The NHL’s 2012-13 has certainly affected the registration rates of USA Hockey, but the positives the program has gained over the past few years greatly outweigh this negative. Not only has ADM and cross ice hockey swept the nation, but during the past few years the programs growth has soared to almost unbelievable numbers. The eight and under and girls categories registration numbers have skyrocketed. Without the NHL kids are not as exposed to the great sport of hockey as often. Kids become discouraged because their favorite NHL stars and heroes aren’t on the ice, so they forget about hockey. Luckily leaps and bounds have been made to improve youth hockey and make it more enjoyable for the athletes and their parents. The ADM program provides age appropriate guidelines, to lead to better, more refined hockey players in the future. Despite the growth of girls hockey registration numbers many of them are dropping out of sports all together in their early teens. It’s ashamed because sports have many benefits, including a reduced rate of cancer. But many girls drop out of sports altogether because of social issues. The ADM, American Development Model, has put forth the idea that cross ice hockey will greatly benefit our younger players. Cross ice hockey allows for each player to get more “puck touches”, give and receive more passes, and to take more shots; which leads to three important things, more goals, more self-confident players, and better goalies. Those who enjoy hockey today are more likely to get their kids involved in the future. ADM has said that every child is potential hockey player, but hockey isn’t cheap; so many of these “potential” players are lost even though they have an interest in hockey. One way to break down the price barrier is to find an organization that offer equipment to be barrowed or rented. Another way to break down this barrier is to find an organization that supports cross ice hockey instead of full ice hockey. By supporting cross ice hockey each ice rink can have three games simultaneously occurring instead of just one game, which is what you get with full ice. Many programs can operate by charging 100$ when using cross ice. Full ice on the other hand can range from 600$-900$ for one season. By choosing a program that is supporting cross ice not only are getting more “puck touches”, passes, and goal scoring opportunities, but you’re saving money too! Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins are a great example, because they have a sponsor, which donates a full set of equipment to each participant, and they support cross ice hockey. The cost is low too, just another way they are trying to allow more of those potential players to play hockey. You just can’t say all of the good things that the Pittsburgh Penguins put into the Little Penguins program. So just because the NHL was locked out and caused youth hockey registration numbers to go down doesn’t mean the program will go down too. In fact if the ADM, cross ice innovative, and if together we can find a way to keep more girls in the game, then hockey will honorably fly.
Hockey Will Never Go Down Without a Fight
January 31, 2013