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Advice for someone organizing a team?

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Old
03-19-2013, 07:04 PM
  #1
TickleMeYandle
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Advice for someone organizing a team?

My husband is working with another person to organize a new team for the summer league. They've got about 8 people so far who are interested and need 8 more to have a full roster. They know a lot of people who play that level, so I have no doubt they'll get pretty close to a full lineup, and be able to fill any extra spots with free agents from the rink.

He's not really organized something like this before. The other person he's working with has agreed to be the rep with the rink, take care of the paperwork, etc. I'm sure that between the two of them they'll be able to make this happen, but I'd appreciate any input and suggestions as to how to make this go smoothly and be a positive experience for everyone involved!

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03-19-2013, 08:28 PM
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nullterm
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Stay on top of the money/payments from everyone. If they aren't pulling their weight like the rest of the team then find someone who will pay to take that spot. Ideally, have them pay up before they play the equivalent number of games. It's ended up happening just about every team I played on, usually the better players who figure they are a gift to the team paying in points instead of cash. Just make sure you know how you want to handle it when it happens.

As a first season, don't have high expectations on the team. You will likely get a mix of skill levels and all guys who have never played together. Be patient, go out and enjoy the game.

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03-19-2013, 09:43 PM
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Biggest issue most people encounter is delinquent payments.

The second issue is getting people to show up. You need at least 8 guys who will -always- show up.

Keep a few subs handy in case of emergencies. Always have a few goalies who can fill in as well.

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Old
03-19-2013, 10:36 PM
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nullterm
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Oh, rent some ice time for the team to scrimmage together before the season. Once or twice.

See how good everyone is, then decide what positions people will play from that. Best skaters usually defence or center.

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Old
03-20-2013, 12:56 PM
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I ran a beer league team for a long time heres 3 things I'll recommend:

1) People have to pay a down payment before the first game and there needs to be a deadline for full payment. If you don't get payment of at least a good chunk in advance it's very easy for someone to peace out when payment is due after stealing games without paying. This is usually a "friend of a friend".

2) People will get frusturated if there is 1 player who is CLEARLY below the level of everyone else, not worth the headache

3) Make sure there's cold beer available after every game...

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03-20-2013, 01:16 PM
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+1 on get the money in advance. Don't pay, don't play.

Personality >>>>>>>> Talent. Unless they are well under the skill level of the league, I will take a funny guy with a great attitude over a ringer who screams at his teammates and sulks.

Try and get some natural defensemen. It's hard because nobody likes playing D (it seems). But it helps.

Always get names and numbers of reliable backup goalies.

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Old
03-20-2013, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
+1 on get the money in advance. Don't pay, don't play.

Personality >>>>>>>> Talent. Unless they are well under the skill level of the league, I will take a funny guy with a great attitude over a ringer who screams at his teammates and sulks.

Try and get some natural defensemen. It's hard because nobody likes playing D (it seems). But it helps.

Always get names and numbers of reliable backup goalies.
All of this is spot on. I run a team as well as the league I'm in, and by far the biggest headaches for me are guys not paying when they are supposed to, guys who are jerks in the room and/or on the ice, and finding a substitute goaltender when yours can't go.

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03-20-2013, 05:38 PM
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TickleMeYandle
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I think they will be lucky in that so far, pretty much everyone already knows one another. It's a mix of people that have played together in various leagues, as well as an organized drop-in style league. So I think they will get along pretty well. Any free agents they pick up could be another story, we'll have to see how that goes.

They also have plenty of goalies and backup. At least three people wanted to be in net for the team, plus the actual person who is going to be goalie. The organizer of the team also plays G, so if all else fails she can jump in net.

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03-20-2013, 06:18 PM
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payments is number 1, set a deadline and stick to it, no excuses

dont always recruit top end players cause the majority of the time they tend to put you in a division most of the team cannot keep up with

personalty, make sure you like playing with the people on your team

max roster 9 forwards, 5 d and a goalie with subs. no more full time people because it will cause tension with people taking to much ice time and such

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03-20-2013, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
+1 on get the money in advance. Don't pay, don't play.

Personality >>>>>>>> Talent. Unless they are well under the skill level of the league, I will take a funny guy with a great attitude over a ringer who screams at his teammates and sulks.

Try and get some natural defensemen. It's hard because nobody likes playing D (it seems). But it helps.

Always get names and numbers of reliable backup goalies.
Great post!

To add to a couple points (and steal from a few others here)

1)Payment - Have everyone understand EXACTLY what they're paying for when you're convincing them to join the league. There are possibly fees not considered... like jerseys. If your league requires a home and away and matching socks, that's at least $60-70 extra per person. More if you want better jerseys, so find out what the team wants!

