Unfortunately, The Rinx has been thrown into this High School Hockey mess and it is time for you, the parents, to hear some truthful facts about this situation, from us.
First, the Rinx has been in business for 29 years this September, and during that time, we have seen and experienced the best and worst of the sport of Ice Hockey. This current situation clearly ranks among the worst.
Regardless of how you all got to this point, the bottom line is that those who spearheaded the startup of the new High School League, started an Ice Hockey league WITHOUT securing an adequate amount of ice slots!! They wrongly assumed that they would just take over the ice slots contracted by the SCHSHL without contacting us to confirm their assumption. In fact, we finally reached out to the newly elected President of the new league and asked why the league went public saying that their games would be played at The Rinx, as in past years, when nobody ever asked us if the ice was even available. The truth is, we run a business, and we make decisions every day, that are ethical and fair. There is no room in our world for these types of politics.
It is a fact that the SCHSHL has contracted the ice for almost 30 years and has still contracted for the 2021-22 season. If they decide to give any slots back, it is fair and ethical to offer available ice slots to those decades long, loyal customers first. The Rinx told the new league from day one, that there is no ice available for them, yet they still publicized their games would be played as usual at The Rinx. Even after our long running policy was explained at a series of meetings, some people still chose to vilify us and mischaracterize our position as spiteful towards the new league, to advance their own narrative.
The new league and your GM’s are telling you that most, if not all, of your home games will be played in Suffolk county which doesn’t seem plausible to us, especially since we’ve spoken to both Superior Ice Rink and Dix Hills Ice Rink at length.
If you are comfortable with the information that your GM’s and the New League have given you, and if you feel that what you’ve been told suites your family’s needs and you have decided to go into the new league, that is certainly your prerogative. But we suggest that you consider some of the following points:
• Will you be given a schedule for the season at the start of the season for all three divisions? If not, that could indicate that ice is being sought out monthly.
• Are the game slots going to interfere with travel games which would impact player attendance at the games?
• Exactly when will the Varsity, JV and Freshman season begin as we are hearing JV and Freshman won’t start until January or February?
• Will you have the same practice frequency that you have had in the past?
– Will you be traveling all over long island to play High School Hockey?
• What assurances do you have that your athletes will be safe on and off the ice? The new league will be going with AAU insurance, which is much different from USA Hockey, the National Governing Body for Ice Hockey. AAU does not have the on and off ice safety protocols in place that USA Hockey does such as Safe Sport, Background Checks, Coaching Training and Referee Training to mention just a few.
• Will you have security personnel, an AED and a certified EMT at every game as you have had in the past?
What is the solution?
• Tell your GM’s you do not want to play in the new league unless you see signed, or at a minimum, an email confirming game ice and practice ice commitments for each venue.
• Tell your GM’s you want to stay in the SCHSHL and let the SCHSHL board elections unfold in less than 10 months. Ask them if it is worth destroying the entire High School Hockey platform for 10 months.
o Please note that Dave Mensi, Eastern Zone President of the NYSAHA, will be overseeing the SCHSHL for the 2021-2022 season and he will personally run the elections in May.
• If your GM’s or the new league can not provide the above, The Rinx and the SCHSHL will help you, the parents, find a solution for your athlete for the upcoming season. We will also help you become a GM and assist you at every level. Don’t let this situation keep your child from playing this year.
Unfortunately, it’s time to take charge of your athlete’s future. Once The Rinx contracts available ice with our existing customer user groups, it is gone to any High School League program and that puts an end to High School Hockey in Suffolk County as we know it – is that what the families and GM’s really want? Is all this chaos and destruction worth it for a 10-month waiting period for a new and fair election?
We obviously feel the answer is NO.
If you have any questions or want further clarifications of the facts, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you.
The Rinx Management