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History of The Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA)
In May, 1972, twenty representatives from youth hockey clubs in New Jersey and
Pennsylvania met in Princeton, New Jersey to assess the feasibility of establishing
a district under the banner of the Amateur Hockey Association of the United
States, (AHAUS). Following the meeting, Dr. Earl Hoerner and Lester Dodson attended
the AHAUS Annual Meeting in Chicago. AHAUS officially chartered the Mid-Atlantic
Amateur Hockey Association as District IV in June, 1972. The District later
became known as the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA).
Dr. Hoerner became the first President and first AHAUS Director
from District IV. He served form 1972 until 1977. He also became the first Chairman
of the AHAUS Safety and Protective for the year.
Ernie Anastasia became the second President in 1977 and also served
as an AHAUS Director for that year.
In 1978, Ken Gesner became the third President of the Atlantic
Amateur Hockey Association and he was also elected the AHAUS Director from District
IV. A new era began for the District. Leagues became stronger and larger with
direct representation of the District Board of Directors to broaden the scope
of the Board. District tournaments were expanded to include “B”
and “C” levels, as well as House Leagues. Winners and runnersup
received the same recognition as teams in Open or Tier I tournaments.
Les Dodson became the first AHAUS Registrar for the District in
1972. Jim Measday moved from Secretary/Treasurer of the District to the position
of AHAUS Registrar.
In 1980, Andy Abramson became the third Registrar for the District. The District,
which had grown in every year since its inception, expended from approximately
300 to 800 teams during Andy’s seven years as AHAUS Registrar. He helped
to create and became the main thrust of the District's first service bureau,
In 1988, Joan Schofield became the fourth AHAUS Registrar and
the first female AHAUS appointee in the nation. In 1988 Joan helped the create
and became the first Executive Director of the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Service
Bureau. The Bureau replaced Hockey Central with respect to support activities
for the AHAUS appointees, the District Secretary, and District Guide Editor.
The Service Bureau also provides on an as-needed basis, services for our leagues
In 1982, the AAHA became the first AHAUS District to provide mandatory
Blanket Liability coverage, including all member teams and leagues, as well
as the affiliate. Three years later AHAUS adopted their National Blanket Liability
With the establishment of Hockey Central in 1978, the AAHA became
the first AHAUS District or Affiliate with a Service Bureau to provide support
for its teams, leagues, AHAUS appointees, and District officials. When Hockey
Central turned its focus away from the AHAUS and its support activities, the
Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association formed the Service Bureau. The AAHA maintains
full control of and responsibility for the Service Bureau.
Ken Gesner retired in the Spring of 1990 and Jim Plunkett was elected to finish
the remaining year of Ken’s term as AAHA President
The District registered over 1000 teams for the first time in
its history and Jim was also elected as an AHAUS Director. Jim has serviced
the Atlantic District as its Executive Vice President and has been the AHAUS
Coaching Program Director for the Atlantic District.
Jim Plunkett retired June of 1995 and was replaced as President
in August 1995 at the Annual Meeting by Tom Koester. Tom was the Executive Vice
President and is the second USA Director from our District.
Late 1990s and Today
With Jim Plunkett’s retirement as a USA Hockey Director in 1996 at the
annual meeting Larry Thomas was elected for the 1996-1999 term. As the second
director from the AAHA, Larry was also elected as the Executive Vice President.
In 1997, Joan Schofield retired as Registrar and was replaced
by Tony Montagna. Joan was elected as a Director Emeritus. Tom Koester was re-elected
President for 1997-1999, and USA Hockey Director for the 1997-2000 term.
Another milestone was reached in 1998, the District registered
over 2000 teams in that year. This entitled the AAHA to a third USA Hockey Director,
Joan Mariconda, elected for the 1999-2002 term. Also, four new vice president
positions were added to the executive committee, Player Development, Coaching,
Refereeing, and Women’s Hockey.
Tom Koester was re-elected in 1999 as President for the 1999-2001
term. Larry Thomas was elected USA Hockey Director for the 1999-2002 term. New
AAHA Appointee positions RInak Liasion, Marketing, Legal Advisor and Travel
Director were added.