We're now two years into LEC having taken effect with first three now four extra teams in PL. What's everyone's thoughts? Mine haven't changed much:
LEC already proven to have been a waste of time and look terrible. Bastardised VL1 - I think it's a reasonable call to say that PEGS and Yarra will be having a relatively cruisy year, and with an expanded premier league I think no matter the year the top four in VL1 aren't cut out for top flight hockey in Victoria. In all honesty I don't think the bottom two PL teams are either. No fault of the clubs, it's HV.
LEC brings clubs into PL who aren't ready for it yet, and it doesn't do much to help them. HV have essentially moved the division between these two leagues a few rungs up the ladder into Premier League. Who's it helping? Even with a grace period, Yarra have still fallen back into VL1. Both 2017 and 2018 ladder statistics (attached screenshots) show the bottom four PL teams with consistent, drastically worse numbers than the rest of the competition. Not just the points, take a look at those goal differences. I know the ladder isn't the be all and end all, but it's a numbers representation of a fact I think many of us understand already - these teams aren't ready.
So - now we have a top four in VL1 that doesn't really represent the top of our second division hockey, and a little bit of dead weight at the tail end of PL, it sucks for both leagues, it sucks for the four teams in the weird middle zone. Furthermore, after feedback following the 2018 PL season, HV have decided to shorten the PL season by a game. On one hand, this is good news, it was at 22 for a period, a lot, but on the other, the league is now too big for its allocated time. There's some crazy system in place for who gets to play who twice and who only once. This wouldn't have been a problem if HV didn't decide to try and fix what wasn't broken.
Two proper years in, and what a farce. With a complete lack of foresight, proper consultation with clubs, listening to supporters and teams, we've ended up with two great leagues worse off than they have been in years. Hockey Victoria's brazen determination to forge forward with changes that nobody really likes and haven't really been thought through has lead us to this. I could rant about HV and the LEC all day (before I even got into anything regarding things they've done to other leagues and juniors) but the fact is if we want any proper change it's time for that lot to go - they've consistently shown themselves to ignore fan feedback and in cases even lie to affiliate members in an effort to push their agenda. It's time for a change in the makeup of our association.