JMS Hockey Blog

JMS is a pickup hockey league

Help wanted!

by Andy Baird

Hey JMSers!

To continue to expand and scale JMS we have two job vacancies we’re looking to fill. 

Whether you’re a long time JMSer or just a motivated newcomer to hockey, we’re looking for individuals with the passion for hockey and the talent to help bring JMS to new heights.

Specifically, we are looking for someone to head up our marketing efforts and to organize and manage our league initiatives. Interested? More details here

If you’re interested or have questions, please send a resume and cover letter to support@jmshockey.com

Play JMS for free!

by barbaragarn

For the remainder of the summer, JMS will be giving away free games. How do you skate for free? Just show your support for JMS!

We will be distributing JMS car stickers at games (and some Upper Level caps already have started distribution). Just ask your captain for a sticker and put it on your back bumper. 

JMS admins will be visiting the parking lots at our scheduled games. The lucky owner of a car displaying the JMS sticker will play for free that night!

Some games will be announced ahead of time, some will be a surprise. We’ll hit a variety of games each week, but all will be included before the end of summer.

Show your support for JMS and get a chance to skate for freeeee!

 

The Honey Badgers 2 Are Champions!

by ericmjorgensen

 

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Tonight, the Honey Badgers 2 won a hard-fought contest with the Awesome Possums to become the champions of the third season of JMS Hockey Clubs. Congratulations to the Honey Badgers 2!

JMS Hockey T-shirt Now Available!

by ericmjorgensen

Last fall, we at JMS Hockey launched updated branding to celebrate our ten-year anniversary — we figured that it was time we made a t-shirt. It’s a simple but cool design, and we hope you like it.

Buying a shirt for yourself or the JMS Hockey player in your life is a great way to support pick-up hockey in the Twin Cities — and to look sharp while doing it!

Thank you for playing JMS Hockey and helping to grow it into what it is today. Here’s to another ten years!

You can buy a shirt over here: http://jmshockey.com/tshirt

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Apple Valley Intermediate League Open For Sign-ups!

by ericmjorgensen

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JMS Hockey is expanding JMS Hockey Clubs to Apple Valley this summer!

Starting on Thursday, June 19th and ending on August 28th, this season will be our first offering targeted at intermediate skaters (those in JMS levels 2 through 4).

The Details

Schedule

Games will be every Thursday from June 19th to August 28th except for July 3rd due to the holiday. Game start times are between 8:30 and 9:45 PM.

Eligible Levels

JMS skaters in levels 2, 3, and 4 are eligible for this season.

Cost

Early-bird registration is $159. If you already have a set of JMS Hockey Clubs jerseys (one white and one black), you are all set. If not, there is a one-time $20 jersey fee.

After the early-bird period ends, the league registration fee goes up to $179. Get your spot now!

Click here to sign up

The Stick Magnets are Champs!

by ericmjorgensen

Congratulations to The Stick Magnets, the JMS Hockey Clubs Winter Champions!

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With two seasons now in the books, JMS Hockey Clubs is off to a great start. For more information about future league seasons, follow @jms_hockey on Twitter, like us at Facebook, or visit the league page of our website.

Get notified when a game is available at a rink you want to play at

by Andy Baird

A long requested capability of the website is to know exactly when a game that you are interested in is available. As of today, our automatic notification feature is now out of beta and available to anyone who is interested. You can setup your auto notification preferences here:

http://jmshockey.com/settings/auto-notifications

How it works:

  1. Select the rinks you want to be notified for
  2. Select the types of games you want to be notified for
  3. Select what days of the week you want to play on
  4. Choose the frequency at which you want to be notified

Depending on how you’ve setup the frequency of your automatic notifications, you’ll receive notifications any time a game is available and you are eligible to signup for that game for the rink you are interested in.

Questions or suggestions? As always, e-mail our support at support@jmshockey.com and we’ll be happy to help.

JMS is 10 years old!

by barbaragarn

Hard to believe this winter marks a decade of JMS! I started the program towards the end of 2003–I began booking ice so I could skate with other beginners and at least have a chance to touch the puck.

The first JMS game was at Brooklyn Park and the website was based off my Comcast e-mail, designed with an $8 program from the bargain bin at Office Depot. As I got more e-mails, I invited more and more people, who responded to the message to sign up. I added the new folks to the roster and uploaded the page anew every night.

A few years later, I made two big changes around the same time: separating by skill level and asking trusted JMSers to run the games when I couldn’t be there–the first JMS Captains. We had moved from collecting cash in the locker room to punch cards.

The website was still Office Depot bargain bin crummy and I had a few offers to take a run at it with varying degrees of success. In 2007, I approached Andy Baird about updating the website. Andy just took the website and ran with it, creating things I never knew JMS needed but then realized we could never do without. I can’t even imagine where JMS would be without Andy’s hard work, ideas and partnership.

