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Ringers: The good, the bad, and the ugly

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Old
03-10-2009, 04:46 AM
  #1
nodq
 
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Ringers: The good, the bad, and the ugly

So I play in an adult league at Sharks ice in San Jose. There are a ton of different divisions, ranging from A all the way down to like EEE. Occasionally, i run across a guy who obviously doesn"t belong in that division and it shows. Having more goals than the team has had games is an obvious sign.

I'm wondering how you all feel about the "ringers" playing in leagues far below than their talent level? I'll admit i have a few ringers on my team, but its for the sole purpose of evening out the ringers on the other teams. My ringers typically play defense and don't try to score.

Not all the teams I play against subscribe to this idea and it kind of bugs me. What do you all think?


P.S. yes i know it's beer league hockey and who really cares in the end? have fun, play hockey, yada yada.

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03-10-2009, 08:42 AM
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adaminnj
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ringers eurk me and I always mouth off to them off the ice.

I like the way that the GSHL (The Greater Seattle Hockey League) has a draft skate (or evaluation skate) in the beginning of the season.

"NEW PLAYERS

GSHL welcomes new players of all skill levels.? Priot to each season we host?three to?five free evaluation skates.? These evaluation skates give?players new to the league a chance to perform basic skating, passing and shooting skills, along with a brief scrimmage.? Captains of GSHL teams in need of players attend each session to participate in a draft at the end of each session.? After the draft, new players are introduced to the captains?of their teams."

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03-10-2009, 09:27 AM
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It's sort of sad, actually.

Being an average hockey player who loves the game and loves playing against people of a similar skill level, the whole concept of ringers has always bothered me. Luckily, the league I play in generally does a good job of balancing out the divisions. If there is an average team that has one superstar on it, and he scores enough that his team destroys the rest of their division, the team will eventually get bumped up to the higher division.

They re-align the divisions two or three times each season, so if there is a situation like that, it usually doesn't last long.

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03-10-2009, 09:29 AM
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Well, I'm sure it is different in your case, but it is very difficult to find high level leagues to play hockey in. Sometimes I have to play in lower leagues just to be able to play at all. That being said, it is absolutely UNFORGIVABLE to run up the score on a team you are better than. If I am playing with a mid team, I make a few good plays, but I always look to pass first, or I play D. Running up the score is just jackassery and it drives me crazy to see people do it. I would rather lose.

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03-10-2009, 11:47 AM
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I hate it. Those guys are also the ones with massive egos. They hot-dog on the ice and act like they're superstars in the dressing room. IMO they're frustrating for the opponents (nobody can shut them down) AND for teammates, who may or may not get the puck.

I personally prefer to play above my skill level, which actually isn't too hard. At D level I'm a "ringer". At the C level I'm at the middle of the pack, and at B I'm usually the worst player on the ice. I actually enjoy playing B the most because I feel that I make the most improvements. I'm stuck playing C or even D though b/c I'm not strong enough to hang with the older guys just yet.

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03-10-2009, 11:57 AM
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I'm not sure what the policy is at your rink, but the league I play in in Hackensack, NJ has 8+ skill divisions and if you sign up as an individual they only allow you to play in either D6 or D8. I played college club hockey, really nothing special at all, but I know how to play, and I was without a doubt a ringer in both D6 and D8. But, I had no choice in the matter because all of the teams in the higher divisions have been playing together for years and weren't looking to add free agents.

I've luckily been able to sign on with an established team in a division more suitable to my skill level since then, but I thought I'd throw this alternate perspective out there because not all "ringers" are the same.

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03-10-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodq View Post
So I play in an adult league at Sharks ice in San Jose. There are a ton of different divisions, ranging from A all the way down to like EEE. Occasionally, i run across a guy who obviously doesn"t belong in that division and it shows. Having more goals than the team has had games is an obvious sign.

I'm wondering how you all feel about the "ringers" playing in leagues far below than their talent level? I'll admit i have a few ringers on my team, but its for the sole purpose of evening out the ringers on the other teams. My ringers typically play defense and don't try to score.

Not all the teams I play against subscribe to this idea and it kind of bugs me. What do you all think?


P.S. yes i know it's beer league hockey and who really cares in the end? have fun, play hockey, yada yada.
Me and you both my friend. Its great when you're a goalie and a team brings in some random guy who goes coast to coast and burns your entire defense.

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Old
03-10-2009, 11:57 AM
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I don't like to play hard or with any intensity, so I play at the B level and have a bit of fun. And I don't need to score three goals a game to do that. I don't think I'm a ringer.

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Old
03-10-2009, 12:18 PM
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I tend to be a Ringer when i play with other women's teams. I play Women's A and Men's B, though since there is a small number of women's teams a lot of us get called to play in Women's B-C or sometimes D.

