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I'm very confused...

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Old
10-26-2010, 11:26 PM
  #1
The Spicy Shrimp
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I'm very confused...

The league I play in is a "beginners league." Refs explain things during the game and between periods to help you learn the game. I would think that with a bunch of novices on the ice, things would be pretty well policed.

But within a minute of the puck drop, I collide with an opposing player. That in itself is fine. But he put his hand up and cracked me in the jaw as we hit. No call. So I get chippy, because this team is ready to bruise, it seems. I just wish I was on defense, like I usually am, instead of offense, like I was tonight.

During the course of the game, I trip and crosscheck (without really meaning to, but I did enjoy matching their level of play) and there are still no penalties. This isn't new. Last week I should have been called for interference a few times and probably a crosscheck as well Again, not intentional, but the tone these games take seems to be fairly physical for a beer, no check, "beginner" league.

Should I be getting penalties like I think I should? Should other teams be getting penalties? Is this league dangerous or are they letting things happen because we are beginners and don't know any better?

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10-26-2010, 11:31 PM
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I think it's two fold. On one end they are more lenient on calls due to your inexperience on skates (running into each other, hands up when colliding). On the other hand though this lets the games get out of control and could cause a mess real quick.

It's tough to ref a beginners league for those reasons.

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10-27-2010, 12:16 AM
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The Spicy Shrimp
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It could cause a mess for sure. Someone hacked my skate after tripping over my stick, and I nearly went after him because it felt like nothing was being done about stuff like that. Maybe I just need to stow my emotions a little.

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10-27-2010, 01:01 AM
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Devil Dancer
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Rec league refs are generally terrible, but one thing that will get their attention is intentional acts with the intent of harming another player. So while they might not call that bump in the corner that you thought was a cross check, they're sure as hell going to call your retaliatory two handed slash to the back of the knee.

Accept that there are going to be a ton of bad calls or non calls, and move on. If you really think it's unfair, talk to them or talk to your captain.

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10-27-2010, 02:27 AM
  #5
predfan24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Spicy Shrimp View Post
It could cause a mess for sure. Someone hacked my skate after tripping over my stick, and I nearly went after him because it felt like nothing was being done about stuff like that. Maybe I just need to stow my emotions a little.
Probably. You have to have that "code" if you will. For example if a guy is slashing me(not hard enough to seriously injure me) or whacking, running his mouth, crosschecks just to piss me off etc. Basically anything where a guy is being a dick without going overboard. I don't respond back physically, but I will sometimes with my mouth, because it's really not worth it. The only time I get physical back is if I feel like the guy went overboard.

Examples of the few times I've lost it in beer league: Guy spears me in nuts for winning a battle for the puck along the boards, guy who is 100 pounds bigger than me jumps into me while he is carrying the puck and then proceeds to kick me while I'm flat of the ice. I took a Marty Mcsorley swing at him for that one. One time a guy slashed me hard in the helmet. Didn't hurt but that's just obvious disregard for someone's life. That's about it.

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10-27-2010, 09:32 AM
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tarheelhockey
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The way I look at it, you both have to go to work the next day. What's the point of having a new arm cast?

Refs in a league like that are usually just players who make some dough on the side. Initiating that kind of rough play is asking for a bad situation, because the refs aren't necessarily going to recognize what's going on.

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10-27-2010, 10:46 AM
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ChiTownHawks
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I think in beginner games there are a lot of things that go uncalled b/c refs expect you to not have as much control. There is going to be a lot of banging into each other and unintentional interference so they probably let everything with malicious intent go.

I am kind of wondering though how you are cross checking on acciedent as that seems to be a pretty deliberate move.

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10-27-2010, 11:37 AM
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Jarick
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Assuming it's a no check league, you need to tone it down big-time. You shouldn't be intentionally hitting or tripping other players. "Chippiness" is something to be avoided in these leagues, not a tactic.

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10-27-2010, 12:23 PM
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Trojan35
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Assuming it's a no check league, you need to tone it down big-time. You shouldn't be intentionally hitting or tripping other players. "Chippiness" is something to be avoided in these leagues, not a tactic.
This.

I've been playing only a couple years, and have gone from the very beginner-leagues to the low intermediates. One big difference is that as you get higher up, people realize that a little contact is part of the game. That "super-vicious crosscheck" you complained about in beginner you now realize is just the guy putting his hand on you to let you know he's there. That "ridiculously obvious trip" doesn't happen as often, because a feather brush of wind on your shin no longer knocks you off your skates.

