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Transition Q&A

 

I HEARD LITTLETON HAD MEETINGS WITH SOUTH SUBURBAN ABOUT BEING A TENANT IN THE NEW RINK. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE.

Since October of 2018, LHA had been assured by the South Suburban Parks and Recreation District (SSPRD) that we were in the plans to be included in the new SSPRD regional recreation complex. LHA hosted a number of events with our families, particularly those who lived within SSPRD boundaries, to inform them about the project and to get the word out in their communities to help get the ballot measure passed. 

After the ballot measure passed, countless emails were exchanged and at least ten separate meetings were held in 2019 between SSPRD and LHA representatives to plan for LHA’s future in the new recreation complex. 

As part of these ongoing discussions, LHA submitted its written proposal to SSPRD for LHA’s operations and ice usage at the new recreation complex on October 21, 2019.

 

I HEARD SOUTH SUBURBAN OPERATES THE ARAPAHOE WARRIORS. IS THIS TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE.

The Arapahoe Warriors is the in-house youth hockey program operated by SSPRD. No other youth hockey program on the Front Range is operated by a parks and recreation district.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON HAD MEETINGS WITH SOUTH SUBURBAN ABOUT POTENTIALLY COMBINING PROGRAMS WITH THE ARAPAHOE WARRIORS. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE.

In addition to the ongoing discussions with SSPRD regarding our inclusion in the new recreation complex, emails were exchanged and at least two meetings were held in 2019 between SSPRD and LHA representatives to explore a potential merger between LHA and Arapahoe Warriors programs. 

As part of these discussions, LHA submitted its written proposal to SSPRD for potential merged hockey programming on November 9, 2019.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON USED 1,800 HOURS OF ICE AT SOUTH SUBURBAN IN 2019. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE, to a degree.

In calendar year 2019, LHA paid for approximately 1,853.93 hours of ice at SSPRD facilities, and spent approximately $507,050 for ice usage at SSPRD facilities. The vast majority of this ice time was utilized at South Suburban Ice Arena, but about 37 hours was used at Family Sports during LHA’s Thanksgiving Tournament in 2019.

These numbers do not include additional ice time LHA used at the Ice Ranch in calendar year 2019.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON WAS TOLD IN NOVEMBER OF 2019 THEY WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO OBTAIN ICE IN THE NEW RINK. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA submitted its written proposal to SSPRD for operations at the new recreation complex on October 21, 2019. Throughout November and December of 2019 and throughout January of 2020, LHA issued multiple emails to SSPRD in an attempt to obtain additional information as to SSPRD’s response and decision on LHA’s future in the new recreation complex. During this time, SSPRD only responded to LHA by stating that SSPRD was continuing to review LHA’s proposal along with “other options,” and that SSPRD was “evaluating all programs” at SSPRD.

In a meeting held on February 6, 2020, SSPRD’s General Manager and SSPRD’s Director of Recreation informed LHA that we would not be able to obtain ice at the new recreation complex.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON TURNED DOWN ICE AT FAMILY SPORTS. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

On February 6, 2020, SSPRD informed LHA that we would not be able to secure ice at the new recreation complex. During this meeting, SSPRD’s General Manager and 
SSRD’s Director of Recreation requested that we submit a proposed schedule for our possible use of ice at Family Sports. On February 11, 2020, LHA sent an email to SSPRD’s General Manager, proposing specific dates and times for LHA’s ice usage at Family Sports for the 2020-2021 hockey season. 

We never heard anything back from SSPRD regarding our proposal for ice time at Family Sports.

In an email from SSPRD’s Director of Recreation dated March 10, 2020, the Director of Recreation informed us that SSPRD would not make any final determination on the amount of ice usage requested by LHA until June or July. 

The simple reality is this: LHA needed to find over 1,800 hours of ice to replace ice that would be lost once South Suburban Ice Arena closed. As of March 1, 2020, LHA had been unable to secure even a single hour of ice at Family Sports for the 2020-2021 hockey season. We did not know whether we would ultimately be able to secure one hundred hours, or one thousand hours, or none at all.  No proposed contract for ice usage at Family Sports had ever been forwarded by SSPRD to us, and no decision by SSPRD regarding our February 11 proposal was ever made.   

