Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I guess it just pays to know the right people

I'm very excited to say that I'll be one of four men playing in a women's hockey league this summer. It turns out I happen to be on friendly terms with the league organizers.

I've previously complained about how few opportunities there are for adult men to get hockey instruction and playing experience at the beginner level. Clinics and coached teams at accessible recreational levels are mostly either for kids or adult women. Men's rec leagues tend to be more competitive and inhospitable to learning. And frankly, experienced men rec players tend to play a hot-dogging, playground style showing little interest in structured team play.

Well, one of my mottos, from the great Scoop Nisker, is: "if you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own." Taking matters into my own hands, I set up my very own co-ed adult hockey clinic. A friend and I rented five 1.5 hour blocks of ice time on successive Tuesday nights at a local hockey rink, we hired a coach, and rounded up 16 skaters to pay $100 each to make this thing happen.

It was great, and it ended last night, and most the clinic participants went over to sports bar afterward. Three of the participants in my clinic are the organizers of this women's hockey league, and they gathered at a table with piles of player application forms. As I watched these three women poring over the application forms, it struck me that sports are a kind of office space for rec sports players, sort of the way coffee shops are for students, artsy types and bloggers.

Anyway, they were arranging player application forms into four piles, each pile representing one team. Each form had a colored post-it representing a position (wing, center, defense) the player applicant claimed to play the best -- this was their system to balance out teams by positions.
"Am I already on a team?" I asked.
"We're just spreading the four guys out, one to a team," I was told.
Yes! I'm the token guy on a women's hockey team! Call me crazy, but I find this to be an honor.

does this make you one of ahnold's girly-men?

wpk, writing from the land of the terminator

sbdrmdt = so be a doormat!
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