I imagine as you move up into the advanced leagues, this is even more true. That said, as I move up in leagues there's a lot less slashing/shoving behind the play, probably because of what I discussed above.

Edit: In summary, beginner leaguers overreact because they're beginners.

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10-27-2010, 12:40 PM
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predfan24
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Originally Posted by Trojan35 View Post
This.

I've been playing only a couple years, and have gone from the very beginner-leagues to the low intermediates. One big difference is that as you get higher up, people realize that a little contact is part of the game. That "super-vicious crosscheck" you complained about in beginner you now realize is just the guy putting his hand on you to let you know he's there. That "ridiculously obvious trip" doesn't happen as often, because a feather brush of wind on your shin no longer knocks you off your skates.

I imagine as you move up into the advanced leagues, this is even more true. That said, as I move up in leagues there's a lot less slashing/shoving behind the play, probably because of what I discussed above.

Edit: In summary, beginner leaguers overreact because they're beginners.
Yep, I've noticed this too along the years. I sub for a lower level team I know a bunch of people on. I was playing a game for them this summer and I lift this guy's stick and he responds by giving me a two hander across the calf! Once you get into higher level leagues a lot of guys have experience when they were younger in higher competitive contact leagues so they are less likely to overreact.

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10-27-2010, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Assuming it's a no check league, you need to tone it down big-time. You shouldn't be intentionally hitting or tripping other players. "Chippiness" is something to be avoided in these leagues, not a tactic.
Spot on.

Beginner leagues, and most rec leagues for that matter, are like this. You can have all the gentlemen's leagues, no contact leagues, clean leagues, etc. you like, but there will always be players who--intentionally or not--will break rules and it won't be called.

If it becomes epidemic, do as the other posters suggested; speak with the refs or to your captain. But do so courteously and respectfully. Yelling at a ref over a missed call won't do you any favours.

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10-27-2010, 12:56 PM
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SJGoalie32
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3 things (some of which have already been covered here):

1) The people who ref the beginner leagues are usually the worst refs a rink has. If someone is reffing a beginner league, it's usually because (like you guys with your skating and stickhandling) they just aren't that good. Obviously sometimes you'll get the better refs who are filling in or prefer a certain time slot, but the better refs are usually working the higher level games.

2) If they called every intereference, trip, too many men, etc. call out there in the beginner league, roughly half the game would played 3-on-3. Some things just have to be let go. And of course once you've gotten into a habit of letting borderline stuff go, the "borderline" becomes more and more lenient.

3) The chippiness often comes from beginners overreacting. Usually a team full of "bruisers" in a beginner league is either too stupid to know better (in which case, someone should talk to them, a team captain, ref, league official, etc.), too bad at skating to know better ("Oh god, I'm going full speed and I can't stop or turn!"), or just takes every trip & slash (intended or not) as a human rights violation and then tries to up the level of retaliation.

I play goaltender at advanced levels, but I skate as a forward in the beginner levels on a team with my family & friends. I've played long enough at high enough levels that somebody running into me doesn't bother me.

You simply have to understand the difference between what's a cheap shot and what's simply an illegal hockey play......but many at that level don't. If I've got the puck or am standing in front of the goal, I never get mad at pretty much anything anybody does to me if I've got the puck. Tripping me to stop me from scoring is not a cheap shot. It's either an accidental or a calculated defensive play. Why take offense to earning a power play.

Now, somebody punches me in the face after the whistle or takes a three-stride run at me long after the puck is gone, then yeah, I'll do something about it. But I can't tell you how many times I've seen players at this level get all huffy about being tackled in front of the goal during a mad scramble. Either you take a penalty to save a goal, or you get away without a penalty. That's just defensive hockey.

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10-27-2010, 01:10 PM
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Gino 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
3 things (some of which have already been covered here):

1) The people who ref the beginner leagues are usually the worst refs a rink has. If someone is reffing a beginner league, it's usually because (like you guys with your skating and stickhandling) they just aren't that good. Obviously sometimes you'll get the better refs who are filling in or prefer a certain time slot, but the better refs are usually working the higher level games.
Or, maybe it's just that the refs have to deal with idiots who don't know the game, can't play the game, and don't know or understand the rules and can't skate the length of the ice without falling. Don't blame the refs, I've yet to see a ref start a fight, trip an opponent, or draw any penalties. The refs are usually upper level refs that can handle guys that think that this is their shot at glory and will do some pretty dumb things along the way.

