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Our Story...

From Lemar Ortiz, VP and Founding Member:


When I first started playing with this league in 2014, we were on a mini-rink in Cedar Park. Most weeks were no more than 8-10 players, usually 3 vs 3 with a sub. Sometimes we played half court with only one goalie. It may not sound all that fun to folks accustomed to full rink play, but it was a blessing just to find other folks in and around Austin who enjoyed playing street hockey.

We kept at it, picking up a player here and a player there as new people migrated to Austin and heard about us. In 2015, our 8-10 players turned into 20 and we outgrew our tiny rink, making a risky move to Austin Sports Arena. We weren't even sure our guys would be willing to pay as it had been free up until that point. But most did, and the move closer to downtown Austin helped us add another 10-15 players that year.


In 2016, we changed our name from Austin Street Hockey to Texas Ball Hockey as we elected to become a recognized non-profit organization in the state of Texas and to dream a little bigger for our organization's future. Rather than playing pickup every week, we set rosters for seasons, had playoffs, and even invested in Lord Danley's Pint, our official championship trophy. We hosted our first ever open tournament in November and sent our first ever tournament team out of state to play in Shreveport for a weekend.


In 2017, we literally had to turn players away due to the demand to join our league. Our 3 team league had become 4, and we maxed out at 52 players that season with a wait-list for potential additions. Unfortunately, we just had no time slot in which to continue to grow. We saw a slight downturn that was heavily influenced by Austin Sports Arena being shut down in October of that year. We were without a home big enough to play, so we went back to our roots in Cedar Park for a few months while we waited on word of ASA's permanent closure or possible reopening.


In January of 2018, thanks to the efforts of Rockin' City Rollergirls (and especially Sidney and Jim), the building was reopened with a handful of the former league tenants coming together to make rent and try to save the rink. We got back into the swing of things, restarting our season that was cut short, and hosting a couple more 4 team leagues.


In four years, we have grown to literally 10x the size of some of earliest outings, we have built our nonprofit into a sustained entity, we've amassed close to 2,000 followers on social media, we have established a partnership with the Texas Stars, we have seen some great friends and players come and go, and we have struggled at times to keep hockey going when it looks like we won't have a place to play. But we still have had the glass ceiling hanging over our heads that despite all this work, eventually we would have no room left for growth.

But 2018 is the year that changes...


So without further ado (that was a lot of ado), here is the ANNOUNCEMENT:


Starting in September, our Wednesday night time slot will be shifted up to an 8pm start time, allowing us to accommodate our first ever SIX TEAM LEAGUE and up to 66 PLAYERS. The Rollergirls have been extremely helpful in making this happen, and now it's up to us to show that we can continue to promote, recruit, and expand our group to fill this slot.


We'll be making a HUGE social media push in the next month to gain new followers across different platforms and bring aboard new players. We'll be providing a lot more content than usual, and we'll be looking for you guys to help us with spreading the word. If you haven't already, please follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube (all as Texas Ball Hockey). Share anything you find funny or informative. Tag yourself anytime you're at the rink playing or watching. Promote the Kickoff Party when that happens.


If you're a former player or new potential player, get in touch with our page or me personally to inquire about rates for the new league in September. We've got about 7 weeks to recruit 15-20 new players. We can do this! Thanks for all the support over the years and to everyone who has played a part in helping run, promote, and grow the league! Time to make it happen again!


Thanks for reading my wall of text,
Lemar

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