First game is tonight-Iowa State vs Lindenwood. I’m interested to see what kind of viewership this generates. It’s a great way to get the ACHA product out there and who knows it may be a new revenue stream for the league.
Iowa State will get revenge tonight and win 4-1.
Pretty decent production for the first ESPN game, I’ll look forward to these on Friday nights.
Please keep the feedback coming - let us know what the ACHA can do to improve the ESPN broadcasts for the future. Believe this is a tremendous opportunity to promote a much broader exposure for the ACHA. Your professional feedback/criticism/suggestions are always welcomed.
@Sheriff Please consider D2 games for the ESPN broadcasts. The quality at the top of D2 is not that far off from D1. Similar to D1, you have some nationally recognized institutions in D2 that have good hockey programs. NYU is a perfect example and plays in the biggest city in the world, which is a great opportunity for exposing the ACHA.
Batman, thank you for your inquiry on the ESPN GotW.
First, let me just say that this partnership is in the infancy, broadcasting only our third game this evening as I type. In our opinion, every game, no matter which ACHA teams are highlighted, we our privileged to have this exposure for all our student-athletes.
To answer your question, we have added M2 teams to the short list for ESPN to consider. To date, ESPN has decided to broadcast M1 hosted games to showcase what they consider to be the best ACHA talent on the ice. ESPN is the final decision maker on which game will be highlighted on the ACHA Game of the Week.
You are correct in your assessment of NYU’s ACHA hockey program, and I believe they will be very competitive for the M2 National Championship in Columbus. I am elated that NYU has applied and been accepted to the ACHA M1 Division for the 2017-2018 season. If NYU does not get highlighted on the ACHA GotW this season, I am almost certain the entire country will have the opportunity to watch their phenomenal team host the ACHA/ESPN GotW next season.
Who else has applied to enter M1 next year?
Calvin College in Michigan only other application
And was Calvin’s application approved as well? Or do you know?
The short answer is the voting is still out on Calvin. There have been other teams that have inquired, but have not submitted the application form. The deadline for submission is today. Other teams that have asked for or have gathered information for applying to M1 have been WPU and FGCU.
One of the ACHA goals for the past two seasons has been to increase the parity in each division by encouraging teams to move to the division that best suits there talent levels - no hockey player I have ever known enjoys a double digit win or loss. From a strategic sense we have some problematic geographical issues within the ACHA. If you take a look at our national map, the areas of concern for us are the following: 1) No M1 or M3 presence in New England, 2) No M2 presence in NY area, 3) minimal presence in MN, 4) No M1 (with exception of Alabama or Arkansas) or M2 (with exception of FCGU) presence in FL or the deep south, and 5) No M1 or M3 presence west of the Rockies, specifically CA. This presents new teams that join the ACHA to have limited options for conferences and ACHA Divisions and creates, at times, heavy mismatches on the ice. So we are strongly encouraging teams to move up or down, based on their talent/organizational levels, and placing policies/rules/benefits to incent teams to do so.
For instance, Jay has been working hard to encourage the lower end M1 teams in NY to move down to M2 and create a NY M2 Conference with new addition Clarkson and others. In M2, we have been encouraging FGCU, NYU, WPU, GVSU, and others to apply for M1. M3 has been the biggest challenge due the largest diversity of talent and geography. However, we have made some progress there as well. Met State (#2 in Pacific last season) already moved to M2 this season and has been very competitive there. Calvin applied (and hopefully will be accepted - our computer rankings have them #1 of 150 M3 teams nationally before this past weekend). Aquinas will be moving into the newly formed NAIA Division with L-B, LTU, Life, I Tech, and others next season. Adrian (Gold) will be moving to M2. BAC will be going NCAA D3. There are many other very competitive M3 teams that are looking at options to move in the near future.
Having said all that, I must tell you this is not a perfect process. Years of individual division culture established has made any change, no matter how minimal, somewhat challenging. But we are making progress and most teams/coaches/players are buying into the strategic vision where the divisions are more distinguishable by talent with the best teams being in M1 and with M3 being the entry point into the ACHA for new and struggling teams.
