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Defending against a female player

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Old
11-27-2012, 03:48 PM
  #1
uncleodb
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Defending against a female player

Hi guys,

I play D in a bottom tier beer league. We played last night and the opposing team had 2 female skaters (forwards). I was already playing pretty bad last night, losing the puck, wiffing on passes, making bad passes, etc, so I wasnt feeling too good about myself. On top of that, I do not defend well against female players. I don't check them as hard, I pretty much let them skate into the offensive zone, and I try to avoid any body contact. The only thing I do try is a stick / poke check. I feel like I let my team down with my poor play. A couple of goals were the result of me not checking the girls as hard as I normally would a guy. How do you guys play against female players?

Thanks!

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11-27-2012, 04:03 PM
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leftwinger37
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I can appreciate the situation, but the special treatment doesn't help. I don't play against girls all of the time, but the ones that I have played against would be insulted if I took it easy on them.

It can be a no-win situation sometimes because if you play them tough you can end up looking like a jerk and if you take it easy you can end up looking like a jerk. No matter if it's man or woman, young or old, vet or newb, make them earn every inch. You're not doing them or yourself any favors by handing it to them.

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11-27-2012, 04:04 PM
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Propane Nightmares
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The gender of your opponent should be irrelevant, play it like you would against any other forward. Are you just afraid of hurting them? Or is it because male players (in my experiences) often get overly defensive of their female teammates when they are cleanly hit?

And as I've always said, if they don't want to get hit, they shouldn't be playing mens contact hockey

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11-27-2012, 04:15 PM
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Plenty members of our girls-team often train with "the boys" of various levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced, oldies), the practices sessions they've play against physically stronger/quicker opponents make them play smarter (and tougher if required) in the girls-only league. So the coach encourages us to fight them for every puck, as this is the only way both benefit from such a session.

Well, of-course no >100kg guy is gonna open-ice check a female player in practice session (hell, most won't even do that to others guys at our level), but everything else is fair play, including the usual shoving/slashing in front of the net, and so on.

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11-27-2012, 04:21 PM
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Jarick
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Same as I would a male player.

Now, one caveat: a lot of women I've played against had a real short fuse and would start playing dirty and taking dumb penalties. Chirp them, knock into them a bit, and it's a parade to the box. My favorite was a woman wearing makeup and lipstick (?) who lost it because I bumped her when I dumped the puck and chased after it. Goaded her into two straight penalties and then she got tossed from the game for yelling at the ref.

Funny story, a few years ago we scrimmaged against an all-gay hockey team (men and women). For some reason a lot of guys thought they'd be easy to play against. Of course they were just like any other hockey team. They were flat out better than us and we were lucky to get a tie out of one of the games.

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11-27-2012, 04:28 PM
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Same as I do the guys. Play hard, fight for the puck along the wall, all that. I only ease up on people if they're not wearing full gear.

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11-27-2012, 08:11 PM
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I assume when you're talking about checking female players, you mean the defending/covering types of checking rather than full-out hits since you mentioned it was a low-level beer league. Full-check hockey against a girl would be one thing because of the mass/height difference, but in incidental-contact-but-no-check hockey, go ahead and bump her defend her like you would anyone else. She either won't care at all or will overreact and earn herself a trip to the box. Win-win for you.

Also, protip for defending girls in front of the net. The "put your stick in the small of his back and steer him" method of moving male players is much less effective on female players because our center of gravity is in our hips rather than our chest. If you want to steer a girl who is set on her skates, you've got to get your stick lower.

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11-27-2012, 09:11 PM
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uncleodb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imaginary Threats View Post
The gender of your opponent should be irrelevant, play it like you would against any other forward. Are you just afraid of hurting them? Or is it because male players (in my experiences) often get overly defensive of their female teammates when they are cleanly hit?
I'm more afraid of accidentally hurting them. I know they're wearing full gear and I'm sure they're pretty tough from playing with guys all the time. I think it's just me that has to just get over it. Of course, having her male teammates targeting me for the rest of the game for some incidental contact wouldn't be fun either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kritter471 View Post
I assume when you're talking about checking female players, you mean the defending/covering types of checking rather than full-out hits since you mentioned it was a low-level beer league. Full-check hockey against a girl would be one thing because of the mass/height difference, but in incidental-contact-but-no-check hockey, go ahead and bump her defend her like you would anyone else. She either won't care at all or will overreact and earn herself a trip to the box. Win-win for you.

