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7 Do’s and Don’ts of Adult League

Adult league, beer league, men’s league, whatever you call it, is one of the great joys of playing hockey. It’s the inevitable purgatory of every player who has ever played this great game. Whether you were able to display your talent [or lack thereof] professionally, collegiately, or just recreationally, we all end up in adult league.

Frankly, it’s a blessing. What adult do you know that still organizes pick up football games with their old teammates? Other sports simply aren’t adaptable enough to allow players of all ages to continue to enjoy the essence of the game without a high risk of injury.

But for most of us, regardless of where we played prior, beer league is a completely different beast that comes with it’s own set of etiquette and expectations. Whether you had a “cup of coffee” in the show or you just picked up your first set of pads last week, familiarize yourself with the do’s and don’ts of adult league:


Bring Water Bottles
We’re not squirts anymore. Far gone are the days we can skate an entire practice without requiring a water break. Nowadays we’re huffing and puffing after one down-and-back. Water bottles are now an essential.

Pay Your Team Dues On Time
If you’re lucky, your team GM doubles as the team’s Check Book, covering the team dues in time to ensure a spot in your league. No one wants to front an entire team fee let alone have to repeatedly ask for it back throughout the course of the season. Be a stand up teammate and pay your share of the team dues ASAP.

Enjoy the Locker Room
You’re already out of the house, playing a game, and in a locker room surrounded by your hockey brethren. Unless you NEED to rush out of the rink, take your time, tell stories, jokes, and just BS. Opportunities like these are few and far between once competitive hockey is behind us. Take advantage of the locker room time when you have it.

Nothing better than some late night #beerleague hockey. #muckandgrind #stonehands #hereforthebeer

A photo posted by Hockey Players Club (@hockeyplayersclub) on

Bring 2 Jerseys
It’s bound to happen at least once. Your whole team is dressed and walking out of the locker room for warm ups when you see the opposing team rocking the same color jersey, already on the ice. Good thing you brought a light and dark jersey in your bag, you’re prepared to suit up against anybody.

We know 99% of you will completely ignore or skip this section entirely — your loss. Come to grips with the fact you’re not as fit, flexible, and athletic as you used to be. Unless you like testing the limits of your fast-aging body, do yourself a favor and get a quick pre game stretch in. Your body will thank you later.

Have an Awesome Team Name
Shootin blanks

We’d have killed to have the chance to name our teams growing up… but now we’re older, wiser, possibly more perverse and play at a time where we’ll unlikely offend too many people. Plus, let’s be honest, as hockey players we tend to have a sick sense of humor. Put it to good use and give your opponent a good chuckle when they see who they’re playing tonight.

Bring Beer
Few things are as disheartening when you realize you and all your teammates neglected to bring beer for the post game locker room. Of course, we’ll still enjoy telling stories but how are we going to refuel all the carbohydrates and calories we just burned without cold beer?! Especially if it’s your first skate with a new team, bring the beer, your teammates will take note.



Backcheck Like It’s Game 7 of the Cup Finals
What are you trying to prove out there? Unless it’s a playoff game, don’t go ruining a perfectly good 2-on-1 by being Johnny try hard. Not only do we not want you to pass out from your effort level, but you’re making the rest of us look old and lazy. Cut the shit!

Over Celebrate
Congratulations, you scored or your team won. What an achievement. Celebrate in orderly fashion, remembering it’s midnight, no fans are in the stands, and no reporters are here to capture a post game interview. Of course, enjoy the moment but don’t rub it in your opponent’s face. Act like you’re an adult and you’ve been there before.

Dangle, snipe & celly. #nailedit   A video posted by Hockey Players Club (@hockeyplayersclub) on

Drink Too Much Before the Game
Ice hockey requires too much balance to be able to enjoy a buzz while on your skates. Trust us, you won’t enjoy it nearly as much as you think. You’ll either feel like you’re going to fall any second or throw up the first time you skate hard. Regardless, the buzz is best saved for after the game.

