Alleviating the cost of hockey could be as simple as eliminating the amount of bureaucracy in the game.
During the Player Skill Development Initiatives session at the Molson Canadian World Hockey Summit, one minor hockey volunteer noted a bigger cost will hit us in the face very shortly.
“The deterioration of facilities is a tsunami that is about to strike Canada,” said Jack Hewitt, better known as the Vice-President of Marketing Services for Kraft Canada. “The buildings are falling apart, the boards are falling apart and they aren’t even close to being energy efficient.
“We need to figure out how to be more efficient and get more ice time out of these facilities.”
Aside from infrastructure, he said, minor-hockey teams in Ontario are paying $450 for a 50-minute practice and that means a good triple-A program in Toronto needs $20,000 a season for ice time.
Can we alleviate any of this cost, from ice time to facility repair or renovation?
Easy … break up the amount of organization.
“We have 10 governing bodies in Ontario,” Hewitt said. “Each of those associations has a president, a board, an office, a website, overhead costs, a process, schedules, member travel cost, insurance and so on.
“How much could we save if we cut back three or four governing bodies? If that’s reinvested in facilities, it could fix a lot of rinks.”
It’s a controversial suggestion to be sure but let’s not kid ourselves … what if less organizations were fighting with each other for the ice times and working together toward the greater good of minor hockey in Ontario?
“We also need to eliminate districts and boundaries preventing kids from playing hockey where they want and with their friends,” he said.
Whoa, Nelly … now that’s just crazy talk, isn’t it?