AAU HOCKEY FOR 2006-2007

Discussion of Minnesota Youth Hockey

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AAU HOCKEY FOR 2006-2007

Post by rumplestiltskin » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:53 pm

Are there any programs starting up a new clubs opting out of their local Association? This maybe the avenue for AAA hockey in season. AAU has started to sanction teams clubs and players for the 2006-2007 season. Their Insurance 14.00 per player is the best in amatuer sports, would cover players for one full year and at any event sanctioned or non sanctioned. AAU could very well be paving the way for AAA hockey all season in Minnesota.

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Post by my2cents » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:26 am

AAU hockey is to MN Association hockey as The World Football League was to the NFL.

Leave the winter traveling association hockey alone. Don't let a few over-zealous parents who think that the situation for their kids isn't ideal ruin it for everyone else. AAA summer hockey is plenty.

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Post by Hobey Faker » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:01 pm

my2cents? how exactly would this ruin winter hockey for everyone else?
please explain; and then explain why the parents of kids that would
partisipate in a winter AAA program are over zealos.

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Post by elliott70 » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:26 pm

I remember one of the very first times my father took me fishing on Rainy Lake. I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. Rainy is a big lake with lots of islands, bays and various passages. When we finally slowed and cast out our lines, I remember thinking that it could not be any better. The beauty of the blue water and the reflected granite cliffs and pines was beyond belief. It was as if we were alone in a world that God had created just for us.

Then we motored through a tight passage and I was amazed. The cliffs were taller, the trees greener, and, if possible, the water bluer. And near the shore wading through the rushes was a bull moose. I could not wait for the next bay. What would it bring?

And then, we turned at the point. An island had been burnt and the trees stood like used matches pushed into the ground. Four other boats patroled the water. The beauty and peace was gone.

Be careful, what lies around the next point may not meet your mind's expectaions.

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Post by rumplestiltskin » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:55 pm

AAU could be a good fit for some associations who are paying 40.00 for each player to be insured through USA/MN Hockey. I believe Edina and Rochester have toyed with finding their own insurance providers (not sure if they did). These associations were thinking they could get better coverage for less, with AAU they could save 26.00 per player multiply that by 1000 skaters. Of course were talking about city teams or in-house players who do not travel.

I'm not saying its a good or bad thing but it is nice to have options. With the current USA/Minnesota Hockey rules its their way or the highway.

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Post by pucker52 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:30 am

I think this would be a good development for Minnesota on several fronts. I don't believe the cost of insurance will have anything to do with it however when you consider how insignificant even $40 (or even $100) is to the total cost of having a child in hockey for a season.

I think the competition--not between teams or associations--between the AAU structure and Minnesota Hockey would be good. When you have a locked down monopoly things tend to get sloppy, greedy, and arrogant. Having another venue for players to go to will help correct those situations within Minnesota Hockey and eventually among the associations.

Speaking of associations, there seems to be a common theme throughout many of the discussions on this site that all associations are the same and if someone wants to have their child play somewhere else it is because they are epitomize the overbearing hochey parent. As someone who has had direct experience with several associations, some are very good, well run programs and some should just melt the ice and fold up. For a child trapped by Minnesota Hockey in one of the latter organizations, AAU could be the best hockey alternative.
Shuck the puck!!!

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Post by 54fighting » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:37 pm

Great point Pucker!
Someone who lives in a large association has no idea what it is like in a small association.
My issue comes when an association feels it does not have enough talent (or parents willing to make the time commitment ) to skate teams at the A level. If there happens to be a talented kid at that level they just tell him tough luck. If that skater and his family decide to go outside of MH then they are labeled as crazy, overbearing parents. How is this fair? If a new skater comes to an association and they don't have a b2 or house program to skate on they are more than happy to waiver him somewhere that does. But if a talented skater asks to waiver to an association that skates an A team because his home association does not field one they say no way.
If Minnesota Hockey is so worried about losing kids to programs like this or Tier 1 then maybe they should stop wasting their time creating programs like HEP and start finding ways to offer these types of opportunities within Minnesota Hockey!

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Post by tcben » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:50 pm

I took the time to go to the AAU website and give the guy a call today. They seem to be for real and are interested in finding ways to accomodate the different circumstances that would occur from club to club. I guess the only difficulty would be finding teams of equal level (be it AAA or C) to play against. Are there any tournaments out there that allow non USA Hockey Rostered teams to enter ? Has anyone around the TC area pulled the trigger on this yet ? Interesting Times Indeed.