We’ve refined things in the ensuing years, tweaking everything from how players get assessed to how captains get rosters and make level changes. Time sure flies. Dan Ginter has been helping us with social marketing (that’s him making all the posts on the Facebook page!) and Eric Jorgensen has come on as the third admin. Andy and I didn’t realize we were stuck in a rut until Eric joined in, a very welcome third voice who pushed us to try new things–like the JMS Hockey Clubs!

Eric also took on the revision of the JMS logo–the new design is a bold shout-out to old-school hockey, celebrating our roots in the State of Hockey. You’ll see a lot more of the new JMS logo as we update across our platforms.

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Primary Logo
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New Brand System

We’ll also start offering JMS products with the new logo, first of which are black and white jerseys (currently unprinted and waiting in some Rubbermaid tubs under my stairs). We hope to hold some fun contests and surprise giveaways with our new logo items to help get them out into the skating population.

We are so happy to be here, and to be ten years old this winter. Thank you for being a part of JMS and with us for what the future brings!

JMS Hockey Clubs Expansion

by ericmjorgensen

Coming soon: JMS Hockey Clubs winter season in North St. Paul and Eden Prairie, for players Levels 3, 4 and 5. Each season is 10 guaranteed games plus a championship for the two top teams.

Games will start December 1 at Polar Arena and January 5 at Eden Prairie. All games are Sunday nights, refereed 17 minute run-time. Start times are 7:45 and 9:00 at Polar and in the 7:30 to 9:30 window at Eden Prairie.

Hockey Clubs members will get a white and a dark JMS Hockey Clubs jersey and access to the special Hockey Clubs portion of the JMS website. Cost is $150 for games and $20 for two jerseys (participants in the Fall JMS Hockey Clubs season will get a credit for the jerseys they already own).

Applications for team captains are open now, and general player signup will open on November 2. Players may sign up for specific teams and choose their team name as a group.

We hope you can make it! We are exploring new locations and the possibility of adding an option for lower level players in our spring league. Details will be posted as we have them!

One dollar more

by Andy Baird

JMS has been around for nearly a decade and for years the mean skater price has remained at $15 for a 90 minute skate. In those years, rink prices have increased and we’ve managed to keep our prices constant. We’ve been able to do this as we’ve become better at promoting games, scheduling where the demand is and managing overhead costs.

With the fall calendar starting we saw another price hike across many rinks in the Twin Cities and we knew it was time. Starting November 1st, JMS games will be $16.

Rink Pricing Economics

Rink pricing in Minnesota is a fascinating lesson in the balance of economics and community services. Most rinks exist so the community’s youth have a place to play hockey (which is why youth associations get first dibs and we skate later in winter, after them). Because profit is not the rink’s the primary objective, many rinks operate at a net loss, their existence underwritten by the city and justified by contributing to the citizens’ quality of life.

As costs (power to chill the ice, fuel for the Zamboni, pay for the workers) increase, the rinks up their prices. A significant proportion of the cost increase is passed along to outside groups, defraying the cost for the rink’s local users–who the rink exists to serve, after all. And so we regularly see increased pricing from some of our favorite rinks — some we are now priced out of completely after seeing a 30% increase over the last 5 years.

This is all just economics; we’re not upset at the rink managers or the city councils that set the prices. It’s just business. JMS does try to negotiate where we can, but ice–especially during the hockey season–is most definitely a seller’s market. If we don’t take it at the offered price, more than one group is waiting right behind us and IS willing to pay the asking price.

A note on Prime vs. Off-Prime ice

While rinks vary in price and we choose as economically as we can, all rinks do charge more for prime hours (about 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.) than during the day when demand is almost zero.

Some people pay five bucks at lunchtime and don’t understand why JMS costs what it does. Rinks give “dead ice” to open hockey and can afford to charge a low price for it–even five bucks a skater is better than the ice just sitting there.

But prime hours are something very different. Most kids and adults can only skate after school or work, so those hours are the most in demand. Like anything else in demand, the price goes up.

In a recent Star Tribune story, the associate director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission made the same point: It’s not that there isn’t enough skating time, Barclay Kruse said, just that there aren’t enough ice hours that are considered convenient. “The prime hours for youth hockey are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.,” he said, “If you asked [the hockey associations], they’d all love to skate at 7 every night at a rink 5 miles from their house.”

We know that’s how JMSers feel, too, and we work as hard as we can to make that happen for as many of you as we can–at an affordable rate that keeps the program sustainable for the future.

Thanks for your understanding. Questions or want more detail? E-mail support@jmshockey.com.

 

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