The Budget for Youth Hockey (Part I)

They come in all shapes and sizes, from Washington state to Maine, Florida to Alaska. Yet, every youngster at the USA Hockey’s 2013 National Championships had one thing in common. Slung over every player’s shoulder was a big, bulky, and about to burst at the seams duffel bag.

That’s all in being a hockey player. You have to be carrying a 40-pound behemoth into and out of rinks while having two sticks in one hand and a drink in the other. The goalies have it worse. They have bigger pads and gloves, paddles, yet, nobody ever complains. Hockey teaches you to carry your load early on.

What is All That?

For the benefit of the uninitiated, every bag holds a helmet, skates, shin guards,

A child’s hockey experience can cost you a good chunk of change so make sure you’re saving up.

shoulder pads, a neck guard, elbow pads, protective pants or girdles, shells, home and away jerseys, home and away socks, (smelly) gloves, various undergarments, hosiery and plenty of tape, as well as sundry items including a blade sharpener, a rag, first aid kit, scissors, wax, talcum powder, and an iPod. Tack on another $170 for Apple AirPods.

Most youth hockey players have at least five pairs of Bauer skates priced at around $200 per pair. Just a bit of info: adult topline pairs go for over $500. If your child plays for both school and travel teams, she/he goes through two sets of blades a year, so additional steel can cost around $300.

Sharpening: $5 once a week for 25 weeks, times 10 years, costs $1,250. Include $50 for broken laces and lost blade covers. Then there’s $45 for any shoe repairs. This is a good time for you to learn by word of mouth for anyone who does shoe repairs. This stops your child from having to break in a new pair.

 

Famous Women Field Hockey Players (Part II)

Kayla Bashore-Smedley

These young ladies definitely made their impact on the sport of field hockey.

Kayla Bashore-Smedley was born in Daegu, South Korea and is a US field hockey defender and midfielder. Now residing in San Diego, California, she played field hockey for Indiana University. She was the first player from IU to make the US National Field Hockey team. She played for the USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Emilie Sinia

Emilie Sinia is a Belgian field hockey player. She competed with the Belgium women’s national field hockey team in the women’s tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Stephanie de Groof

Stephanie De Groof is a field hockey player representing Belgium. She competed with the Belgium women’s national field hockey team in the women’s tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Lauren Crandall

Lauren Crandall is a US field hockey player. In the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics, she was a part of the United States women’s national field hockey team as well as being a team captain in 2012 and 2016. She played for the national team from 2005-2016. Before joining the national team, she played field hockey for Wake Forest, winning the NCAA field hockey championship twice.

Caroline Nichols

Caroline Nichols is a US field hockey player. She was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team and 2012 US Olympic team for Women’s Field Hockey.

Nichols played varsity field hockey on the Lady Monarchs for four years at Old Dominion. She was an Academic All-American and First String All-American as well as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association championship team in 2005.

In 2008, USA Field Hockey nominated Nichols to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.

Lola Danhaive

Lola Danhaive is a Belgian field hockey player. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Danhaive was a part of the Belgium women’s national field hockey team in the women’s tournament.

 

Famous Women Field Hockey Players (Part I)

This list of famous women field hockey players contains the most well-known

Both Ellen Hoog and Nicola White have made major history in the sport of women’s field hockey.

and top females are known for being incredible field hockey players. There are hundreds of females performing as field hockey players around the globe, but this list highlights only the most prominent ones. Historic field hockey players have worked diligently to become the best that they can be. So, if you’re a female hoping to be a field hockey player then the ladies below should give you inspiration.

Ellen Hoog

Ellen Hoog is a Dutch female field hockey player as well as a member of the Netherlands women’s national field hockey team. Additionally, she is a member of the Amsterdamsche Hockey & Bandy Club. In 2004, she made her debut in the national team. She has played over 125 matches for the national team in which she has scored 32 goals. In 2005, she became European Champion in Dublin. Also, in 2005, she won the Champions Trophy in Canberra as part of the Dutch National Women’s Team. She was also on the Dutch team that became World Champion at the 2006 Women’s Hockey World Cup.