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Post by lxhockey » Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:17 pm

No tournament sanctioned by MN Hockey (and all MN association tournaments fall into this category) could allow a team in the tournament that is not rostered through USA Hockey. This is my understanding.

http://www.minnesotahockey.org/handbook ... OUTHRR.pdf

See Section XI - Tournament Sanctioning - Item A.

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AAU and Bernie partnership

Post by he_shoots-he_scores » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:30 pm

Don't get me wrong I am not a Bernie goof ball like many on this site but I think someone should get AAU and Bernie together to start running some tournaments out of his new rink. They will probably have to get all there teams from Canada but it would be one way to get ice and games and bypass both MN hockey and US hockey. If you start it it will grow

Elliot I like your story about the fishing trip but you forgot to mention that the part of the lake that was burned was probably under the care of MN Hockey.

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Post by Gums45 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:26 pm

AAU hockey ruining the sanctity of MN hockey is a scare tactic. It's just like gay unions somehow affecting the institution of my marriage. I'm just not convinced we need to impose mandatory association hockey if there is a demand for alternatives. Just thought I'd throw that out there to provoke discussion. :shock:

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Post by elliott70 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:38 am

that's good humor.

First, MN Hockey is not a bunch of guys off by themselves. It is anyone that wants to be involved, whether at the local level district level, state level or natonal level. It is not hard to get involved. A phone call and you can be on a state committee or probably be a District officer.

Second, AAU has met with MN Hockey top level people. They have no particular interest in ice hockey in MN. Why? Because it is organized so well already (their words). They are interested in in-line (roller blade) hockey.

Third, no one will have an answer for every one involved.

Fourth, AAU does a very good job with what they do, but yet they do not provide all the answers - they have basketball, baseball programs yet there are other organizations offering the same type of programs/services. If you think basketball or baseball are run better in Minnesota than hockey thatn you have not looked with your eyes open. (I do not know anything about soccer so have no comment.)

If people want to set up an AAU hockey program it does not bother me a bit. But as I tried to say, the grass is not always greener. Every organization has to have rules to be organized.

And like hesocres said, MN Hockey has burnt some forests. But hen again, shouldn't all of us be tending to the care of the forests.

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Post by RLStars » Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:43 am

I think some people on this board are confusing AAU with AAA hockey. Different animal altogrther.

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Something New

Post by jackstraw » Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:04 am

Elliott, your prose is alway's good. Let me throw some feedback at you. When you first went through the passage to the taller cliff's, no body was there to stop you. If you went through the next passage now, that burnt out forest might well be a beautiful re-grown forest, and no-body will be there to stop you.

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Post by pucker52 » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:04 pm

Jackstraw hit the puck square. Imagine if Elliot70 had arrived at the burnt out bay first, could see parts of the beautiful bays but was never allowed to go there. That's what too many kids face with MN Hockey.

Why not have "open enrollment" in the associations? Let kids move around at will and pretty soon the shoddy associations will change their ways or fold up. I would venture a guess that more kids would stay in hockey than are currently getting frustrated and quitting.

Judging by Elliot's earlier comments and the comments about the agenda of the upcoming MN Hockey annual meeting (see the other posting), MN Hockey and the directors have become every bit the complacent, arrogant, "everything is beautiful" group you would expect from lack of competition.

I do agree with Elliot's one point above, one organization can't meet everyone's needs.
Shuck the puck!!!

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Post by RLStars » Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:30 am

Let kids move around at will and pretty soon the shoddy associations will change their ways or fold up. I would venture a guess that more kids would stay in hockey than are currently getting frustrated and quitting.
I just don't see a KID becoming so frustrated with an association that they quit. Parents yes, kids no.

That has to be the most redicuous statement ever. I am now dumber for having read and copying it.

