To Whom it may Concern, Responses
"An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure".
Again, I would like to take a moment to remind everyone of the fundamentals of " Friendly Hockey ". It is basically that everyone have a lot of fun playing hockey, using their talents to the limits of their ability, whether physical or skill level, giving the less speedy players space to handle the puck, and ensuring that no one gets hurt.
Our games can be very good, and very fast, BUT we, sometimes while performing our skills, have neglected to be aware of our actions. This includes running into each other, wiping a player out along the boards, etc., getting sticks caught in skates, an odd hook, a rather heavy stick slash and crashing the net.
This is not done on purpose, Im sure. Accidents can happen, whether on the street, or on the ice. And it is said that most accidents can be prevented if we use our heads for more than a hat rack. This is why I am resending this email to make certain everyone takes a look at their type of play and sees what needs changing to make sure no accidents happen. We do not have stats so ease up. Getting beat is not a sin in Friendly Hockey , but causing ill feelings or an injury is not part of our game.
Running into each other is usually caused by too much speed and lack of awareness. It is the duty of the faster skater to be in control of where he is going and who is in his close vicinity to ensure he doesn't cause a collision.
Wiping a player out along the boards, etc. Same as above - Caused by a player who has too much speed and not enough control to evade a collision.
Getting sticks caught in skates Usually accidental I have missed a month of playing due to this. Others have missed a game due to the same problem. Be careful where your stick is in relation to the puck and others skates. Avoid any possible tripping, especially along the boards.
An odd hook. This can knock a player off his skates and unconsciously cause an injury. I have been guilty of a slight hook by reaching out too far to a player going by. This is because my speed and reflexes are not what they should be BUT I will make sure I don't do it again.
Heavy Stick Slashes We are not in the NHL and this should not happen You miss slashing a stick and you injure a hand or cause hard feelings. The heavy two handed slashes, if not causing an injury, can break a stick , which today are not cheap.
Crashing the Net ( Not the NHL style ) - The goals have a blue paint area that should be the goalies free pass zone. This is fun hockey and the score should not matter past the fun of playing skating, passing, shooting and SAFETY. When the goalie is in his crease we should back off and give him space. Play like the Senators and don't crash the net. If the goalie stops the puck and it's in the blue paint . IT IS DEAD. Dont hack at the goalies for loose pucks. Some goalies have bad knees and can't drop to cover the puck. If the puck is loose in the blue paint and you can bring it out without causing a problem, then bring it out, take it into the corner and try to score again. Don't jab at it to go in.
Crashing the net II - Speedy players are asked to not cut around the defence into the front of the net in order to score. This action is an accident ready to happen. A pile-up of bodies can occur if the defensemen challenges the hard charging player and bumps him into the goalie. It is best to continue around the net and pass it out front.
These are just a few accidents that I, and others, have observed and I thought should be identified and brought it to your attention before someone gets hurt seriously. As stated, I think they can be almost eliminated entirely.
"Friendly Hockey" is just that.
Game scores are looked at as a necessary evil as we all like to win, but scoring, to win at any cost, should not be weighted more than playing to prevent injuries. A faster player should not cut a player off, or cut in on the net, because that is an accident looking to happen. If this occurs then the checking player should let them go and avoid an accident.
Many of our players have told me they enjoy playing with the EastEnd Oldtimers more than their old teams/leagues, because there is less emphasis on stats and competitiveness. They also like that there is no criticism to the errors they make while playing. Remember that we are not 16 years old anymore and some are playing after various surgeries, medical problems, etc. The fun of playing is only enhanced by the friendship while taking part in the after-game-refreshments in The Prescott. I totally agree with them. That's why I play too. And heavens knows I makes lots of mistakes, bump into a few players from time to time, but I would not like to be involved in any accident that caused an injury.
We are all competitive and love playing, or else we would be doing something else physical. I play for the fun, try that pass that I was never able to do before, take a stick handling course along with some others, and maybe score an odd goal. We can have lots of fun and good times if we, each of us, scrutinize our style of play and correct any errors that crop up. We don't want sissy hockey just "Friendly Hockey". Have fun.
Thank You Again.
Passed on to members of the EastEnd Oldtimers Hockey League
by myself (Dave E.) for The Commish, Ronald Lamont Dupont Lowry.
Thanks to Dave Warmington of the Gloucester 98s for the original letter.