Letter: Local youth hockey program has slipped in qualityWe watched Worthington youth hockey for 12 years as our son went through the program.
By: Bill and Cathy Buxengard, Worthington, Worthington Daily Globe
We watched Worthington youth hockey for 12 years as our son went through the program. We were very active volunteering as a board member, coach, equipment manager and even assisted with the construction of the arena. The program was good and fair. All kids knew they could participate. The program was bursting at the seams with kids.
So, what happened? The numbers are down. We are now watching our grandson play on the Squirt team. These are 9-10 year olds. We noticed that not all the kids are given equal ice time. Were the rules changed? We looked them up. “Squirts must be allocated an equal quality and number of ice hours.” No. No change, there. The rules also state that the Squirt level is for “skills development of all players especially at the entry levels.” So, why are some skaters sitting on the bench during games? Whole lines of skaters are skipped over while the same skaters play over and over. So, which players are developing their skills? How can we expect some skaters to improve if they aren’t given the same opportunity? It seems that the focus has gone from teaching, to winning. This is Squirt hockey, not high school hockey.
All of this has been reported to the Worthington Hockey Board more that once with little results. They will appoint a committee to look in to it. To look into what? -Whether they should follow the rules or not?
For the game this past weekend, one coach implied that some of the lesser skilled players stay home. He also said this game is a “tune up” for district competition. Another coach was over-heard telling a group of skaters that when their line is skipped, he didn’t want to hear any whining.
So, who speaks up for these kids who have been disenfranchised and humiliated? What has happened to our local youth hockey program? Gunnar and Matt, we miss you.