Mooch Tape
Yes, we’re adults with paying jobs who really don’t mind if you use some of our tape, but we’re also men and women of principle. We understand pro shops are rarely open by the time we head to or arrive at the rink, but that doesn’t remove our responsibility of sourcing our own tape… if so, we’d all be screwed! Either make time for a trip to your pro shop or sign up for the Hockey Players Club and have your tape and essentials delivered.

We all know that one guy. Don’t be that guy. Tag a #tapemooch   A photo posted by Hockey Players Club (@hockeyplayersclub) on

Pick a Fight
Seriously, don’t be the Hot Head trying to prove something out there. We’re all just trying to get a sweat in and have fun with our buddies. Not to mention, we have work tomorrow and aren’t in the mood of explaining our black eye to our boss. None of us are paid to play and we’re not battling for the Stanley Cup so save your aggression for another time.

Use a Roller Bag
wheel bag
Unless you have an injury requiring you don’t throw any weight over your shoulder or on you back, DO NOT use a roller bag. You’re not a little kid incapable of carrying a traditional hockey bag, plus who wants to deal with getting those odd-shaped things in and out of our cars? Please don’t embarrass your teammates and use a normal bag.

Forget the Beer
No further explanation is necessary.


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Don’t just take it from us, look what others are saying:

Looking to improve your game and score more goals? Check out the video Schwartz and Rubeo made about improving your catch-and-release shooting:

And don’t forget to check out our:

Hockey Players Club Podcast

Shooting in Your Stride To Score More Goals Like Phil Kessel [VIDEO]

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36 Responses to 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Adult League

  1. Pingback: Adult League Hockey Chill Spectrum | HPC Blog

  2. Greg says:

    Sorry, but my goalie bag has wheels on it. Those things are way too heavy for an old guy me like me to carry these days.
    Great read!

    • hockeyplayersclub says:

      Greg, we completely understand… but like I said to Mark, we’re hockey players. Ipso facto we chirp. We’d prefer our goalies not strain their back carrying in their endless amounts of equipment before a beer league game regardless. Thank you for commenting!

    • Marty says:

      Don’t worry goalies ; wheelie bags are excepted by you guys only !! I wish my goalie was more like Matthew hill

    • Brian says:

      Goalie bags are allowed wheels

  3. Mark says:

    Good stuff top to bottom; yet…
    as a 55 year old goalie, using a wheel bag has been a God-send, ending my minor back problems from lifting the carry-bag. Seriously, have you picked up a goalie bag with 37+1 pads, an XXL C&A + everything else we use? If a valet will carry my bag for me, well, OK, go ahead and ban wheelies. @#$%^&* goalie discrimination.

    We have, however, banned stick bags and are working on banning cell phones from the locker room. Watching a guy carry a stick bag to the bench and begin the ceremony of unzipping is akin to hearing fingernails go down a chalkboard. And cell phone chatter… enough said. Unless we’re torturing the guy who recorded the Ranger game to watch later that night; then checking the phone and blurting out the score is acceptable.

    • hockeyplayersclub says:

      LOL! Mark, we’re certainly not discriminating against our most important teammates, our goalies! But hey, we’re hockey players, you know we have to chirp!

      Also, the stick bag rule is great. Most would agree it’s a bendy look. And the cell phone ban is an interesting one. Aside from NHL updates, you’re right, who needs a cell in the locker room?! Thanks for contributing!

      • Mark says:

        I’ve been with one team for 31 years now, and I still take exception when they add up the number of “skaters” and then add a goalie. It’s all part of the game. You’re 100% right about the locker room, if you’re in a hurry to leave, why are you here at all?

        Next: arguments about which beer to bring. Fruit-Beers have also been informally banned.

        • hockeyplayersclub says:

          Hey, postgame beer standards are essential, lol! Great conversation starter. Let’s see what our boys can come up with…

  4. Great blog, will certainly be sharing… just 1 question…

    Do any of your “essential kits” include a regular supply of beer? Seems appropriate.