If that happens I happily play defense and just do what I can to help the team. I rarely "try" to score unless we're down and even then I spend more time trying to set up the other girls. I guess it's just the way the "ringers" look at it.

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03-10-2009, 12:32 PM
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The case of the ringer. I played on a team a few years back who played in what was called the intermediate division. Decent skill level and some good competition. We had a few guys that legitatmely belonged in the division and the rest of us could get by. One of our first games we played a team of guys who didnt belong in this division. Had a few players who played for small D-1 schools and the rest all had played high level college club. They were killing teams 10-1, 12-3 etc. League director didnt want to do anything about saying they were in the right division. First time in a long time I didnt enjoy playing.

Most teams Ive played against and on have had one guy who belonged in a higher division. When its one its not too bad but when its a whole team it sucks. We were playing a high beginners league because it was what are skill level was. We had all played for years but nothing at a high level. We brought in a guy who had played junior b up in Canada. Hadnt really played in a few years. He was head and shoulders above just about everyone in the league. He played D and didnt go out of his way to embarass anyone run up the score etc. But having him there raised our level of play to try and keep up with him.

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03-10-2009, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nodq View Post
I'm wondering how you all feel about the "ringers" playing in leagues far below than their talent level?
Like you said, it depends on the demeanor of the players. When I first started, we had two ringers on defense. One guy was a jerk, who managed to rub people the wrong way even at pickup, who wasn't shy about going end to end.

The other guy was all about making everybody else better, he'd even coach up the opposition. The only time he really turned it on was when we played a team of other ringers.

More recently, I've subbed for my buddies' teams and ran across this team that was obviously playing a level below. Team of mostly young college aged guys who act like 12 year olds. Had one guy pull the "Avery screen" on me during a PP. Did enjoy telling him "That's great buddy, but you do realize the puck's been out of the zone for 5 seconds."

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Old
03-10-2009, 12:55 PM
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I play down to play with my brother and other guys I enjoy playing with. To me I enjoy playing with a good group of guys and trying to help them get better. That being said there is a differnce between a ringer who tries his hardest and embarrases people who aren't on his skill level and ones who sit back and play within the context of the game. I would be the later. I sit back on D and always look pass first. The only time I even rush the puck up the ice is when we are playing a team full of ringers or when we are down and need a goal and even then once I enter the zone I always look for the pass. I could probaly count on one hand how many times I've shot the puck all season. I think I have something like 8 or 9 assists in 15,16 games with no goals. So basically I don't have a problem with ringers as long as they play within the context of the game.

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03-10-2009, 01:30 PM
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From the sounds of it, most of the guys in here who could be considered "ringers" are the good type. The ones who are playing rec league or pick-up for the love of the game. Not because they like making other people look bad.


Last edited by Pog Form: 03-10-2009 at 01:31 PM. Reason: typo
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03-10-2009, 02:02 PM
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Over the summer I scored over 30 goals on my team for a 12 game season, but we went 2-10 so I don't think it really mattered heh And there are people with twice that so I don't think I was a problem.

Putting your "ringers" on D is cool and all but so many teams do that and if they somehow are down a goal or two, the Ringers will do the coast to coast thing. It gives a false sense of competition in the game, when there's no way in hell some players would allow their team to lose.

Its part of the game, there's no perfect way to solve it. The best way is to play somewhere with a lot of divisions and a restriction on how many leagues you can play in. For instance, at the Ice House in Hackensac, NJ, I believe you can play in two divisions but only if they are within two levels of eachother.

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03-10-2009, 02:21 PM
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The other guy was all about making everybody else better, he'd even coach up the opposition. The only time he really turned it on was when we played a team of other ringers.
This is the only type I like. I had a guy on my team when I was first staring out that was playing way below his skill level on our team. He is a definition of a rink rat and tried to play every night in multiple games. He'd play for anybody that was short. When he played in higher levels he'd go all out. When he'd play in the lower levels he "coached" more than anything. Yes he was on the ice, but he was coaching us newer players on where to go, try to dish us the puck etc. I think every lower level team should have a guy like that just to help the players out. If he started running up the score or hogging the ice time I wouldhave loathed him being out there with us.

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03-10-2009, 02:30 PM
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Are you considered a ringer if a team wants you to play for them in a tournament and pays for your flights and hotels?

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03-10-2009, 03:36 PM
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Over the summer I scored over 30 goals on my team for a 12 game season, but we went 2-10 so I don't think it really mattered heh And there are people with twice that so I don't think I was a problem.

Putting your "ringers" on D is cool and all but so many teams do that and if they somehow are down a goal or two, the Ringers will do the coast to coast thing. It gives a false sense of competition in the game, when there's no way in hell some players would allow their team to lose.

