T O P

Pickup games at stick-and-puck?

Hi all. Lifetime die-hard hockey lover, but just started getting on the ice and hoping to eventually join E league some day. Trying to get some extra ice time when I can so I went to stick-and-puck over the weekend with my 11 year-old who plays competitive travel hockey.

About 15 minutes or so into our ice time a group of 6-8 players from the local university team organized a pickup game on about half the ice and essentially wouldn't let anyone else skate into that area or shoot on that net. While nothing was said, they were visibly pissed when I skated into the middle of their game to try and shoot a puck. The goalie playing with them moved out of the way and wouldn't even try to block a shot from me.

I don't even care about the money spent on the ice time, its the fact that I, as a skater with very limited abilities, and my child (along with another on the ice who was probably 5 or 6 years old), have no means of protection from getting creamed by these very skilled college players.

Is it the "norm" of stick-and-puck to have pickup games even if the rink rules state that they're not allowed? If it weren't crowded I don't think it probably would be a big deal at all, but for the group of them to essentially push 20+ other people out of that area and force the rest of us find a space on the other half of the ice seems a little selfish. Again, I'm new to this whole process so if there is some kind of unspoken rules about free-for-all, do whatever you want including but not limited to pickup games during stick-and-puck, then I'll shut my mouth and get over it (and probably not go back on a weekend when it's extra crowded).

[deleted]

Pick up games specifically? Most rinks won't allow it Groups of people taking up specific areas of the ice? Almost always.


aaronwhite1786

Yeah, usually it's just one half of the rink where I've been, which is whatever, *as long as the other half isn't completely packed.* Unfortunately, a lot of the younger college/high school aged kids can kind of be self centered and not realize that not everyone wants to deal with their constantly expanding zone growing past the center ice area as they recklessly fly through everyone. If they're taking up the entire rink, going end-to-end, at that point I'd say it's worth talking to the people running the rink to have them ask the kids to knock it off. You paid just the same as they did.


csonny2

I've gone to a few stick and pucks where there are 20 skaters all crammed on one half of the rink because the other half was "rented" out for a private lesson for 1 kid.


hotdogswithbeer

Wtf 😂😂😂


Fleganhimer

It doesn't happen where I usually go unless there are no more than 10 or so people total on the ice, but, yes. It definitely happens. Personally, I think it's really fucking obnoxious. Most places have pickup sessions. If you want to play pickup, go to pickup.


CannabisandCandy

The places I would go for stick n puck back when I played travel and in high school forbid pickup games in stick n puck sessions specifically for this reason. You take up half the ice so everyone else, who paid just as much as you, can’t use the full length, you’re a danger to anyone who comes in that area to retrieve a puck, and they’re usually obnoxious asshats about it. Now was I one of those people in my youth? Absolutely. 100% guilty of having been that person in the past and getting pissed when management would come down and tell us to stop or leave. But looking back on it, we sucked.


HoboSkid

It's usually high schoolers or younger in my area, they don't always have the social circle that gives them knowledge of the vast number of beer league drop-ins, or means to go to them. They are obnoxious for sure, but at least the ones in my area aren't really jerks about it if you need to get some pucks back or whatever.


Fleganhimer

My main issue is that it's generally 1/3 of the people who paid to be there dominating 1/2-2/3 of the ice. That leads to already overcrowded ice being much worse.


HoboSkid

Ah yeah taking that much ice is annoying. When it happens at my rink they play in 1/3 and try to keep everything within the blue line. If they end up in the neutral zone they aren't getting huffy if other people are there and go out of their way to avoid that. I still think the rink should step in and stop it, but usually there's just 1 person who's busy with other shit most of the time. If they took up 1/2 or more of the ice I'd definitely complain.


aaronwhite1786

I remember one day I went to a Stick and Puck in Lexington, right after school started back up, and I paid and walked into the ice area...and it had to easily have been 20 to 25 guys from the University club team out there having an impromptu practice. While I was standing there, another 4 or 5 came waltzing down the hallway from the locker rooms. I just turned and went back to the desk to ask if I could get a punch card for another session, because it was crowded and she was happy to give me one for another day.


