C Level Hockey

Discussion of Minnesota Youth Hockey

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1excg
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Post by 1excg » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:47 pm

This may not be the right "topic" or thread to post, but here goes (move this if wanted) - as I also expose my ignorance ;). I realize nobody really cares about C level youth hockey, but I'm putting this out here anyway. You all know these kids love hockey and are Very competitive - C level or otherwise. C level is not the "best of the worst"!! We all know strong players placed on a C team for whatever myriad of reasons. Politics of course never being a factor ;). Here's my question. What are the "rules" for powerhouse associations, and where do I find them? Do associations have to field a 'C' team? If so, any ideas out there for a strong C team finding good competition? Can an association add a B team and drop their C team depending on a given years talent? Similar scenario last year, very strong competitive C team, had lots of fun winning every tourny, yet I still wish they'd get more development and competition. I know some kids and parents are disappointed they didn't make a higher team - yet my own kids experience speaks volumes, and I aught to quit worrying - he loves playing, is passionate, committed, very competitive - and having a ball! A couple of things I don't worry about is burn-out, or if thinks he's performing for me or needing my approval. He plays because he loves it, and I seem to be fairly irrelevant (of course he has no idea the support he gets from me ;)

I'm hoping this collective body of hockey experience and intelligence have ideas or thoughts for occasionally upping the competition and development - bring on your ideas and thoughts! Would love to hear collective wisdom, new ideas, old ideas and thoughts. Thanks in advance, and yay hockey! What an awesome sport!

SWPrez
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Post by SWPrez » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:05 pm

1excg wrote:This may not be the right "topic" or thread to post, but here goes (move this if wanted) - as I also expose my ignorance ;). I realize nobody really cares about C level youth hockey, but I'm putting this out here anyway. You all know these kids love hockey and are Very competitive - C level or otherwise. C level is not the "best of the worst"!! We all know strong players placed on a C team for whatever myriad of reasons. Politics of course never being a factor ;). Here's my question. What are the "rules" for powerhouse associations, and where do I find them? Do associations have to field a 'C' team? If so, any ideas out there for a strong C team finding good competition? Can an association add a B team and drop their C team depending on a given years talent? Similar scenario last year, very strong competitive C team, had lots of fun winning every tourny, yet I still wish they'd get more development and competition. I know some kids and parents are disappointed they didn't make a higher team - yet my own kids experience speaks volumes, and I aught to quit worrying - he loves playing, is passionate, committed, very competitive - and having a ball! A couple of things I don't worry about is burn-out, or if thinks he's performing for me or needing my approval. He plays because he loves it, and I seem to be fairly irrelevant (of course he has no idea the support he gets from me ;)

I'm hoping this collective body of hockey experience and intelligence have ideas or thoughts for occasionally upping the competition and development - bring on your ideas and thoughts! Would love to hear collective wisdom, new ideas, old ideas and thoughts. Thanks in advance, and yay hockey! What an awesome sport!
First - getting competition. History has shown me that "C" parents don't know how to take the initiative to get additional competition. They go to the "A" team's website and see all sorts of scrimmages and get jealous that the association is favoring others by giving them all sorts of scrimmage games. The reality is that there are parents on those "A" teams that are working the phones/email to line up extra scrimmages for their kids. Take the initiative...go to other association websites and find out who has C teams. Email, call, do whatever you can to leverage your ice by having a scrimmage at home...and one away at that team's house.

Unfortunately, you cannot play a weak B2 team under MN Hockey's rules. Almost would be nice to change "C" to "B3"...because if designated a "B3" you would be able to schedule scrimmages against weaker "B2" teams.

Regarding being a "C"....my son did it all playing C, B, and A youth hockey. He played high school at the highest levels and won a state tourney, quitting after his senior year because the game "just wasn't fun anymore". When I asked him what were his favorite years of hockey...it was his Squirt C year - because it was fun, no one cared that much if they lost, and there was no pressure. Savor the "C" hockey....it is the one place left in the game where the innocence of just having a good time still exists. Step back and watch the kids smile all year long, have sleepovers, and hang out. The kids forget they're "C"s within a week or two of tryouts...parents sometimes take a lot longer!

1excg
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Post by 1excg » Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:46 am

Thanks for your thoughtful reply, I very much appreciate it! I've tried and succeeded to a certain extent to take my cues from my son - who very much
is in sync with your sentiments. I was scrimmage coordinator last year, our team was strong, and its was difficult finding good competition. These kids do want to develop, and want to win of course, but also want good competition. The C level is just hard.(And here in MN, folks just sort of want to ignore and don't want to admit their kid is on a C team! Pretty ridiculous). I appreciate your advice, and along with last years experience, I'll be working the phones and email!

