The Coastal Cup is well known throughout the Southeast in states such as North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia, and the tournament is looking to extend its influence into other states such as Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Alabama.
One of the Coastal Cup’s new programs, begun this year, is Travel Lite. Travel Lite is set up for parents/kids that do not want to play such a rigorous schedule. This program only takes recreational/house league players/teams, and no elite teams or players are allowed. Second level (B teams) are welcome to play. The season is shorter because a lot of these kids play other sports and do not want to play travel hockey for seven months.
“We had 50 new teams participate this year at qualifying tournaments,” said Coastal Cup Director Bob Boucher. ”What we did was to revive some of the smaller programs so that those kids could start playing in travel tournaments again. The teams had quit playing because they were getting mercied in traditional travel tournaments.”
The season runs roughly from January/February to April/May, and at one tournament this year, there were 15 teams and no game was decided by more than two goals.
“This is a smaller market but I have talked to a number of programs that participated and they are already planning on adding other age groups for 2011,” Boucher said. ”We tend to gear everything towards the elite player and forget about the Average Joe. The tournaments for Travel Lite are usually run as separate tournaments; however, if we go to a two-rink facility, we incorporate the Travel Lite program into the Traditional Travel schedule.”