Hockey in America
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11-19-2009, 10:51 AM
Smokes, Let's go
Join Date: Sep 2009
Originally Posted by
Here in MA hockey is still popular. Part of the reason for it's struggle in other parts of the country is the cost to play at the upper levels. Most of the top players in the North East play prep school (30k+) or Jr's (6K+) My nephew is leaving a prep school that gave him a ton of $$$ to attend in order to play in the new NAPHL. Cost 8500. Drive time around 75 minutes each way so add gas $ for that. Total cost around 12K.
I believe you can play local hockey at a fraction of that but it's still 1K+. Do to all the options available to kids in the USA hockey will never become bigger.
This is probably the most accurate thing to describe hockey in MA. Prep school hockey and college hockey are HUGE here but the hockey players mainly come from affluent families or skilled to the point where they can go on free ride.
The other issue is cost of equipment and ice time. It's so expensive here and to outfit kids every year, there's only so many "Play it again sports" here. Play it again is basically a used equipment store around here. ALL of my equipment minus sticks was from places like that and other families we knew around the rinks. Our families wasn't poor, but my parents had the three of us and it was difficult to buy equipment ever year.
Football equipment here is provided by the programs, Baseball you usually buy your own but it can be provided and basketball, well basketball there is no equipment.
It all started ultimately with friends playing though in the streets. Street Hockey is played avidly by youngins round here. I remember my buddy's dad built a rink in his backyard and that was pretty much where we spent most of our days.
We played some basketball, lot of baseball, almost no football, and pretty much all street hockey growing up because you only needed four people and often it would be just two of us.
If the costs were decreased, I can guarantee that it would become big here. In MA, I grew up on the South Shore and alot of my youth hockey if not in the rink was spent on the Cranberry bogs and small ponds. Didn't need equipment and just play with the others there. Parents though are so over protective as well to the point they want their kids in full equipment. My dad would send me out on the bog with a stick, gloves and helmet and he'd keep an eye on me and that's it. Not only that, someone is guranteed to fall through ice once a year because the weather is so changing all the time.
Ultimately I feel that hockey is probably the best of all four, but Football here will always be superior due to its indoctrination into our blood. If you have the chance, go to a place like University of Florida or Alabama and watch a football game and you'll understand what dominates this landscape
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