By Kris Weaver of the Beer League Tribune
No matter if you’re a beginner or seasoned veteran with higher-level hockey experience, beer league hockey invites all players to quickly develop bad habits.
These skills are not recommended to carry over to tournaments or even intended for league play. And while they are not advised, they are almost like a right of passage to be a full beer league vet!
Here are 8 bad habits formed while playing beer league:
This is one of the top bad habits formed. Yeah, we get it… if our paychecks were dependent upon our on-ice performance we’d need to seriously reconsider our effort level.
But while we find ourselves in this empty arena with some of our best friends, many of which play defense and goaltender, we’re going to continue to not give a shit about backchecking. The player just blew past and you have a decent enough goalie, they’ll probably stop it!
We all have a teammate or two that will look off the pass, every time! They’re not even considering a pass on 2 or even 3 on 1, and enthusiastically shoot when there is a clear tap in opportunity.
This may or may not be the same player that always tries skating coast-to-coast or the guy that wheels around in the zone for two minutes before shooting in the netting above the glass. 🤦♂️
This is another classic bad habit that is picked up almost immediately in beer league. Sometimes it’s hard not to take a long shift. Sure, during a 10:30 PM game where your bench only has 3 extra players you’re going to get caught out there for a 6 or 7-minute shift, but it shouldn’t be a habit.
So beer league isn’t the show or even close…no 15-minute warmup with a cut in between. Sometimes if the rink is behind you might not even get warm-ups. If you’re lucky enough to get a warm-up it’s usually between 3-5 minutes and most of the time we spend it talking to buddies and firing clappers at the goalies head.
But the puck is right there! As beer leaguers, we hate to admit we don’t have the first step we used to. But your terrible pinch combined with no backchecking is a deadly combination.
Let’s be honest, beer before or during the game isn’t helping your on-ice performance. Do what you can to stick to post-game beer, preferably a winner-beer — nothing tastes better!
Playing 2 Zones
This one is seen at all levels of beer league. Either your defenseman only plays in the d-zone and neutral zone but rarely steps foot into the offensive zone, or a forward who never makes it into the defensive zone and prefers to begin their attack by receiving a stretch pass in the neutral zone. Someone needs to tell these teammates there are 3 zones!
Timeliness to the rink
Most levels from peewee to pros guys are required to show up anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours before a game, but beer league is a whole different story. As far as beer league timeliness goes, as long as you’re at the rink by the time the Zamboni has 2 laps left and you’ve got a warm-up, you’re still on time (unless you’re a goalie then just be there as the zam is going on)!