Also, protip for defending girls in front of the net. The "put your stick in the small of his back and steer him" method of moving male players is much less effective on female players because our center of gravity is in our hips rather than our chest. If you want to steer a girl who is set on her skates, you've got to get your stick lower.
Love the pro-tip! OK, I just need to get over this mental block and make them earn every inch of the ice. Thanks for the input everyone!

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11-27-2012, 10:44 PM
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reecardo
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Hard Call

Similar situation here, D co-ed non-checking league. The one guy and his sister play, she is 110# soaking wet and is aggressive as hell. She plays forward and is constantly trying to push my 230# ass around. Her brother has been tossed twice already for starting fights with people who "checked" his sister. Keep in mind the ref called no penalty on either play, he just has a chip, and so does she.

Playing with women can be tough, but I have two on my team as well. They do not mind being played like guys, and that is the way I play them, though it is likely easier in a non-check league.

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11-28-2012, 12:55 AM
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For one, they signed up accepting the same risks everyone else did. Second, why give them any slack? Are you looking to loose? Believe me, yes you need to watch for other guys one their team because of the "defensive attitude" when you get rough around the girls, but at the same time they have no issue slashing and hacking at you for the puck, do they?

Only two times have I ever stepped up for a girl on our team when I was goaltending, and it was due to crosschecks to the back while she was a few feet from the boards.

Other than that, they're fair game. Heck, I was almost injured by this larger lady when playing as a forward, she pretty much crushed me into the boards while I was turning. Then she slashed the stick right out of my hands... I've played with some gritty players, but I find females can be some of the worst.

It's kind of funny too Jarick, I find some ladies really take any actions such as beating them for the puck along the boards, or popping up their sticks for a take away very offensive, then they freak out... haha! But don't take this as a sexist thing either, I've played with guys that complain more than females!

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11-28-2012, 08:31 AM
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noobman
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I'm sure every female hockey player out there will tell you that she doesn't want preferential treatment. The only thing I'm less likely to do to a female player is cross-check her in front of the net... and even then, I've long since stopped playing league so it's no big deal.

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11-28-2012, 09:14 AM
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Jarick
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We've got women on our team of all builds and attitudes. One likes to complain any time a guy starts playing the least bit physical, one is an instigator who likes to target women on the other team, one just plays hard and clean and never gets flustered...hard to generalize.

You're not going to break a "girl" playing hockey against them. Now you probably don't want to run them into the boards in the corner, but D-level beer league shouldn't have that anyway.



Another tip for clearing guys out of the crease passed along by a former NHL'er to my team...get your stick up under the butt and lift while driving forward. It's nearly impossible not to fall over or move out of the way.

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11-28-2012, 09:27 AM
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sanityplease
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This is a problem that men have been dealing with for a long, long time.

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11-28-2012, 09:45 AM
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11-28-2012, 10:05 AM
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Steelhead16
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I don't run into any in A leagues where I play harder but I have played against women in pick up and also coached and coached against girls in full contact high school hockey.
I have yet to find a woman/girl playing hockey who wouldn't be offended by a guy playing easier against them. If they wanted someone to go easy theu would play in women's leagues.

I learned my lesson one day playing pickup. I was coming across the ice from the boards at the blue line and across the center face off dot to catch a pass from the D. Just as I caught the pass at center ice at almost full speed there was a 5' tall woman coasting towards me. I tried to put the puck around her to the right and jump to the left to keep from steamrolling her. I didn't quite make it and we got all tangled up and both fell right in front of the benches with 15 guys sitting there watching us. First thing I hear and everyone on the bench heard was the girl say "are you ok?" Had that been a guy I would have run him over like a dump truck.

One girl I coached was the best player on my jv team as an 8th grader. She could have played varsity except kids can't play varsity until at least 9th grade. I was hoping to get her as a 9th grader but she got an opportunity to play on a U-18 team in Colorado and took that opportunity. She was 5 foot nothing and weighed 100 and nothing and hit anything that moved, any skill level and any size. The boys didn't take it easy on her and I saw her get crushed by guys that had 100+ pounds on her. She now plays at a private prep school in Canada and is on a great path towards the USA Women's National Team should she choose that in the future. No doubt in my mind that she is on that path because she played against boys who didn't take it easy on her.
Bottom line.........They don't want you to take it easy on them. They aren't taking it easy on you.