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Post by 54fighting » Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:46 am

You could not be more wrong.
I love how people like to assume it's always the parents. Well believe it or not all kids are not the same and they don't all enjoy the same things.
There are kids who are more than happy to go out and skate 1 day a week and have a game or two on the weekends. There are also kids who are much more passionate about the game, they will skate every night if you let them and can't wait for the next practice or game. Neither one is more correct than the other.
In most associations this is not an issue because there is a place for both groups to play. The problems start when you get to a smaller association and you have to try to combine both types of player AND parent.
Is if fair to take a kid who is only interested in playing at the rec/house level and force him to make the commitment required to play at the A level. NO! But at the same time, is it fair to take one of the kids who is more passionate about the game and make him skate with kids that are not? NO!
Trust me I have seen kids on both sides of that scenerio quit.
While there are a few districts in the state that will allow some waivers to either group to try and get the kids skating where they get the most enjoyment out of it. Then there are others ( D10 ) who flat out refuse to even discuss the issue. If you are a player in a District 10 association that does not offer the level ( up or down) that you belong in you are trapped.

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Post by RLStars » Fri Sep 22, 2006 9:35 am

So how many of these kids that will play every night QUIT hockey all together because of the association?

You don't have to tell me how it works in small associations, I was the President of one and we struggle every year trying to do the right thing for the kids, play A or B.

My son was one of those "A" level players stuck on a "B" team. We worked really hard to Co-op with another small association to get an "A" team together and accomplished that. The team still struggles and players are still playing at a level that doesn't suit them and have quit. Not because of the association or MN Hockey, but because they couldn't keep up and mostly the parents did not want them skating "B" (pride). He got the high level competition by playing AAA in the summer. He played HS as a second year bantam freshman, made the District Advanced 15 team. Played well at the spring festival, but got passed over. Tried out for Elite II and made the team as a starter at 15 year old. If these frustrated players stick with it, they some leave youth hockey behind and move on to the next level.

What does all this have to do with AAU? IF you have kids that want recreational hockey only, why not expand on the "XL League" that started up? AAU hockey is roller hockey.

Pucker52 stated that if you allow all the kids to move freely, you would force the "shoddy" associations to change or fold. What does that have to do with an "A" player having to play "B" hockey because of numbers and overall competativeness?

I talked with a former coach at Cathedral HS a few years back about kids playing "A" or "B" within smaller associations and getting labled as "B" players in bigger associations. He told me that if he had a team full of passoinate "B" players, he'll take them to state. Guess what, he did.

54fighting-sounds like your beef is with District 10. Go to district meetings, run for a position, get involved at the district level.

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Post by 54fighting » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:24 pm

I am glad it worked out for your son. But I have seen good players just get frustrated and quit or leave and that bothers me. I feel like we (MN Hockey) may have let them down.
You are correct. Most of my frustration is with District 10 because that is the district I am familiar with. I was the president of a small assosiation within that district. We too worked very hard to put together a merger at the peewee and bantam levels while I was there. Our current board has taken a different approch and is not merging with anyone and will not be offering an A team at either the Peewee or Bantam level.
Explain to me why a district the size of D10 could not come up with a way to eliminate issues like this.
If your home association does not field a team at your age group and level of play weather that is A,B1,B2 or C why not allow the skater to move? Who does that hurt? I can see not allowing kids to waiver into an association like Blaine or Centennial ( they would not take them anyway, no need ) but why not allow them to go to another one of the smaller associations. That way if their association does not have a team at their level for whatever reason at least the kids have an option. The way it is right now they don't. A few boneheads at the local level can screw things up for alot of kids. I think that is what Pucker is talking about.
I would think MH would want there to be some type of consistancy from district to district.
I am sure you know the headaches involved with the constant A vs B battles year after year.
It just seems that it should not be this hard.

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Post by RLStars » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:43 pm

Still want to know what that has to do with AAU?

District 5 passed a waiver a couple years ago that says:

Dist 5 has voted to use the open enrollment at a school in place of the waiver. This only with in the district. If a yourh from Monticello is open enrolled in the Buffalo school system he or she can get a letter from the Buffalo School system showing he or she is going to school there. They can play for Buffalo and have that letter with the roster book instead of a waiver. This is only with in the District.

I dont know what towns your in or what town you could have your kids play for, but maybe this would be a good thing for District 10 to have.

You need to get involved in the District operations, either by running for a district position or going to meetings to be heard. Instead of bashing MN Hockey and Eliott70, email him and some of the other District Diredtors about your concerns and see if they can do something. I'm not sure, but I think the District Director has the final say in an waiver situations.

Again, what does this have to do with AAU?

