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12-11-2004, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Iselin/Piscataway NJ
Country: United States
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I don't live north enough for there to be frozen ponds or even for me to buy one of those outdoor rink things that you fill with water and let freeze in the winter, so the only outdoor hockey I've played has been street/roller hockey. My next-door neighbor pretty much got me into hockey when I was in first grade. I started out playing 1-on-1 with him on the concrete patio in my backyard using a baseball bat and a broken tee-ball tee as sticks, and these little prickly ball things that came off of the tree in my backyard as pucks. Then our parents got us some real sticks and skates and two nets, and the two of us gathered a group of people on our street and around the corner who liked hockey, and almost every single day immediately after school we would play hockey in our street until it got too dark to play. Unfortunately, everybody else was older than me, so by the time I was in 5th or 6th grade, they suddenly stopped playing. I couldn't understand why, but I was really sad when I got off the bus after school and for about two weeks in a row I didn't see them out there waiting for me to get home so we could play hockey.

So after about three years of no outdoor hockey at all, I had a big birthday party at my house and invited a bunch of people and we played hockey. For almost everybody, it was their first time playing hockey, and they loved it, so for about two years we played on my friend's street every Friday after school using garbage cans as nets until we couldn't see the ball anymore. Eventually he bought a net and we didn't use the garbage cans anymore. Then we discovered a spot a little but further up the street where there was enough light for us to play in the dark, so we continued playing there from right after school until around 10:30 every Friday. Soon, my other friend realized that nobody ever plays tennis on the tennis court at the end of his street, and since it was a much better surface than the street and had a fence surrounding it, we moved our games there and played two or three times a week.

When we found a bunch of other hockey fans/players in our neighborhood, we also discovered a very nice outdoor rink in a nearby park, and played a nice big game there every Saturday for about two years or so. In addition to this, we continued to play at the tennis court since it was much closer to everybody and the surface was still smoother.

We still occasionally play at the tennis court, and I organize a semi-annual organized game at the outdoor rink, complete with NHL rules, a ref, and a Stanley Cup-looking thing I made out of three flower pots, duct tape, and spray paint. For more information click here

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