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Beer League Start Times


ilyazhito
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Why are beer league games so late at night? I get that youth hockey takes priority, because there are SO MANY youth teams, between house, travel, and high school programs, but it seems ridiculous nonetheless that there are so many games that start after 10 and/or end the next day. It's annoying to have to choose between hockey and getting a decent night's sleep. 

If I'm in a league, it's one thing, because I'll not have to play late every week (sometimes I might luck out with a 7:30 or 8 PM game). Until then, is there a way to control the games I sub for? Until I get on a team, I'd like to get a decent amount of rest so I can do well at work, school, and officiating. I try to have lessons either early morning or some time in the evening before 8, so that I'm physically and mentally effective. 

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Always a challenge with beer league. Some (ASHL, I think?) had an option that you could pay more and not have the late games. Some others just leave you to the whim of the schedule maker. 

I stopped playing beer league partially for this - 11:15pm games across town is just ridiculous. So I hear you, haha.

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There are a few things at play like minor league participation in the arena, total ice rinks, size of beer leagues, etc.

But I have seen a correlation in regards to skill level and ice times. My team is div 6 out of 21 (for 18+) and this entire season we'll have a total of 3 games that start later than 9:15. This is also in an arena with 6 hockey rinks, so it allows the organizers a lot of wiggle room to move teams around.

There's an interesting power struggle between two of the larger beer league organizations here in that they actively seek to keep a higher skill level in their ranks instead of the competitors. There was a time, years ago, that the top divs left one organization for another due to not getting preferential time slots.

Power to the people and all that jazz lol.

I know when I was first starting I was eager for any ice time I could and dealt with the shitty ice times. Hell, I remember being a part of a private, 4 team "midnight hockey" league. Our ice times were always 11:00 or 12:00 at night on Fridays.

Would never do it again and I routinely turn down any ice times that start at 10:00pm or later.

I'm a ice time snob now.

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My kids play. Here's what the rink has on tap before your beer league...

  • House leagues typically get one night a week and a game on the weekends. Usually PW and lower aged kids.
  • Tier 2 programs (AA and lower) - Two practice slots a week and one weekend game slot. Rinks typically have B, A, AA at every level (some have more). So you have Mites, Squirts, PW, Bantams, Midgets and 18U. They have to wait until school is done for start times. Also, rinks try to keep the little guys before 8 pm and the older kids will go later. 
  • Tier 1 - if the rink has that too - (AAA, etc.) will get three practice slots a week plus games on the weekends. Same as the Tier 2 with little guys earlier and older later.
  • Rinks will then have High School practices or games too. My son's HS practice times are 9:15 - 10:30 pm once a week. Men's league time..
  • HS will play Friday and sometimes Monday nights for games around here. Wiggle that in.
  • Figure skating? The kids that do that get pushed to daytime hours if at all.
  • Private sessions? My kids have done those either before school or right at 2-3 pm. I've pulled them out of school early occasionally too to get their session in.
  • Our rink has a juniors program with several teams. Those kids practice daily during the day.
  • Also local college teams will get ice. I see them getting on 10pm or 11 pm some nights. They're college kids anyway - so 11 pm is early for them.

My son's midget team gets ice reasonably early. But 845 start time leads to a 10 pm next available slot for that rink. 

Finally - every rink needs a good youth program to survive. Season goes from August to March and all that ice time is paid for by the thousands that each kid is charged. They push for pre-tryout camps in March and April with tryouts for next season then. PW and lower is March here and the older kids are in April. Tier 1 goes first then Tier 2 and all. Spring team hockey? Grabbing up spring ice slots just like the regular season. Summer teams are the same. But then you can get summer camps going that buy up the daytime ice.

Rinks near here are scheduled out. Men's leagues always get the later times as they aren't the bread and butter stable income that the youth hockey provides. They are just using the remainder of the day that the rink is open. It's not a bad thing. But tough for us old guys for sure.

Edited by MTH
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For me how far the rink is makes a huge difference,  especially of I'm subbing. 

The closest rink is less than 10 minutes and the farthest is 45.  Most of my games are thankfully at the closer, the Kraken practice rink. 

I'll play my normal games later and far bit now way in hell I'd sub 45 minutes away after 10pm.

Late games suck more the older I get, but if the alternative is not playing,  it's fine.

We have a thing on our time called the "10:30 flu." Only divas catch it 😊

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1 hour ago, seagoal said:

We have a thing on our time called the "10:30 flu." Only divas catch it 😊

My old team used to play so much better in the late games with 7 or 8 guys - our best players seemed least susceptible to the flu haha

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3 hours ago, ilyazhito said:

Why are beer league games so late at night? I get that youth hockey takes priority, because there are SO MANY youth teams, between house, travel, and high school programs, but it seems ridiculous nonetheless that there are so many games that start after 10 and/or end the next day. It's annoying to have to choose between hockey and getting a decent night's sleep. 

