Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Inline Hockey: Summer

Inline hockey in the summer time. Back when I was younger, we played hockey all year round. The fall and winter were the ideal times. It wasn't too hot for us wearing our hockey equipment and not too many people would be at the park using the hockey rink for something else. In the summer time, it was a different story. Not only would there be more people wanting to use the rink, but sometimes it would be difficult to play hockey without feeling sick.

If you do decide to play hockey in the summer and it is at an outdoor rink, make sure you bring plenty of water and gatorade. You can easily get dehydrated if you do not. This will happen when you are wearing all your protective equipment while playing hockey. If you overheat your body will get dizzy and you'll feel like throwing up. It's not the best feeling in the world, so all hockey players keep this warning in your head.

There are a couple of ways we used to play hockey in the summer without the heat getting to us. They aren't recommended, but I'll mention them anyway. We never used our helmets. This may seem pretty stupid to me now, but at the time it helped with the heat. In fact, our hockey pads would probably drop to only what we felt we needed. For example, I only used to wear my shin pads and gloves. I didn't wear any other hockey equipment in the summer except for the hockey pants that went over the shin pads. I wouldn't even think of putting on shoulder pads in the summer.

Speaking of shoulder pads, I always felt bad for our goalies. They on the other hand, did wear all of their goalie equipment when we played hockey in the summer. They would sometimes get sick and need a break in between playing. If you are a goalie, make sure you bring plenty of fluids if you decide to play in the summer heat. The temperature for the day is what really makes it difficult to play. If it went above 90ยบ, then we most likely would cancel our hockey for that day. In my personal opinion, it is best to play in the low to mid 80s at most in the summer. Any higher than that and it starts to become a chore to play roller hockey.

If the temperature was way to high, but we just had to play hockey, there were a couple of other options. One was to rent a skating rink out. These were air conditioned so playing hockey in them meant we could do so without the discomfort of the heat. They would require us to wear all of our hockey equipment though. The other option was to join a summer hockey league. We did do this, but they are expensive. Sometimes renting the hockey rink would be the better option. So, as you can see there are plenty of things to consider when playing inline hockey in the summer.

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