Thank you HockeySYTE!
I organise and run a local drop-in ice hockey game in the ACT. We started the league last summer and week to week the numbers varied greatly. It was designed to fill a hole in the sport, somewhere you could play beer league style hockey, have a great time and not care what the score was at the end of the night. Somewhere for players to bring their friends to introduce them to the sport without the huge upfront costs of gear and a season of ice fee’s before you could experience your first game.
The response was great from the very first game, but week to week attendance could vary by up to 20 players, some weeks we would barely have enough to play with a few substitutes on the bench, other weeks there wasn’t even room on the bench for as high as 15 subs per team.
Over the winter I was introduced to HockeySYTE and set up our own page. I have been using it this summer and have been blown away by the difference it has made to my life organising the games.
I have limited the total players to 30 and introduced a “First-in plays” system. I would send out invitations for the entire player pool to the following week’s game on Saturday mornings and in less than two hours I would almost always be getting close to 40 people (sometimes close to 50 by Monday) replying with a “Yes, I will play this game”.
We have consistently had reserves waiting to play and missing out EVERY Friday this season.
Thanks to HockeySyte, our “Friday Night Hockey” proved so popular, that when a Saturday afternoon ice slot opened up, the players virtually demanded we play then as well.
With the help of HockeySYTE, and the community on facebook. We had secured the ice time for the rest of the summer, organised goalies and were only 2 off a full house for the first game. This is a pretty big accomplishment when you put it into context. The ice slot opened up because the people who did have it booked couldn’t get their league organised with the week/months they had to prepare. The request for us to use the 4pm slot came from the players at 11am that morning.
Without HockeySyte I don’t think this would have ever been possible.
Ever since we have been playing two games a week, filling both and had our first refereed, scored real game this past Saturday. The players kept the outstanding attitude of fun and friendly hockey that they have displayed from the start, the presence of the scoreboard kicked things up a notch with the speed and level of play skyrocketing and we even had a couple of AIHL players join us for the game.
The scoring and statistics was a breeze for me to enter into the site after the game and produced a beautiful page for player and keepers to see how they played. I noticed player’s histories and many other facets of the site became relevant with this addition of statistics and look forward to using even more of it in the future.
Given the success of this past weekend, I am considering keeping our Friday Night Hockey as it was intended, as a place for beginner/intermediate (and old unfit players like me) to come and have a relaxed FUN game of beer league style drop-in hockey, and turning Saturdays into a place where real beer league games can be played for those who want something a little faster without the agro and negativity that comes with normal team based competitive league hockey.
None of this would have been possible without the wonderful HockeySSYTE page and the invitation and response tracking system that has made my life so much easier.
Thankyou HockeySyte, you have my everlasting gratitude!