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Frustrating League - Balance of PLayers

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Old
02-12-2013, 12:18 PM
  #1
deeman
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Frustrating League - Balance of PLayers

I started playing in a league with about 10 teams. It’s a rec league but it’s setup a bit strange. The teams have an equal distribution of players with skill levels ranging from A-E with the A level players being exceptionally good players who most likely played juniors and all the way to the E level players who are just beginners. So, all teams have a somewhat fair mix of A-E players. It’s a decent concept and eliminates the need to categorize the 10 teams into A, B and C levels or a top and bottom tier.

BUT, in my experience it really kind of sucks. I am in the bottom ½ of the skill levels C/D and it’s impossible to get near some of the A/B players. It’s also a bit frustrating and confidence shattering when you get smoked playing D by an A level player and they score. Can’t help but feel like the bench is collectively thinking – “dude, play the body” or “you should have done…….” Or simply “you suck”

I’m sure it’s great for the A and B level players to play in leagues like this too since 3/5 of the team is worse or much worse than they are.

Too add more frustration, some goalies are college level goalies and others (our team included) has a rookie goalie who is really struggling to hold his own against the A level players who skate coast to coast and pull some Datsyuk junk oh him.

Not sure how it will play out. I know in order to get better you need to play against better players but this is pretty frustrating.

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02-12-2013, 12:30 PM
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Jarick
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It's not bad when you mix say A/B and C/D but all of them at once would just be a mess for everyone. The A/B guys would be frustrated with the C/D guys, and the C/D guys would feel useless. Maybe decent for summer league or pickup but for a competitive league it's a nightmare.

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02-12-2013, 12:45 PM
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College Cage Hang
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I play in a league like this as well. Not much you can do, if everyone is in the same boat then one of the deciding factors is who uses their C/D players the best and who' has a solid tendy.

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02-12-2013, 12:51 PM
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deeman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyds View Post
I play in a league like this as well. Not much you can do, if everyone is in the same boat then one of the deciding factors is who uses their C/D players the best and who' has a solid tendy.
Good insite. I suspect I will be keeping the bench warm in the third period.

Also, I didn't want to come off as whining.....too bad. I am always glad to get out there and while I'm keeping the bench warm it's cool to see some pretty impressive players.

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02-12-2013, 04:10 PM
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ArcataShark
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Sounds rough. Maybe ok for some beginners but for top A and B players it must really be lame. I'm a C league guy and hate it when players have to dumb down their game so they don't blow us out 15 - 0.

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02-12-2013, 04:12 PM
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I never liked this concept. It's also frustrating on the A/B players. They're game can become worse. More importantly for players trying to improve, as you mentioned, it doesn't really help.

I recommend mix and matching the lines with different skill and skill sets. Might make it more enjoyable.

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02-12-2013, 05:55 PM
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black charger
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If all teams have the same number of A,B,C put the A's out against the other team's A's,B's vs B's,ect.Not much you can do for goalies except moving good and bad from team to team.

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02-12-2013, 06:34 PM
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IDuck
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i would advise you to notify who every runs the leauge to let them know how you feel....hockey is supposed to be fun, and if you (and others in your same situation) feel that way, i dont see why they couldnt do a 5 team leauge w/ 5 teams A/B and 5 teams C/D

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02-12-2013, 07:42 PM
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KYrookie
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What would you tell your child in this situation?
Practice, play as hard as you can -- and at the end of the day if you gave it all you had and got better, then no one can look down on you.
Assuming, of course, that there is no other league you can play in that actually has more divisions.


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02-13-2013, 02:16 AM
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RandV
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I recall another person in one of these threads saying that his mix level league had a rule where any single player can't score more than 2 or 3 goals in a game.

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02-13-2013, 07:46 AM
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deeman
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Good feedback. The league has been around for at least 15 years and offers good ice times during the week so I guess people just deal with it.

Its not uncommon for 1 or 2 players to get a hat trick each game agains us

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02-13-2013, 09:11 AM
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tarheelhockey
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That really doesn't sound like much fun at all TBH. As a lower level player I really don't like when A/B ringers play down, smoking guys who are just learning to skate properly. It's not competitive for the high-level players and it just hurts the confidence of beginners.

Does the league not have enough people to split into separate divisions? That seems like the only good reason for such an arrangement.

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02-13-2013, 09:15 AM
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shoeshine boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandV View Post
I recall another person in one of these threads saying that his mix level league had a rule where any single player can't score more than 2 or 3 goals in a game.
that might be me. one of our leagues is a mix-level league with everything from former Major Junior players to rank beginners.
this is a non-competitive league meaning no playoffs.
there is a 3 goal and 3 penalties per player limit.
teams are re-drafted every season
the higher level players are encouraged to distribute the puck to their teammates.
goalies are given a time slot rather than a team and are matched up against each other as close as possible
you might ask, "what do the higher level players get out of this?" and mostly it's the ability to play with their friends who might not be at their level. we have skill-based competitive leagues as well but we're pretty strict about who can play where. we don't let guys play below their level just so they can play with their buddies. in our "Rec League" you can play with whomever you want, your brother, sister, wife, husband, neighbor, co-worker, girlfriend etc......