 

I HEARD LITTLETON WANTED TO LEAVE SOUTH SUBURBAN TO OBTAIN ICE AT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is both FALSE, to a degree, and TRUE, to a degree.

LHA worked for over a year in an attempt to ensure that we would have ice at a SSPRD facility for our program to operate. After over 50 years in partnership with SSPRD, we had no desire to leave. However, it was absolutely critical that we do everything we could to find and secure over 1,800 hours of ice that would be lost from the closure of South Suburban Ice Arena. We explored and developed a number of different options and contingency plans to accomplish this task.     

We wanted to secure replacement ice, and were happy to be able to do so through a new long-term deal with Foothills Parks and Recreation District for our use of ice at The Edge. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON IS SUING SOUTH SUBURBAN. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA is not suing SSPRD. We have not even threatened to sue. We are, however, disappointed with the decisions SSPRD made, and we are frustrated and angry at the manner in which those decisions were made and communicated to us.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON IS SUPPOSED TO BE TIED TO SOUTH SUBURBAN PARKS AND RECREATION. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

SSPRD has its own in-house youth hockey program, the Arapahoe Warriors. SSPRD also rents ice in facilities they own and operate. While LHA has enjoyed a partnership with SSPRD for over 50 years, LHA is a privately operated hockey association that is not run by SSPRD. LHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is not operated by or tied to any particular parks and recreation district.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON IS NOT IN GOOD STANDING WITH CAHA. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

On April 9, 2020, the President of the Colorado Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) issued a statement affirming LHA is currently deemed to be an affiliate in good standing with CAHA and USA Hockey, and has been an affiliate in good standing since CAHA was formed in 1972.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON IS NOT IN GOOD STANDING WITH CCYHL. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

On April 9, 2020, the President of the Colorado Competitive Youth Hockey League (CCYHL) issued a statement affirming LHA is deemed to be a Full Member in Good Standing with CCYHL.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON ACTIVELY RECRUITS PLAYERS. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA does not recruit players. Recruitment rules are set by USA Hockey, and apply to Tier I and Tier II players. We currently do not have any Tier I teams, and we follow all of the recruitment rules applicable to Tier II players. LHA also follows all of the rules and restrictions established by CCYHL regarding player transfers and movement.

Parents do contact us to obtain more information about potentially joining the LHA family. When parents contact us, we provide them relevant information, including information about player transfer restrictions where appropriate. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON RUNS PUBLIC SKATING, DROP IN HOCKEY, AND STICK AND PUCK. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA does not run public skating, drop in hockey, stick and puck sessions, or other learn to play / learn to skate programming.  For programs and events at South Suburban Ice Arena or Family Sports Ice Arena, they are generally organized and operated by SSPRD. For programs and events at the Ice Ranch, they are generally organized and operated by the Ice Ranch

LHA supports and runs the Mighty Mites learn to skate / learn to play programming coordinated through the Colorado Avalanche. LHA also schedules and facilitates additional skills sessions and coaches’ ice throughout the year.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON DOES NOT WORK ON ICE ALLOCATION FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON UNTIL THE SUMMER. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA begins to work on ice allocation for the upcoming season as soon as the current hockey season is over. 

Last season alone, LHA had over 800 players in our organization. LHA fielded:

  • 7 Tier II teams;
  • 17 additional travel teams;
  • 12 recreational (house) teams; and
  • 15 U8 teams

Given the number of LHA families and the number of teams that are involved, a significant amount of work and planning is required, and ice allocation matters are crucial to the process. LHA simply cannot wait until summer to make the necessary plans.

 

I HEARD THAT LITTLETON USES ICE EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE.

LHA does utilize ice throughout the entire year. 