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11-28-2012, 10:11 AM
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women are all about gender equality so you need to treat her just like everyone else on the ice, call her an a-hole and facewash her if she gets to close to the goalie

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11-28-2012, 10:16 AM
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I try to ignore it completely and just play.

But honestly, I've found several of the women I play against to have shorter fuses and more rage on the ice then most men. And they hold grudges longer too... But it's a very small sample size.

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11-28-2012, 01:23 PM
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Jarick
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But it's a very small sample size.
/gender joke

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11-28-2012, 01:31 PM
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Bottom tier beer league - is your team/players that competitive where they would rather have you check a woman than let several bad plays (during the play) lead to a goal against?

Dont hit them. Seriously. Nothing good comes out of it. Last thing you need is a bench clearing brawl in a beer league because someone took out a lady with a high hit.

If you HAVE to hit someone to play defense, you probably have a lot of other things to work on.

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11-28-2012, 01:56 PM
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RandV
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Why would you take it easy, isn't this a great opportunity to impress the ladies with your manly testosterone?

But yeah it's never been a problem with me, though I tend to play a high intensity but very clean game. There is still a few general guidelines to be followed though. First, if it's non-contact beer league hockey, you probably shouldn't be throwing hits anyways. Second, regardless of gender you should still be aware of any significant size or skill discrepancies. If an opposing player is half your size or looks like they can barely skate then you probably shouldn't be taking them out the same way you would a ringer.

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11-28-2012, 02:16 PM
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First, if it's non-contact beer league hockey, you probably shouldn't be throwing hits anyways.
This was my first question. I can't imagine anyone 'taking out' a woman in our beer league simply because it's a no-checking league. I've seen men check each other (usually as the final result of some sort of perceived slights or bad play throughout the game) and they get penalties for checking in a non-checking league. There is really nothing to be gained by it, other than perhaps being able to feel that you "showed him" something. But if a man did that to a woman in the league? I would think that not only would you get the penalty (and possible suspension, if it's bad enough), you'd also get the other team riled up.

I'm the only woman on my team and I think there are only maybe 4-5 women in the entire league, across 10 teams. While there are plenty of jerks on the ice, I haven't run into anyone yet who has done anything even close to checking me - I've never felt even remotely worried about it.

I don't expect anyone to hold back and play down just because I'm a woman. But I DO expect them to not check me - not because I'm a woman, but because it's a non-checking league for everyone!

Are there really low-level beer leagues that allow for checking? I play at several different rinks and have never seen that ANY of them allow checking in beer league, especially low level.

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11-28-2012, 02:18 PM
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Does attraction factor into the equation? I've played with a couple of hotties and there is no way I'm going to treat them like one of the boys. All of the sudden I become real witty and nice and full of positive reinforcement.

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11-28-2012, 02:21 PM
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Jarick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
I don't expect anyone to hold back and play down just because I'm a woman. But I DO expect them to not check me - not because I'm a woman, but because it's a non-checking league for everyone!

Are there really low-level beer leagues that allow for checking? I play at several different rinks and have never seen that ANY of them allow checking in beer league, especially low level.
I read it as "I back off and let them have the puck" rather than "I usually destroy the guys but can't bring myself to hit the girls."

If a beer league allowed checking...I'd imagine there would be some hefty lawsuits closing up shop quickly.

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11-28-2012, 02:23 PM
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Jarick
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Oh and one of my favorite "defending against women" stories...

Last minute of the game, we're up by a goal, other team is on the PP and pulls the attacker for the 6th man. I'm playing weak side D and watching a lady slide down into the slot. They get the puck and he sees her for the backdoor tap in so I lift her stick as hard as I can...and apparently she wasn't that strong because her stick literally flew up in the air and hit the rafters.

Their whole bench jumped up with the hands in the air for a call, but the ref just shook his head.

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11-28-2012, 11:54 PM
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uncleodb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownquestion View Post
I don't expect anyone to hold back and play down just because I'm a woman. But I DO expect them to not check me - not because I'm a woman, but because it's a non-checking league for everyone!

Are there really low-level beer leagues that allow for checking? I play at several different rinks and have never seen that ANY of them allow checking in beer league, especially low level.
Sorry for any confusion. When I referred to "checking" someone, I was referring more to physically bumping someone off the puck, clearing someone from the front of the net with my shoulder/hip etc. This type of play is allowed in my beer league. From my situation, the difference in our size/weight was quite substantial, so I was just self-conscious.


Last edited by uncleodb: 11-29-2012 at 12:10 AM.
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