  5. Great blog, will certainly be sharing… just 1 question…

    Do any of your “essential kits” include a regular supply of beer? Seems appropriate

    • hockeyplayersclub says:

      Unfortunately they don’t, but that’s a pretty spectacular suggestion Patrick! We’ll forward to R&D and see if we can make it happen.

  6. John T says:

    DON’T – hassle the referees. They are not professionals and most are trying to do their best despite what most players think.

    • hockeyplayersclub says:

      John, that’s a great one! So true… thanks for contributing!

    • Mark says:

      I’ve asked a few idiot teammates how many times in history they’ve seen a ref change his call because someone fought with the ref. And then we comment on how many times we’ve seen a pissed-off ref make more than a few calls against the team with the guys who act like douches towards refs.

      As a goalie, I was taught that, when I have a complaint, to speak calmly to the ref and even look away while speaking. And, when it’s over, it’s over. Let it go. On many occasions, I’ve learned after the game that I was wrong about whether a puck went into the net or that an opponent really was pushed onto me while I was down. Always makes me glad for what I didn’t say.

  7. Timmy McGee says:

    Here’s an idea … Don’t email the hockey director or whoever is running the league every time something happens in the league. Also, if someone brings out a ringer in your B league, figure out how to find another ringer for the next time you see that team instead of roster checking the team and ending the game early or taking the points for being a bitch.

    Another suggestion: Just because you were the captain of your high school JV team does not mean you need to wear your game jersey with the douchey C to remind everyone that you were a bender 10 years ago and you’re still a bender even amongst other benders.

    • All great points, Timmy! Relentlessly contacting the league director is only going to get your team the worst times next season. And ringers and high school all-stars are in a (terrible) league of their own.

  8. Steve says:

    How about a don’t be the guy who pulls out his phone to check his stats in the dressing room as soon as the game is over?

  9. Mattyice says:

    Great points all around! One thing I can’t stand is the “know it all”. Cool, you watch a lot of NHL games and take notes… but we’re all here to have fun and enjoy the game; we don’t need your constant critiquing and play calling.

  10. Thom Lent says:

    In addition to the schedule, we have a Holy Grail of documents. The Beer Man List. Assigned at the beginning of the season. More important than finding a sub if you are missing a game is getting beer to the rink if you are missing a game when you are the beerman!!!!

  11. Mark says:

    Great advice!
    Another do and don’t – at least in my league – work your scorebox shift. You like the league website to show your goals, we all have to take turns recording them. And if the scorebox misses one reach out to the league leadership one on one, complaining about the inaccuracy of your goal count on the league Facebook page doesn’t reflect well on you..

  12. Jeremy says:

    Once a year we hold a Scotch Night after the game wraps-up. Everyone brings something new to try. Best night of the year!

  13. Pingback: The Luck O' The Hockey Player: Why We Are Lucky to be Hockey Players | HPC Blog

  14. Rollie bag aside I’m the goalie every team needs. I bring the beer, weed and painkillers.
    Speaking of cool names there’s a team in Bangkok we play twice a year called the Thai Stix but none of them puff, go figure.

  15. Ronnie B says:

    I’m so tired of the pickup skate players who always have something negative to say during or after each shift. I usually say something to the guy like: “There’s a reason we are all playing here buddy and not pro…chill out man”. Instead of bitching about the guy with no skill, why not try to set him up for a goal and make him feel better. He’s probably working harder than you anyways. Not everybody is a star!!

  16. Pingback: What Your Post Game Beer Says About Your Adult League Team

  17. Rick Dunbar says:

    The comments about the wheeled bags are WAY off. As a rec goalie, they added another 5 years to my playing career. At the older ages, it’s all about staying out there!

    • Rick, understandable, especially as a tendy… but that won’t stop us from chirping the young able-bodied players from wheeling in the rink like they’re there for mite practice.

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