Growing pains: Youth hockey's popular...

Growing pains: Youth hockey's popularity has boomed locally, but its three leagues are just start...

There are 13 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Mar 3, 2011, titled Growing pains: Youth hockey's popularity has boomed locally, but its three leagues are just start.... In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Galen Deak helps his 8-year-old son, Gabe, prepare for practice at the Chiller North ice rink.

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Since: Sep 09

Columbus, OH

#1 Mar 3, 2011
I have found Travel Hockey in the Columbus area to be far less constricted by politics than travel baseball and basketball. Travel Baseball is infested with agendas. It is simply the worst. In fact, the priorities, cost, numbers of games-played (ridiculous), and the fact that baseball is now pretty much a 12 month sport as early as 10 years old -- sends kids & their parents sprinting to other sports like Lacrosse for example.

Youth Hockey is still really in its infancy. I have found that the leadership of CAHA goes out of its way to keep costs low and interest high. Not all parents view Travel hockey as a means to get out of town for the weekend or some early path to the NHL.

Having said all that, I am quite concerned about High School hockey's relationship with youth hockey. It doesn't exist as far as I can tell and that probably has to do with the rivalry between high school coaches and club coaches. One thinks the other isn't doing a lot of teaching.--Both are right.

Mason, OH

#2 Mar 3, 2011
Wow, this sounds familiar. Columbus is quite a few steps ahead of the Greater Cincinnati area. Our organizations are just now coming to the table for discussions. The politics in youth sports never cease to amaze me. While not perfect, Columbus appears to be starting down the right path. I hope it goes well - for the kids' sake.
eyha parent

New York, NY

#3 Mar 3, 2011
I would just like to say that there is nothing in the world like a hockey parent. 630 am weekend games as well as the money spent leads to a great deal of passion amongst the community. i would have liked to have seen comments from a current eyha board member rather than someone who has resigned their post.
eyha parent

New York, NY

#4 Mar 3, 2011
also would like to note that out of 187 current nhl players born in the usa only 7 of them played travel hockey before the age of 15.

Lima, OH

#5 Mar 3, 2011
Growing pains are the reality here in local youth hockey. In all forms of youth sports it is generally the adults that get in the way of the best experience for the kids. Mr. Rose's perspective of seeing "no benefit to consolidation" is not seeing the forest through the trees.
CCYHA is a solid organization and does offer those who play there a great experience. However, the overall greater development of the individual player and the entire youth hockey community is what suffers without a single organizational structure. Evidence of the disparities can be seen at the 1999 birth year for sure.
Change is difficult for everyone. Unlike the other two groups that are volunteer-based, CCYHA has paid administrative positions and no one wants to vote to lose their own job, especially at the risk that they would not have a role in a new organization. Change is inevitable, however, and Buffalo, St. Louis and Cleveland are cities with comparable demographics with mature youth hockey organizations that you know went through their own growth issues as well.
Mr. Kershaw, since the CBJ own the all the ice in town (except for the fairgrounds and OSU), how about a little financial pressure on CCYHA to at least agree to play nice together? With the constant use of the word "mine" thrown around, I am not sure I just heard about a local youth hockey board meeting or watched the sea gulls in Finding Nemo...

Since: Jul 10

Columbus, OH

#6 Mar 3, 2011
eyha parent wrote:
also would like to note that out of 187 current nhl players born in the usa only 7 of them played travel hockey before the age of 15.
So, what I'm hearing you say is: Moms and Dads are wasting a whole lot of time and money on youth hockey.

Since: Jul 10

Columbus, OH

#7 Mar 3, 2011
Little Johnny gets to make the team because daddy pays $2,500 for travel hockey. Has that paying off for you, Johnny-Daddy?

Columbus, OH

#8 Mar 3, 2011
As a long time CCYHA parent, I am very pleased with the changes made with playing the other leagues. Also the creation of the of the Major and Minor division benefit everybody.

My only real beef with the CCYHA is the same kids end up on the same teams every year with the same coaches. Hmmmm and coincidentally, those coaches also coach the select teams......

Come on man....
hockey mom

Columbus, OH

#9 Mar 3, 2011
Of course those who make the "select" teams all have fathers who help coach...what about those who are less fortunate and don't have a father?? All sport teams are political
Dan Rapp

Columbus, OH

#10 Mar 3, 2011
Thanks for the interesting article about youth hockey in Columbus. I do wish we had found youth hockey at a younger age so whatever can be done to increase exposure to it should be considered.

Too many school districts do not acknowledge their students participation in club sports when club is the only option for that sport. That needs to change. We decorate the school lockers of our football, basketball, baseball, softball and cheer students while club sports are not recognized.

We have been very impressed with youth hockey and the people involved. I really appreciate the parents of experienced players, the time they spend with developing players, and having a blend of experience and developing players at the house level. These experienced players help to develop and mentor less experienced players allowing them to understand the cultural norms of hockey much more quickly. Peers can do this better than coaches can.

Hockey parents do need to be less critical and more supportive of their volunteer boards and coaches at times. Every team aspires to a winning season. When wins come hard, it is easy to get down on the coaches, the board, or the unfairness of the situation that our young player or team has found themselves in for the season. Winning is fun. Losing not so much. Losing is also a learning experience and important to player development. I try to appreciate the skill progression that I see each player make on all the youth teams.

We really enjoyed playing in more venues as schedules included EYHA, CAHA, and CCYHA teams. How the teams are formed does impact to some degree competitiveness of the teams for that season. I do like the EYHA model aligning players based mostly on local school districts and this has the potential of helping to develop High School programs. I don't think this model really "holds back" the development of more experienced players as they do have the opportunities of playing up, select and travel options.

Thanks for discussing the challenges of unification of these three organizations. They obviously have much more in common than is often recognized. They have a passion for youth. They have a passion for the great sport of hockey. They have a passion for providing young athletes with opportunities and venues for developing their skills. If you listen closely, you'll hear hockey sticks tapping the ice in appreciation of the efforts of these volunteers.
Barry M

Columbus, OH

#11 Mar 4, 2011
"Unlike the other two groups that are volunteer-based, CCYHA has paid administrative positions and no one wants to vote to lose their own job, especially at the risk that they would not have a role in a new organization."

Couldn't agree more. I suspect that is why Mr. Rose has such a 'capitalistic' view of CCYHA. The last I heard their Director of Hockey Operations alone is paid over $30,000.00 per year. That gravy train would disappear with a single youth organization in Columbus.

Grove City, OH

#12 Mar 6, 2011
EYHA and CAHA are moving in the right direction and following USA Hockey's American Development Model. I personally have not been impressed with CCYHA's operations and philosophy.

Travel and "select" teams are mostly about parent's egos. Our best house players dont even play on our "select" team because of time and financial constraints.

Dayton, OH

#13 Jun 2, 2012
Barry was right when he said that Scott Wheeler, who is CCYHA's Director of Hockey Operations, alone is paid over $30,000.00 per year. The funny thing is he is one of the most hated people at CCYHA. Ask any CCYHA parent about getting a response from Scott and you will hear the same thing.....he never responds back. Many of the CCYHA board members and leaders are arrogant and play the politics card way to often. The intersting thing is that enrollment at CCYHA has been on the decline over the past several years while the enrollment at CAHA and EYHA has been on the rise. We have had our kids play at both CCYHA and CAHA and find that CAHA seems better organized and has more of a true interest in the children.

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