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10-27-2010, 05:42 PM
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SJGoalie32
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Or, maybe it's just that the refs have to deal with idiots who don't know the game, can't play the game, and don't know or understand the rules and can't skate the length of the ice without falling. Don't blame the refs, I've yet to see a ref start a fight, trip an opponent, or draw any penalties. The refs are usually upper level refs that can handle guys that think that this is their shot at glory and will do some pretty dumb things along the way.
Calm down. I'm not blaming the refs entirely. In fact, my next two points clearly pointed out issues that were solely the responsibility of the players.

But let's be honest here.....this isn't the NHL. Some of these folks are just reffing because they like hockey and want some extra cash without any bearing on whether or not they're actually good at officiating a hockey game or not.

I have friends and teammates who are also refs in some of the leagues I play in. Some of them are better refs than others. I tend to see the better ones reffing my higher level teams, and I tend to see the worse refs doing the lower levels. The people I know who play and work at the rink as refs are the ones who know better than anyone who is going to call a game well and who isn't.

This isn't an officiating rant, it's just a fact. The best refs at our rink usually the ones working competitive regional tournaments. They usually aren't the ones working the novice leagues at 11:15p on a Wednesday night. Those games go to whoever is willing and available.

The OP asked, in part, why his games haven't been better policed? Well, part of that answer is simply because the policemen themselves are novices, too.

You are correct that refs don't trip people (well, they do sometimes, but not intentionally). You are correct that the players bear the responsibility for committing penalties......but the refs also bear the responsibility for calling them. It is the player's responsibility not to get his stick up high in an opponent's face. But when a ref misses an obvious high stick that makes contact with a helmet because he was busy talking to his buddy on one of the benches instead of watching the play, well.....no, that's not an invitation to retaliate on the opposing player, but an official's competence is a factor in why an obvious penalty may go uncalled.

I'm thrilled that the rink you frequent has high-caliber, high-competency officials working at every level, even the beginner ones, at all hours of the day and night. Unfortunately, that is a luxury that most rinks do not have or can't afford.

Part of being a beginner hockey player means accepting that the refs are going to make mistakes, too, just as your teammates and opponents will, and that you're not going to have Kerry Fraser and Mick McGeough watching after every wobbly skating newbie.

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10-27-2010, 06:00 PM
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ponder
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I played long enough in actual full contact leagues to not really be bothered by most of the fairly minor physical play in non contact beer league hockey. A bit of pushing, bumping, stick lifting, pinning to the boards, etc. is just part of hockey, even non contact hockey, once you get stronger on your skates it'll effect you way less. As for the reffing, as everyone else stated you can't expect it to be good in beer league, especially a beginners league.

If an individual player on a team is being truly dirty or just a serious *****, though, I'll definitely give it back. Not slashing or starting a fight or anything over the top like that, but just playing them more physical than normal, light body checks that will regardless put most of these players on their butts. I'm normally not even mad, but just feel that knocking these guys around a bit is necessary to put them in their place.

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10-27-2010, 09:58 PM
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Jarick
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Refs at every level make mistakes. The point is, if you're out to hit someone, don't play non-check hockey, and vice versa. Most of the time at the low levels it's accidental/incidental contact anyway, dudes just get out of hand because they saw it on TV. I lost count of how many times guys feel the need to "protect" their goalie after he freezes the puck by putting a stick in the face of an opposition skater who's doing nothing at all.

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10-28-2010, 07:56 AM
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Gino 14
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Originally Posted by SJGoalie32 View Post
Calm down. I'm not blaming the refs entirely. In fact, my next two points clearly pointed out issues that were solely the responsibility of the players.

But let's be honest here.....this isn't the NHL. Some of these folks are just reffing because they like hockey and want some extra cash without any bearing on whether or not they're actually good at officiating a hockey game or not.

This isn't an officiating rant, it's just a fact. The best refs at our rink usually the ones working competitive regional tournaments. They usually aren't the ones working the novice leagues at 11:15p on a Wednesday night. Those games go to whoever is willing and available.

I'll let you in on a little secret, refs that do those games don't make squat for money so you better believe that they do it more for the enjoyment. I'm certain you won't get the best of the best at 11 on a Wednesday night, but that's more an availability issue. I've seen guys that play with officials ending up in fist fights, yet the same basic group can go to a drop-in session and never have an issue. It's still the player's attitudes that causes the problems. You expect the ref to see every call against you and when they don't you retailiate because someone got away with one. Boo friggin' hoo.

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