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A Guide to Creating a Good Senior/Men's League

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  • A Guide to Creating a Good Senior/Men's League

    I noticed a post on the inconsistencies of stats and levels of teams in Men's leagues and it got me thinking. I decided that I could contribute a beneficial post on how to create a solid men's league or make the men's league you currently play in better, based on my experience of creating a very professional men's league from the ground up.

    The background: I am a college student in SE Minnesota, unfortunately our school lacks a hockey team, a club hockey team and a hockey league; although we have a large amount of good former high school and junior players. Also unfortunate is that the town also lacks a men's league, instead it is more of a drop in old timers. My friends and I created a 2 on 2 league for ourselves and as people heard about it, they became interested in playing. Also last year I drove 45 minutes to play in a men's league that was ridiculous, the stats were terrible, horrible scheduling, teams that would show up drunk and teams that were stacked, were just a few of the problems.

    Fast forward to now, we turned our 2 on 2 league into a real league with 4 teams. We have legitimate teams, uniforms, scheduling, etc.

    Here is how it happened and what you need to do the same:

    1) Dedicated league officials who are willing to use their own time to make the league run well, our league takes up a lot of my time, but once the structure is in place, you can spread the power out amongst other dedicated people and take a lot of the workload off.

    2) Dissemination of information is key, getting a league started is tough, you need to get your league out to the area, so you can get more players. Once you get players you need to keep them well informed. The system we use is a sharp looking website that is up to date as well as having a designated GM for each team. The league then only has to pass down any information to the GM's who give that information to their teams, the up to date website also serves as a fail safe in case a GM is not doing their job (we keep tabs on the GM's and if one is not doing their job, we have a system in place to remove them as a GM and have a new one elected).

    3) Determining a fair way to choose teams is important, we held two days of tryouts where players were ranked by the GM's and chosen onto their teams in a draft. As I noticed in the league I drove to play in last year, many teams were made of a core group of players that were friends, some of those teams would bring in ringers to win, making the league full of teams made of drunk guys reliving their high school glory days and teams that were full of ringers. We also set up in our rules and regulations that teams cannot have players play who are not on their roster to eliminate any chance of ringers.

    4) Make your league "feel" like a real league. If players have nothing to play for and are just out there to play some hockey, you are not going to get that feeling of it actually being a league. Set your league up so players don't want to miss a game, our players are pumped for every Sunday night because of the atmosphere and professional type feel we bring to the league. Some things to help you get this feel are: quality stats kept track of and up to date on your website maybe to include things such as news articles like our league, something to play for (a championship with playoffs and all), a set schedule and a set standard of rules and regulations.

    Our league is called the Winona Elite League and our website is winonaelite.com, and here is a copy of our 2008-09 Rules & Regulations

    I will try and add more things as they come to mind, if you have any questions just ask. Please feel free to post your own experiences that you may of had in creating a legitimate men's league so we can help other guys trying to do the same!

  • #2
    We've got this guy in our city named Herb, he started the ice604 league. It's a league which is aimed at the Asian community but is not restricted by it. I thought it was a great idea. He takes up all the spare ice time at Burnaby 8 Rinks, and on occasion uses the North Van arena. He does a pretty damn good job considering it's not his full time job.

    ICE604 Vancouver Hockey League

    He takes pictures of every team, and posts them. He does scouting reports on the teams and points out the top players. They have an all star game during the season, and they aim to be more of a safe league handing out suspensions on a regular basis for idiotic behavior.

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    • #3
      We actually used Ice604's Rules and Regulations as a basis for ours, and i got some good ideas for the WEL from Ice604. We also have an all-star game and pictures, etc, I think those types of things add a fun dynamic to a men's league to make it feel more professional.

      Our league is very competitive and we allow hitting and slapshots, however there is talk of adding another tier for 2009-10 for guys who are not as experienced and guys who are older and do not want to hit but still want a well run, professional feeling league.

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      • #4
        The rink's seating filled with beautiful, scantily clad women who hand you your beverage of choice as you get off the ice.

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        • #5
          Meaks,
          What are you using to handle the website's stats? I looked at the code of what's up there and didn't see any links to web apps that handle databases. Do you just dump the stats into excel and put up the tables?

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          • #6
            Last year I just used excel and put the tables up, but if I can find a web app before the season starts that would make it easier I would definitely use that.

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