To begin with we must say thanks to the vast majority of players who both new and old, enjoy playing in the ARL and come back week after week, year after year. You are what makes this league a success…the people.
We feel as a committee that everybody needs to understand that we work hard behind the scenes to make sure you enjoy your 50 minutes of ice time every week.
In the summer of 2015 a key person left the ARL. It needs to be noted that he was not the ONLY person. When he left he took a lot of information with him. We have been able to work with him to obtain some of that information, but not all of it. He has been great to work with but the transition has been difficult.
We had administrative support of the website, and all standings and stats up until mid November. At that time the support stopped and we were forced to start fresh. Combine this with the fact that our website contract expired and we were faced with numerous management issues when it came to organizing the season that is currently underway. Keep in mind this change occurred in late August, mere days before the season began. A small group stepped up to form a committee to organize the ARL because they care about the league and the remaining ‘original’ ARL convener felt this would be a way to run the league democratically. We feel and we hope you all agree that this has been a success.
While some have chosen to speak derisively in public forums about the ‘Committee’ we feel that on the whole this season has gone smoothly. Players who are not in the know may not have even noticed the transition. Week after week games went on and everyone had the fun and spirit of competition that the ARL has always been known for.
The newly designed website was a huge project that was taken on by one player (Cody Lusk) with a significant amount of help from another (Bruce Johnson). We owe them a debt of gratitude. There have been some hiccups for sure. As noted, this was a massive project so glitches are to be expected. They have been overcome thanks to their dedication.
We recognize that the Playoff schedule was posted a little later than ‘normal’. As a group the Committee worked to create a playoff format that would balance the competition. Once the schedule was set, we aimed to post it immediately but there were a few issues. We then posted the schedule on the ARL Facebook page and sent the schedule to the team captains. We felt that this combined with the ultimate posting of the schedule on the website would serve to notify players when they played.
We also regret that there are games on Easter weekend, but in late August the fact that Easter is early this year was not even on our radar. Other than losing an entire week of play we were left with no alternative but to schedule games. We will be cognizant of this next Fall/Winter and act accordingly.
In addition, due to Wave scheduling and the necessity of scheduling Spring/Summer evaluations and organizing captains meetings before that session we will be unable to host the Spring Blast tournament this April. This is a matter of priorities and again we will plan in advance for September and next April.
Recently comments have appeared on Facebook surrounding the league fees, and what players get for this price. Please understand that the fees are set by the Wave. We have no control.
There have also been concerns about dressing room allotment. This is also controlled by the Wave. This concern was raised effectively by a handful of players and we worked out a couple of solutions with The Wave. We tried a setup for rooms 9 and 10 for the women last week that was admittedly a bit of a flop. We have since determined the best way to offset this concern is to leave 9 and 10 open as adjoining rooms for two men’s teams throughout the night. This will hopefully be an equitable solution, but again, we can only work with the space we are provided.
We have also raised concerns about the overall state of the facility and the ice surface. While we agree that there is no excuse for the conditions we have been advised that these will be fixed during the summer. Again, we have no control over this other than making our concerns known.
Overall, the decision making this season has been handled by the group known as the Committee with the aim of being fair to all of the players in the ARL. There have been relatively few incidents and we feel it has been a very good season.
We expect things will run similarly in the playoffs.
Please move forward and rather than dwelling on the handful of negatives try and focus on the positives. There are many…
If you feel otherwise, either raise your concerns in an effective way; we will always listen and respond, or by all means go somewhere else and play. Just know the grass (ice) is always greener (better) on the other side.
Ted Lindsay on behalf of the ARL Committee