If I'm in a league, it's one thing, because I'll not have to play late every week (sometimes I might luck out with a 7:30 or 8 PM game). Until then, is there a way to control the games I sub for? Until I get on a team, I'd like to get a decent amount of rest so I can do well at work, school, and officiating. I try to have lessons either early morning or some time in the evening before 8, so that I'm physically and mentally effective. 

Where are you trying to play? For some reason Maryland is popping into my head? Where in Maryland?

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Welcome to men's/beer league - where the games are late, the beer and bullshit flows like fine wine, the turnaround feels shorter as you age and the only thing consistent is that you're going to get chased out of the locker room in the midst of enjoying your beer.

As everyone else has mentioned - beer league is the lowest priority (and the group most likely to still show up even in the face of inopportune times). Your best bet for earlier times is the attrition of kids teams from your local rink. When I started beer league close to twenty years ago our start times were 9 - 12ish. As the kids teams have migrated from the area we get times as early as 7/7:30 towards the spring and don't start any later than 9:45 throughout the year.

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Recently a lot of rinks designate Sunday as beer league day. Since youth hockey is usually Saturday morning and public skates are Friday and Saturday night (teenager mating ritual), that allows Sunday to be devoted to the wretched of society, the beer league hockey player. That helps avoid consistent late time slots. If your league plays during the week, you’re stuck with late start times. 

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20 hours ago, jacksork said:

Where are you trying to play? For some reason Maryland is popping into my head? Where in Maryland?

I live in Rockville. The closest rinks to me are, in order, Rockville Ice Arena, Cabin John, and Wheaton. In VA, the closest rinks are Fairfax Ice Arena and the Medstar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington. It's a pity there is no adult hockey in DC proper. 

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Might be worth checking out the leagues a little further away if they are still going on. Its been a little over 10 years since I lived (and played) down there, but Laurel Ice Gardens, Wells and Piney Orchard all had beer league games that I played in around the 7PM time slots during the week, and the weekend you typically got mid to late afternoon times. And we were able to get those times year round, even when the youth hockey was in full swing.

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It's crazy you guys have "beer league day."  You must live in small towns.

My league has 9 divisions and we play Sunday-Thursday.  Lowest divisions play Sunday and highest divisions play Thursday and it progresses through the week like that, generally speaking.

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On 1/21/2022 at 12:15 PM, seagoal said:

It's crazy you guys have "beer league day."  You must live in small towns.

My league has 9 divisions and we play Sunday-Thursday.  Lowest divisions play Sunday and highest divisions play Thursday and it progresses through the week like that, generally speaking.

Sounds like you have beer league day too. lol.

I don't even know how many leagues there are within a 30 minute drive from me. There's a crazy amount of hockey around here, the larger four leagues are quite massive:

ASHL Burnaby (6 rinks)

- Weekend League: 10 Divisions
- Women League: 7 Divisions
- 18+ League: 20 Divisons
- 30+ League: 12 Divisons
- 40+ League: 4 Divisons

ASHL North Vancouver (3 rinks)

- Womens: 2 Divs
- Coed: 3 Divs
- Mens 50+: 2 Divs
- Mens 40+: 1 Div
- Mens 30+: 3 Divs
- Mens 19+: 8 Divs

PAHL Coquitlam: (4 rinks)
- Mens 19+: 8 Divs

PAHL Delta: (4 rinks)

- Mens 19+: 5 Divs
- Mens 30+: 8 Divs
- Mens 40+: 2 Divs

Each div has between 5-9 teams.

This isn't including a plethora of other leagues situated around me.

Everyday there's lots of hockey going on around here.

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11 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

Sounds like you have beer league day too. lol.

I don't even know how many leagues there are within a 30 minute drive from me. There's a crazy amount of hockey around here, the larger four leagues are quite massive:

ASHL Burnaby (6 rinks)

- Weekend League: 10 Divisions
- Women League: 7 Divisions
- 18+ League: 20 Divisons
- 30+ League: 12 Divisons
- 40+ League: 4 Divisons

ASHL North Vancouver (3 rinks)

- Womens: 2 Divs
- Coed: 3 Divs
- Mens 50+: 2 Divs
- Mens 40+: 1 Div
- Mens 30+: 3 Divs
- Mens 19+: 8 Divs

PAHL Coquitlam: (4 rinks)
- Mens 19+: 8 Divs

PAHL Delta: (4 rinks)

- Mens 19+: 5 Divs
- Mens 30+: 8 Divs
- Mens 40+: 2 Divs

Each div has between 5-9 teams.

This isn't including a plethora of other leagues situated around me.

Everyday there's lots of hockey going on around here.

 

 

 

Haha, well I didn't see yours ain't bigger 😉

We have 9 Divisions with subdivisions plus the 40+ league.  We play in 5 rinks, and the Kraken rink has 3 sheets. 

There are 3 other rinks in the metro area that we do not play in + 2 WHL arenas and 1 NHL arena and then 2 other rinks further out.

So we have a lot, just not Canadian big city levels.

