Ice hockey is more than just a game, it is a lifestyle. If you don’t play summer hockey yet, you need to read this because you won’t be able to take another summer off!
#1 – Amazing Start Times
Did you know that games in the summer start and end much earlier than during the winter season? It is quite normal for hockey games to start around 8-9PM and sometimes even earlier during the summer season. Awesome right?
The reason for this is simple. There is no minor hockey taking place between the months of May and August, and this means all of the best ice times are available for us, the adults.
So if playing in the winter seems like working the graveyard shift, summer will feel amazing with the kinds of starts we are talking about. We the adults deserve good ice times too, right?
#2 – Only Once A Week
One day a week isn’t too much to ask is it? After all if you really love the game, you can spare one day out of your week to play it, right? Actually it is not even a day, it is mere hours.
Think about it, if your game starts at 8PM, you can be there at 7:45PM, dressed in 15 and hop on the ice for the warm up. Play for 75 minutes, hop off the ice, shower in 5 and you are back to the patio somewhere by 9:45PM. The night is young, party on!
Or if you are more like us, you showed up early for your game to meet the team for pre-gamers, take your time getting dressed, enjoy the game, hang out a bit more in the dressing room with everyone and then slowly transition into the parking lot with the team. The night is still young, you are in flip-flops and shorts with a cold one in one hand, a dog in another, what could be better?
This is your night, and the hall pass was issued a long time ago when you got your weekly summer schedule in May. The funny thing is, you will still roll home well past midnight, but you had way more quality time along the way. What’s not to love?!
Bonus, you still have 6 other days to do all the things you want to do in the summer, like golf, BBQ, softball, etc.
#3 – Zero Weekend Games
In the winter hockey season games can fall on any day of the week, including the weekends, which is ok. You probably won’t be going camping when it is -30° C outside.
Of course things are different in the summer. As soon as May Long hits, everyone is rushing out of the city to their favourite camp site. Understandable. Who wants to be cooped up when it is “warm” outside ;).
This is exactly why there are NO weekend games at all during the summer, including playoffs. Sweet! Now you can still play the game you love, go away on the weekend and enjoy the summer. Best of both worlds, right?
Are there games on Fridays since technically it is not the “weekend”, you ask? Nope. No games on Fridays. So you can safely plan your summer weekends starting now. All games will be played on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the summer ice hockey season.
#4 – Staying With It
Let us ask you this. How many times did you swear under your breath that is after you caught it during your first shift back on the ice and wished you would have never taken the summer off? Every year it becomes a bit harder to come back in mid-season shape if you don’t continue playing hockey in the summer.
What is worse, your hands aren’t getting any favours from your either. The timing is off, the legs are lead and so it continues until you get back to where you were before you stopped. Each year it takes a bit more time. But what if you never stopped?
We are not saying you suddenly will develop McDavid-esque type speed and your hands won’t be silky smooth like Johnny Hockey if you play summer hockey, but the decline will be slower and you won’t be swearing as much as you would have. The timing will still be there, your legs won’t feel like bricks and it wont take any time to get back on the horse, because you never got off it in the first place.
The other thing to consider which is maybe even more important is this. You camped all summer, golfed, BBQ’d and consumed conspicuous amounts of beer, may you be a prime candidate for a heart attack when you step back on the ice?
The mind is willing but the flesh is weak, as the saying goes. Lots of guys push themselves as hard as they did during the winter season on their first shift. Not smart if you did not play in the summer.
So don’t lose your hockey shape, don’t lose what little hockey skill you may have remaining 😉 and stay safe by playing summer hockey. Do yourself a favour, your body will thank you for it, even if it is only once a week.
#5 – Time For Yourself
If you are not yet convinced that you should not stop doing what you love during the summer hockey season consider this. Winters are busy, especially if you are coaching minor hockey like a lot of us do. If you are a head coach, hats off to you! It is busy, busy!
When do you get to enjoy yourself? In the summer. The weather is nice, the ice times are early, the beers are cold, games are only once a week and there are no weekend games. You can hang out with the gang, play the game you love without having to run around all over the place. So take back summer, and enjoy hockey. It is your time!
Bonus Reason #6
You probably know this one already, but the league fees are quite a bit less in the summer. Yes there are less games overall, but in absolute terms, it is much easier on your wallet to play summer hockey than winter hockey and that is a fact.
The playoffs are identical to winter, so right there you are getting a better value in the summer, no doubt. Heck, if you go all the way your team could get 3-4 bonus games to finish off the season, and if you are in the right division, go all the way to Provincials!
So let us ask you, is there a reason why you are not playing summer hockey this year? Please let us know, because the way we see it, there should be none!