Looking back... How it began
RHC grew out of a need for an alternative to mainstream hockey. Why was there a need?
- Players were reaching an age where they were developing social, academic and athletic interests outside hockey.
- The erratic schedule of mainstream hockey made it difficult for players to schedule other activities such as part-time jobs, high school intramurals or band.
- Players were reaching a point in their social development where they didn't necessarily want to play where their skill dictated but wanted to play with friends.
- Not all players were interested in a physical style of game.
- Cost was becoming prohibitive.
According to Beth Long, former Administrator and Registrar for Hockey Calgary, these factors were causing sharp declines in the registration of the sport at age 14. She struck a sub-committee in 2002 and asked it to look at the question "What can we do to keep our youth in the game longer?" The answer was to provide an alternative program which would:
- Reduce the length of each ice time as well as the number of ice times per week to enable players to fit in other activities.
- Establish set game days which would allow players to schedule other activities without conflict.
- Draft each team with players or varies abilities to try to keep friends together.
- Have no body checking.
- Eliminate practices and tournaments play to significantly reduce registration fees and fund raising.
Approval was granted by the Hockey Calgary board for a new program proposed by Beth beginning in 2002-03. It was a slow start but gradually Recreational Hockey Calgary caught on. Beth was the driving force behind the league for the next 5 years. She brought about changes and improvements as she saw they were needed and promoted the concept. We have her to thank for the vision and effort.