Nicola White

She was born in Shaw and Crompton and started playing hockey at the age of 7 at school and began her club hockey at Saddleworth HC. She is an English international field hockey player who plays as a forward for Great Britain and England. She plays club hockey in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division for Holcombe.

White won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games and a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games.

After beginning to play internationally in May 2009 for England, White won silver at the Champions Trophy and bronze medals at the World Cup, Commonwealth, and European competitions.

Protective Equipment for Field Hockey

Field hockey athletes have to wear various pieces of protective equipment. Goggles, shin guards, and mouth guards have to be worn. Gloves could also be worn to enhance grip and help protect the hands. Field hockey goalies have to wear extra protective equipment including a helmet with a cage that safeguards the face, chest pad, leg pads, and kicker covers on the shoes. Field hockey goalies might also wear neck protectors. As with all other field hockey players, goalies have a stick at all times.

Safe Field Hockey Gear

Field hockey players should wear, shin guards, cleats, and in some cases gloves and protective goggles.

The right protective gear is vital for field hockey such as:

Cleats. Pick a pair of shoes with ribbed soles and molded cleats. Shoes with screw-in cleats might have a higher risk of injury, so only use them when you want extra traction, like on a wet field. Be sure your cleats fit correctly and lace them tightly each time you practice or play.

Shin guards. Field hockey shin guards, which are made of foam and plastic, wrap farther around the lower leg and provide more ankle protection than soccer shin guards. Some players prefer to wear a pair of socks under their shin guards, making them more comfortable.

Goggles. U.S. high school field hockey players are required to wear eye protection. Most goggles are made of steel cages that safeguard the eyes, but some players like plastic goggles for better peripheral vision.

Mouthguards. Mouthguards are a great way to protect your cheeks’ teeth, lips, and tongue. Many leagues require players to wear them.

Gloves. Field hockey gloves can diminish the risk of broken fingers and help keep hands warm in cold weather.

Masks. During short corner plays, defenders might choose to wear protective masks to lessen the risk of facial injuries. Rules governing the use of masks differ from league to league.

 

Top Hockey U.S. States (Part II)

Alaska

Only three states in the whole country have a tinier population than Alaska, so their achievements in hockey are really quite remarkable.

The top Alaskan hockey players come from Anchorage, the largest city. Maybe it’s their nearness to Canada that makes Alaskans great at hockey, or maybe it’s because they can see Russia from their house.

Either way, Alaska earns some well-deserved recognition among hockey states.

Notable Players: Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Carle, Ty Conklin, Scott Gomez

Wisconsin

In addition to the famous Wisconsin cheese curds, they also supply some great hockey teams.

Apparently, Wisconsin is known for more than just cheese.

It also is home to plenty of solid hockey players and one of the most renowned college hockey programs in the US in the University of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is the perfect state for hockey players to grow up in since it is cold and there’s really nothing else to do there. It is a great hockey market.

Notable Players: Ryan Suter, Phil Kessel, Drew Stafford, Joe Pavelski

Connecticut

The state in which Brian Leetch came from actually has some of the top high school hockey in the US.

While Connecticut might not produce talent as often as some other states, it gets some love, since some regions of CT have hockey that’s as good as anywhere else in America.

As long as Chara doesn’t continue to take out the state’s top prospects, they could see themselves at the top of the list in the future.

Notable Players: Jonathan Quick, Ron Hainsey, Max Pacioretty, Chris Drury

Massachusetts

Massachusetts might not have the household names that some of the other states have, but they are a factory for hockey, with many Bay State natives in the NHL and minor leagues.

The Bahston area is top for having good hockey players. They have some of the best college hockey in the country, hugely supplied by Massachusetts born players.

Notable Players: Keith Yandle, Ryan Whitney, Brian Boyle, Rick DiPietro

 

Top Hockey U.S. States (Part I)

The rivalries between US states might not be as intense as Canada versus the US, but there’s still an intense competition and debate about which state has the best hockey.

