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B,C,D leaguers, do you guys play to win?

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Old
07-19-2010, 10:31 AM
  #1
pucko
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B,C,D leaguers, do you guys play to win?

This is my first season in a beer league and what amazes me is that some guys are so serious about winning. We have a group of old timers, not necessarily the best players, but you know those guys who play every year and know everyone and it seems like they think they can tell anyone what to do. Anyway, it is a summer "C" league with only two teams of mostly middle age guys. So to me it is pretty much scrimmage games with the refs. I don't really care about the score. I play to stay fit and have fun. So I really hate it when the old timers try to put up a "scoring line" at the end of the game. And the way they do that, they tend to take longer shifts towards the end of the game or just go out on the ice forcing the previous line to get off the ice even if we only skated for like 20 seconds. To me it sounds like those guys have their own personal agendas that they try to pass as "doing what is best for the team". I thought since we all pay the same, we deserve the same amount of ice time. I mean, if you are so competitive then join a travel league and work hard to deserve more ice time.

So is it typical for people to "play to win" even in lower level beer leagues? Does every team have their own "cliques" of players who played together for a long time and therefore they think that you are joining THEIR team and therefore you are supposed to obey their rules?

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Old
07-19-2010, 10:35 AM
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it's like that in every sport i've played, softball, hockey, etc.....there's guys out there for fun just looking to get some excercise, and there's guys out there that want to win and are very competitive...

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07-19-2010, 10:53 AM
  #3
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No matter what level of competition there will always be people who play for fun and play to win. Depending on how bad those people can get, you can mess around with them to get them irritated or you could let it go. All you have to worry about is that you are playing for yourself, not to keep food on your table or to win a Stanley Cup. Do whatever is enjoyable.

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07-19-2010, 11:05 AM
  #4
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Unfortunately it's just the nature of some people and you're forced to just accept it. I play in a beginner roller hockey league and the guys on my team are so pompous and concerned about winning. Someone who I'd consider to be a best friend off the team, sells me out constantly and tells me to stay off the rink on important plays. Granted I'm not the best player, but I play hockey for fun and the exercise. I thought that everyone being at almost the same skill level and paying a league fee meant we're part of the team and we're equals, but I guess winning is more important to them.

I get my time to play, make the most of it, and have fun. If we win, great. If not, I'll let them deal with losing cause they're the only ones taking it really hard. I get that winning is important, but sometimes people just really need to take a good look at themselves.

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07-19-2010, 11:14 AM
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It's a mix for me. If people are at least trying, I'm not going to get upset about losing, but some of the people on my C team don't skate hard and don't really do anything out there. That bothers me a bit, since I'm pretty good about giving a consistent solid effort.

On the other hand, since I'm one of the best forwards on both of my teams I benefit from line stacking, and I'm usually the guy who is out there when we pull our goalie or get a 5-on-3, so that's nice for me. I get more ice time per $.

EDIT: What bothers me the most, way, way more than losing, is when people don't skate hard and take 2+ minute shifts. The only reason they are still out there is because they aren't skating and thus don't get tired. That royally pisses me off.

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Old
07-19-2010, 12:14 PM
  #6
pucko
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Oh, and another trick our "star" players do is they all want to play D. Since there are usually two pairs of D, they figured that they can get more ice time and STILL play forward or just basically skate all over the rink as they please. It is funny that when BOTH of them rush into the offensive zone trying to score but end up losing the puck and the opposing team scores on like a two on none breakaway, they then blame us forwards for not covering for them. I mean surely you have a point but if you play D then maybe you should stay back occasionally...

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07-19-2010, 12:27 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it

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Old
07-19-2010, 12:36 PM
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pucko
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it
That's an interesting thought. Some of those "star" players should really play in a higher level league but apparently prefer to be big fish in a small pond.

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Old
07-19-2010, 12:36 PM
  #9
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I remember one year when I was in atom we were losing in the last three minutes of a tournament. The coach called a vote. He said. do you want us to put out a scoring line or roll the lines? We voted to put out the scoring line, even though that meant I spent the last three minutes on the bench. It was only one shift I lost, and I didn't mind trying to win. I think in moderation it is an okay tactic.

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Old
07-19-2010, 12:45 PM
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I enjoy winning. But I'd much rather play in a close 4-3 loss than a boring 10-2 win.

Winning is second place to having some competitive fun. Unfortunately, our captain likes to "play things safe", and for the second season in a row we're dominating one of the lower divisions instead of moving up. Think games like 8-2 and 7-1, throwing in the odd 6-5 "thriller" because (a) we're short-benched and (b) the other team had some ringer subs.

One more season of this and I'm quitting this team. Great group of guys, but boring as hell hockey.

