June 5, 2016
Dear Floor Hockey Fans,
Here are the Rules and other things you need to know about playing floor hockey with The Floor Hockey Group. There is a new safety rule as of March 21, 2016.
We have a very friendly group of players. Here is the short version. Show up on time, warm up, socialize a bit, and play by the rules. Rule #1 is “No Pushing!” The long version of these rules follows.
This is a game of speed, skill and teamwork. Related to that is Rule #1:
Rule #1 is “No Pushing!”
Rule #1 is “No Pushing!” for a few reasons; it keeps the game friendly, it cuts down on injuries but does not totally eliminate them, and it’s easy for everybody to understand and apply.
Rule #1 is non-debatable. In past years some spouses have claimed a spouses exception to the No Pushing! rule but come on. Leave your fights at home. Bring your love to floor hockey!
If some but not all pushing were allowed, the question would be how much and everybody would see it differently. We’re not going to get into that. There has to be an objective way to determine the acceptable level of pushing. This way it is clear; none. No pushing includes all of the close relatives of pushing. The No Pushing! rule is essential to the type of game we have had since day 1 and we want to continue to have.
Our game is not a non-contact sport. There is contact. Contact is inevitable. There just isn’t pushing. We err on the side of less, not more contact. You will see after being in our game for a while how we play it. I can put my hand on another player but not to push or to gain a competitive advantage. It’s mainly to avoid collisions. Avoiding collisions is good!
We do not run over or through another player. We run past them or around them.
Good sportsmanship is a key to our game. Each week there is a different collection of players there, and we make new teams. The first team to score 5 goals wins the game. We may have a water break between games. We usually switch sides and then begin a new game. At 9:00 sharp we stop for the night.
There’s no trophy at the end of the season, no league, and no playoffs. Therefore we are free to play for the moment, in this game. The games do get competitive but friendliness is the main goal, that and safety and fun.
We do not call icing or offsides. There is no blue line. There is no penalty box and there are no penalties. The idea of these rules, especially No Pushing!, is that everybody will play by them and we won’t need a penalty box. Having a penalty box suggests (to me anyway) that you can break the rules and pay the penalty. No, it’s not like that.
We do have 1 more rule; a shot taken from behind the half court line cannot score a goal. In other words you have to be in the front half of the court to score.
Keep the blade of your stick below waist level at all times especially on the windup and follow through. We are not teeing off. It would be easy to get carried away and smack somebody with the blade of your stick both on the windup and follow through if you were not careful and thinking about it.
Please be very conscious and try not to whack anybody in the shins. It hurts! The plastic sticks can hurt there too.
For me, the ideal shot is one that stays on the ground – and goes in the goal, of course.
We have other rules which we’ll go over when you get there. Most of them concern the goalie. When the goalie is reaching for the puck, even when they don’t have it in their hand, the other team has to stop swinging at it. This is to protect the goalie’s fingers.
New safety rule as of March 21, 2016
During the time in between when a goal was scored and the next faceoff as well as before, after, or in between games, do NOT shoot a puck in another player’s direction unless you KNOW that that player is expecting your shot. This does not apply to shots that are soft or to passes.
The context and application of the new safety rule
How would you know that the other player is expecting it? First of all that is up to YOU to determine. This rule places the responsibility on the player who has the puck. If you don’t KNOW that the other player is expecting a shot, then don’t shoot the puck in their direction. You would know that the other player is expecting it if they are looking at you or facing you or if their attention is on you or the puck that you have. You could call out their name “Hey Fred!” to get their attention and then wait for Fred to respond by looking at you. I would rather have lots of players calling out each other’s names to get their attention, and therefore they would expect the puck, than not have it.
When the other player is in the goal and playing goalie it is likely that they are expecting a puck to be shot in their direction but it is still the shooter’s responsibility to make sure of that before shooting the puck.
You can always shoot the puck at an empty net or at the wall without risking another player’s safety.
LOCATION AND TIME
As of December, 2009 we are moving to a new location; the Samuel C. Pannell Meadowview Community Center at 24th and Meadowview in Sacramento . Take I-5 south from Sacramento, exit at Pocket / Meadowview and go left (East) a few miles , and turn right into the lot on 24th Street and Meadowview. It’s a big place with a big parking lot on the Southeast corner of 24th and Meadowview. The address is 2450 Meadowview Road .
The earlier you arrive the more time you have to socialize and warm up. Warming up helps to reduce the risk of injury. Socializing is good too. You can arrive before 7:00 if you like. 7:10 or so is when we circle up, and at 7:15 we start playing.
