To say there is a lot going on at NARCh is an understatement. The FINALS Registration Deadline is upon us and everyone is scrambling to get registered. Me being in Canada is not making things any easier, but I really needed to come to our last regional event here in Mississauga.
Yesterday I had multiple important meetings with the Hershey Centre Staff to ensure that everything is completely dialed in for the FINALS to make it the best event possible. Probably the most exciting meeting was the one involving the production on the rink in the main bowl where all of our championships will be held. Currently they have Olympic volleyball here, filmed by Sportsnet.
I spent a lot of time in the main arena production room trying to figure out what we can pull off logistically to utilize what they have to give NARCh Players and Parents the best experience while they’re here. It requires extra staff and production people that I wasn’t planning on, but I think that people will be blown away if we can pull off what I’m hoping to.
This 35 team regional qualifier is taking place on 2 of the 3 community rinks, home to the Mississauga Roller Hockey Association. Phil Nolan has done a great job building this program and it looks like he’ll have around 25 various teams competing in the NARCh FINALS. His program will have the largest presence of any program, probably followed by the Roadrunners with about 20 teams throughout the various divisions. Both Phil and Vio are great guys and do what they do out of the love of the game. NARCh is fortunate that these guys are around. If you’re an organized parent playing for either of these guys you might want to volunteer to help them out with the some of the organization tasks with the teams you’re involved with. If they have a weakness it’s probably in terms of delegating, which is the pot calling the kettle black. I have so much on my right plate currently that I’m slightly overwhelmed.
If you were to analyze the tournament side of the sport right now and came up with a criticism, the number #1 item would probably be the lack of volunteers and organizers. Coming up here I can’t help but think of all of the programs that were large that are now either tiny or gone. Motivated parents always move on when their children outgrow the sport. If there’s not a new crop of motivated parents, then the sport dries up. Luckily we have Phil Nolan and now Rob Morgan in Oakville sort of leading things up here and trying to get things back to growing. I’m sure the NARCh FINALS in their backyard will at least add a nice spark of motivation to some newer players and parents.
Many players are scrambling to find teams up here, especially for the OPEN DIVISONS where you don’t have to qualify. Just today I’ve had three different players come up to me look for a 45 and over team. Each has a few buddies interested too, so I connected the 3 and now we have at least one more team. We have our player finder page on the NARCh Site but I wish there was another way to help players find teams and visa versa. With a little more communication the result would be a lot more teams and happy players.
Lonny Lovins is up here tournament directing with me this weekend. We make a pretty solid one-two punch since he’s good and handling the registration and admin stuff which allows me to do more creative stuff, like photos and videos. I’m having to spend a little more time on my computer this weekend dealing with FINALS Details, which cuts into the time I can spend on the rinks doing these things, but I’ll still get a solid photo gallery up on Facebook and regional video.
Traveling up here has me even more excited for the FINALS to start, which is less than a month away. This year has really flown by.