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Old
07-19-2010, 01:05 PM
  #11
Jarick
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We're a mix with my team. We obviously want to win and most of us are competitive, but we never stack lines or double shift guys, and we don't have set PP or PK players. Downside is that our captain keeps players on our team who should be at the level below us, which is frustrating. I don't have a problem with a guy or girl who isn't a "stud" player at our level, but it sucks when you can't skate, shoot, pass, or play defense.

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07-19-2010, 01:09 PM
  #12
Thepandamancan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it
It's sad, but true. We won the beginners league and celebrated like we won the Stanley Cup. The guys in the top division shook hands and went home after the championship game.

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Old
07-19-2010, 03:15 PM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it
This is true. Generally, its because most if not all guys in the higher leagues have played some junior or at least some travel hockey growing up, so they are generally more laid back and have a sense of how to play and the unspoken rules of beer leagues.

In the lower leagues you generally see guys that are currently playing the highest level of hockey that they have ever played in, unlike the other group, so they are way too into it. Generally, 90 percent of the fights, ejections, overly dirty/chippy play occur in the lower leagues. It seems as they are either trying to imitate what they see on tv or are trying to make up for having never made teams when they were kids.

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07-19-2010, 04:13 PM
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WickedWrister
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Of course I want to win. Im in a C league, and if im paying 100+ bucks, im gonna bust my ass every shift

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07-19-2010, 04:31 PM
  #15
timekeep
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Always play to win, it is way more fun to win than to lose. The difference is how you conduct yourself if you win or lose or to achieve winning.

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Old
07-19-2010, 04:38 PM
  #16
vivianmb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it
that is truth.

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Old
07-19-2010, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WickedWrister View Post
Of course I want to win. Im in a C league, and if im paying 100+ bucks, im gonna bust my ass every shift
Yeah, I don't pay $600 a year in league fees to dick around. Plus I'm always going to have fun, I almost never come home saying "I wish I didn't play today".

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Old
07-19-2010, 05:16 PM
  #18
pucko
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Here is an excerpt from an article that perfectly describes what I've had on my mind lately but just couldn't formulate it that well.

====================================
What are our goals?

Sport psychologists have come to understand that individuals approach their sport participation with
different goals. Some individuals typically gauge their success in terms of how hard they try and how
much they improve their skills and performance. These individuals are high in task orientation. They
feel most successful when they exert effort and observe personal improvement in their skills. Athletes
high in task orientation can lose a game / match, yet still feel good about their tenacity and
performance.

A second goal perspective is ego orientation. Individuals who are highly ego-oriented judge their
success using normative standards. That is, they feel successful only when they are able to show their
superior ability, by playing better than their peers, or at least performing equally with less effort. For
highly ego-oriented individuals, outcome defines their experience, regardless of how they played. A win
guarantees a feeling of success whereas a loss ensures feelings of failure.
=========================

Do you guys recognize yourselves what type you are?

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Old
07-19-2010, 08:09 PM
  #19
hoonking
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pucko View Post
Here is an excerpt from an article that perfectly describes what I've had on my mind lately but just couldn't formulate it that well.

====================================
What are our goals?

Sport psychologists have come to understand that individuals approach their sport participation with
different goals. Some individuals typically gauge their success in terms of how hard they try and how
much they improve their skills and performance. These individuals are high in task orientation. They
feel most successful when they exert effort and observe personal improvement in their skills. Athletes
high in task orientation can lose a game / match, yet still feel good about their tenacity and
performance.

A second goal perspective is ego orientation. Individuals who are highly ego-oriented judge their
success using normative standards. That is, they feel successful only when they are able to show their
superior ability, by playing better than their peers, or at least performing equally with less effort. For
highly ego-oriented individuals, outcome defines their experience, regardless of how they played. A win
guarantees a feeling of success whereas a loss ensures feelings of failure.
=========================

Do you guys recognize yourselves what type you are?
I guess I'd fall under the first category. IMO, you can't control your team, the way the puck bounces, who you are playing, etc. but you can control how you play and how much effort you give. If you don't try, glide around the ice the whole time and still win, how much did you actually do for that win? And just knowing you put in the effort to win is better than sitting around waiting for the W.

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Old
07-19-2010, 08:40 PM
  #20
frito
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Quote:
Originally Posted by densetsu View Post
I enjoy winning. But I'd much rather play in a close 4-3 loss than a boring 10-2 win.

Winning is second place to having some competitive fun. Unfortunately, our captain likes to "play things safe", and for the second season in a row we're dominating one of the lower divisions instead of moving up. Think games like 8-2 and 7-1, throwing in the odd 6-5 "thriller" because (a) we're short-benched and (b) the other team had some ringer subs.

One more season of this and I'm quitting this team. Great group of guys, but boring as hell hockey.
Quote:
Originally Posted by clevelandcrusaders82 View Post
This is true. Generally, its because most if not all guys in the higher leagues have played some junior or at least some travel hockey growing up, so they are generally more laid back and have a sense of how to play and the unspoken rules of beer leagues.