I am savoring the experience - and taking my cues from my kid - he is having a ball, has a strong team, good coaching and having so much fun. It's interesting to hear him talk, he seems to understand and appreciate he is probably having a better time than if he was on a higher level team. And who knows, he does have some private coaching, maybe the fun factor is better for his development.

Sure, I'll admit I wish he'd made a higher level team, but my sincere hopes for him is his continued love and passion for the game, to develop his talent and to have fun. My worst fear is that as a kid his passion turns into performance and "a job" or that he get's burned out from too much hockey or pressure. The truth is we are blessed to be in MN where there's a love of a great sport - and as parents we need to try to balance the changes and pressure as this and other sports change. It's a challenge to balance talent, competition and the changes to youth sports.

BadgerBob82
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Post by BadgerBob82 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:14 am

1excg: Great posts! Most people on here focus only on AAA-AA-A levels. The C experience is just as important. And from what you're saying, some associations C level might be players number 65-80 in the depth chart and it is appropriate to play against another association's depth numbers 35-50. It's no different than having an association play their 18-34 vs. another associations 1-17. All of the levels can provide good competition for kids to play, whether they are superstars or recreational players.

SCBlueLiner
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Post by SCBlueLiner » Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:30 am

Whatever the answer is the goal should be a whole bunch of 1 to 2 goal differential hockey games. Hopefully your team is over .500. That is competition and that will breed success in the long run.

karl(east)
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Post by karl(east) » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:12 pm

I split this off from the "Sandbagging" thread because I think it deserves its own thread. Good stuff.

MrBoDangles
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Post by MrBoDangles » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:08 pm

BadgerBob82 wrote:1excg: Great posts! Most people on here focus only on AAA-AA-A levels. The C experience is just as important. And from what you're saying, some associations C level might be players number 65-80 in the depth chart and it is appropriate to play against another association's depth numbers 35-50. It's no different than having an association play their 18-34 vs. another associations 1-17. All of the levels can provide good competition for kids to play, whether they are superstars or recreational players.
Do you know what would happen if Edina's 1-17 played Eden Prairie's 18-34? Edina spanked their number one team by double digits..... District 6 has some people with an education that run their show. I don't know who ran the horror fest last year in D10..., but holy crap! And some are planning to do it again this year? Might work well for your second level A team down in Rochester against small town's top teams, but its a pile of cow dung up here. Quit trying to turn a C thread into a AA/A makes sense thread.

Back on topic: I've seen more players go from C to the top teams than ever before recently.... More summer training options out there than ever before?

BadgerBob82
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Post by BadgerBob82 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:20 pm

It wasn't a C thread when I posted to it!

Continue with your sky is falling.

Ugottobekiddingme
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Post by Ugottobekiddingme » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:39 pm

BadgerBob82 wrote:1excg: Great posts! Most people on here focus only on AAA-AA-A levels. The C experience is just as important. And from what you're saying, some associations C level might be players number 65-80 in the depth chart and it is appropriate to play against another association's depth numbers 35-50. It's no different than having an association play their 18-34 vs. another associations 1-17. All of the levels can provide good competition for kids to play, whether they are superstars or recreational players.
Nothing less than preposterous in definition. First, AAA is not a winter hockey association classification and when getting into number classification, put the number 1-3 players on any level and game on. 4-70+ could fill your local McDonalds and serve the same numbered menu items at any location.

1excg
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Post by 1excg » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:15 am

Karl, thanks for splitting this thread, and opening a chance for a respectful discussion.

BadgerBob, In no way do I think the sky is falling - far from it! I am grateful for the wonderful opportunities here in MN. My reasons for posting comes from being blessed with two kids who love hockey, being an involved hockey parent - yet experiencing situations of frustration around C level hockey, and dealing with something that no one wants to talk about, potentially 'dangerous' for our kids youth experience, politically incorrect and like a big, obvious secret. I appreciate my post didn't get ignored and thankful for some open discussion.

I'm very grateful our local kids have a good association that for the most part values all players (without a sense of keeping C level players for their $). Last year in particular, it seemed to me that many associations "ignored" their C levels, evidenced by our scrimmages, games and tournys - very lopsided, uneven play. My kid's team worked hard and earned 1 place in the standings throughout the season - well over .500. They did develop, had good coaching, wanted those wins and had a fun, spectacular season. I can't, and don't wish to speak to whether maybe they aught to have been a B team. I'm obviously not a hockey expert (nor do I play one on TV ;) . But I am a thoughtful, reasonably intelligent person who'd like to at least approach reasonable discussion (which seems difficult given the passions, traditions and history of MN hockey).

I think the situation is a "general' one - that most associations, and a general attitude/expectation/desire - whether we want to admit it or not, is to create 'elite' athletes. (Scholarships, recruitment, etc, while factors, are in my mind seperate to this discussion). Generally speaking, the interest, focus, support, resources, attention, development goes to the A-B teams. Yet we all know, whether we want to admit it or not, most of the players and parents at the C level are just as competitive, passionate, committed, hard-working as the rest of the players - and love the game just as much.

