Luke Adelman is on to something.
Luke is the commissioner of the SDHL, that’s the Sidney Deck Hockey League. He’s 13.
Sidney stands either for his dog or the person his dog may or may not have been named after, Sidney Crosby. Luke can’t remember. I’ve encouraged him to change the name of the league to the No Parents Hockey League and he assures me that he’s taken it under advisement.
I have been on a personal crusade to un-organize kids sports for more than 30 years and have used every possible medium to promote the cause. Luke proved once and for all that it can be done.
It’s gotten to the point where a kid can’t throw a ball up in the air without several adults there to supervise it and his parents and grandparents feeling obligated to watch it.
Three years ago, when he was in the fourth grade, Luke organized two deck hockey teams to play each other on the playground basketball court near his house.
Now there are six teams.
The township turned the court into a rink by putting up dasher boards.
The first SDHL Draft was held earlier this week. Ten rounds. Six kid general managers, two of whom showed up in coats and ties, made their selections for the 2015 season.
Players found out which team they were on via Instagram.
The rosters are set, the 2015 schedule has been made and the first round of games have been played and there has not been one minute of parental input.
There are no referees.
No snack moms.
No (gasp) helmets.
There have been fights and somehow they were broken up without an adult stepping in and everybody survived.
Players are traded all the time. One brother has been known to be traded by another. The kid gets the message by text or Instagram.
Highlights are shown on Instagram and stats are kept by the commissioner.
I’ve advised the commissioner to put a banner on the league Instagram page (@SDHLleague) that says, “We Respectfully Request That Parents Do Not Attend Our Games.”
I’ve also suggested a rule that would require a kid to immediately come out of the game if one of his parents showed up to watch.
I know this is actually an attempt at adult supervision on my part, but I have the interests of the league at heart.
Imagine kids playing a sport without somebody’s mother whining about playing time. No parents embarrassing their kids by yelling at the refs.
Last season a mom -possibly a general in the Army to Feminize American Boys – came to the rink with her young son. She told the boys who were playing that her son would like to play.
The kids tried to explain to her that they had a league and that her son was too young and would ruin their game.
She, of course, didn’t want to hear it and reminded the kids that they were playing in a public park and her son had a right to play in their game.
The SDHLers, to their credit, let him play for a couple of minutes and walked off. Mrs. Busybody requested that they text her with the schedule for future games and they wisely ignored her.
There was also a case of a father trying to talk the kids into making sure everybody got equal playing time, but, according to the commissioner, he was ignored.
You play when the captain says you can play and how much you play is determined by how good you are. What kind of lesson is that to send to the kiddies?
I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before the adults try to “help” out the poor, misguided renegades of the SDHL and ruin everything, but here’s hoping they hold out as long as they can.
And here’s hoping Luke Adelman realizes his dream of becoming an NHL general manager.
He’s off to a good start.