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01-28-2013, 10:32 PM
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The debate is endless on this. My own opinion is that there is only so many kids in a given geographic location who are AA players. I feel no greater emphasis should be placed on those players than what should be emphasized at the house league level. The intention of minor hockey associations should be to promote the game period. You achieve this by having a forward thinking executive, quality coaching whose main focus is skill development and the commitment to retain those coaches. So can this be achieved in the traditional tiered system? Absolutely. AA should be reserved for your truly elite players. Those players that possess the highest skill level at their age group. If that means, through careful examination, there are only four teams worth of AA players so be it. The rest go to tier II. You AP the kids you want and extend the invitation to attend practices. You don't flower things up and call it an affiliate team. There is NOTHING wrong with playing tier II. Parents just don't want to accept it. Surely I am not the only one with this opinion. For some reason this seems to be more of an issue for city folk... On a rural team the reality is you are fighting for what maybe 2, 3 forward spots or 1, 2 defence spots. Now that's tough. You don't make it and oh well, most rural kids seem to be alright with that. In the city it 's the end of the world. So how do they stop the sky from falling? By calling it a "minor league affiliate."

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