After the regular hockey season and postseason tournaments conclude, we offer spring programs to all age levels. In 2019, we had 219 registered skaters in our spring program. In 2020, we had 288 registered skaters in our spring program, but due to COVID-19 our spring programming was placed on hold.

We also offer multiple summer programs. In 2019, we had 450 registered skaters for our summer sessions. In 2020, we had 191 skaters register before our program enrollment was placed on hold due to COVID-19. We still plan to conduct summer programs in some fashion, but final programming and registration decisions are obviously still pending due to COVID-19. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON’S HOME RINK IS THE ICE RANCH. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is both TRUE, to a degree, and FALSE, to a degree.

Because of the number of families that call LHA home, and because of the number of teams LHA has, there is currently no single rink or facility in our area that can house all of our teams and activities.

It is true that the Ice Ranch was LHA’s home rink last season. However, it was not our ONLY home rink. South Suburban Ice Arena was also LHA’s home rink last season.

 

I HEARD THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS IS SUPPOSED TO BE TIED TO THE FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION DISTRICT. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

Foothills Parks and Recreation District (FHPRD) does not have an in-house youth hockey program. They rent ice in facilities they own and operate. The Foothills Hockey Association (FHA) is a privately operated hockey association. Like LHA, FHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is not operated by or tied to any particular parks and recreation district.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON IS ACTIVELY TRYING TO RECRUIT FOOTHILLS FLYERS PLAYERS. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA does not recruit players. Recruitment rules are set by USA Hockey, and apply to Tier I and Tier II players. We currently do not have any Tier I teams, and we follow all of the recruitment rules applicable to Tier II players. FHA does not have any Tier I or Tier II players.

FHA parents do contact us to obtain more information about potentially joining the LHA family. When parents contact us, we provide them relevant information. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON HAD A SIGNED CONTRACT WITH FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION DISTRICT FOR USE OF ICE AT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is TRUE.

On March 5, 2020, LHA and FHPRD entered into a ten-year agreement to secure our use of ice at The Edge. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON’S CONTRACT WITH FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION DISTRICT WAS SIGNED ILLEGALLY. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA does not presume to speak on behalf of FHPRD, but the facts are not in dispute. 

FHPRD followed all of its own policies and procedures in executing the agreement with LHA. FHPRD conducted its own due diligence. The matter was brought before the FHPRD Board of Directors in executive session, and all five FHPRD Directors were present during such discussion. To date, there have been no assertions by FHPRD that District staff did not have the authority or ability to execute the agreement with LHA. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON WAS TRYING TO KICK THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS OUT OF THE EDGE ICE ARENA. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

As LHA began the process of looking to obtain replacement ice for our program, we reached out to FHPRD to determine whether there was any ice available to rent at The Edge.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON MEMBERS ARE NOT RESIDENTS OF THE FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION DISTRICT. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

LHA has a number of families who reside within FHPRD boundaries. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON NEVER CONTACTED THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS ABOUT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

There were two meetings between the LHA Director of Hockey Operations and the FHA Hockey Director to discuss matters affecting both programs, including ice usage at The Edge. One meeting occurred on March 4, 2020, and the other meeting occurred on March 6, 2020.

 

I HEARD ALL LITTLETON HOCKEY ACTIVITIES WILL BE HELD AT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

For the upcoming 2020-2021 hockey season, LHA will continue to utilize ice at the Ice Ranch, which we have done since 2007. LHA will also utilize ice at The Edge, which is intended to replace the ice we lost at South Suburban Ice Arena to the greatest extent possible. LHA may also have to use ice at one or more other facilities.

 

I HEARD FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION INTENDS TO BUILD A THIRD SHEET OF ICE AT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

FHPRD currently has no plans to build a third sheet of ice at The Edge.

 

I HEARD THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS WERE EVICTED FROM THE EDGE AFTER LITTLETON SIGNED THEIR CONTRACT. IS THIS TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

A one-page contract did exist between FHA and FHPRD regarding FHA’s ice usage at The Edge, which stated that either party could end the contract by providing thirty days written notice. FHPRD exercised their option to end the FHA contract. FHA was not “evicted” by anyone. 