2)Personality... I'll add to this the point someone made about cold beer. Doesn't have to be beer, but have some tasty beverages for after the games in a compacting cooler, and then have someone else bring it home the following game. Keep the tradition going... it'll help build your team.

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Old
03-20-2013, 07:37 PM
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Personality is a big thing I forgot to mention.

You can ice a 15 man roster and one ****** bag can ruin the experience for everyone.

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Old
03-21-2013, 03:07 AM
  #12
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My suggestion is to PM me about it because I'm looking for a team this summer in your area.


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Old
03-21-2013, 08:47 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
My husband is working with another person to organize a new team for the summer league. They've got about 8 people so far who are interested and need 8 more to have a full roster. They know a lot of people who play that level, so I have no doubt they'll get pretty close to a full lineup, and be able to fill any extra spots with free agents from the rink.

He's not really organized something like this before. The other person he's working with has agreed to be the rep with the rink, take care of the paperwork, etc. I'm sure that between the two of them they'll be able to make this happen, but I'd appreciate any input and suggestions as to how to make this go smoothly and be a positive experience for everyone involved!
As someone who is in his third season of organizing and running a team, let me tell you what works.

1. Scheduled payments

The average season (per player) here costs about $450, so I break it down into payments for people. For summer season, which starts mid-April, I break it down to easy to manage and easy to afford payments:

February 20 - $50 (the initial deposit which signifies commitment to the team)
March 18 - $140
April 19 - $160
May 17 - $100

As we're in the middle of the season now and most of the guys are returning, I just have them bring it to a game or meet up with me. Keep in mind that, as the organizer, there will be times that you have to remind/chase after people for money, it's just part of running a team. I usually circumvent this by offering people places to meet me (ie near my work/home) or meeting them if I'm in the neighborhood. Giving people the option to pay me in cash or via email money transfer helps as well.

On a side note, alot of players feel that a goalie shouldn't be charged...well pretty much all the time, which is something I disagree with. I charge my goalie $100 a season usually, because when someone makes a financial commitment to the team, he/she usually has a larger incentive to actually show up and play well. You may disagree but everyone runs their team differently, I find that it's worked really well for my team.

2. Roster / Lineup

Once you have the initial deposit with your players, it's usually good to figure out the lines for your team. After the first season, I had a good general of which players played well together and which didn't. I tried not to stick too many players on their off-wing unless it couldn't be helped and tried to make the lines balanced. I'm sure many other people will tell you to stack one line and have mediocre players on the other, but it's beer league, not the NHL. The first season, I ran 2 forward lines, but some of the guys were out of shape so I ramped it up to 3 lines for the second season (just 3 forward lines and 2 D lines). People seemed to enjoy it but line changes always seem to get screwed up, which is why I'm going back to 2 lines for the summer season. It really boils down to what kind of players you have on the team (attitude-wise mostly).

Just wanted to add that personality is very important, as well as attitude with the locker room. Try to get guys that are easy going but like to compete. If someone is every a problem, I talk to them in private after a game. If it continues, I call them them out after the game in front of everyone else. If it is still a problem, then I can simply refund the rest of their money and find another player. Obviously this option isn't always feasible, but I've never had an issue where it actually got to this point.

3. Paperwork / League

For the league that I play in, I have to fill out 3 different forms for registration on behalf of the team, which asks me everyone's age, past experience, and general skill level, etc. for balancing of divisions. At the beginning of the season we're put into whichever division the convener decides and then there's about 3-5 games we play before any "unbalanced" divisions are reorganized, the overly-skilled teams that are undefeated being moved up and the teams that are being pumped every game moved down, so there's great parity there. At the beginning of each game, we sign a roster sheet with our name/signature/number and that's pretty much all of the paperwork.

4. Jerseys

Alot of people will recommend online retailers, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $20-$50 per jersey for a decent set of jerseys. Alot of companies have a minimum number of jerseys that you have to order, so don't sweat about any extra jerseys as they can be used for spare players when your main guys are missing. More on that below. Back to jerseys! I ordered my jerseys (have the Bruins design but replace the black with Pink) from a local retailer and they were done in a month or so, so make sure to order them ahead of time if you can. Alot of places will do it faster, but I ordered a few months ahead of time just in case. The reason we got pink jerseys because most leagues require two sets of jerseys in case there's ever a color conflict. The most common colors you'll find in beer leagues is black, red, white, and blue. We've never had any issues with our one set of jerseys so that's why...

5. Spare Players

There will be times when guys bail last minute, or even ahead of time, and playing with a shorter bench can sometimes be frustrating, or sometimes not. I have a few spare jerseys in case we are ever short players, which looks nice but usually isn't mandatory. Most leagues are laid back enough where as long as the color isn't the same as the opposing team, your spares can wear a "similar" colored jersey as your teams'.

