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Can you explain Line Changes?

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Old
06-24-2012, 12:13 AM
  #1
PanHandler
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Can you explain Line Changes?

So a little background on me. Im 25 years old, and as a kid i use to play street hockey out in front of my house. Now that im old enough to afford to play, i want to start playing ice hockey. I think im ok on skates since ive been going to open skate sessions pretty much my whole life. I can skate backwards, stop, pivot, etc...

The deal is that about 4 years ago when i was getting ready to get into hockey, the local rink roof collapsed under the weight of the snow, so i put that plan on the back burner of life. I just found out that theyre rebuilding the rink and it is almost complete!! The grand opening is sometime mid July, and i want to at least have the basic rules of the game down so i know sorta what im doing out there. Ive never really followed the NHL until this past season, so im still learning a lot of the rules.

The thing im confused about most is line changes. I dont know how/when to change, how long to stay on the ice per shift, etc... For now im just gonna play some pick-up hockey and im sure ill learn a bunch of stuff there, but I'd at least like to know how to change shifts so i dont make anyone mad by being out too long, not jumping out when im supposed to, switching at the wrong moment. or something that will generally make me look like an idiot.

Just for fun, heres a video of the old rink after the roof collapsed, and some pictures of the new rink in construction














Heres a full gallery of images from Empty dirt lot all the way to the current progress. Im so excited to start playing!

http://www.kyro.org/...ndx=0&pageid=15

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06-24-2012, 03:53 AM
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Danglous
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I saw someone talking about this on another website. The rink is coming along great so far.

usually in public hockey there is a rotation on the bench. Just keep note of who is playing what position and watch when they come off.

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06-24-2012, 04:29 AM
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PanHandler
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i posted this post on a different forum as well just to get as much advice as possible. That may be where you saw it.

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06-24-2012, 07:35 AM
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TieClark
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Just follow the play... shifts should normally be about 45 seconds to a minute and you go on when the guys are coming off. Depending on your team you'll either pick a guy to switch with (so every time he comes off you go on) or you just go down the line and when you're at the front you go on. It's straight forward... not complicated at all once you're out there

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06-24-2012, 07:47 AM
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A guy chewed out a "relative" newbie in my pickup the other day for taking a double shift. (And it was a full double shift.) Sort of funny.

I would recommend you take the lead of the more experienced guys and do what they do. (Even if you might think it's wrong.)

Assuming it's 10 per side, 2 full changes, there are two scenarios:

If the players are good about changing as a line, remember who your linemates are and when you find yourself playing with someone else, GET OFF! I usually key off of the centerman.

If the players are bad about changing as a line or don't care, just worry about the guy you're changing with and try to take equal length shifts.

Over time you'll get a feel for what the correct shift length is. In pickup, I guess it's ~90 seconds? I don't often time it, but I'm really good at knowing by feel and really prefer changing as a line. In general, if you're too tired to skate, get off. Nothing more annoying than people who float and won't change. There is also nothing wrong with taking a short shift if you just got into an end to end and back again rush.

But at the same time, it all depends on the other players. It makes no sense to take responsible 60 second shifts if they're on the ice for 3 minutes. And you definitely don't want to be doing it the other way around. (See first sentence.)

As for jumping on, you just gotta pay attention. Everyone spaces now and then and your teammates will give you a shout, but in general, you should be watching the guy you're changing with/anticipating when to jump on.

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06-24-2012, 09:05 AM
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Axman
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Shifts in rec hockey are usually between 1-2 min. depending on who you're playing with.
If you're team changes as full lines, just get off the ice when you're line mates do and change as an entire line. If you guys go piecemeal, then just watch who is playing the same position as you are and go on when he comes off. Communicate and don't come off if the puck is in your defensive zone; you don't want to put your team at a disadvantage.

Don't feel silly asking your teammates questions; the only dumb question is the one you don't ask that leads to a goal. The point of low level rec hockey is to learn and have fun.

