A Hockey Primer for Black Girls

black hockey players

So as I mentioned in the Valentines Day post, half-Canadian hubby and I took in a hockey game as our V-day date night activity.

I had already been to a hockey game once back in high school when the team first came to the area.  Quite a few of the under aged players were in classes where I went to school so I decided to take my lil’ bro and sister.  I don’t remember much about that game except it was a fun outing with the clan.  Oh wait – it was loud.  That, I remember.

Anyway, attending a game as an adult I have to say it was a fun activity to do together.  I got dressed up (not too much though, I mean, it is just a hockey game) and enjoyed taking in the scene.

Even with the gentlemen in the row in front of us graciously filling us in on the finer points of the action of the game (thanks Fellas!) – I still had almost no idea what was happening.  So, I vowed to learn at least the very basics before I go back again and this is what I came up with:

Basic Rules of Hockey:

  • There are 3 periods in a hockey game lasting 20 minutes each for a total of 60 minutes per game, unless extended by overtime and/or a shoot out.
  • Object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team (duh!) by the time the game ends.
  • There’s a total of 6 players on each team including the goaltender (goalie).  The “main” guy on each team is called the “forward.”  Think of him as the quarterback in football (like Russell Wilson) or point guard in basketball (like Kobe Bryant).

The rest of the game is each team trying to make opportunities for themselves or their team mates to score on the opposing team.  Either by body checking from the front hip or torso of the opposing player and only if that player is in possession of the puck, by being the first to get to a unguarded puck and take possession, or by straight up stealing that shit.

Hockey No-No’s (main issues that will stop the clock):

Offsides – When a player gets to the offensive zone before the puck does OR if the puck is passed across the blue line and the center line.

Icing – If the puck is passed from behind the center red line and makes it untouched all the way to the opposing goal line and then an opposing player goes for it.

There are of course other penalties that will stop the clock, mostly having to do with undue or dangerous force but that goes beyond my understanding of the game.  You’ll know it when you see it.

Black Girl Tips for Enjoying Hockey:

1) Unless your seats are very good (and even then, I wouldn’t recommend it) DO NOT go high.  The puck is simply too small, and moves way too quickly for stoner eyes to follow.

2) Everyone seems to hate the refs.  At least they did at the Silvertips/Thuderbirds game I went to.  They got booed.  A lot.  Don’t be skeered, at least they’re not booing you.

3) Be prepared for the madness that ensues when the home team makes a goal.  I wasn’t ready for it, and was halfway to the ground in the “duck and cover” position before I realized it was part of the game.  I was relived to find no one got shot.

4) I am 99.9% sure I was literally (and by literally, I mean the Oxford definition) the only Black person in the entire building.  I didn’t even see any Black custodial staff.  This, of course,  It’s nothing new – but was a little unnerving.  I felt kind of like this guy:


“They told me this was a basketball game.”

5) Black hockey players are rare and they probably don’t play for your home team.  In any case,  know em’, love em’ support em.’ 

And…that’s it!  Regardless of whether or not you’re into sports – (lawd, child, unless it’s the Seahawks I don’t care) you’ll at least have a good time socializing in a new environment.  Maybe catch some blood lust from the fights that are sure to break out on the ice!

Y’all ever see any black folks at a hockey game?