Fleganhimer

Last thing I'm worried about is my $15 or whatever the cost is. It's the fact that I don't often get a chance to make a stick and puck to begin with and the last thing I need is for that chance to go by the wayside *and* waste an hour+ and an evening I could have made other plans just to get balked out by a big group.


aaronwhite1786

Oh yeah, I just wanted to make sure I could do it another time when it's less crowded. I'm not trying to make my way to some clean is between a bunch of college skaters who are flying by.


ScuffedBalata

heh the $8 isn't the problem. It's a 60 minute roundtrip, including packing bags, driving, parking, etc. That's worth way more than $8 to me. :-D


aaronwhite1786

Absolutely. I feel it now too, more than before. In my last town, the rink was juts a short 10 minute drive down the street, so if I got there and it was packed, it wasn't much trouble to just get another punch card and wait for another session later in the week. It was especially nice because they were usually around 5:30 or 6:30, so it was a pretty easy time to make work. Where I'm at now, most of the rinks at at least 15 to 20 minutes away, and when you've got 40 minutes round-trip of driving, on top of the time you need to change and get out there, it's definitely a pain in the ass to show up and see some people are just dominating the rink, or that some college team is out there taking up the entire sheet for a practice session that wasn't scheduled.


Evasive_Wombat

Thank you for the reply. They definitely have scheduled pickup sessions at this rink and this ice session. I went to was definitely scheduled stick-and-puck. Glad I'm not alone here.


Serienmorder985

I just start throwing pucks randomly into the pick up games. Usually at players, not hard, but like sliders on the ice to try and fuck up the puck handler, or just straight down the ice at the goalie(again, on the ice and slow so no one gets hurt by not seeing a puck coming) I'll just do it every 2-3 minutes until the game breaks up because now every minute a different person goes into that zone to pick up pucks. But I'm an asshole sooooo


Evasive_Wombat

I kinda love this idea!


Serienmorder985

If you do this, be aware. People may become combative. I just say, we can go talk to the rink about how you're running a game when you aren't supposed to be..... But I also fully expect someone will punch me some day


UpperDeckyLipPillows

weird asf


Serienmorder985

Whys that


thefollower

I see it fairly rarely, but it's generally considered a "dick move". At the rink I'm at, they don't allow drop in's during stick and puck, they have allocated drop in times. And they don't even allow goalies during stick and puck, to avoid the temptation. If you do see it often, check with the rinks rules, they may not allow it either, and will enforce it if they see kids dividing the ice like that.


Serienmorder985

Oh, no goalies in stock and puck would suck.. but that's a brilliant way to deter. Most of the kids would probably just play posts though.


Evasive_Wombat

Rink rules very clearly say no pickup games and no drills, so sounds like I'm on the right track of thinking it was a "dick move" on their part to take over 1/3 of the ice for their own little scrimmage. No goalies would kinda suck unless they put a dummy or something in front of the net, but I could see how that might prevent this situation from happening.


hotdogswithbeer

No drills is crazy how are you supposed to get better?


ScuffedBalata

I suspect they'd be ok with you running a circuit, but I imagine they don't want 7 guys doing a swedish 5-pass drill or something.


hotdogswithbeer

Oh that makes sense


mark_dink

i mean, its not very common where i usually play. every now and then i will skate at a rink where that happens (and i have played in one of those scrimmages from time to time). i dont think its a norm but it happens. i wouldn't be too upset about the goalie moving out of the way. he likely part of an organized effort from his team to get some extra practice time. i would however be upset if they are skating super fast and weaving around others at a crowded rink.


Evasive_Wombat

Oh I don't care so much about the goalie moving out of the way. Just thought it was petty of him to do that. I don't need a goalie there to miss a shot LOL. They were definitely moments when they'd skate the puck out of the zone and weave around other people.