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Post by 54fighting » Fri Sep 22, 2006 2:28 pm

It has nothing to with AAU in particular. The disscusion is more about kids having options, be it with AAU,AAA, Tier 1 or whatever.
I find it odd how if someone gets on this board and questions anything that MH does they automaticlly become a MH basher. Isn't part of the reason for the board? To throw out questions or complaints to see if there are any solutions. Maybe get some fresh ideas from people who are not normally as involved?
I would not bash Elliott. I think his attitude is exactly what MH needs more of. He is on here looking for ideas and suggestions and will listen to complaints and concerns.
I have spent over 35 years involved in Minnesota Hockey as a player, coach, board member/ president and parent. I want to see it succeed. But I believe the only way to do so is to continue to evolve and adapt.
If that means that we need to question things once in a while so be it.

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Post by rumplestiltskin » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:11 pm

you made some valid points for wanting changes. The reason I started this topic was to see if people were satisfied with their local association. Seems like some are not and would welcome a second choice. I personally have seen where a few people can get labeled as trouble makers in local associations for voicing their opinion too much. I believe that if you have a true passion for the game no person or group can stop you from trying to make it better. I also have sat on my local board but there is a group of people in there now that are real tight and are making it hard for people with differing opinions to get or stay on the board. AAU hockey might be the direction, time will tell. In the mean time keep the posts coming.

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Post by Charliedog » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:56 pm

The addition of AAU hockey intrigues me as it may benefit not just the A kids from small associations, but also the "bubble" kids. These "bubble kids" are close enough to play 3rd line A, but for various reasons will probably never achieve it. It would be great if this group of kids were to be given a chance to suceed under quality coaching and a more challenging environment.

I am not trying to be critical of MN Hockey, but for the most part they are like a school district. Most of the attention is focused on the "gifted -A players" and the "just at or below average-House/C kids" (yes, I realize that many C kids are very talented and for personal reasons choose to play C). But, what happens to the group of "just above average kids". As with the school system, they fall through the cracks. This is the reality of life, but why not try something different for this group and for the small association A's. I cannot see how it would take away from MN Hockey.

As a side note let me say that I am very grateful for the huge amount of personal time and money the volunteers give under the umbrellas of Minnesota Hockey and their local associations. They make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of kids.

Signed....parent of a "bubble"!

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Post by goldy313 » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:19 pm

Baseball in Minnesota is run very well, I'd say from my experiance it's probably run better than any other sport. This isn't a knock at MAHA by any means but most every community has an independant association that is not tied to any other orginization which at lower levels is a very good thing, then as kids get older independant and National orgizations take charge like the VFW, American Legion, on up to Minnesota Amateur Baseball. There's a reason Minnesota is always a top 3 state when it comes to the numbers of kids playing baseball. I wish MAHA would follow baseballs lead and wait until bantam age before they took over so completely or at the very least leave the purely recreational player alone and just be involved at the A and B traveling level; letting kids play for the fun and the sake of playing and keep from getting so heavily involved in districts and tournaments.

I have 4 boys 3 of which quit hockey because of the association. I supported them and payed their way but watched as costs grew, politics became heavily involved, structured practices 3-4 times a week became normal, level 3 coaches taught man to man defense, and 8:30 games on a week night 2 hours away from home took their toll. The fact that we are not anywhere near the economic class of most hockey families didn't help either, if you're friends aren't playing why should you. 2 went on to wrestle in high school and 1 just went hunting and ice fishing and none ever looked back. All 3 will say they quit because they weren't having any fun, my oldest was a 1st year Bantam A player my youngest a C level player so I've dealt with all levels of competiton.

I have a Neice who is heavily involved in Volleyball, mostly through the AAU. My issue with the AAU is that they take up so much time that you basically are forced to become a one sport athlete which in my opinion is horrible, though most hockey people now disagree with me. I watched a bunch of friends kids give up baseball because their Squirt A coach scheduled ice every Monday and Thursday evenings this summer with the implication that if you want to play traveling Peewee hockey you'll be at hockey not baseball. AAU or USA Hockey six of one a half dozen of the other, they both just want your money. [/b]

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Post by Flyingdutchmn » Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:58 pm

I was wrong for doing my laundry in a public forum. The problems with this program are facts and its too bad, for the kids sake. Hal Turse had a great article (August issue in Lets Play Hockey) about board members not being allowed to sit on coaches selection committees. Perhaps MNhockey and USA hockey should set rules on how Association Board members can conduct meetings and such. When things go astray at the local level the higher ups (MN hockey) should be able to take control. Maybe then we wouldn't have people wanting a change like AAU.
Last edited by Flyingdutchmn on Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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