 

I HEARD FOOTHILLS FLYERS PLAYERS WILL BE UNABLE TO PLAY ANYWHERE ELSE IF FOOTHILLS CANNOT OBTAIN ALL OF THEIR ICE AT THE EDGE. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

There was a structure of a specific deal available to FHA where they would be able to secure around 820 to 850 hours of ice time for practices and games at Foothills Ice Arena, and which would allow FHA to secure additional ice at a SSPRD facility for FHA’s use to host tournaments. 

In addition, both FHPRD and LHA have been working to carve out at least some ice time at The Edge, through a combination of LHA voluntarily reducing its ice allocations under our current contract and FHPRD cutting other internal programming.

Neither the Bylaws nor the Policies & Procedures of CAHA limit player transfers between or among CAHA Member Associations.

The Rules and Regulations of CCYHL govern matters related to player transfers between and among CCYHL league members. As currently drafted, there are restrictions on the number of players that can transfer from one member association to another, but these restrictions already do not apply to any U8 player, any U16 or U18 player, or any house level player. For other players potentially impacted by the transfer rules, the existing CCYHL Rules already allow for additional transfers upon approval of the hockey directors involved and CCYHL’s Officer of Player Transfer.

We know that CCYHL is currently reviewing its existing player transfer rules. Given the various factors that may uniquely affect or impact the upcoming hockey season, we anticipate that CCYHL will issue further clarification to assist CCYHL in the resolution of any conflicts that might arise.

 

I HEARD LITTLETON HAD A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF HOURS THEY COULD GIVE BACK TO THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS. IS THAT TRUE?

ANSWER:     This is FALSE.

Even with the new ice agreement with FHPRD, and even with the ongoing partnership with the Ice Ranch, LHA is still short of the projected hours we will need to fulfill all of the requirements of our program. LHA does not contract for ice hours that we do not use for our programming needs. 

 

I HEARD LITTLETON VOLUNTARILY AMENDED ITS CONTRACT WITH FOOTHILLS PARKS AND RECREATION TO GIVE UP 200 HOURS TO HELP THE FOOTHILLS FLYERS. IS THAT TRUE?

TRUE OR FALSE:   This is TRUE.

Under the original agreement between LHA and FHPRD, LHA secured 1,950 hours of ice per year at The Edge. After the agreement was executed, the FHPRD Board asked LHA to determine how much of this ice time could be returned, to assist FHPRD in its efforts to allow FHA to maintain at least some continued presence at The Edge.

To help the FHPRD Board of Directors in their efforts, LHA agreed to an amendment to the existing agreement, which reduces LHA’s minimum ice usage from 1,950 hours per year to 1,750 per year.

Of the approximately 350 hours that we anticipate FHA will acquire at The Edge for the 2020-2021 hockey season and beyond, 200 of those hours are available to them only because LHA has voluntarily agreed to amend its existing agreement with FHPRD. The remaining 150 hours are available to them only because FHPRD has decided to make cuts to their other existing ice programs. 

Make no mistake: LHA giving up even a single hour of ice from our contract with FHPRD will hurt our own program, at least in the short term. We were already short of the projected ice time we will otherwise need, and once the amendment is executed, LHA will lose an additional 200 hours of ice at The Edge during the hockey season.

We all have felt the vitriol and animosity directed at LHA and our families by a vocal minority of upset parents. We all have endured the misinformation, the personal attacks, the insinuations, and the outright lies. We all have seen the contracting process get hijacked. Despite everything that has happened, we have chosen to help FHA and harm ourselves, knowing full well we will not receive any acknowledgement, let alone appreciation.  

Why did we do this? Because it was the right thing to do.

Our mission statement reads, in part: 

“Together, we will nurture the physical and emotional well being of all Members in an environment that fosters and promotes a sense of community. We are guided by the values of good sportsmanship, honesty, respect for all individuals and personal integrity.” 

We teach these concepts to our kids. We hold ourselves to the same standards.  Above all else, this is who we are.