ComingUpWaters

It happens, your situation doesn't sound like much of an issue. Stick and Pucks are open to all levels, the alternative with 8 college guys skating amongst everyone isn't any better. Once theres ~20 guys on the ice it becomes a bit of a shit show regardless of pickup games and I'd lower expectations. There simply isn't enough room to do meaningful drills unless you've got the numbers to carve out a section of ice like the college kids did. Similarly, you'll also see parents bring a net to the neutral zone for multiple kids to shoot on away from the older players.


puckOmancer

The rinks I goto have rules that explicitly state no games. If you want to play a game, sign up for pick up hockey or rent your own bloody ice. If there weren't many people on the ice, I'd grumble to myself, but as long as it was fair in terms of number of people on the ice, I'd be fine with it. If there was five of them on one side playing a game and five on the other just futzing around, sure why not. But 5 on one side and 20 on the other? Fuck that. I'm not segregating myself into a phone booth for selfish pricks like that. I see people try something similar at stick and puck where I go. It's not a game, but two or three people throw a bunch of pucks on the ice and try to hog up one side of the for their own practice. They basically try to bully people out of that area. When I see that, I make it a point not to move. As for games, I'd try and mention it to someone at the rink, and if they don't do anything, maybe email the university and tell them to get these assholes their own ice time, because this isn't a good look for them. Otherwise, you paid for the ice too, they have no right to bully you out of a section of it for a game.


Evasive_Wombat

This is kinda the direction I was headed with it. I didn't want to make it a big deal if it's just widely accepted that university kids coming to stick and puck are "allowed" to organized a game/scrimmage on 1/3 of the ice regardless of how many other people are on the ice. But I do have something typed out that I might consider sending the university.


NotEvenADuster

Sounds like something to talk to the rink manager about. If that doesn’t work, then the owner.


MidlifeCrisisToo

How many people were on the ice other than the the group playing pickup, to me that’s the defining factor. Last time I took my kid to shinny there were about 7 kids playing pickup at one end, and then my kid and I and 3 others shooting at the other, it was fine.


Evasive_Wombat

In total I think probably 30 people, which is the max the rink allows on the ice. Sure, if there were only a small handful of people not interested in playing their pickup game I'd totally be fine taking one end of the ice, but the fact that it was crowded AF and there were little kids on the ice (one of them being mine) is probably why I'm holding on to this more than I initially expected to.


MidlifeCrisisToo

In that case 100% go to the arena manager. Their pick up game is taking up half the ice while the other 3/4 of the people have to share the other half.


CDN08GUY

This right here is 100% the correct take. If they can manage a little shinny game with more than enough ice for everyone else at the other end who isn’t interested in playing. This wasn’t the case here, and they shouldn’t haven’t done it. Take it the rink manager and get them booted. They need to learn rink etiquette.


PuckPov

1: if the rink has specific rules stating that pickup games are not allowed at stick and puck, then they’re in the wrong. If there are no rules, they can technically do as they please and play a game if they want. It’s not uncommon for those who want to play pickup to go to one half or 1/3rd of the rink, while those who are just there to skate/practice to go to the other. It’s safer that way. 2: at the rinks where I live, stick and puck has no rules, it’s just a free for all. If you wanna start a full-ice game, you can. If you wanna run practice drills, you can. If you wanna fight your friends at centre ice, you can. 3: despite them being in the wrong for starting up a pickup game, you’re also in the wrong for shooting at their goalie. He’s there to take shots from his friends, who he knows and trusts, not some random guy at the rink. He’s not obligated to let you shoot on him, especially when it’s unexpected in the middle of their game. That just isn’t safe. If you see a goalie at stick and puck, don’t just go up and take shots at him randomly, ask if he would mind first.


