March 12, 2018 (Dallas) The Texas Amateur Hockey Association (TAHA) today released a decision regarding the Tier I award for the next two years. The Dallas Stars’ Elite will be the only Tier I organization in the Affiliate beginning with the 2018/19 season. This marks the first major change to Tier I since the Affiliate implemented the Tier I Committee eight years ago and the first time in more than a dozen years that the Affiliate will have just a single Tier I organization.
“There is perhaps no harder or more challenging decision for the Board, nor one that delivers such far reaching effects as the Tier I award every two or three years” said Affiliate President Reggie Hall. “It is not a responsibility we take lightly” he said.
The application process occurs every two years (three years if the option years are exercised by TAHA). There are several factors considered including,
This year the player pool was a particularly impactful issue as TAHA is managing through the final years of the drop off in player numbers that started some 10-12 years ago. “The facts are clear that we, like many affiliates, experienced a substantial reduction in new players and those lean years are catching up to us now at the 18U, 16U and 14U age groups” said Hall. “We have been talking about this for five years as our analytics have continued to get more advanced. The good news is that the combined efforts of our rinks, the Dallas Stars (NHL) and the National Hockey League have resulted in a surge in new players at the youngest age groups, but they won’t be Tier I age for another three or four years” continued Hall.
Reducing the number of teams/organizations is a difficult decision, but one that must stand up to the scrutiny of doing what is best for players at the Tier I level, while considering the impact on Tier II, A and B level hockey.
TAHA would like to extend our appreciation to all bidders and thank HC Dallas for its efforts in the Tier I space over the last half dozen years.
This decision is final and effective immediately following the conclusion of the USAH National Championships in April.