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02-13-2013, 10:22 AM
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College Cage Hang
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It definitely slows the game down. Only thing you can do really is worry about your team, try and match speed on lines, having a slow guy play with a fast guy isn't smart. Sure people think "oh put a great player with a bad player and the great player will elevate the bad player" but it usually ends up hurting both, it's almost better to have a line of top talent and a line of the newer guys. On D, maybe it's a different story.

I'm pretty sure that the true A players know what their getting into when they sign up. hockey skill is relative I find, I've played placed where I'm an A compared to others and places where I'm a C and have to press to keep up.

The only other thing I'll say is don't put your worst players on D, it's easier to hide and "do the little things" when your up front - more margin for error - nothing worse then watching the worst skating guy on a team play D and get dangled rush after rush. In fact in leagues like this I find that the teams who put their better guys at the back usually succeed more often. Think about it.

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02-15-2013, 11:29 AM
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Part of the problem is that A level guys forget it's only a rec league. If you want competitive play, join a competitive league, plain and simple. If it's a mixed level league, take it easy, have some fun just playing a game you love and help out the lower level guys.

I've seen higher level guys in pick-up games forget this. A lot of the time the lower level players (including me as a beginner) just leave the ice early because the better player(s) is/are hogging the puck and are constantly trying to deke the whole other team. The worse thing is they don't use their teammates and it gets really dull really fast.

It's as much about attitude and mindset as it is about skill level. In a couple beginner games I've played, I was head and shoulders above the beginners that couldn't skate, simply because I could skate. In those games, I think to myself, we're here to play a game that is supposed to be fun and isn't too competitive, so I consciously choose not to use my extra gears against them.


Last edited by Pyrolemur: 02-15-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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Old
02-15-2013, 11:35 AM
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CornKicker
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sounds like you need to hit the steroids dude.

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02-15-2013, 11:50 AM
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MJAYK
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For me personally, hockey is not hockey if there's no contact. I don't mean big open ice hits or something similar, but some crosschecking in front of the net and little taps here and there are part of the game. I used to play in a competitive league as a junior, but now i play in recreational tournaments with a team of friends. Things get a bit hot sometimes, but that's what hockey is all about. Emotion, passion and contact


Edit: To contribute to the topic of this thread

The skill difference between players is most of the time a good thing. You don't get better if you wont face opponents that out skate and out skill you. The guys in beer leagues can't be THAT good. I understand if you are playing hockey for like the first time you are going to be frustrated. It's just something you have to deal with until you get better. There aren't any lower levels below beer league.


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02-15-2013, 12:23 PM
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That would really suck. I am pretty much a high E/Low D guy(just started this year) and my own D league frustrates me. It is poorly administered and teams are rarely forced to rank up. So, there are 'D' league teams that have been playing for seven years together and our team which was formed from a learn-to-skate clinic. Hard to keep our better guys around when you know you are badly outclassed every week.

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02-15-2013, 12:31 PM
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Wilch
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Played in a league like this. Not the most ideal scenario. Beginners can learn a lot from playing with and against high level players.

But the goalies need to be at least competent. Need to be at least intermediate plus. You ice a beginner goalie against a team with a couple of A level players, you'll get absolutely blown out.

What we did in our league was play two 24 minute halves and switched goalies after the 1st.

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02-15-2013, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJAYK View Post
For me personally, hockey is not hockey if there's no contact. I don't mean big open ice hits or something similar, but some crosschecking in front of the net and little taps here and there are part of the game. I used to play in a competitive league as a junior, but now i play in recreational tournaments with a team of friends. Things get a bit hot sometimes, but that's what hockey is all about. Emotion, passion and contact


Edit: To contribute to the topic of this thread

The skill difference between players is most of the time a good thing. You don't get better if you wont face opponents that out skate and out skill you. The guys in beer leagues can't be THAT good. I understand if you are playing hockey for like the first time you are going to be frustrated. It's just something you have to deal with until you get better. There aren't any lower levels below beer league.
Uh... The skill difference is definitely NOT a good thing when beginners or even C level players are going up against ex-Junior B or A players and dudes that have been playing for 20 years or more. How are the newer, less-talented guys supposed to get any better playing with dudes that in all likelihood aren't going to pass to the less skilled guys unless they're up by 5 goals? How about a D level player trying to carry the puck into the zone against an A level defenseman? That's no way to learn the game.

To the OP: Honestly, your situation sucks in my opinion. I would look to join a league with actual divisions that at least somewhat separate players of different skill. If there are no other league around then I guess you just have to deal with it... which would suck and I'd feel bad for you =\.

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02-15-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanned On It View Post
Uh... The skill difference is definitely NOT a good thing when beginners or even C level players are going up against ex-Junior B or A players and dudes that have been playing for 20 years or more. How are the newer, less-talented guys supposed to get any better playing with dudes that in all likelihood aren't going to pass to the less skilled guys unless they're up by 5 goals? How about a D level player trying to carry the puck into the zone against an A level defenseman? That's no way to learn the game.