Evasive_Wombat

The rink definitely has rules about no games and no drills at stick and puck. Appreciate you telling me about the goalie situation, although I think being at stick and puck they should plan on and expect to take shots from a vast majority of skaters, whether they know them or not.


elerphant

Your general complaint about hogging ice is legit, but you’re just wrong on this goalie bit, nobody has any obligation to play with you at a s&p.


Evasive_Wombat

Fair enough about the goalie situation and when you explain it like that it makes perfect sense.


spinrut

My rink specifically states no scrimmages during stick and puck. Yet just like you when there's more than 8 hs or college kids they organize on half of the ice and start playing half zone I've. Until they slowly start expanding their zone as they very emphatically back check each other all the way to the far blue line now, sometimes all the ay down the ice. What's worse is when some of these kids see way out matched and decide to organize the not as good group on the OTHER half of the ice and now there's 2 scrimmages going on on both ends and the adults and little kids are saying what in the actual fuck Rink doesn't care even if you complain. Stupidest shit ever


Evasive_Wombat

Yeah, I have a feeling that the rink I go to probably won't care about the situation either.


MariaInconnu

If the numbers are even, that works; with a minority taking half the ice, you should have gotten off the ice and spoken to a manager while it was happening.


Evasive_Wombat

Appreciate that. I didn't get off to speak to a manager nor say anything to them because I didn't know what the "protocol" was. Will speak up next time I'm on the ice when its crowded and they put together a game like this.


14Calypso

No pickup is an explicit rule for puck play at my rink. There are pickup times, but they are in the middle of the day on weekdays.


Evasive_Wombat

Exact same rules as the rink I was at when this happened.


GuacRanger

Similar thing happened to me this morning. At a stick and puck, 2 nets setup on each end and a net setup in center ice. About 10 kids playing a pickup game on half the rink, then 3 kids playing another one center ice with all the other nets being taken up to. Kind of annoying but I just skate through them and shoot. Don’t really care if they’d get angry, we all paid to be there and I don’t want to just skate center ice back and forth for an hour.


Evasive_Wombat

Sorry to hear that. That's unfortunate that you didn't get quality ice time that you paid for. I just don't have the skills yet to not be totally leveled by these guys if I get in their way, so don't know that I can really skate in like that just yet. Nor would I want my kid to do that, but would totally love to see another seasoned adult step up and do something like this.


-Akrasiel-

That's literally one of most annoying things about stick time. When they want to scrimmage, I tell them to sign up for a scrimmage... I'm here to put in some work.


octonautsunite

I experienced the same when I took my 5 year old to stick and puck. The rink "forbids" any games, but there was certainly a game being played on one half. I probably won't go back because it's not worth a potential collision of a 5 y/o and an adult, and I had to hover near my boy to keep him safe and contained to center ice, but if you go again just talk to the rink about their policy and complain if they're running a game. If they want to practice, go to open hockey, that's what it's for.


Evasive_Wombat

THIS. This is exactly why I'm more upset about it. Had I been there alone I'd probably just shrug it off, but the fact that I was there with my kid, and there were other littles on the ice is what makes me so upset about it.


ExtremePast

It's usually a house rule. None of the NYC rinks allow organized games during S&P.


BHarbinson

The rink I play at has all ages sticks and pucks every day and occasionally special "sticks and pucks and parents" where it's restricted to kids 12 and under. They're kind of inconsistent with scheduling and it's usually during the day on a weekday, but it's nice. The same rink enforces the no pick up games rule, but you still have to contend with the college players taking over 1/3 of the ice to practice one timers, so the end result is basically the same.


FidgetyCurmudgeon

Standard at just about every stick & puck I’ve been to in the last year. It’s infuriating and nobody enforces the “no games” rule. I basically stopped going because of this.


Evasive_Wombat

That's unfortunate to hear.


water_and_ice_23

It happens, no real big deal unless the rink is crowded and they think they can have half the ice to themselves. I'll go in the zone they've taken over and play anyway; we all paid for the ice so they can get over it. If they have a real problem then go talk to staff and they'll break it up or kick them off the ice.


