Differences in playing style between NCAA and Team USA hockey

Discussion in 'United States' started by Sven, Jul 14, 2014.

  1. Sven

    Sven FHF Regular Player

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    So after watching most of the World Cup matches that ESPN3 had available for streaming online, I was looking for more matches to watch while I run on the treadmill, and ended up watching the NCAA D1 championship from this past fall. I couldn't help but notice that the style of play was drastically different from what even Team USA would play on the international stage.

    Now, I realize that there is expected to be a difference between international hockey and college hockey, but the NCAA D1 level is, here in the states, the highest level of non-international competition, is it not? In fact a number of the Team USA athletes are simultaneously D1 college hockey players.

    So why then, does college hockey at its highest level employ what seems like a very inefficient style of play? It seemed as though both teams were determined to push the ball forward at all costs, rather than pass around the back/midfield and look for a good pass opportunity. They seem more apt to try and dribble around their opponent than look for an immediate pass. Not to disrespect the players at all, I will be the first to admit that any one of them could probably best me onfield. It just seems like that style of play would be much quicker to tire out the players and would cause a lot of unnecessary turnovers.

    Having no experience seeing the club-level matches in other nations, do they employ similar styles, or are they closer to what I have seen in watching international tournaments? If the latter, why has college hockey not adopted a similar style? From the perspective of developing athletes for the international program, would that not be beneficial for the US?
     
  2. thefloppy1

    thefloppy1 FHF Starter

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    Sven,
    I have noticed an even bigger different between Collage and Highschool.

    But Collage, I watch the games, and see people running in a line Not really changing direction at all, not changing the point of attack as you have said. I notice that in Highschool (and coming from Aus, coaching a Highschool team now) they like to hit the ball long and run the ball in. This is more a symptom of not having good surfaces to play on. My school still plays on Grass, and as much as I argue till I am red in the face, the sport here is not seen as main stream so doesn't get the fields needed to develop a better style.

    So I too wounder if the Collage coaches are just adapting to the incoming Highschoolers and working something inbetween what is seen internationally and what the players know coming out of highschool.

    Should also be noted that there are three different sets of rules in the US. Highschool, collage are different and FiH are different from both again. That can't help.


    -- I can't speak for all highschools, I can only comment on what I have seen.
    -- I also can't speak for collage coaches either.
     
  3. Sven

    Sven FHF Regular Player

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    Thinking back to when I played in high school, I think you are probably right that the surface plays a large part. My school played on grass as well, though a few teams in our conference had "field turf" fields, the kind with the little black rubber pellets that get absolutely everywhere. After playing on one of those fields for the first time, I felt about playing on grass the way I now feel about the "field turf" after having played on wet astro!

    I hadn't thought about the fact that the college coaches are likely just adapting what the players have done in high school and before, that probably plays quite a large part really.
     
  4. Wassie

    Wassie FHF Legend

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    I think the style reflects the way girls and womens LAX is played. And since a majority of FH girls grow up also playing Lax, then that influence flows across.
     
  5. ScottishDonald

    ScottishDonald FHF Legend

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    Sven not sure if its helpful, but club-wise here in Scotland (and I assume the rest of the UK but don't quote me on that!), we're told to switch the ball around the back 4 a lot, push the right back up when we push to attack, switch channels if the channel you are in is too crowded and run the baseline looking to switch the ball back to P-spot or top D.
     

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