To the OP: Honestly, your situation sucks in my opinion. I would look to join a league with actual divisions that at least somewhat separate players of different skill. If there are no other league around then I guess you just have to deal with it... which would suck and I'd feel bad for you =\.
You shouldn't feel bad for anyone. Players who start playing hockey as an adult are going to face players that have played the game since they were kids. It's something they just have to deal with until they get better. It's not a sport you can pick up and be good at in a matter of weeks.

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02-15-2013, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
I've seen higher level guys in pick-up games forget this. A lot of the time the lower level players (including me as a beginner) just leave the ice early because the better player(s) is/are hogging the puck and are constantly trying to deke the whole other team. The worse thing is they don't use their teammates and it gets really dull really fast.
I play in several leagues, including some that are more organized pickup. I've also been on the ice with people who are obviously A-level players, and while it's fun to watch them play, it's NOT that much fun to be on the ice with them! I remember just kind of standing there hoping to stay out of their way because they were moving so fast, I didn't want to get clobbered. I didn't touch the puck even once at that session (it was open hockey, and most of the players were college team players...then there's me, with my 6 months of D-league experience).

In one of the leagues I play with, it's a different mix of people each week. The guy who makes the rosters distributes people pretty evenly, and since there's a mix of people on both teams, it's possible to have fun even though some people are much better players than others. In the other league, they divide the two lines into 1st and 2nd, and keep the advanced guys on 1st so the less advanced people can play against each other. I'm still out-skated by a lot of people since I'm so new to the sport, but the other players also want to make it fun so they are willing to back off a bit and give me a chance to play the puck from time to time.

In one of the set leagues I play with there are indeed a couple of teams that have been together FOREVER. I always wonder how a team that has been playing together for 9 years can still be considered D-league. If they've been together for that long, they all have 9+ years of experience playing and should be C at minimum. Some of the teams in that league started the season with very much beginners - one team wasn't quite sure how to line up for the face-off at their first game, and the refs had to give them a quick lesson! Put those guys up against a sandbagging team with good players and it becomes not much fun really quickly. The team I'm on has a mix of guys who have only been playing hockey since last summer and some who played growing up, so we are actually doing really well for a new team.

Everyone always says that playing against better players will make you a better player. I would disagree, saying that playing against SLIGHTLY better players will make you a better player - you can't throw a guy who can barely skate out there and expect him to get anything out of playing against an A or B level skater. The new guy will never get the puck, and no matter how much he 'tries' to do something and step up his game, the advanced guy is still going to skate circles around him. So there's a limit to how much that little bit of "step up your game" can accomplish - and skating with super-fast, great players is going to be useless unless they are willing to slow down and back off their game a bit. In a learning/open environment, that's fine - but in an actual competitive league, it's crazy.

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02-15-2013, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MJAYK View Post
You shouldn't feel bad for anyone. Players who start playing hockey as an adult are going to face players that have played the game since they were kids. It's something they just have to deal with until they get better. It's not a sport you can pick up and be good at in a matter of weeks.
..Unless you join a proper league that separates players of different skill by divisions. I feel bad for him because of the fact that it doesn't seem like he has an OPTION to play in a division that is suited for him. You missed the point good sir.

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02-15-2013, 08:55 PM
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RandV
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Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
In one of the set leagues I play with there are indeed a couple of teams that have been together FOREVER. I always wonder how a team that has been playing together for 9 years can still be considered D-league. If they've been together for that long, they all have 9+ years of experience playing and should be C at minimum. Some of the teams in that league started the season with very much beginners - one team wasn't quite sure how to line up for the face-off at their first game, and the refs had to give them a quick lesson! Put those guys up against a sandbagging team with good players and it becomes not much fun really quickly. The team I'm on has a mix of guys who have only been playing hockey since last summer and some who played growing up, so we are actually doing really well for a new team.
It can happen when the teams been playing so long together that they've all gotten old together .

That's more or less what's going on with the second team I'm playing on at the moment, which I just joined this winter season. I think the team's been around for about 10 years but you lose a key guy here or there and your long time core players start hitting 40+ then the teams going to fall off a cliff.

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02-15-2013, 08:59 PM
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RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilch View Post
Played in a league like this. Not the most ideal scenario. Beginners can learn a lot from playing with and against high level players.

But the goalies need to be at least competent. Need to be at least intermediate plus. You ice a beginner goalie against a team with a couple of A level players, you'll get absolutely blown out.

What we did in our league was play two 24 minute halves and switched goalies after the 1st.
Yeah on my primary team which is an A/B level we had this great game a few weeks ago where we had a full 13 skaters out with all our best players playing against a team with only 7-8 skaters, but our goalie couldn't make it and the sub we ended up with only had some pickup games under his belt and was playing his very first game of organized hockey. We won the game with a final score of 12-9

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