impressive, seeing as you wouldn’t expect a well-established hockey state to continue such a dramatic rise. However, 20.2 percent growth for the country’s biggest hockey state over a 10-year span is nuts. Especially due to the fact that Minnesota’s vaunted high school league is not affiliated with USA Hockey, meaning many of its players may not be registered with the organization. So Minnesota’s numbers could be even higher. It’s quite impressive overall.
What's the quote about lies, damn lies, and statistics?

It would have been nice if you had posted a link to your copy-and-pasted data/text. Not that it was too hard to find with a google search:

http://unitedstatesofhockey.com/2013/09 ... 2003-2013/

A 20% increase in youth hockey players over a 10 year period where the number of Minnesota residents under the age of 18 increased by only 1% is impressive. It is also, however, misleading. As I suspected, the raw numbers include both boys and girls (not to mention adult memberships). There was an explosive growth in the number of community-based girls hockey teams over that period of time, and I'd expect that the lion's share of that 20% growth came from there. Since this is a boys hockey forum, and since apples and orange comparisons have limited value, it would have been better if you could have compared the number boys playing the sport over that same time interval.

I don't think that I ever claimed that we are currently losing the best athletes to other sports. I did say that was a strong risk. And total participation rates have nothing at all to do with the quality/skills/athleticism of those players. Comparisons in participation rates between boys hockey, boys basketball and boys wrestling might be useful, if you had them. But I'm afraid that we're past the point where we can consider other winter sports as hockey's only competition. More and more young athletes are (for better or worse) focusing on only a single sport and playing/training for it year-round. So it's really whether Minnesota's most athletic children are picking hockey as their main sport, instead of any other sport (e.g. football, lacrosse).

And again, it's about the pipeline. Things may be fine now, but look ten years down the road, when today's Mite1's are in high school. There's a reason why associations are bending over backwards to keep their numbers up at the lower age levels.
You said the biggest risk is that we're losing our best athletes to other sports, "Way back at the start of the pipeline." And that it's not just Winter sports anymore, but all sports that kids are specializing in.

The start of the pipeline in Hockey nowadays is roughly age 4-6. A few kids start after that, but not many. What other sports are kids specializing year round in at age 4-6?

I'm not trying to beat you up here, I'm just not connecting the dots.

drop the puck
Posts: 205
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:12 am

Post by drop the puck » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:55 pm

It will make little difference in attendance of the AA class Tourney. While almost every top team has one or two D1 recruits, there are plenty of teams and their top players that end their season early sometime in Sections.

Attendance in the A Tourney is driven by the size and location of the schools reaching St Paul. Privates do not have communtiy wide support nor attendance.

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