As always, open to suggestions/feedback/criticsm on any improvements we might consider for the ACHA. My goal is to be active on this site every Monday am to see what the membership has been discussing and answering questions.
ACHA Executive Director
M1 should be the premier face of the ACHA. As such…
- Enforce basic existing requirements, such as having/maintaining a team website and reporting scores in a timely fashion
- Stop admitting terrible teams into M1 (e.g., Temple)
- Don’t expand ESPN3 into M2 and M3, but use it as a carrot to bring the good teams into M1
Enforce basic requirements - need membership buy-in so ACHA and commissioner have full authority to sanction teams that do not comply. This won’t happen overnight, but believe we can get there within 3-5 years.
Admitting poor teams to M1 - again, need membership buy-in. In my humble opinion, admission to M1 should be by invitation only. The ACHA would stand up a small committee to include M1 Commissioner, Conference Commissioners, and myself (only to provide input on the quality of M2 and M3 teams being looked at). The committee would decide who will get an invitation (ie., this year, NYU, WPU, GVSU, and FGCU). Those teams would decide if they want to move up and when. On the flip side see my first comment about incenting teams to move down to M2 and #1 above.
ESPN3 - already done. In a sense, even if the ACHA disagreed, ESPN has little to no desire to broadcast an M2-hosted GotW. M2 Army gets a pass in two weeks, but game is hosted by M1 Navy. Furthermore, big name universities with large brand recognition and/or large alumni populations have more appeal to ESPN - more viewers = more revenue.
Keep it coming…
Thanks for making yourself available for questions and communication. Greatly appreciated.
So to clarify, does that mean that every NAIA school currently in the ACHA (Davenport, U of M-Dearborn, Midland, etc.) must move to the NAIA division, and that new NAIA schools wishing to participate in the ACHA will be required to join that division? Does that include women’s hockey?
Can you say more about any collaboration that’s developing with the NAIA? I’ve read that some NAIA schools have wanted ice hockey to be an official NAIA sport (it’s not currently, I don’t think) and wonder if the two organizations are looking to partner to help make this happen.
Future ACHA/NAIA Hockey Partnership.
Certain ACHA teams whose universities are members of the NAIA have submitted a proposal to both organizations for men’s hockey to become a varsity sport. Both the ACHA and the NAIA have approved the draft proposal to make this happen within the NAIA. What does this mean, and how does this affect the ACHA?
There are 6-7 teams that plan to stand up this new division for the 2017-2018 season with a 20-24 game schedule.
These teams will offer no scholarships the first season.
For any sport to receive recognition from the NAIA, there must be a minimum of 15 team members. At this point, the sport will be classified as an “Emerging Sport”. Then there are other benchmarks until a membership of 45 teams - at this point, the NAIA will recognize the sport as varsity.
Participation in this new division have joined voluntarily. There are many NAIA teams that have passed on the first year (wait and see attitude) and others that do not have an interest at this time.
There are a number of NAIA universities/teams that have committed to the organization in the out years.
There has been no movement on Women’s Hockey to date.
As with other Emerging Sports, the NAIA has requested that the ACHA remain as the governing body until the division reaches 45 teams and varsity status. The ACHA has accepted this responsibility as many of these universities will have additional teams in the ACHA.
The ACHA will be compensated for our services.
Hope this helps - will provide an update as the season progresses.
BB, greatly appreciate you joining in and thank you for the feedback. And your point is spot on.
Working with the new Webmaster, Josh Petruisma, we have developed a change to the web scoring of games as you suggest. There will be a quick score option (just the final score) that either coach can enter - this will facilitate expediting the scores entered for computer rankings purposes. At a later date (or at the same time) you will be able to enter the game and player stats. We also plan to clean up this process, so if you make a mistake entering data, you won’t have to start the process over.
Other web improvements will be simplifying team/player registration and scheduling.