This list is based on the quantity and quality of hockey players produced and not really on the level of high school, junior and college hockey in every state.

You’re probably going to faint in anticipation, so here are the best hockey states in the US.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of the best hockey states in the United States.

Since Pennsylvania is home to two powerful NHL teams, you would think it generates hockey players at a bigger rate.

Still, some real sweet assets have come out of the Quaker State, particularly the Pittsburgh area. Pennsylvania has some impressive talent, even for a greatly populated state.

Then again, when AHL veteran Bill Thomas is one of your most celebrated players, you won’t go any higher than No. 10.

Notable Players: RJ Umberger, Bill Thomas, Mike Weber, Ryan Malone

New Jersey

Occasionally, America lifts its shoulder and lets go of some real hockey talent.

As a state, New Jersey might not have a lot of honor left, but a few more quality hockey players will be able to alter that.

They have made large strides in recent years and appear ready to compete with the other states in the Northeast.

Notable Players: George Parros, Bobby Ryan, James van Riemsdyk, Bobby Sanguinetti,

Illinois

At the moment, Illinois might not boast any of the best players in the NHL, but they can still compete with other Midwest hockey states.

Chicago has proven that it can produce some solid hockey players, led by Mr. US hockey, also known as Chris Chelios. Maybe the Blackhawks can get it together and restore some interest in hockey to Illinois.

Notable Players: Al Montoya, Craig Anderson, Joe Corvo, Brett Lebda

 

 

Remodeling the Lobby of the Hockey Arena? Use Carpeting from the best Carpet Outlet in Fort Worth

The lobby area is the public’s first look of your arena. Is your lobby functional and clean for your guests? Is your flooring colorful and inviting? Installing some carpeting (affordable from the best carpet outlet Fort Worth has to offer) might not only enhance your patrons’ experience at your facility but also offer more opportunities for increasing your revenue.

carpet outlet Fort Worth

Replace Worn-Out Flooring with New Carpeting from a Carpet Outlet in Fort Worth

Pick a flooring that is sturdy enough for skate and foot traffic yet is simple for you and your staff to maintain is vital when it comes to keeping your lobby area presentable and safe. When skates are allowed in the lobby, most arenas put in a tough rubber flooring that is slip-resistant.

With a vast range of colors and textures, you can make an excellent first impression. Having a customized color scheme or team logo that integrates with the rest of your rink brings your lobby up a notch. Skate traffic carpeting is the ideal choice for entryways, offices, and pro shops that warrant safeguarding from skate blades.

Upgrading or Adding a Skate Sharpener

On the topic of skate blades, having skate sharpening service in your lobby is a handiness your guests will like. Investing in a top-quality skate sharpener and having employees who have knowledgeable skate sharpening skills can create more money for your arena. If you already have a skate sharpener but it isn’t cutting it, think about replacing worn parts or upgrading your machine.

Manage Rental Skates Using a Skate Racking System

Nothing is uglier and untidier looking than a pile of rental skates behind and on top of the counter. Installing the proper skate racking system can lessen the amount of frustration for both your staff and patrons alike. You can pick between a fixed system or mobile system, based on the space you have open and how many pairs of skates you want to store.

Be sure to pick a skate racking system that will let the skate blades dry correctly after use. Use your rental skate storage space to demonstrate a high standard of organization and order instead of chaos and clutter.

The Rise of British Ice Hockey

England has had some very talented hockey players over the years such as

British hockey is growing in popularity.

goalies, centers, wings, and defensive players. These are some of the top British hockey players to ever live. So, if you’re a native of England and want to play hockey professionally then you are good to go.

The Sheffield Steelers is one of the most successful teams in Britain’s Elite Ice Hockey League. They play their matches at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield and are popular for their pregame dramatics as for their form on the ice, though both are entertaining.

Ice hockey in the UK is having a particular moment of popularity. As far as live attendances, it has become the most-watched indoor sport in Britain, according to the EIHL, and the 3rd most popular winter sport, after football and rugby, games that are played at schools all over the country. (Ice hockey is not, yet.) This wave of interest is a good thing, though you have to wonder: why didn’t it become popular way sooner?