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06-24-2012, 10:10 AM
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PanHandler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TieClark View Post
Just follow the play... shifts should normally be about 45 seconds to a minute and you go on when the guys are coming off. Depending on your team you'll either pick a guy to switch with (so every time he comes off you go on) or you just go down the line and when you're at the front you go on. It's straight forward... not complicated at all once you're out there
Thanks for all the advice guys!. This bolded part really helped. I didnt want to jump on ahead of someone or steal a shift. I think i get it now. Basically just watch and learn

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06-24-2012, 02:40 PM
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Mr Fahrenheit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanHandler View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys!. This bolded part really helped. I didnt want to jump on ahead of someone or steal a shift. I think i get it now. Basically just watch and learn
Thats exactly what you do in pick up, go in line and pick ups are going to be different so either get off when your tired or get off at the same average time other players are, which ever comes first

In a game just know who is the same position as you on the line before and keep a look out for him. In beer leagues shifts lengths are 1-2 minutes, 45 seconds is for competitive hockey. If you have trouble knowing how long you have been out there try to look at the clock when you get on the ice and then again when you have a chance on the ice or watch for when your line mates get off

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06-24-2012, 10:12 PM
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RandV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanHandler View Post
Thanks for all the advice guys!. This bolded part really helped. I didnt want to jump on ahead of someone or steal a shift. I think i get it now. Basically just watch and learn
Yeah NHL players will have coaches standing behind that can tap them when they're up next to jump the boards (or however that works), but in beer league/rec/pickup hockey you just form a line towards the gate.

For shift link some people will say 45-60 seconds, but really that's more for higher level competitive hockey. For a more casual league you're probably looking at 60-90 seconds, always keeping an eye on your line mates to make sure you get off at the same time. Drop in games can have much longer shifts depending on how many players there are and no set lines. If there's only like 2 or 3 subs on the bench, the tempo of the game will drop a lot and shift times can climb to like 3-5 minutes.

In organized hockey really the only thing you don't want to do is be the guy that doesn't change with his linemates and stays out there several minutes because you're 'not tired', but the main reason you aren't tired is because you're floating around without any hustle on the ice. You don't have to be completely gun-ho, we're not playing for the Stanley Cup here, but when you jump on the ice if you keep skating hard on your shift then you're going to want to come off after 60-90 seconds.

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06-24-2012, 11:28 PM
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Man there is nothing worse than a guy who is CLEARLY tired but instead of doing the smart thing and changing he insists on floating around at the other team's blue-line, generally not being effective out there. For pick up, I couldn't care less, but if it's in an actual game? Show some respect/mindfulness.

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06-25-2012, 04:34 AM
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At my local scrimmage line changes are done on a hooter, with enough players allowed to book on for the scrimmage to fill six full lines plus two NM's. Three lines take to each bench, your zone is the one nearest your bench and you just take you turn on the ice when the hooter sounds.

It can be a little annoying if you are camped out in their zone and then have to knock the puck back to your end to try and retain possession when the hooter goes but its seems to be the fairest system to give everyone equal ice time, otherwise you end up with certain folk trying to camp out on the ice.

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06-25-2012, 12:47 PM
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Jarick
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Pickup hockey:

Guy coming to the bench yells out his position and skates to the back of the line on the bench, guy coming off the bench plays that position. Shifts are usually 1-2 minutes since the pace of the game is a little slower, but if the shifts get long, people stop skating, then you get bored on the bench, and everything sucks.

League hockey:

Get the name/number of the guy you are following, and then watch for him to come off the ice. For example, if I'm playing RW, I'll see who's playing RW on the line ahead of me, and if it's #17, I come on when #17 comes to the bench. Shifts are usually 45-90 seconds since it's a little quicker paced.


Other tips:

- Yell out when you are coming towards the bench so guys see when you are changing
- I still yell out my position regardless of pickup or league play
- Skate HARD back to the bench, don't coast from center ice and cost a penalty
- Wait until your team has possession before you change, preferably in the O zone
- Don't change when you are coming back on defense
- Don't take long shifts

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06-26-2012, 06:27 AM
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Okay, ideally you're supposed to skate your heart out and change when you're burned out which should be like someone said, around the 45 second to 1 minute mark.

