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Old 01-02-2013, 01:10 PM
 
32 posts, read 49,573 times
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I apologize in advance if any of these questions might seem naïve, as I’ve never played hockey in Canada before.

I’m in a rookie beer league in Orange County, CA, where we only have 6 rinks in the entire county (population 3M). Stick times, pickup hockey and the adult league cost $15/hr, $20/game and $425/season respectively. There are only a few (2-3) total stick times and pickup games in the evenings or over the weekend per week, so they are extremely crowded. For example, the couches take up half the rink at stick time (leaving 8-10 guys to practice on only half the rink) and the pick-up games are packed (more than 2 lines). Perhaps the ones during the weekdays are better, but I have a full-time job. On the other hand, my league is pretty cool and we play on Sunday evenings, but $425 for a quarter seems a bit expensive.

I know that in Canada you guys have +100K rinks, but since everyone and their cousins play hockey, is it the same or do you have a lot more opportunity to play at a significantly lower cost? For example, in major cities, is there a rink every few miles? My closest rink takes me 15-40min depending on traffic. Also can you practice whenever you want as opposed to only having 2-3 available times throughout the week? How are the costs? In the winters, can you skate or play at the outdoor rinks for free? If so, that sounds awesome.

Finally, costs aside, I like my league and some of the pick-up games because most everyone is really cool about me being a relative newbie even though I don’t quite play at their level. Since everyone who is raised in Canada plays hockey well, are you guys as friendly to adults that are still relatively new to the game (at pick-up games and stuff)?

Thanks.

Last edited by Irvinerenter; 01-02-2013 at 01:11 PM.. Reason: format
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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The biggest cost/challenge is icetime. You are either stuck with mid-day or late night times due to all of the minor hockey programs that usually have priority. Any outdoor rinks are generally free, and there'll be pickup shinny games everywhere.

I know in Calgary, the city has shinny ice times, and charge about $5 to go, as you like, but it's just pickup, non-league play.

There are several competing leagues for beer league hockey, and a lot depends on your contacts/skill level/flexibility.

Even beer league is about $400 just for league fees for the year.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
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Your cost is not that out of line with what I've paid for rec league hockey. I've played in the Vancouver area and in Toronto. Usually averaged $10 -20 per game depending on the skill level and time of games.

There are plenty of options for all skill levels. I've played in leagues that had guys who couldn't skate - and guys who played Tier 2 junior hockey - all on the same team.

The whole outdoor rink thing is a bit overblown. Outdoor rinks are generally reserved for family skates and recreational use - also the conditions aren't great for hockey. Vancouver doesn't have any outdoor rinks (too mild in the winter), Greater Toronto has some, but the climate here can be hit and miss in the winter for outdoor hockey. Cities in Alberta seem to have a greater number of outdoor rinks.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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Not all adults in Canada know how to play hockey well. There's beginner hockey for adults in Canada. Lots of people don't know how to skate. It's not as much of a national pastime as many people think.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:08 PM
 
32 posts, read 49,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
The biggest cost/challenge is icetime. You are either stuck with mid-day or late night times due to all of the minor hockey programs that usually have priority. Any outdoor rinks are generally free, and there'll be pickup shinny games everywhere.

I know in Calgary, the city has shinny ice times, and charge about $5 to go, as you like, but it's just pickup, non-league play.

There are several competing leagues for beer league hockey, and a lot depends on your contacts/skill level/flexibility.

Even beer league is about $400 just for league fees for the year.
That sucks regarding icetime. I guess it's not a whole lot better over there.

However, $400 for a beer league for the entire year is really good. I pay $425 for essentially 4 months.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Oakville, ON
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I had a cousin who lived in Calgary and Phoenix and played rec hockey in both. Said the Canadian guys were much rowdier (beer and pot in the dressing room), while the American guys were mostly affluent professionals.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:20 PM
 
32 posts, read 49,573 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
It's not as much of a national pastime as many people think.
Well I wish hockey was the national pastime here. Basketball is king here. There are basketball courts in every park and you can play 24/7 if you want.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarp View Post
. It's not as much of a national pastime as many people think.
Maybe not in terms of playing it, but watching it.....yes it is. For sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liberated in TO View Post
I had a cousin who lived in Calgary and Phoenix and played rec hockey in both. Said the Canadian guys were much rowdier (beer and pot in the dressing room), while the American guys were mostly affluent professionals.
I believe that, without a single doubt in my head. lol Ever see the movie "Goon"? lol
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:48 AM
 
2,869 posts, read 5,139,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvinerenter View Post
That sucks regarding icetime. I guess it's not a whole lot better over there.

However, $400 for a beer league for the entire year is really good. I pay $425 for essentially 4 months.
Here in Quebec City the going rate is about $400-450 for a season that runs from September to April. IIRC that's about 40 games including playoffs (2 games per week with some breaks). A few arenas also have summer leagues, but most do not (no ice during the summer). There are arenas in many neighborhoods but as mikeyyc said, the biggest challenge is icetime -- I have friends who drive 45-60 minutes to avoid Friday 11 PM start times.

There are more outdoor rinks than arenas in Quebec. The quality of ice is lower on outdoor rinks but pick-up hockey is still played there all the time. At many rinks including in the inner city, there is a smaller rinkside area for kiddie skating, along with the regular-sized rink where hockey is always played. I don't think there are leagues since rinks are always open to everyone, but on weekday nights from 7-9 PM you'll often find the same regulars and the playing level will be similar to lower-level beer leagues. Of course the hockey isn't going to be as good as the better beer leagues that have a bunch of ex-CHL players, but as a rather pedestrian hockey player that's always been enough for me
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:04 AM
 
654 posts, read 1,496,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irvinerenter View Post
Well I wish hockey was the national pastime here. Basketball is king here. There are basketball courts in every park and you can play 24/7 if you want.
Well it must be rising in popularity after today's shellacking of Canada by the USA!

GO USA!
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