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ACHA Skill Level

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08-24-2013, 05:01 PM
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El Cohiba
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ACHA Skill Level

Hey guys, sort of a random question but here goes

Long story short, I played hockey growing up, until my junior year of high school when I was 17. Ended up being offered two scholarships to ACHA D1 clubs and a few tryout invites to a WSHL (Tier 3 Jr.A) and Norpac team. I ended my hockey career due to persistent issues with my back, having two ruptured discs that would result in over a year of epidural shots, decompression therapy, physical therapy, and ultimately surgery. I quit largely due to the order of my neurosurgeon who basically said my back is shot.

Fast forward to now, about to turn 22 and haven't been on the ice since 18. Currently struggling to pay for school, even w/ my measly academic scholarship. My school offers much more in terms of grants to athletes, even club players (my school has ACHA D1 and 2) prompting me to contemplate picking up hockey again just for the money. If I were to play D2, what should I expect in terms of skill and more importantly, physicality? The last thing I want is for some plug to run me and kill my fragile back. Anyone have any advice? Thanks

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08-24-2013, 05:29 PM
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Wait, ACHA scholarships? It's a club organization, you wouldn't be eligible for varsity scholarships. Unless there's something a tad shady going on, I'm not aware of a scenario where you'd get money for playing ACHA.

As for the skill level, tough to say. I've heard it said that Division I has become quite good over the years, as the rosters are often made up of people who were top line high schoolers, though obviously it's a dramatic step down from the NCAA. I've only had experience watching D-I (many Illini games and one Robert Morris game), so can't give firsthand testimony about D-2, though.

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08-26-2013, 09:50 AM
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Even if one cannot offer varsity scholarships in ACHA, perhaps the college can renegotiate the need-based aid part of the financial aid package or the merit-based part if one makes an ACHA team; technically it's not an athletic scholarship but it amounts to a backdoor way to offer one.

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08-26-2013, 04:58 PM
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El Cohiba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by No Fun Shogun View Post
Wait, ACHA scholarships? It's a club organization, you wouldn't be eligible for varsity scholarships. Unless there's something a tad shady going on, I'm not aware of a scenario where you'd get money for playing ACHA.

As for the skill level, tough to say. I've heard it said that Division I has become quite good over the years, as the rosters are often made up of people who were top line high schoolers, though obviously it's a dramatic step down from the NCAA. I've only had experience watching D-I (many Illini games and one Robert Morris game), so can't give firsthand testimony about D-2, though.
They may not explicitly say it's a "scholarship" but they may offer a school "grant" because you are an athlete. Another poster here goes to my school and explained how they do it in a separate thread on here.

Mathradio, I believe that is another way in which some schools do it. I'm not entirely sure on all of the ins and outs, but I do know that there is money to be had based on word from other students

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08-26-2013, 06:05 PM
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Richard Murray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathradio View Post
Even if one cannot offer varsity scholarships in ACHA, perhaps the college can renegotiate the need-based aid part of the financial aid package or the merit-based part if one makes an ACHA team; technically it's not an athletic scholarship but it amounts to a backdoor way to offer one.
Atlantic Hockey can offer 14 scholarships per team.

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08-26-2013, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Murray View Post
Atlantic Hockey can offer 14 scholarships per team.
Atlantic Hockey and the ACHA are two very different things.

As far as the ACHA is concerned, its really quite a mixed bag. Some teams are actually quite good and could compete at the NCAA D3 level. Some teams are just straight dust. I feel as if this is the case regardless of what level of ACHA you compete at (D1, D2, or D3) but it weakens as it drops in level, so that there are more stronger teams in D1 then there are stronger teams in D2, and less weaker teams in D1 then in D2, etc. However there are strong teams at all three levels, its just that the quantity of those strong teams drops as the levels do.

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08-26-2013, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangler71 View Post
As far as the ACHA is concerned, its really quite a mixed bag. Some teams are actually quite good and could compete at the NCAA D3 level. Some teams are just straight dust. I feel as if this is the case regardless of what level of ACHA you compete at (D1, D2, or D3) but it weakens as it drops in level, so that there are more stronger teams in D1 then there are stronger teams in D2, and less weaker teams in D1 then in D2, etc. However there are strong teams at all three levels, its just that the quantity of those strong teams drops as the levels do.
Good post. Only thing I'll add is it also depends on what conference you're watching as well. Since I'm in California, I follow the ACHA teams based here with some exceptions. ACHA D-I comprises of the some D-I schools' club teams (such as Cornell) while others simply have just club programs such as Arizona State. At the ACHA D-I level, ASU is really quite good and could potentially move up to DIII, should they wanted to and if they could.

ACHA D-II I'd say is slightly below D-I in terms of overall skill level of teams. Again, comprised of some schools with existing D-I programs (such as Penn State) and some that only have club such as USC and San Jose State. I follow the West Division quite closely. USC and SJSU have traditionally had very strong teams. The Trojans have won the Pac-8 title six times (if memory serves me correctly) in the last 10 years or so (FYI, Univ. of Utah won the Pac-8 last season). San Jose State had the best record among all California-based ACHA D-II teams.

As for the original question regarding skill level or physicality, I can tell you that it's NOT NCAA D-I....far from it. From the teams/games that I've seen over the last several years, there are a few skilled guys that IMO are good enough to possibly play D-III, but not D-I. The skill package simply isn't there. As far as the physicality is concerned, it's hard to say because I've seen very physical ACHA games and not-so-physical ACHA games. Not much different than NCAA D-I or D-III in that regard. Like their NCAA counterparts, ACHA has their share of players that thrive in the physical game.

I hope that I was (sort of) able to answer your questions.

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08-30-2013, 10:42 AM
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Has any player from the ACHA made it to the NHL? Euro League? AHL?

Also, isnt Liberty University in the ACHA? Don't they have exhibition games against D1 schools?

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08-30-2013, 12:59 PM
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Well, at least according to their Wiki page, not too many moved on up, it seems like, given what they're showing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACHA#No...sional_leagues

Two AHLers and a few lower Euro leaguers, it looks like.

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08-30-2013, 01:43 PM
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As others have said, the ACHA is really all over the place. It can be pretty good in some places and down right bad in others. The talent level is really all over the place to be honest. I think the absolute best ACHA D1 teams (Lindenwood, ASU, Oklahoma, etc.) would be mid-tier DIII teams.

The ACHA fills a nice gap in that it allows kids to play semi-serious college hockey at schools that are prevented from establishing NCAA programs due to play-down rules, Title IX, geographic location, etc.

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09-12-2013, 11:25 PM
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If you are trying to make money then I think there are better alternatives that wont risk your back. The physicality level depends on so many things but hockey is hockey and youre gonna take contact. Also its a sport so you could get hurt even on a non contact play. But if your back is up to it ACHA is actually a pretty fun time and id recommend.

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09-16-2013, 02:33 AM
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It depends on what school it is and the teams you play. I can tell you first hand that some ACHA teams are comprised of absolute goons that focus their energy on taking runs at players rather than try to score.

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10-09-2013, 08:02 AM
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Are players recruited? Are the coaches full-time, paid employees?

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01-23-2014, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
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Are players recruited? Are the coaches full-time, paid employees?
It depends on the university. Most of the top D1 universities recruit players.

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