Beer league mistakes and tips
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02-09-2010, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kitimat, BC
My advice is more mental than the actual gameplay part, but it doesn't matter if this is the highest level of hockey you've ever played - it does not do anyone any good for you to take it too seriously. By that I mean if your team is losing, don't go taking a dump on your teammates or goaltender because of it. They're out there to have fun and exercise for the most part and don't need to hear adolescent whining about how they've cost the team the game. Chances are, if they're losing, they feel bad enough anyway. This goes for the locker room too.
Establish a good relationship with the refs. These are guys that are paid peanuts to come out and police a bunch of grown adults. Sometimes it can get out of hand, and more often than not they take a goodly share of verbal abuse. Having a good relationship with them--especially if they consistently ref your games--ensures that if a game is getting out of hand, they will watch out for you. That guy who takes a gloved punch at your face for no real reason might be sent packing. Believe me, the refs appreciate the guys in these leagues who are nice, approachable and easy to talk to about why certain calls were made.
If there's a guy on the team doing something to piss you and your teammates off, don't do either the sit in silence routine or the nominate a spokesman routine. Have a team discussion about it, because that's what you guys are. The person in question might not even realize they've done wrong unless they're approached. Sure, it could still blow up anyway - but at least everyone knows where everybody else stands as opposed to guessing at who may or may not be on what side of the fence.
As far as on the ice goes, protect yourself. Your face, your teeth, your neck--be it a half shield plus a mouthguard or a full cage. Guys in beer leagues, especially newer guys, have a tendency to carry their stick at head height while skating. I played with a first year player last year and got high sticked 3 times. A beer league is certainly not a place you want to lose teeth or worse.
Other than that, have fun and play some hockey.
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