Growing up, everyone was the star on their competitive teams at one point or another but at the end of the day, almost everyone ends up in recreational hockey. Playing on these competitive teams, there were definitely rules and social norms to follow. Recreational hockey is no different. If you’re a newbie to recreational hockey, here are some do’s and don’ts so you can fit right in on your team.
Bring a water bottle! You will need it. You may think you’re in good shape and “it’s just recreational hockey” but trust us, you will find yourself thirsty. Hydration is key and you will thank yourself later for packing a water bottle in your hockey bag.
Warm-up/stretch! Make sure you fit in a warm-up before you hit the ice. Your body is susceptible to injuries but warming up and stretching before playing can prevent you from pulling something and getting an injury.
Bring an extra jersey! Always pack an extra jersey. People often forget to bring a jersey and you could come to the rescue with a spare in your hockey bag. Packing an extra jersey is also necessary in case you and the other team are matching and you need to put another colour on.
Pass the puck! Puck hogging isn’t cool and takes the fun out of the game. Everybody loves a nice tape to tape pass. Often times the assist is better than the actual goal itself so pass the puck and make magic happen on the ice.
Bring beer! Once you get to the old-timers recreational hockey level you can officially trade in your post game Gatorade or Powerade with a nice cold beer. You will need to replenish the carbohydrates and calories you burned during the game. Bringing the beer will make the whole team happy, literally and figuratively. Just remember to follow the rules and bylaws of the facility you’re playing in regarding beer in the dressing room.
Try hard! Don’t be the try-hard player who goes game seven on the back check. It’s recreational hockey, everyone is there to have fun, not to impress NHL scouts.
Mooch Tape! Nobody likes a tape moocher who never brings his own tape and uses up all of theirs. Pack your own tape and if you happen to borrow tape from a teammate return the favour.
Celly too hard! Sure a little celebration when you score is acceptable but there is no need to rub it in the other team’s face. The stands are not full and there aren’t any reporters watching who will want to talk to you after. Act like a respectful adult.
Pick a fight! There is nothing worth getting physical about with someone in recreational hockey. Somebody may do something you don’t like, however, you both go home to your families and have to work the next day, and there is no need to mess up each other’s face.
Show up late! Everyone is going to have conflicts that will cause them to be late to the rink. However, it is not cool to be late. Don’t leave your teammates out to dry, arrive on time.