What is the Best Way to Improve Youth Hockey?
Luis said: To "grow the game", we need to take a few steps to insure the sport is "popularized" and is available for the masses. We often miss excellent athletes simply because they cannot afford the game. Also, at the higher levels, opportunities to expand beyond youth years are typically limited to those willing to invest greatly in the game - Jr. Hockey fees of $6000 plus are not easy for everyone to pay. The system is, in some ways, broken and we need to work hard to fix it. Here are a few things we can do to start:
- Partner with private rinks to promote hockey in a way that will enhance their business model - youth hockey needs to be a viable business opportunity for the rinks to invest time and resources.
- Promote and showcase alternative technologies such as synthetic ice to lower overall cost of playing the game.
- Resuscitate roller hockey programs to promote a more inexpensive way play and provide additional opportunities to experience the game.
- Establish programs geared toward the retention and recruitment of players (including financial assistance) at all levels.
Editor's Note: Congratulations to Luis Vargas for winning this week's contest. As a thank you for his answer, HockeyShot.com is giving Luis a $50 gift certificate to HockeyShot.com. Want to win this week's prize? Be sure to click here for the latest Grow the Game contest.