I wish I had some good ideas to bring to the discussion. And, believe me, I'm already implementing some of your ideas, (Thanks SWPrez!), thinking about posts, interested and curious in members thoughts and ideas. I'm thankful this forum is willing to thoughtfully discuss. And hopefully not see again the post: "Who cares about the best of the worst", even if it's supposed to be a joke.

My biggest concern is the lack of interest, respect and disparity of C level hockey - lots of hard working deserving kids just don't get the development that other teams get - yet pay the same (except for the highest level roster fees). The "elite competition" vs "rec hockey" is an endless debate that I think is defeating and shortsighted. Further, particularly here in MN, I do not think they are mutually exclusive!

Years ago my eldest tried out for the first time with a small, wealthy, metro association. After tryouts, the board told myself and a group of parents representing about 6-8 kids, @ 7 yrs old, that our kids just weren't very good, they could tell they'd never be very good, and they should go play Park Board hockey. And, as the association fed into the Olympic organization, were held to a strict, elite standard. They felt it just wouldn't be a good fit for our kids. Soon after, this group of parents requested waivers from the board, as 3 other nearby associations had welcomed our kids. Then we learned the truth - they were short C level coaches. Interestingly, coaches miraculously appeared and our kids had a team. A ridiculous situation, but pertinent to this discussion, this wouldn't have occurred had this association, deemed these kids A-B players. Begging another question - really? At 7 yrs old its obvious who is an Olympic athlete? And as an association, those are the only kids you want? Thankfully those kids went on to have good youth hockey experiences, most played HS hockey, more than a few were recruited to college and most now are terrific youth coaches. Thankfully, the parents supported each other, saw the lunacy, challenged and persevered. But I often wonder how any of us would have dealt with the situation alone or with just a few parents.

I tell this story not out of anger or bitterness (we clearly had a good outcome - and board elections). I think it illustrates that unfortunately not much has changed, and I think it's to bad. I wonder, and often think, do we lose more kids to this kind of stuff than to cost, time commitment, physical danger concerns, etc. (I think it's important to note here, I'm not one of those "everyone's a winner - trophies and medals for all!" Kids are smart and this attitude devalues hard work, competition and talent. Don't have your kids play team sports if you can't learn or stand to lose.)

Again, I don't think the sky is falling - far from it! My family and I love hockey, I'm thrilled my kids love to play! I didn't grow up in MN or in an area with hockey, but have grown to love this awesome sport. Yes, it can get expensive, but I think it's an incredible value. And there's lots a ways to keep costs reasonable. And, much of the value, fun and best part for me other than watching my kids play and loving it, are that hockey folks just rock!

SWprez- Thanks for your ideas, I've already started some implementation. :wink: :wink:

boomerang
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Post by boomerang » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:57 am

For my son, when he has played C's, his frustration came from some of the kids wanting to play at a higher level and wanting to be competitive, but some of them just wanted to play for fun. Nothing wrong with either, but it's hard when those kids are all on the same team. You also have kids who want to play at a higher level, but the parents aren't willing to pay for it, so their kid is stuck on C's. You also have parents who THINK their kid should be on a higher level but really shouldn't, and it all ends up being a bunch of drama for the whole season rather than having fun playing hockey.

If you just take the kids into consideration, there often isn't enough of the kids who wanted to be competitive but just didn't quite make it to make one C team, even in a larger association. There just isn't usually a good solution to that problem, which is one of the reasons I think summer programs have done so well. It's also why my son stuck with it when he was a C. He knew he'd have a summer team to play on where the kids and parents all wanted to be there, and we got to choose the team we wanted to try out for.

BadgerBob82
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Post by BadgerBob82 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:07 am

Excellent post 1excg!!!

To clarify, the "sky is falling" comment was aimed at BoDangles. He among others should read 1excg's posts and understand that there is more to hockey than AAA super-duper elite players and parents that enjoy the game. And that USA Hockey, MN Hockey and associations make changes to benefit all players at all levels, not just their little super star.

MrBoDangles
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Post by MrBoDangles » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:36 pm

BadgerBob82 wrote:Excellent post 1excg!!!

To clarify, the "sky is falling" comment was aimed at BoDangles. He among others should read 1excg's posts and understand that there is more to hockey than AAA super-duper elite players and parents that enjoy the game. And that USA Hockey, MN Hockey and associations make changes to benefit all players at all levels, not just their little super star.
You're very confused.... Always have been.

The old format is for "super-duper elite" players?

BadgerBob82
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Post by BadgerBob82 » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:13 am

The "old" system was great! You're little guy was fine at B's.

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