Its part of the game, there's no perfect way to solve it. The best way is to play somewhere with a lot of divisions and a restriction on how many leagues you can play in. For instance, at the Ice House in Hackensac, NJ, I believe you can play in two divisions but only if they are within two levels of eachother.
Same goes for Chelsea Piers in NYC which has divisions 1-8 plus an Elite Division.

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03-10-2009, 04:52 PM
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ringers eurk me and I always mouth off to them off the ice.

I like the way that the GSHL (The Greater Seattle Hockey League) has a draft skate (or evaluation skate) in the beginning of the season.

"NEW PLAYERS

GSHL welcomes new players of all skill levels.? Priot to each season we host?three to?five free evaluation skates.? These evaluation skates give?players new to the league a chance to perform basic skating, passing and shooting skills, along with a brief scrimmage.? Captains of GSHL teams in need of players attend each session to participate in a draft at the end of each session.? After the draft, new players are introduced to the captains?of their teams."
That sounds like something more leagues should do.

I need a "free agent" try out since I dont have any friends that play hockey. well come to think of it I dont have any friends.

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03-10-2009, 09:45 PM
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That sounds like something more leagues should do.

I need a "free agent" try out since I dont have any friends that play hockey. well come to think of it I dont have any friends.
HNA Calgary does that, not just to place players but also if you want to bring someone new onto your team they get evaluated first to make sure they belong. Unfortunately, during warm up everyone's skating strong and picking top shelf, then once the evaluators show up they start tripping over themselves and missing. So it's a good idea but doesn't always work perfectly

Personally I've seen good and bad ringers as well. I just started playing in Calgary last year (though on a hiatus since I moved back to Vancouver in December) in a beginners division. The problem there is your new team starts to lose a few players you need to find replacements, and its hard to find legit 'beginners' so you always get a handful of ringers. We had one guy on our team that we used as a sub, but he was good about it playing defense and passing the puck.

The worst I've seen, was late last year when my team was a bit experienced and we were playing against one of the new teams. What should've been an easy win turned into a 8-3 loss, with only two players registered on the scoresheet for them. The ringer with 5 goals 3 assists, and his setup man with 3 goals 2 assists, or something like that. It was a real joke, I mean the other team had a full bench, but these two were taking as much ice time as they could handle and trying their hardest to see how many they could score.

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03-10-2009, 10:37 PM
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2 things I would like to add
first: no matter what peak of play you reach, you always start out playing house league and you always end up playing house league. (hopefully with your buddies)
second: any tool can come out and play at a lower level and be a show off. you can't let it get you down. most guys that do this were not really successful at the professional, college or junior ranks. they were good enough to get there just not good enough to stay. remember, dominating a beer league game is prolly the only thing they have in life.

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Old
03-10-2009, 10:41 PM
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The worst I've seen, was late last year when my team was a bit experienced and we were playing against one of the new teams. What should've been an easy win turned into a 8-3 loss, with only two players registered on the scoresheet for them. The ringer with 5 goals 3 assists, and his setup man with 3 goals 2 assists, or something like that. It was a real joke, I mean the other team had a full bench, but these two were taking as much ice time as they could handle and trying their hardest to see how many they could score.
Sharks Ice fixed this problem by making it mandatory that all players names are PRINTED on the roster sign in sheet. If only two guys showed (on the roster), they would forfeit, but both teams would still get the ice time to scrimmage or whatever.

The rosters also LOCK about halfway through the season too.

This doesn't apply to goalies however, since they can be hard to find in a pinch.

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03-10-2009, 10:51 PM
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Sharks Ice fixed this problem by making it mandatory that all players names are PRINTED on the roster sign in sheet. If only two guys showed (on the roster), they would forfeit, but both teams would still get the ice time to scrimmage or whatever.

The rosters also LOCK about halfway through the season too.

This doesn't apply to goalies however, since they can be hard to find in a pinch.
One of my teammates brought up a point that it doesn't control ringers. You could have Joe Thornton on your team, and its fine as long as he just signs in

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03-11-2009, 05:39 PM
  #23
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Teams in my league that bring in ringers are liable to be moved up a division. Pretty sure the weaker players start to protest then.

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03-11-2009, 05:42 PM
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Ringers as scum. Get their jollies by beating up on the less skilled guys. Must be such a challenge.

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03-11-2009, 07:06 PM
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I play in a league that is called the AIL, or "adult instructional league" the purpose of which is that you play with guys who are either just learning the sport or are building up their skills in order to advance to the next level.

The top teams usually have a couple of those guys who are just way better than everyone else. I made a pretty good glove save on one guy like that, and he came over and said "nice save" in a Canadian accent. I was joking around with the ref, saying how completely unfair it was for them to have a Canadian in the AIL. I kid, of course...all in good fun.

For the goalie...me at least, there is nothing more satisfying then robbing those guys repeatedly throughout a game. There is also nothing more frustrating than having them light you up.

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