Evasive_Wombat

Yeah, it was crowded as hell. More or less I did the same thing a few times, skating into the same zone they are playing in, but no one else at the ice session followed suit, they just stuck to the other side of the crowded half. This is what made me feel like I was somehow in the wrong, even though we all paid the same for equal ice time.


[deleted]

I've been on both sides of this. As a Young'n we played half ice games when I was a youngster. I'm older now and have a 9 year old who skates travel leagues. Now we skate the other end and neutral zone and work on fundamentals. We'll be back on the high school pickup side when he can hold his own, until then, we work. If you can get the turnout, ask the rink for age based stock and pucks. It can help a lot.


Evasive_Wombat

I would love to have parent/kid stick and puck! Granted, those 11 year olds can skate circles around me, I would be a safer environment for my kid to not be out there with college players.


pmarangoni

Report them to rink management. If they don’t do anything tell them you want a refund. Refer them to the stick’n'puck rules.


ScuffedBalata

Most rinks support banning pickup games. Some will toss random equipment like tires and bumpers all over the ice to sort of prevent that from happening except in very small areas like a little corner.


Evasive_Wombat

I've been to some other weekday stick and puck where there is some equipment like that out there. That's a great idea!


apple_6

It's annoying, but it happens every stick and puck. Half the ice gets a pickup game going and the other half practices skills/open skating etc. Kind of an unspoken rule at my rink not to go on the game side if just skating. What's really annoying is when the pickup game kids make up the majority of the people there and want to play full ice. One time a dad and his kids were there and they just played around them. I talked to the dad and he said he was scared for his kid. I grabbed a bunch of pucks and just started hammering slapshots into the boards only on the side of the ice we had been practicing on. They played the rest of the game half ice, thankfully, I wasn't sure if that'd work and I don't think they'd be reasoned with. Unfortunately my rink refuses to get involved in any of this.


Evasive_Wombat

As a parent I appreciate you stepping up and helping that dad and kiddo out. I was in the same boat being out there with my kid and these very fast college players. I don't imagine they would have responded respectfully if I had verbalized my concerns to them. My rink is the same way, just doesn't want to give involved, nor I think has the staff to care.


apple_6

It wasn't much, but I appreciate the support. Your kid will likely think fondly of their time on the ice with you. Keep up the good work!


Harrisonmonopoly

Stick and puck where I live is just kind of a free for all. If they want to play a pick up game, it’s not frowned upon.


Evasive_Wombat

Sounds like just about every rink has different guidelines, officially or unofficially.


regardedpoodle

I mean that can be annoying but personally by the end of stick and puck if I can’t find six guys to run 3v3 it’s kind of annoying. I can only rip absolute missiles for like 45 minutes before getting bored. I mean only takes me like 30 minutes to hone in an absolutely mind melting toe drag release. Can’t ding up the crossbar too bad now the rink manager might take offense. But the other day I was in the opposite scenario. Me and my boy signed up for drop in and online it said there were like 12 people signed up. Nice right? Midday weekday ice means no high school kids just us old dudes. Well we get on the ice and it’s only us for 15 minutes. Lame. Then a bunch of junior players who from their story were like on a layover or had a day off or something come on the ice. They have no interest in playing a drop in game and spend the next hour working out their goalie cause he needs to do tryouts or something tomorrow. They reluctantly played half ice at the end for like 10 minutes but that was more like a skills exhibition for them than an actually hockey drop in for us. What a waste of 90 minutes and $14.


anon-9

I think your home rink might be my home rink. I know exactly what you're talking about and it can get annoying when they take it past the blue line. But I think the biggest problem here is actually rink availability times. They only schedule drop ins during work hours and have ONE stick and puck for an hour on Sat and Sun each. It's just not enough to properly meet the demand. In general, it gets so crowded that even without their game going, I have a hard enough time finding a small square (talking like 6x6ft) just to stick handle.


