Beer League Hockey

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Updated: July 12, 2024 – Bill Burniece

Beer league hockey is a world all its own.

What Is Beer League Hockey?

If you boil it down to its essence, beer hockey is “organized hockey in its purest form, unencumbered by money, skill, ambition, fans or advancement.”

This is a platform for all players to have some laughs, share ideas for team names, list resources to find beer leagues and tournaments, offer reviews on new equipment and tools, and much more.

Here you’ll have a place to read and share all of the best beer league stories that involve humor, embarrassments, gory injuries, awkward team photos, championship runs, complete season flameouts, tailgates, locker room antics, and endless shenanigans that make us proud beer leaguers. because there are no coms in hockey.

Who Plays Beer League Hockey?

Beer league hockey players consist of a mixed bag of humanity including accountants, bartenders, laborers, CEO’s, architects, lawyers, truck drivers, salesmen, engineers, non-working lazy trust funders, doctors, managers, city workers, software developers, retirees and even the unemployed (if they can come up with the pricy league fees).

Our backgrounds don’t matter. What unites us is the love of the game, drinking beer together, and trying to hang on to whatever youthful exuberance we still have left.

beer league hockey dudes

And for many of us, its the only cardio we get anymore.

What Is Beer League Hockey?

To the casual observer, beer league is a collection of players, most of whom underachieved and fell short of the dream of playing hockey in the big leagues, organized into a locally-played league.

But beer league hockey is much more than that.

It’s more of a need; a lifestyle.

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Unlike the pros, who get paid big bucks to play hockey, beer league players pay considerable money to play organized hockey.

Even though we take the league games seriously, we never take ourselves too seriously. It’s more about having fun.

On the surface, a beer league in hockey is an adult hockey league that caters to local hockey players in a community.

The beer part of beer league hockey accounts for the fact that most players drink beer before, during, or after league games.

In fact, it kind of centers around beer in one form or another.

Beer is a primary ingredient included in the communal bonding ritual that takes place after each game.

Another ‘beer’ connection is the fact there are many hockey teams sponsored by local bars, pubs, and restaurants.

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Why Is It Called Beer League Hockey?

Because in most leagues, there is always beer.

Tons of it.

But don’t get me wrong here. There are many non-drinkers who participate too.

Beer league hockey is for both adult men and women who are, more often than not, beer drinkers.

Hockey and beer go together as seamlessly as salt & pepper. Or beer… and pretzels. Or beer and more beer.

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Beer league hockey players come in all shapes and sizes. Mostly not in-shape.

Don’t get me wrong. Playing hockey, even at the beer league level, takes a lot of skill and stamina.

I’m just saying that you’re not going to see many 6-pack abs in the locker room. Only empty 6 packs.

Is Beer League Competitive?

Yes. Even though most leagues are surprisingly competitive, winning and losing a game is usually taken in stride.

This is especially true by the time you get to the over-40 leagues.

At that level, drinking beer becomes equally if not more important than winning the league t-shirt.

Are you looking for a hockey beer league? Find beer league hockey near me

Beer League Rules

Our league games follow the same rules as most hockey games at all levels.

There are a few differences though that keep us from killing each other.

How Long Is A Beer Hockey Game?

It depends upon the league.

Nearly all beer league hockey games use the traditional three-period model.

Periods typically run between 12-20 minutes in length and can include either running time or stop time. Or a combination hybrid running-stop model.

If a game is tied after regulation, a short overtime and/or shootout normally follows.

Regardless of the format, most beer league hockey games are completed in about an hour or so.

Is There Checking In The Beer Leagues?

Usually not.

While checking and hitting is a key component in the game of hockey, there is no point to it in beer hockey.

Most of us are older guys who have no interest in cleaning somebody’s clock anymore. We would rather go to work in one piece tomorrow, instead of the ER tonight.

Although there is no checking, there is still bumping, pinning, pushing, shoving, hooking, stick-checking, and of course… chirping.

How About Fighting?

Fighting does happen sometimes. However, in the beer leagues, most players wear full cages and shields so it’s rather pointless.

Further, most beer leagues are quick to serve suspensions and even fines to players who fight.

The guys who still don’t get it are usually banned from the league.

Those guys are called likes-to-go guy.

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Let’s Wrap It Up

Beer league hockey is a beautiful world that allows us to play the best sport in the world with our friends, drink beer, share tall tales in the parking lot, and achieve the occasional glory of a highlight-worthy goal.

It’s more about the experience itself than it is winning the league championship t-shirt and hoisting the beer league cup.

But that’s cool too.

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