I will freely admit, when I first heard about Boston Ski & Sport’s floor hockey league, I envisioned twenty and thirtysomethings running around a gymnasium floor, re-living their childhood gym class glory days. While there is a lot running around, I have since learned that this is a game for all ages and experience levels and pales in comparison to anything we played in gym class. It has only been a year since I started playing but there many reasons why I end up playing every chance I get, often 4 or 5 times a week, including:
- Tight knit community: It does not matter who you are or what your background is, players are bonded together by the love the for the game. Everyone brings his or her own unique story and background and there is a certain openness that surrounds the sport. Perhaps it is the fact that everyone is bonded by a common passion and likeness for spreading it. Since I have started playing, there are girls and guys alike I battle with on the floor yet as soon as the game ends all of that is left on floor. There is a passion for the game and camaraderie that creates an instant bond between you and all your fellow hockey-playing peers.
- Inexpensive to play, easily accessible: Ball hockey is incredibly easy to play and you can do so at a low cost. In terms of equipment, all one needs is a stick, shin pads, gloves, and eye protection or a helmet. The latter two are sometimes even optional depending where you’re playing. In terms of surface, there are public asphalt rinks around most cities and then went you head towards the suburbs you have rinks designed specifically for ball hockey.
- Great workout. I grew up playing every sport under the sun, and I can tell you ball hockey is a full body workout. It’s an excellent cardio activity as you are constantly moving – running, cutting, trying to get a ball in a 6’ x 4’ net past the other teams five players and a goalie. It is incredibly fast-paced, providing a great challenging and a fun way to get in a great workout. Since hockey requires the use of multiple muscle groups, in addition hand-eye coordination and balance –it is truly a great full body workout.
- Can play anywhere, anytime. Hi my name is Katie and I have a problem. I am addicted to ball hockey. Ball hockey’s low cost and accessibility means I can play in 6 games on 3 different nights on a mixture of indoor and outdoor rinks.
For those of you just looking for a once or twice a week commitment, there are plenty of opportunities to get your workout in. You can find coed league games in places like the BSSC in the Boston area, PSSC in Philly, or if you already play in a league, try playing in a tournament.
And it’s not just games that are easy to find by great organizations like UWBHF, Cool Hockey, and others put on tournaments throughout the year and throughout the country so if playing regularly isn’t your thing then there is always the tournament option.
- Opportunities for growth. Ball hockey is a game that requires endurance, vision, hand-eye coordination, and ball management. Most of these traits are learned as opposed to ones we develop without having played the sport. Personally, getting used to playing with a ball was one of the hardest transitions. But these challenges and room for development and growth within your game is what makes it so rewarding. The moments when you use a skill that you worked on in a skills clinic such as lifting the ball softly over the goalie, or making a threading a pass through a defender or simply learning how to make plays away from the ball those are the meaningful moments. It does not have to be a highlight reel play to be an important one. As you are growing your game, there are opportunities to play in more competitive divisions, or potentially play for your country on the USA National team or the USA Master’s teams.