The U.S.A Central Hockey League, yeah there's a new Junior Hockey league in the states, what a surprise. We talked about the USACHL on this weeks episode of The Junior Hockey Podcast. We just briefly talked about the league and basic information that we have gotten from there website. We shared our opinions.
If you haven't heard of this new league, I'll give you a little background. The USACHL is a tuition free league playing out of Texas. They currently have 4 teams.
RGV Killer Bees
Wichita Falls Force
They play a 48 game schedule, so they play each team a total of 16 times. That's a lot of games to be playing each team. The one thing they got going for them is a full Corporate Staff with everything from a President to Hockey Directors, to even having a Referee in Chief. They are coming out strong with offering a full staff that will hopefully be beneficial to players in the league.
USACHL Mission Statement -
“To provide an environment where our players will receive a high level of coaching, competition, and education as they pursue their dream of playing hockey at the highest level possible"
With all that being said, first glance, you probably think "wow they are gonna be a great league". I thought the same thing but then... out of nowhere, we get a text from a first hand source in the Junior Hockey World. Recently dealing with the league and talking with players coming out of the USACHL, they said that the kid wanted to leave the second the coach quit on them. Yeah, you heard that right the coach just up and quit, not even a quarter of the way into the season. I could end this blog right here with just that last sentence and that should tell you everything about this league.
However, not only did the coach quit on the team, but they don't even have a full roster. There isn't one team in the league with a full 20 man roster. Some teams only have 11 skaters. Which is not that surprising given that it is a brand new league.
Other than that, they have long 10 hour road trips across Texas, which yeah is fun when playing Junior Hockey. You get a lot of time with the boys and nothing is better then road-trips, except when you have 11 skaters. Think about getting off a bus for 10 hours and having to play a full game with 11 skaters... screw that. I am out of breath just thinking about that.
I will extend an olive branch, the USACHL is obviously a brand new league. With that comes growing pains and obstacles that you can't predict. The low amount of players is expected for at-least the inaugural season. Players will be hesitant to join this league based on there being no history or knowledge of how the league operates.
All I can say is that I hope they can fix there issues and they can truly offer a league that is 'tuition free' and can help promote Junior Hockey and help develop great hockey players. Time will tell. We wish them the best of luck, but personally I just don't see this league succeeding to the extent they are hopeful for.