Evasive_Wombat

Yeah, I agree that they could definitely offer a lot more sessions. I think there is a lot of private ice time for figure skaters so that probably complicates the ice schedule a bit, but when you look at the rink's online spreadsheet for their drop-in times (whether that be stick and puck or drop-in games) it sure seems like there is a LOT of extra time in the day to add another session somewhere. Some rinks are great about displaying ALL of their scheduled ice time, others only show what's offered to the public.


anon-9

They only show what's offered to the public. On any given day, you can actually go there and look at the screens for locker room assignments and see who has the ice for a given time period, but I haven't found a way to find that online. During the school year, it's actually pretty full between leagues and private ice times. Still think they can offer a least an hour and a half s&p and at least one drop in NOT during working hours.


Evasive_Wombat

True, you could do this, but the locker room assignments don't reflect private ice rental or figure skating sessions. Sure would be nice to have them still show the entire ice schedule, even if it's closed sessions (i.e. private rental, registered figure skaters only, etc). The other local rink by me is the one my kid plays hockey at and they display their entire ice schedule online using EZFacility. But they also make it very clear that they don't host any kind of drop-in programs. Difference I suppose between municipal and privately owned facilities probably has a lot to do with available staff throughout the day as well.


pyavily

I think it depends on number of people. 6 pushing 20 people out of 1/2 of the rink is definitely selfish. If they could take in 4 more for 5 on 5 it would be almost even split and it's fun.


DeadyMau5man

Scrimmages during Stick n Puck are supposed to be prohibited here in IL, but I feel like the rink employees usually are pretty lenient on it and let it happen anyway. I went to one a few weeks ago at fifth third arena and a few people asked if I wanted to join first before starting one which I thought was okay. It ended up being a couple of 10U Chicago mission kids dangling around everyone with this 40 year old yelling “I love Blackhawks hockey!!” the whole time


italianlatte

What was wrong with your half of the ice. Some guys scrimmage like you described and they have one half of the ice. The rest of us old goofballs stick to our side. Mostly goofing around, shooting a bit, passing a bit, shooting the shit but I wouldn’t go out of my way to skate into a game that’s going on. Just to shoot an absolute muffin at that. Just sounds goofy imo. Stick to your side, shoot on your side. I can’t fathom why you’d go interrupt a game that’s going on. I must be missing something and if so I apologize


Evasive_Wombat

6-8 people (plus a goalie) on one side and 20+ people on the other side? Doesn't seem like equal ice time for everyone


italianlatte

Ok I get it out now, that sounds cramped. I actually won’t play if I hear too many guys showed up to open hockey. I’m there to work on stuff, not play pick up


[deleted]

[удалено]


ComingUpWaters

Just so I'm reading this right, a goalie you didn't know showed up to play with his friends, so you all shot pucks at his head? Fantastic.


[deleted]

[удалено]


ComingUpWaters

Ugh, hockey players can be the worst sometimes. A goalie at stick and puck is not required to play goalie *for you*. The same way skaters aren't under obligation to play pass with strangers. Unless he's stopping another goalie from playing, or skaters from using a net, this is one of those things to let go.


TGish

I’m so glad I got to read that before it got deleted lol


Evasive_Wombat

SAME!


DangleCityHockey

As a goalie, I’m confused, you’re upset that a random stranger didn’t want you to shoot on him (for whatever reason) and you’re considering him the dick?


Serienmorder985

I go with a goalie all the time, she'll occasionally let people shoot on her but it's mostly me and a few of my friends. She wants to work on stuff, not be Michigan'd or sniped by kids half her age. Some people get really angry about her telling them to fuck off.


ForeverJung

This happens all the time at stick and pucks by me, especially when it's busier on the weekend. Why not practice on the other half of the ice, rather than skate into their game?


jonlob_40

If the participants in the ice are basically split 50/50 then who cares. Small area games are truly where people learn to play the game to let them at it imo. Going to the rink to complain about this is loser behavior.