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2 hours ago, seagoal said:

Haha, well I didn't see yours ain't bigger 😉

We have 9 Divisions with subdivisions plus the 40+ league.  We play in 5 rinks, and the Kraken rink has 3 sheets. 

There are 3 other rinks in the metro area that we do not play in + 2 WHL arenas and 1 NHL arena and then 2 other rinks further out.

So we have a lot, just not Canadian big city levels.

I have heard that the Seattle area has the most adult rec hockey players per capita than any other city in the U.S.

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1 hour ago, Naz said:

I have heard that the Seattle area has the most adult rec hockey players per capita than any other city in the U.S.

I believe it.  

For a long time our primary league was the 5th largest hockey league in the US. 

Not sure where it sits nowadays.

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10 hours ago, jacksork said:

Might be worth checking out the leagues a little further away if they are still going on. Its been a little over 10 years since I lived (and played) down there, but Laurel Ice Gardens, Wells and Piney Orchard all had beer league games that I played in around the 7PM time slots during the week, and the weekend you typically got mid to late afternoon times. And we were able to get those times year round, even when the youth hockey was in full swing.

I'll check out Wells and Laurel. I know Laurel has adult hockey, but I'm not sure if Wells does. I'll also check Piney Orchard, but I think Laurel is my most likely bet. I'll also check the Capitals Iceplex to see what the game times are. 

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Here is pretty mild compared to the rest of you guys. I have 4 sheets and 2 leagues within a half hour drive, but  stick to 1 rink that has 2 sheets during the winter (one of the others completely shuts down in the off season) so I’ll explain that. 
tier II travel youth hockey is on a decline here, splitting between three organizations in the area that might have 1 team at each level. We have a tier II jr A team at our main rink and our main rink is the practice rink for the local SPHL team when their arena is being otherwise used. Daytime is instruction, figure skating, etc. Monday skating lessons, high school teams. Tue-Thur youth hockey, house 1x/wk 2-4 teams per session, travel 2x/wk full ice, shared ice with younger divisions. Fri-Sun Jr. A might have their game slots, youth, high school on Sunday nights, and and adult 4 divisions 4-5 teams/division spread throughout the afternoons evenings with the late games at 8:30. We have run into a situation where we almost have too much ice as youth hockey declined over the years. Honestly, I could see 1 of our rinks closing in the next 5 years. 

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On 1/21/2022 at 9:43 PM, ilyazhito said:

I'll check out Wells and Laurel. I know Laurel has adult hockey, but I'm not sure if Wells does. I'll also check Piney Orchard, but I think Laurel is my most likely bet. I'll also check the Capitals Iceplex to see what the game times are. 

I've been to these rinks for games. The MedStar rink is tough. It's in downtown Arlington. On top of a parking garage. Then they limit games to their allotted time slots. Regardless of your game clock, the ice time is limited to the scheduled slot. So there is a second count down time that is priority one. We've had to make some 3rd periods running clocks to get the game in.

This was when the Little Capitals AAA team still played there.

Wells rink is closed due to covid last I checked.

Laurel - Gardens Ice Rink I think - has a killer adult league. When you walk into the rear rink, there are huge walls plaques for all the season champs. Some of the team names are hilarious. 

I was just down at the St. James facility for a MLK tournament. Nice place. It's like a mall. I can't see men's league happening there unless its all rich guys.

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On 1/22/2022 at 11:36 PM, wishEMT said:

Here is pretty mild compared to the rest of you guys. I have 4 sheets and 2 leagues within a half hour drive, but  stick to 1 rink that has 2 sheets during the winter (one of the others completely shuts down in the off season) so I’ll explain that. 
tier II travel youth hockey is on a decline here, splitting between three organizations in the area that might have 1 team at each level. We have a tier II jr A team at our main rink and our main rink is the practice rink for the local SPHL team when their arena is being otherwise used. Daytime is instruction, figure skating, etc. Monday skating lessons, high school teams. Tue-Thur youth hockey, house 1x/wk 2-4 teams per session, travel 2x/wk full ice, shared ice with younger divisions. Fri-Sun Jr. A might have their game slots, youth, high school on Sunday nights, and and adult 4 divisions 4-5 teams/division spread throughout the afternoons evenings with the late games at 8:30. We have run into a situation where we almost have too much ice as youth hockey declined over the years. Honestly, I could see 1 of our rinks closing in the next 5 years. 

I'm in Philly area - so operating costs aren't cheap in these parts sadly.

There was a new nice rink in Vineland, NJ that shut after 5 years. Their youth program didn't get to the necessary level to sustain. They had great men's league times and held Men's league tournaments. But it wasn't enough. Canlan operated it in it's final years. They gave it all they could.

Now it's a cold storage facility.

image.jpeg.8915b116ec241fe008b41c44ebd235ff.jpeg

Now it's Americold Storage. You can see the huge complex and truck bays added to the back.

Americold Acquires Cold Storage Owner Agro Merchants Group for $1.7B -  REBusinessOnline

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