For playoffs, players have to play a minimum number of games (usually 5-7) to qualify to play in the playoffs. Keep this in mind (if your league is like this) when using spares. I used the same 3 or 4 spares all season and now they're helping us in the playoffs even though they aren't officially on the team, it's great.

6. Scheduling / Games / Attendance

I tried a Facebook group, worked decent, but alot of people aren't Facebook-savvy. I found that my system of just mass texting my entire team a few days before game time with something like this: "Next game Monday, March 25 @ 8:00 pm at Local Hockey Rink Goes Here, please confirm attendance" works really well, and 95% of the time, people respond within a reasonable time frame and it helps me figure out the spare situation in case someone can't make it.

People will bail on you last minute, people will get injured, people will give you lame excuses, and sometimes people will just not answer their phone. Don't let it frustrate you and make sure that you have fun, because in the end, we're all paying to have fun and play hockey.

If you have any other questions, let me know!

Cheers

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Old
03-21-2013, 10:34 AM
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How we've done it in the past is, you pay up front all the costs and the captain cashes the check when it's due. We've had a few guys bail mid-season, so the captain doesn't have to eat the costs of that.

We also tried to schedule summer practices but nobody would show up and the captain got stuck with the ice time bill. So this year we're taking $100 from everyone and putting it towards ice time for the summer because we need the practice.

For beer, my winter team doesn't do anything (other than go out 1-2 times to a sports bar after games). Summer team would do beer and there was a rotation, two guys would bring beers for each game. That's not bad because you only buy 1-2 times a year and everyone takes a turn. And of course soda/water for those who don't drink.

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03-21-2013, 02:52 PM
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Thanks for all of that info! It's very useful and I'm happy to say that things are really coming together.

Personality-wise, all of the people so far who have signed up know one another and get along. I have no idea how they're going to do their lines, etc. and they probably won't tell me much since I play on a competing team in that league. But they're happy to have me help get players, I guess...PM has been sent to ya, Rundblad!

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Old
03-21-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roffleburger View Post
As someone who is in his third season of organizing and running a team, let me tell you what works.

1. Scheduled payments

The average season (per player) here costs about $450, so I break it down into payments for people. For summer season, which starts mid-April, I break it down to easy to manage and easy to afford payments:

February 20 - $50 (the initial deposit which signifies commitment to the team)
March 18 - $140
April 19 - $160
May 17 - $100

As we're in the middle of the season now and most of the guys are returning, I just have them bring it to a game or meet up with me. Keep in mind that, as the organizer, there will be times that you have to remind/chase after people for money, it's just part of running a team. I usually circumvent this by offering people places to meet me (ie near my work/home) or meeting them if I'm in the neighborhood. Giving people the option to pay me in cash or via email money transfer helps as well.

On a side note, alot of players feel that a goalie shouldn't be charged...well pretty much all the time, which is something I disagree with. I charge my goalie $100 a season usually, because when someone makes a financial commitment to the team, he/she usually has a larger incentive to actually show up and play well. You may disagree but everyone runs their team differently, I find that it's worked really well for my team.

6. Scheduling / Games / Attendance

I tried a Facebook group, worked decent, but alot of people aren't Facebook-savvy. I found that my system of just mass texting my entire team a few days before game time with something like this: "Next game Monday, March 25 @ 8:00 pm at Local Hockey Rink Goes Here, please confirm attendance" works really well, and 95% of the time, people respond within a reasonable time frame and it helps me figure out the spare situation in case someone can't make it.

Cheers
The teams that run the best always follow exactly what roffleburger posted. I just wanted to jump in on these two points.

Goalies pay? I've heard of such mystical teams, but I've never been a part of one. I'm lucky enough to not pay on either one of my three teams and am thankful for it. And too be honest, unless I knew I really wanted to join the team (chance at playing higher div., etc.) I don't know If I would pay to play. But I'm spoiled.

This is something that has to be determined between the captain and goalie in question. As a more established team, this may be easier to get to. For a new, beginner team, it may be best to avoid this off the bat.

As for scheduling, the mass text does wonders. Always has worked for the teams I played for.

Another team I play on uses teamsnap that has the ability for players to sign in whether they are attending or not as well as it sends out a mass email a few days prior as a reminder about the game and time.

It all depends on the organizer and their teams receptiveness for their ways.

Try different ways, bounce ideas off of the rest of the team, find what works best for the team in question.

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Old
03-21-2013, 04:44 PM
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Hound guys for the money, routinely make sure everyone is still able to play.

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Old
03-31-2013, 11:33 PM
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I run a dynasty here in Chicago in the over-30 league that just won its 8th championship in 9 seasons. Here's a tip I'll give you that others haven't mentioned.

