I think a U20 league will help but I don't think it'll solve anything development wise, if anything it could hurt. Adding a U20 league right now, with ice time being difficult to obtain as is, it's only going to make ice time even more scarce. Things need to be fixed starting at the bottom IMO. Not to mention, when you're 18 years old you're not going to develop a players fundamentals or hockey IQ the way you can at younger ages. By the time you're 18 years old, you know what your ceiling is and few in GB at the U20 age have a high ceiling. So a U20 league would consist of 1.5 teams if you want it to be really competitive lol
I just think time is better served at the youngest level so that by the time they're 18, there's an actual need for a U20 level (competition wise)
Well along with my proposed changes to the structure of the U12 to U18 leagues the U20 league would definitely be needed. The structural change would produce more good players, and there is only a limited number of spaces for them on EPL/NIHL teams once they reach 18. The U20 league will provide a reasonable level of hockey for them to develop more before stepping up to the adult leagues, and keeps more kids playing the sport for longer. U18 players could also "play up" to the U20 league, which allows them to play more games in a season. Ultimately no the U20 league will have marginal impact on the national team's ranking, but the aim of it is to suit the needs of everybody else by keeping people playing the sport for longer and increasing the "hockey culture" - guys who stay in the sport will likely get their kids on the ice when they have them, and those kids might go on to be GB players (I'm going to have to apologise to Howeaboutthat for this one if he sees this, after I shat on rec hockey, I was wrong then). And in the long term it probably would help the top prospects, even now the EPL and NIHL keep getting better and the U20 league would be a good place for the top players to get good ice time and special teams experience against other good players, instead of warming the bench.
If people actually try and take the initiative ice time is not an issue. Guildford have more than enough available ice time, they've only got 1 senior team and 1 junior team at every age group. Coventry managed to find enough ice time to be able to fit all the MK Lightning games in there this season while their rink is being refurbished, similarly Oxford are letting Bristol play there now they haven't got a rink, and Lee Valley is hosting Romford. It can be done. Some could probably get rid of their NIHL2 team to make space for the U20 team, Cardiff only actually started their NIHL2 team so the U18's would have somewhere to go when they got too old, and the Chelmsford Warriors have only 6 players this season who aren't U20.
Anyway the tournament is over, we should take this discussion to the "hockey in Britain" thread
Last edited by Propane Nightmares: 12-17-2013 at 01:35 PM.