Wear clothes that you can run in. Shoes such as tennis shoes, cross training shoes, basketball shoes, or any shoes that you can run in and change directions, stop and go, are good. I recommend bringing an extra shirt to wear after the game. Having a clean, dry shirt to wear after the game (for the drive home) makes a big difference in your comfort and warmth.
All the equipment is provided; hollow lightweight plastic hockey sticks and goals. We use all felt pucks from Pro Felt, which you can view at www.floorhockey.net. They are great; they glide across the rubber tile floor like a real hockey puck on ice.
You can bring your own hockey stick including a wood stick. Most of the players, well almost all, use wood hockey sticks with a flexible plastic blade. There are a couple of spare wood hockey sticks and assuming we have 11 players or more you can borrow one from a teammate, although we have more right handed than left handed players.
If you’re using a plastic floor hockey stick (one that belongs to me in other words) and it breaks, it will cost you $5 to pay for the repair of that stick. I can repair them but it takes time and materials (wood dowels and tape).
Shin guards are a good idea. Gloves too, to prevent you from getting hit on the hand. (It doesn’t sound bad but it hurts when it happens.) I’m talking about gloves with open fingers but it’s up to you, open or closed.
A water bottle is a good idea. You will get plenty thirsty during the game.
Assumption of risk and indemnification
The last rule is play at your own risk. This is a friendly game but it’s still possible to get hurt. Floor hockey involves fast action and wood hockey sticks. By playing you agree to assume all the risks, known and unknown, regardless of the cause, associated directly or indirectly with this game. By playing you agree to indemnify, hold harmless and release the Samuel Pannell Community Center, the City, anybody associated with it, me (Mark) and The Floor Hockey Group from any responsibility, claim, or action for injuries or damages, regardless of the cause, to the fullest extent permitted by California law. By playing you also agree to limit the amount of any such responsibility, claim, or action to no more than $100.00. I wear shin guards and gloves and I recommend them. You can get shin guards at any sporting goods store.
Each week a different set of people shows up to play. There are some regulars who are there every week and that’s actually most of the players. (We love new players!) We make new teams each week. We arrive, we warm up and socialize (at 7:00 ), we sometimes do introductions ( 7:10 ), we make teams and we play ( 7:15 ). We have a tradition about introductions and you’ll find out when you get there 🙂
Warming up not only gets you ready to play, it protects your body by reducing the chance of injury. Do whatever you normally do to warm up for an athletic event, whether it is stretch, run around, take some shots with the puck, or whatever. I strongly recommend that you warm up before you go into the game even on nights when you arrive late and especially when it is cold out.
Monday night floor hockey in Sacramento is free for first time players! After that it is $7 each time you play.
We must come up with $65 as a group each time we play. As the organizer I put in the same amount of money ($7) as any other player.
Is this a fair price? Yes it is! Compare it to other athletic leagues. Then consider this:
Compare 2 hours of non-violent, co-ed floor hockey fun, where we won’t be kicked out and we have full access to the place, where we are the only people there on a regular basis on a Monday night, to any other form of entertainment or exercise and you’ll see that $7 or so is a bargain. If you went to a movie instead, you would pay close to $10 plus popcorn and soda, you would get loaded with sugar and salt and you wouldn’t get any exercise. If you joined a health club, like most people you would rarely go but you would pay anyway, probably $50 per month or so.
We also pay liability insurance each year due February 1 and this comes out to $10 per player for the year.
WEEKLY INVITATION EMAIL
Every week a representative of the Group sends out an invitation email about the upcoming game.
The invitations ask you, “Are you playing on Monday?” We are looking for a “yes”, “no”, or “maybe” reply, or something along those lines (give me a sign!) by Sunday night if you can. Your reply, even if it’s “no”, lets us know that you are interested in playing floor hockey, so thank you for replying even if you cannot play. If we don’t hear from you for 3 weeks in a row we may email you one more time to see if you are still interested. Then if we don’t hear from you we may assume you are not interested any more, and we won’t email you about floor hockey. However you can always write to ask to be put back on our invitation list. You can always come back and play. Only one player has ever been kicked out of The Floor Hockey Group.
My goal is to build a large enough and committed enough group of floor hockey fans that we play almost every Monday night all year long in the spirit of a friendly, social, safe, non-violent, yet competitive game. We’ve been playing in Sacramento year round since March 6, 2006 .
You are welcome to bring a friend. I look forward to playing floor hockey with you.
Mark at SacramentoFloorHockey dot com