Red Shirt an 8 year old? That’s crazy talk!
For those of you that don’t know what red shirting, it’s allowing a player to dress and practice with a team but the player may not compete during any of the games for the season.
With three games left in the season, The assistant coach for Chief’s team told me he is such a problem on the bench during the game that he almost got kicked off the bench. My response was, “Why didn’t you kick him off if he deserved it, (or else how will he ever learn), and what what he doing?” He couldn’t answer either of these questions, and of all the coaches Chief has had, this is the only coach that has ever had a problem with him in hockey. (I have my theories – for another day.)
Around the same time, an opportunity to try out with another organization arose. This was a better fit considering I’ve finally given up the fight, he’s in goal full time this coming year. They offered more goalie coaching, and more practices, both on and off ice. So I got a release from the first organization, (btw, I swear leaving the Church of Scientology would have been easier), we figured we’d try out for both just to be safe.
Long story short, the tier 1 goalie of the past four years for the new organization decided to drop down to tier 2. Less travel, I’m not sure I blame them, but there was no way Chief was making it past that. He doesn’t really have any consistent formal coaching. You can just go ahead and blame that on me. And the organization didn’t have enough kids to populate a tier 3 team, so Chief was cut. That’s life.
But we had the first organization to return to or so we thought. On the last day of try outs, the assistant coach said, “You know the way he acted on the bench last year, he shouldn’t even make the team this year.” Again, that the problem was this severe was 1. News to us, 2. Given with no explanation, 3. Not addressed during the season. (Well why the f**k are you a coach if not to help these kids learn how to “play” the game and that includes being a good teammate. I can pay people with a hell of a lot better skills than this guy. Again, I have a lot of thoughts on why my son was suddenly a problem.)
So he’s an alternate for his old organization. That means I can pay full price, he gets to practice with the team, doesn’t get to play in any games. Seems reasonable, right? *beats head against the wall*
I flippantly asked my coach, (who also coaches at Chief’s level for a third organization), if he needed an 04 goalie. He’s a great guy and I trust him. His eyes light up, “yeah!”
Great! I tell him don’t feel obligated to take Chief, bring him down, try him out. If you can’t use him, we’re no worse off than we were before.
I get a call Saturday morning. Long Island Amatuer Hockey League rules, (which is a dead link on their site, btw) says if a kid tries out for an organization and doesn’t make it, he has to return to his original organization, unless he has been officially cut. (The question is now, does alternate count as cut? It looks like no.) Additionally there is a 2 player limit for movement from one organization to another, and this organization already has two players from the original organization.
Do you need a drink to follow this? I do!
So because he wasn’t technically cut and because there are two other players from the original organization that moved over, we have an organization that wants him, where he will get playing time that can’t have him, and we have an organization that doesn’t want him that won’t give up their rights to him.
So the only solution is that Red Chief gets to sit out a year of eligibility. He has no idea this is going on, he’s just happy to get on the ice when I put him on the ice and I’ve been doing clinics, going to add private coaching soon, I guess. It’s not like I’ll need that money for tournaments.
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this? If you ever wonder why Long Island isn’t turning out the number of elite players we think we should, I’m going to point to the fact that by design, they are limiting the opportunities OF AN 8 YEAR OLD! Chief could turn out to be a beer league player or he could turn out to be truly elite. We don’t know at this age. But apparently a couple of people are going to make sure we don’t get the chance to find out. I’m voting myself off the island, at least for the summer. We’ll be doing camp in MA. I just want to get away from here for a while. Meet other hockey people that aren’t so insular.
Any and all perspective on this is greatly appreciated. Maybe he can play in the KHL next year. Russia here we come!