No referee, no scorekeeper, no problem
We all know where hockey stands in the hearts of our communities and our entire country.
It’s Canada’s game. All of us have, with the passage of all of the years, witnessed the evolution of our game.
From the old days of pond hockey, to the many outside rinks that were built and the many hours given by the folks who envisioned the place where kids of all ages and genders could gather and learn how to put their skates on and take those first few strides on the ice. Young players were apprehensive as were the parents who encouraged them to step out onto the ice and begin their journey down the path of our national game.
Hockey and the masses among us who are participants on the ice, and just as many who are engaged in our game off the ice, all play an important role in ensuring that our love of the game continues.
Make no mistake, hockey is still hockey, but a lot has changed. We are now blessed with arena’s that have artificial ice, rows of evenly spaced seating, a canteen for hot drinks and snacks, a place within our community that ensures the health and future of our game.
We have structured age groups, coaches who are trained to teach youth not only the mechanics of the game, and the lessons of fair play and teamwork that all goes with the game. It’s all good, and ensures forward motion in the growth and success of the game.
The players have all the necessary gear, the latest in the development of equipment that ensures that they are protected at the highest level from as many injuries as possible. It’s a huge commitment to our children and the game, from a financial perspective as well. To fully outfit a player top to bottom with all the gear and the sticks that go with it makes us older ones shake our heads. It costs more than the first old car that many of us had.
We have come far in the evolution of our game for sure, and it’s all good.
Once in a while though, there can be comfort in taking a look back. Recently I was in the stands at the Labrador City Arena, and as it turned out, it was the best hockey game I have seen in years.
The Labrador West Minor Hockey Association organized a game for each of their three Atom teams. It was a game that saw as always, the support and encouragement from their president, director, organizing team and volunteers that was a trip back in hockey time.
It was a game where the young players, boys and girls, played with and against their parents. The participants brought all the necessary enthusiasm to the ice and played their hearts out to have the opportunity to win with, or against in some cases, to “out hockey” their parents. Their enthusiasm right down to the post goal celebrations was contagious.
The parents who played were an example of generosity towards all of the children. The perfect passes that they delivered at exactly the right time and the “missed checks” that seemed to happen in just as timely circumstances that saw the children score was a treasure to see. The bit of extra banter between a player and one of their parents made it hard to measure which one was having the most fun.
The entire effort was a wonderful gift to the children and an equal gift to mom and dad who were out there with them. The wisdom and efforts by the Labrador City Minor Hockey Association in this game was an incredible gift. There was no fancy gear and no matching jerseys on the parents, it was just enough to be in the game and share it with each other and the community. In the old days when the benches cleared there was always a brawl. In this game, however, when the benches cleared in the last minute or so of the game, every one of them, children and parents alike, were all in the game until the final buzzer.
Thanks to the Labrador West Minor Hockey Association and its many organizers. It was an old fashioned game of “pond hockey” shared by youth and parents, a moment in time that they will all look back on as the years pass with great memories.
A game with no referee, no no problem. scorekeeper,
Participants in a fun game of hockey.