The Steelers are owned by Tony Smith, a Sheffield-born businessman who more than a few individuals consider being the savior of championship ice hockey in the UK. Also, he is the EIHL chairman. In 2011, when he bought the Steelers, support was low and the club was in receivership. Beyond a community of die-hard fans, few folks considered the British game a worthwhile spectacle. Brits tend to think of ice hockey as inaccessible and enigmatic, hard to play and hard to understand.

The Videotron is emblematic of Smith’s vision for ice hockey in the UK: a live-action entertainment extravaganza for the social media people. It screens during games, engaging the crowd, sometimes zooming in on the unlucky fan who are sleeping.

Smith likes to describe a hockey experience as a kind of sporting gateway drug: Just get them in for that first game and they’ll come back.

 

Top Canadian Hockey Towns (Part II)

Lakehead University

Thunder Bay, ON

These Canadian Hockey towns have the fans roaring with excitement at every game.

Here’s the thing that caught our attention: the Lakehead University hockey Facebook page has over 4,000 likes. Every other university had a majority of their likes for general athletics or the college as a whole. However, the fans in this school are all about hockey sticks. And maybe a little of that energy is spilling onto the ice. The women’s hockey team became the first Canadian team to ever join the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) and then went on to win the Division 2 2017 National Championship. The hockey in this city is truly on the rise.

 

Brock University

St. Catharines, ON

Here’s something you might not have heard: Brock University’s mascot is award-winning. Two university students crafted the #WeAreReady campaign that puts a spotlight on the athletics department as a whole and brought the community together. The campaign as well as the Boomer the Badger mascot—won honors at the Ontario University Athletics Awards for excellence.

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS 

Speaking of truly good mascots, St. Francis Xavier University teams might just have the coolest names around. When you’re playing hockey against the X-Women and X-Men, do you really think you have a chance to win against those superpowers? It could be why the athletic department gets lots of love from fans.

Concordia University

Montreal, QC

There’s something thrilling about a neighborhood rivalry, which brings us to Concordia University and McGill. Just a bike ride from each other, there’s always a lot of competition and love between them. When it comes to hockey, Concordia is snapping at McGill’s heels. Their fan following is just a little less than McGills at around 8,200 likes, and the women’s hockey team was crowned conference champions for the 2016-2017 season. And, with all the dozens of bars around the Montreal area, you know Stingers fans and Martlet/Redmen fans clinking bottles at the same spot.

Top Canadian Hockey Towns (Part I)

It’s almost time for the U Sports National Championships! Regardless if you’re a

Hockey is a popular sport in Canada.

university player, alum, or just a huge fan, you understand that hockey creates a sense of pride and community for everyone involved. In the spirit of the season and any trips you might be making to these hot spots to catch the final games, here are the best university hockey towns in Canada.

University of Alberta

Edmonton, AB

If you follow university hockey, there’s no explanation needed as to why the University of Alberta made the list. Three University Cups in the past 10 years for men’s hockey as well as two Golden Path Trophies for women’s hockey pretty much says all you need to know. If you’re playing against the Pandas or the Golden Bears, you most likely will lose. This is just how good they are. If you’re in Edmonton, take some time to see the latest victory.

University of New Brunswick

Fredericton, NB

It’s the sort of school where opponents may give up as soon as they put a skate on the ice. The University of New Brunswick isn’t messing around when it comes to greatness. In the last 10 years, the men’s hockey team has earned five University Cups. And not that the university needs any extra points for anything else, but you can’t help but like how lovely the campus really is.

McGill University

Montreal, QC 

McGill fans are loyal, loud, and likely cheering at a game as we speak. In terms of numbers alone, McGill’s athletics page has one of the biggest number of Facebook fans in the country, with over 9,000 likes. Though when you think about it, it’s not a surprise. The women’s hockey team has won three Golden Path Trophies in the past 10 years alone. The men’s hockey team isn’t too shabby either, with one University Cup in the same timeframe.