However,

Being that you're somewhat new to this, I doubt you'll be able to play hard enough that you'll burn yourself out in a minute. So what you need is a a marker or cue for yourself so you know when to shift off.

Pickup Game:
When the guy who went on the ice just before you changes out, that means you're out next, or should be changing next/soon.

League Game:
When your line shifts off, you shift off with your line. If you don't have set lines (as sometimes in league games your short-benched and rolling the lines) just do the above pick-up game system.

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06-26-2012, 09:48 AM
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I can skate pretty efficiently. i've been on ice skates and rollerblades my whole life pretty much. just never actually played hockey. im sure ill be able to keep up with the beer leaguers when it comes to skating. When it comes to anything else hockey related though, im not so sure hahaha.

so pretty much either about 45 seconds-1 minute, or whenever my line changes. that seems easy enough, and im sure ill catch on to any differences that my rink might have.

Now for a new question..What position should i start with? As ive never played before, i have no idea. should i just tell the guys that im new and to put me wherever they want me to play...or should i specify a position i want to play?

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06-26-2012, 10:36 AM
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I always ask for left wing, less because I'm a left handed shot and more because I'm very strong skating out of the zone from the left side. (As most people are.) It also puts me on my forehand to receive a pass.

Figure out which side you prefer and be the first to suggest where you'd like to play.

Avoid playing center if you don't know how to play center and the rest of the players DO know how center is to be played.

Having said that, when I first got back into hockey 3+ years ago, I felt more comfortable playing D because I could skate backwards quite well and I thought people would prefer to play F. Now, I find it's hard to get slotted into D because people who play D really prefer it. (And you want D who are solid handling the puck.) Go figure....

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06-26-2012, 11:11 AM
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PanHandler
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You make some good points there. Im also left handed and would prefer not to take passes off my backhand as i probably cant even control them off my forehand

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06-26-2012, 11:13 AM
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Always change coming out of the defensive zone. There is nothing worse than when a guy goes for the offensive opportunity but then is too tired to back check and then changes and all during that time puts his team at a disadvantage.

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06-26-2012, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brunomics View Post
Always change coming out of the defensive zone. There is nothing worse than when a guy goes for the offensive opportunity but then is too tired to back check and then changes and all during that time puts his team at a disadvantage.
^^ This

Low level pickup is generally a jumble, there will be guys that stay out regardless, generally they're the guys who shouldn't be playing at that level pick up session and are trying to relive some sort of glory days. Ignore them, find people your range and just make sure you're changing with them - odds are you'll end up on a team with some or many of them.

I wouldn't bother asking for a position or stating your position I'd just try to (very loosely try) stay in your "position" and get the flow of that position, the far D is generally harder to change if play is just going back and forth through the neutral zone, pick up and lower levels rarely "dump" and create opportunities to change it's just knowing when to go. The reason I say "try" is because the odds are no one will be backchecking or playing any semblance of defense and they'll endlessly take "your" position should the puck be there and they near it.

In pickup I just focus on squaring off on d, making sure I am keeping fresh in that regard, keeping my cardio up and dangling as many people as possible. If you're getting back into it I honestly believe that 95% of the game is skating, a good skater can have lesser hands a lesser shot and a lesser "mind" because they can just get into the positions quicker and more efficiently - the other skills come with repetition but you have to be in the position to make the play and therefore practice them - if you can't skate then you won't be there and you'll want to focus on your hair and gear.

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06-26-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanHandler View Post
Now for a new question..What position should i start with? As ive never played before, i have no idea. should i just tell the guys that im new and to put me wherever they want me to play...or should i specify a position i want to play?
Well, what position do you want to play? Don't look at it from a skill level point of view. If you want to play defense, play defense and learn to play defense. Don't start as a wing because it's a bit less complicated unless you want to. When I started I wasn't strong on my skates, could barely stop, hardly able to shoot but I knew I wanted to be a forward, so that's what I played. I did end up playing on defense when teams were short as I got better at skating, positioning and moving the puck, but forward is always where I loved to play, so that's what I've played the majority of my life.

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06-26-2012, 04:21 PM
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Jarick
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If they let you, try all the positions.

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