To notify my team of games I send out a mass email and I encourage everyone to "reply all" with their answer as to whether or not they will be at the game. The reason I do this is to build team chemistry. In the old days, you would see your teammates 4 times a week for pratices and games and often more than that if you were classmates. But, as we get older and move onto rec league you are lucky if you are with your team once a week. Therefore, I use the mass email as a way to simulate a locker room. Throughout the week leading up to a game the guys are always going back and forth on the email chain with playful trash talking and banter. This helps build friendships and a feeling of "team". When we do get to the locker room that banter spills over and continues in person.

After each game I send out another email with a recap that always has some playful barbs in it.

As for attendance I have a strict policy on my team that we cut it off after 13 skaters reply IN. 3 lines and 4 d is our limit. If more than 13 reply in I decide who plays and who stays home. If someone has to stay home they get first pick for the next game they want to attend. I also don't accept maybe as an answer. You are either in or you're out. Because of this system I don't have a problem with players bailing at the last minute.

Send the emails out at least 4-5 days in advance, don't wait till the day before or day of. Also, ask your goalie to give you as much advance notice as possible to games he can't make. Have a sub list of at least 3-5 goalies you can call. And don't charge your goalie, that's just gay.

I don't like the payment plan suggested by others. Money is due first game, , most people will get it to you by the 2nd game. For those that can't afford to pay all at once have them come to you individually and work out a payment plan.

As captain, bring pucks and water bottles unless you have someone else who wants to do it. Try and be the first one to arrive so you can get the locker room, fill up the bottles etc.

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Old
04-01-2013, 08:50 AM
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And don't charge your goalie, that's just gay.
Gay? What is this, high school? You should learn your adjectives.

Most people prefer not to charge their goalie, but $100 a year really isn't much to pay and again, I find it gives them a bigger incentive to play due to the (small) financial commitment. I don't think goalies should get a free ride because of the common mentality amongst beer league players and the fact that they have spent alot of money on their equipment.

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04-01-2013, 02:51 PM
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The team has come together quite nicely, and they seem to be less flaky/more committed than some people I've worked with in the past. The person in charge of assigning free agents to teams at the local rink isn't always the most conscientious about getting people on teams, and there were several free agents just waiting around...sometimes for MONTHS...hoping to get on a team. So rather than waiting for them to be assigned, we just spoke to them at pick-up or stick time and they jumped at the chance. It seems everyone knows someone who is looking for a team and they all wanted a chance to get in on the season.

I personally am on a rival team, it should be fun to have a friendly rivalry between the two teams.

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Old
04-07-2013, 01:01 AM
  #21
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Get to know the person that runs the league. There will be times when you need to have important converstaions with them (ie payment, suspensions, refs etc), these convos are easier to have when your buddy buddy with them.

also my goalie plays for free but it is up to him to ensure a goalie is at the game. If he cant make it, he finds the replacement. Even if that means he has to pay for a rental. This is a headache you dont want to have to deal with.

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04-07-2013, 08:45 AM
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I run a dynasty here in Chicago in the over-30 league that just won its 8th championship in 9 seasons. Here's a tip I'll give you that others haven't mentioned.



As for attendance I have a strict policy on my team that we cut it off after 13 skaters reply IN. 3 lines and 4 d is our limit. If more than 13 reply in I decide who plays and who stays home. If someone has to stay home they get first pick for the next game they want to attend. I also don't accept maybe as an answer. You are either in or you're out. Because of this system I don't have a problem with players bailing at the last minute.


How do you tell a guy who's paid for a whole season that he can't play in one of the games because somebody texted you back faster?

Do you make your old lady sit in the bleachers with a video camera too?

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04-07-2013, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by roffleburger View Post
Most people prefer not to charge their goalie, but $100 a year really isn't much to pay and again, I find it gives them a bigger incentive to play due to the (small) financial commitment. I don't think goalies should get a free ride because of the common mentality amongst beer league players and the fact that they have spent alot of money on their equipment.
Then you're finding the wrong goalies to begin with.

My experience has been just the opposite - teams around here don't usually make the goalies pay because they're the only one who has to treat it like a job.

Ultimately, however, it boils down to supply and demand - if lots of goalies are itching to play, then charging's not a bad thing.

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04-07-2013, 12:44 PM
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How do you tell a guy who's paid for a whole season that he can't play in one of the games because somebody texted you back faster?

Do you make your old lady sit in the bleachers with a video camera too?
If I ever played for a team like that, it would be done after the first season...and I'd ask for a refund for every game I'd had to miss.
When I ran my team we all payed the same therefore we all played the same.

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04-07-2013, 01:00 PM
  #25
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Our cap' deals w/guys paying weeks/months late every freakin' session and it's been that way for years. We know they're good for it and the bills get paid, but the "I'll have it next week" crap being repeated for a month or longer would have be smacking people. Probably why I don't run things :p

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