In the lower leagues you generally see guys that are currently playing the highest level of hockey that they have ever played in, unlike the other group, so they are way too into it. Generally, 90 percent of the fights, ejections, overly dirty/chippy play occur in the lower leagues. It seems as they are either trying to imitate what they see on tv or are trying to make up for having never made teams when they were kids.
These two sum it up pretty well. I play in a D5 (out of D1 through D5 divisions) and that's where I admittedly belong. I am fortunate that the team on which I play realizes the best way for players to develope is to play so we don't have PP or PK lines. We take turns on what position sits for a PK and jsut roll the lines on the PP. Everybody gets a chance if and when it comes to a shoot out. When we have guys playing down they are instructed not to dominate the game, rather they are there to help coach the other players. It is the way a D5 team should play. That being said, we played a team this past weekend that had a kid (I'm 42, 43 in a couple weeks BTW) who could easily play in D2, maybe D1. They beat us 6 - 4. He got 5 of the 6 goals all on unassisted end to end rushes. They had a Defensmen who took a run on me while I was in front of the net and literlly lifted me about 1/2 foot into the air (I had my daughter tape the game so I could see what I need to work on) then proceeded to smack talk me. This is the garbage that causes the nastiness more than anything and unfortunately drives newbes away from the game. As the game progressed, I was figuring out how to get a good lick or two in just because. If a guy is playing down like that, he should play down, not try to be some NHLer. Go out and teach your newbes how to play the game and save the jets for the appropriate division.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timekeep View Post
Always play to win, it is way more fun to win than to lose. The difference is how you conduct yourself if you win or lose or to achieve winning.
This. I always play to win, but in an honorable way. I will play a guy my skill level or slightly above harder than a guy who can barely stay on his skates.

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Old
07-19-2010, 09:23 PM
  #21
Jarick
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I don't know if I'm first or second...I want to be one of the better players out there, but not through bagging it. I want to score goals and get points and contribute to the win.

As a defenseman, I rate my success for the night through plus-minus, points, where the puck is when the whistle's blown (i.e. their end or ours), drawing penalties, not taking penalties, keeping the puck out of our end, etc.

Where does that rate, first or second?

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Old
07-19-2010, 09:27 PM
  #22
ponder
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I play beer league, team is a real mish-mash talent wise (from ex-junior A players to guys with fairly minimal hockey experience), we definitely compete hard and try to win, get chippy occasionally, but everyone gets equal ice time. We never double shift, never put out scoring lines, don't put down less experienced/talented players, etc. But we're a group of extended friends (ever player didn't know every other player before, but there's a string of social connections), not just a random group of guys put together by the league, so it's a bit different.

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Old
07-19-2010, 09:42 PM
  #23
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I don't like league hockey anymore. If you can put up with some of the stuff that goes on there then by all means go ahead. I prefer pickup hockey... I get more ice time for less $$ and almost always have more fun.

As for task oriented vs ego oriented... I'd say I lean more towards task. I never feel good about losing, but I can always take away some positives from the game. If I play terribly but my team wins, I am happy. I pride myself on hustling and working hard when I'm on the ice, but I also pride myself on my hockey smarts, and my ability to shield the puck and beat defensemen 1 on 1.


I find that as you climb up to the higher levels, you find fewer and fewer of the guys who refuse to pass the puck. You also seem to get fewer hotheads, but you do occasionally find the former competitive hockey player who doesn't know how to shut off that competitive nature.

You know you are playing with good hockey players when they start making you a better hockey player. Lesser skilled hockey players that are at the upper echelon of lower leagues don't seem to have that ability... they'll likely claim that you're hurting their ability, despite the fact that they're making bad decisions and not moving the puck to you.

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Old
07-19-2010, 09:56 PM
  #24
BadHammy*
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnar Stahl 30 View Post
it seems like the higher the league the less serious the players take it
That's really true from what I've always seen as well. I'm getting tired of B/C leaguers taking it too seriously, it's draining.

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Old
07-19-2010, 11:05 PM
  #25
Synergy27
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Lots of good points being made in this thread, and lots of good advice for beginners. But, I have to say that I think the OP's question needs to be posed a little differently. If you're not playing to win, what are you playing for? Hockey is a competitive team sport, the goal of which is to win the game, so I certainly hope that all of you that are playing in leagues are playing to win. You owe it to your teammates.

That said, "playing to win" doesn't/shouldn't include:

- hogging ice time.
- making lesser players look silly.
- keeping a team in a low division when you can play higher (this is the worst).
- playing dirty (sure it can contribute to a win, but in a beer league? come on).

If you're not ready to "play to win", in my opinion there are still quite a few hockey related outlets that will allow you to play that way (open sessions, clinics, etc.), and they should be taken advantage of. But, once you join a league, playing to win is important, as long as you stay within boundaries that are very obvious to most people with half a brain and any sort of respect for their opponents.

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