View Full Version : An Assessment of Amateur Hockey Culture by State

07-26-2011, 03:49 AM
I'd personally like to thank Bruce Peter @ his Puck Worlds blog for his assessment of amateur hockey culture (http://www.puckworlds.com/2011/6/13/2220982/amateur-hockey-culture-by-state) and the state by state ranking. He describes exactly how he arrives at his conclusion that Alaska is ranked #1 and Minnesota #2 ... (see link to find your states ranking) and goes onto talk about other significant states at some length. Good article/post.

I asserted this and attempted to show the same thing here on more than one occasion in the past. Finding someone who concurs and does so with a better data set than I used is quite nice.

:eek: And yay!1!! for Colorado who snuck into the #14 spot just ahead of South Dakota. :eek:

07-26-2011, 07:26 AM
Looks like a ranking based on one bogus stat. That's quite an interesting "assessment".

I'm going to make some popcorn for this one.

Fighting Sioux 23
07-26-2011, 07:29 AM
Looks like a ranking based on one bogus stat. That's quite an interesting "assessment".

I'm going to make some popcorn for this one.


It is what it is. It is hard to deny that Alaska doesn't take their amateur hockey seriously. Given that, I tend to agree. Minnesotans should get a kick out of this one. I also find it funny that North Dakota is ranked higher than Massachusetts and Michigan, or that South Dakota ranks higher than New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois.

07-26-2011, 08:08 AM
One really major issue is that the numbers used appear to be players registered with USA hockey. I admit knowing next to nothing about hockey in Alaska, but I know there are a very large number of hockey players in MInnesota who are NOT registered with USA Hockey. Youth players in MN generally don't register until they start traveling, i.e. Squirts. That leaves out a huge pool of mites and mini-mites. High school players in MN don't have to register and usually don't (unless they ref on the side) leaving out another huge pool of boys and girls of high school age. Also, many adult hockey players are not registered in USA hockey.

I have no idea how that would change comparisons by state but I do know Minnesota numbers are very underrepresented when relying only on USA Hockey registrations. I would venture that they are 35% or more low. I know years ago when the comparison used to be between MN and MI, these differences were discussed since nearly all adult players in MI registered and the high school numbers are very low due to the previlance of club hockey in MI vs MN.

07-26-2011, 08:54 AM
The "State of Hockey" is a title that Minnesota has taken on, and while its still true that you will find more registered hockey players in Minnesota than anywhere else, if you have a room of 500 Alaskans and 500 Minnesotans, there is likely to be more hockey players from Alaska than Minnesota. Indeed, hockey has really taken off in Alaska in the past 20 years, to the point that they can now claim to be the "state of hockey".


Like Goldy has said their are many Minnesota Hockey players who are not registered with USA Hockey, but if it makes you feel better go ahead and believe Alaska is #1.

07-26-2011, 09:17 AM
A quick look at the MSHSL site and it looks like there are 138 boys teams and 124 girls teams in the State. That has to add 6,500 players or more not accounted for (including JV and Varsity, but figuring girls rosters are much smaller in some small schools so average about 25 total). I'm sure someone has compiled the total of high school players in MN, but I'm too lazy to look for it. Mites should comprise at least 10,000 more players. I have no clue how many adults are non-USA hockey but still playing. Some leagues require it and others don't. I also have no clue if the same holds in AK or other states.

07-26-2011, 09:20 AM
I'm not going to criticize the intent of this or the effort that went into it, but I think you have to take these rankings with a grain of salt. As a Massachusetts native, I can tell you first-hand that the once-fabled Massachusetts hockey machine has been sputtering for most of the last 10 years and the fifth place ranking is probably generous. Player registrations have been down (especially youth males) and Mass.-based teams competing in USA Hockey national championships have been getting smoked. That didn't used to happen. The bloom seems to be off the rose in the rest of New England too. Maybe the Bruins' return to prominence will give things a shot in the arm.

On the other side of the coin, states further down on the list, like Texas, Florida, and California, have been showing significant registration percentage gains over the last decade and teams from those states are more than holding their own at the various USA Hockey nationals.