Beer League Hockey Etiquette 2023
Aside from the Rules of Hockey, beer league has a few of its own unwritten rules of conduct.
Beer League Hockey Do’s & Don’ts
1. DO: Bring beer
Bring beer. Bring a lot of beer.
Even if you’re the worst player in the league, you’ll always be welcome if you’re consistently bringing beer. Call it an ethical bribe or whatever you want, but it works.
Make sure your cooler is packed full of ice because breaking out semi-cold beer is almost as bad as having no beer.
Canadian beer is preferable. And for the love of God, don’t bring any light beer.
2. DON’T: Whine
Most beer league hockey players have kids. The kids stay home on game night. The last thing anyone wants is to have to babysit a whiney teammate on the bench.
Whining about the refs?
No referee in beer league history has ever changed a call after getting chirped by a jackass.
Complaining about ice time?
Nobody on your team cares. And it’s likely on purpose.
Bitching about losing?
Maybe you should get your fat ass in shape so you can actually backcheck.
The team’s whiner is usually the same guy as Likes-To-Go-Guy*.
Being the team whiner is the shortest path to having to find a new team. Even if you have mad game.
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3. DO: Move the puck
Some beer league hockey players forget that hockey is a team sport.
Trying to go coast-to-coast on every shift doesn’t fly with your teammates. Move the fucking biscuit to the open player for fucks sake.
If you’re frequently trying to score from the opponent’s trapezoid you have four other players who have a much better chance of scoring than you do.
4. DON’T: Be a pussy
Hockey players get cut. It happens.
Unless your nose is hanging off your face, go to the locker room and fill the gap in with glue or butterfly it. But get back out there.
Whatever you do, don’t leave the rink in the middle of the game to get repairs at the hospital. That can wait until after the game.
Leaving before the buzzer to attend to a little cut is a bad look.
5. DO: Warm your goalie up
Many beer league hockey players believe the purpose of pre-game warm-ups is to beat the goalie with as many shots as possible.
Wrong. The idea is to take shots your goalie will save to effectively warm him up.
If you’re out there practicing your new fancy-pants shootout move on your goalie, calm the fuck down.
6. DON’T: Cherry Pick
In my opinion, cherry-picking in the beer leagues is a dick move.
There’s a reason why it’s not used in the NHL and other high-end leagues. It’s not a legitimate part of any hockey game.
Having a cherry-picker on your team may yield some easy goals, but will leave you short-handed in your defensive zone so what’s the point?
7. DO: Be punctual
Don’t habitually show up to the rink the moment the zamboni driver is closing the gate.
Chances are the lines are already set, and your teammates are already counting you out.
Buy a friggen watch or at least have some common courtesy and give yourself enough time to arrive, chug a beer and warm up.
8. DON’T: Try to figure your goalie out
Not all goalies are nuts.
But the ones who seem the most ‘normal’ are the goalies you need to watch out for.
Goalies are a different breed and they care little about what you think.
Just be nice, compliment the good saves, and stay the hell out of his way when you fuck up on defense.
9. DO: Take shorter shifts
This is obviously a no-brainer but it has to be said.
Unless you’re an ironman athlete, you can’t go full speed out there for 4 minutes.
We all pay the same amount of money to play in the beer league so have a little respect for the guy coming out after you.
Almost nothing pisses off teammates more than watching a guy endlessly coast around the rink. Get your ass off already.
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