Lots of news to share, and we answer your mailbag questions…

January and February have been pretty hectic months for the crew here at ASHI as we ramp up in a lot of areas in preparation for the World Junior Championships in June and the World Masters Championship in September.  Here’s a list of the things we’ve completed and/or are working on:

  1. Taylor Bowes joined ASHI as the Director of Fundraising.
  2. Taylor is working on completing a brand new fundraising system.
  3. ASHI got a new phone number – (978) 482-7441 which is (978) 48ASHI-1
  4. Chris Bokuniewicz hired several volunteers to work as Sponsorship Coordinators – Kevin Cooley, Dave Reaser, Sean Sampson, Marc LaFortune, Brett Fronte, Julie LeBlanc.
  5. Sponsorship Coordinators have contacted dozens of businesses and we have received several replies from potential sponsors who want to partner with ASHI and/or the National Ball Hockey USA teams.
  6. Big development:  We have companies competing to be the official apparel sponsor of Team USA.  This represents a monumental shift in perception for ASHI.  Instead of asking for handouts, we now have some leverage to work with potential partners to determine best fits and strategic long term benefits.
  7. Mark O’Neill arrived in Florida to begin assisting Matt Garry with preparations and planning for Masters Cup.
  8. Mike Zambon and Chris Bokuniewicz hard at work on getting a national rule book developed.
  9. ASHI working on getting Mike Zambon to represent the USA on the ISBHF Discipline committee (akin to the rules committee in other sports)
  10. Interview with George Gortsos conducted via skype.  Final edits in process for posting next week.
  11. Lots of feedback from the Christoph Curchod interview.  Spoke with many in the community who had follow up questions.
  12. Stacy Gitlin did an outstanding job at the Women’s tryouts producing a highlight video of the tryouts.
  13. Stacy developing several other videos for release in the next weeks.
  14. Caroline McCrea developing Team USA Logo and Jersey options, also working on lots of other designs for different projects.
  15. Ashley McMasters finished compiling US League List database!!!
  16. Several tournaments added to the 2014 Tournament Schedule (Side note:  Still looking for a tournament host to be the pilot for the first official “ASHI Sanctioned Tournament.  If interested, please email us.
  17. Mark O’Neill and Mike DeFazio working with several people who reached out to ASHI for help in getting leagues started in different parts of the country.  This is a HUGE Development and one of the main reasons ASHI is here, to help you the community!
  18. Scott Tarzy helping woman in New Jersey develop women’s league from scratch.
  19. Chris Banks met with several potential donors and sponsors about partnering up with ASHI and has many more meetings set up.
  20. RIcky LaPerriere and Banks also attended Skype meeting with ISBHF members, went very well.
  21. U18 and U20 rosters announced.
  22. 1st Women’s camp invites went out by Jason Kelly and his team.
  23. George Tarantino got his head waxed.
  24. Jason Rocha’s Empty Net Goal video went viral thanks to USA Today and Gannett Media, over 700,000 views.
  25. The CBHA and ASHI had several discussions about partnering up for some future projects to help grow the sport.
  26. Team DC Logo for Masters announced.
  27. Team DC Coaches Phil Russo and Sean Sampson added to staff.
  28. Laura Barrett added as trainer for Team USA Masters.
  29. Leominsters Blackhawks won the Super Bowl Bye Week, 4th year in a row!  Congrats again!
  30. Mike DeFazio’s UMass Team won the championship, congrats Mike!
  31. Last but not least, lots of little stuff continues to get done that makes this world go around.  It’s not newsworth but it’s worth pointing out that without these little things getting done, this venture would be for naught.

And now the mailbag.  If you have qeustions for us, you can always email info@ashihockey.org or just use the Feedback Form here on the website.

  1. From David L. in Anaheim, CA:  “Any plans for ASHI to hold tournaments out here in LA area?”  – David, right now ASHI has no plans to organize and conduct any tournaments on our own as we don’t have the resources for that.  But there is a long term plan for this and our goal is next year to begin holding ASHI ran tournaments.  But don’t hold our feet to the fire on that 🙂
  2. From Robert B. in Brookline, MA:  “Why doesn’t ASHI have people join up and pay like a player dues fee to raise money?  Say for $50 a year you get a hoodie or something but you’re an ASHI member, like the USGA does for golf.” – Great idea and something we’ve discussed actually.  Right now we plan to do something like that probably next year but we have to have some behind the scenes infrastructure in place to support that, and that’s the main holdup.  Resources, really.  But a great idea and one we hope to implement.
  3. From Anonymous – For those family members who want to go to Slovakia to watch the kids play, can we get discounts on travel through ASHI?  – From Scott Tarzy Junior Division GM “
    Discounts through ASHI are not available at this time.
    Karen Chassin is our travel coordinator and has monumental  task ahead of her.  She is responsible to arrange travel for the  48 players plus associated coaching and executive staff.  It is a tremendous undertaking and we can not thank her enough.
    She is looking into Charter Flights but most likely we will be flying commercial.  The departing city will
    depend on many variables and has not yet been decided.
    Airline and hotel for family members will need to be booked separately from the players.  Once the details are finalized we will provide  the flights and hotel name to the players and families.
    For those families who wish to book rooms or flights in advance our tentative plans are to depart on June 22 and return on June 30.  Hotel information can be found on the tournament website:
  4. From Anonymous – “When will Dennis Buckstein be joining ASHI? He does a ton of stuff and wants to help. You should let him help you.” – Answer from Chris Bokuniewicz – “Dennis has not asked ASHI to participate as a volunteer.  He has also indicated that he doesn’t wish to join any side relating to the current split in the sport, either ASHI or the USDHF, and prefers to run his own show on facebook.  If Dennis decides that ASHI is a better fit for him than what he is currently doing, we’re sure he will reach out to us and we can begin those discussions at that time.”
  5. From Anonymous – Will ASHI be at the North Americans for those of us who want to meet you and find out how we can help or just talk hockey?  As a parent for me I’d like to see who will be going over to Slovakia with my kid.  – From Chris Banks – “Yes, ASHI will be there.  Several of us are playing, coaching, assisting, etc…  Whether or not we will have an “official” presence as in a table or booth set up or something similar is up to the tournament organizers.  We’ve asked them for something like that but have not heard back as of yet.  But individually there will be many of us there and we hope to speak to as many in the community as we can.”
  6. From Anonymous – Have you reached out to USA Hockey to see if they want to sponsor a Team USA? From Chris Bokuniewicz – “Yes we have contacted USA Hockey on 4 separate occasions but have not received any reply from them.”