A Fight? Let Me Show You Who is the Boss

Fights are an integral part of team sports. They are bound to happen when both sides are looking to beat the opponent. Sometimes, fights are due to misconduct and creating a tension on purpose. More often, these fights happen randomly, thanks to intense adrenaline and varying circumstances, in which no one really wanted to hurt a rival.

In ice hockey you can see fights very often. However, in  men’s hockey fighting is far more present, primarily because the rules of the game make it possible. Men’s hockey allows clean body checking, making it much more of a contact sport. Not to mention, it is in men’s nature to be more aggressive, willing to resolve a conflict with their fists,  ‘showing who is the boss”.

I WILL SHOW YOU WHO’S THE BOSS

Of course, from time to time, clashes occur in women’s hockey as well, but certainly not at the same extent as with men’s. Female hockey rules do not allow much physical contact. Ice hitting is forbidden, but rubbing out on the boards is allowed. The game is more based on technical skills. Unlike men, who are likely to get into fistsfights, women mostly solve their conflicts in shorter or longer quarrels. Indeed, women are more inclined to threaten verbally, but less likely to start a fight. However, that doesn’t mean that women’s sports fights don’t occur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7NdYjByLII

IF THE RULES WERE DIFFERENT, WOULD THE GLOVES COME OFF?

Some people are skeptical when it comes to women’s hockey. They don’t believe women have the ability to be aggressive and fight if need be. However, in reality most women’s hockey leagues have different rules then men’s. This prevents women from being able to do certain things that are more encouraged in men’s hockey.

That said, I wonder: if the rules were different, would women continue to simply threaten, yell and push each other, or would the gloves come off?

What do you think of the hockey fights? Have you ever been in one? Do you think the rules should be changed?

I THINK I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A BIG FIGHT

Aneta Lédlová (Czechia, 23): Fights like in the NHL league are exaggerated. However it is not uncommon for women to have a small fight in front of the net, when a player sprays, runs or slashes the goalie after the whistle. Even when you are trying to push your way through other players, sometimes it’s unavoidable to come to the blows or a fight. Honestly, I think I have never been in a big fight. But when I played with boys, fights happened often. It was funny. They always wanted to protect me.

I LEARNT MY LESSON

Dalene Rhode (South African Republic, 23): When I was younger I had my moments of pushing and shoving until I was punched and split my lip open. Actually, it’s quite a funny story. I was 13 years old, still playing with boys. We were playing regionals, when one of the bigger guys crossed checked me in the corner. I got up quickly, skated after him, and finally jumped on his back. He then swung me over his shoulder, gave me one punch and slit my lip open. During that time he did not know I was a girl and to this day he feels bad. But, I learnt my lesson.

IT WOULD BE FUN TO BE MORE PHYSICAL DURING THE GAMES

Andrine Furulund (Norway, 19) : Sometimes I find a bit strange that we are  not allowed to play more physically, but the rules are written to be respected. I have been sitting in a penalty box a lot, because I am quite a tall player, so whenever it comes to a collision, smaller players fall down, and I get a penalty. Frankly, I think it would be fun to be more physical during the games, but not too much. I don’t want the hits and fighting to ruin a game.

IF I GET A HIT, I WILL HIT BACK, FOR SURE

Tatiana Shchukina (Russia, 22): Fights are often in hockey, everybody knows that. When I was younger, as a defense player I had a few fights, mostly with boys. But now, as a goalie, I am not in a direct physical contact as the players. I get kicked from time to time, but I do not start it first. If someone hits me, I will hit back, for sure.  But only one hit, not a fight. My defense players will take care for the rest of it.

 

I DON’T FEEL FIGHTS ARE A PART OF OUR GAME

Amalie Andersen (Denmark, 18): I don’t really know what to think about fighting in hockey. It’s funny to see when men do it in the NHL league, but it doesn’t happen a lot in women’s hockey. I think that’s fine because I don’t feel that it’s a part of our game. I have been in a fight once, and that was last year at Worlds with U18, in the game against team Poland. It was in front of our own net, feelings were high. It was an important game, our goalie saved the puck, and a Polish player came in, hit her, and it all escalated.

SOMETIMES YOU GET INTO A FIGHT BECAUSE YOU STAND UP FOR YOUR TEAMMATE

Liga Miljone (Latvia, 20): I don’t think about fights at all,  because if players would have played a clear game then there would no be need for fights. Of course, it sometimes happens when you get into a fight because you stand up for your teammate, but then it is not a real fight. There is maybe a few hits, but nothing huge. Recently I had to react when my teammate got an awful hit. I thought that was absolutely not okay, so I had to interfere and stand up for her.

 

If you read these statements, you would agree that the girls mostly think the same about fights. They definitely occur, for many different reasons, but most of the girls do not pay too much attention to them.

 

 WINNING BY BEING THE BEST AND STRONGEST IS WHAT THE GAME IS ALL ABOUT

Marine Dinant (Belgium, a linesmen at IIHF, 23): I don’t think fighting should be a part of women’s hockey, because it has never been before. If i compare it with the men’s hockey I ref at home, I am happy women do not fight.

When men fight, it takes a lot of time in the game. It’s also a big thing about revenge, and it affects the whole team. I like it more when they play a good hockey game with speed and skills. Then you can see who is better and stronger. If they would allow fighting in women’s hockey, I think you would see a completely different game than they play right now. Now you can see the passion and the skills teams have. By allowing it, I think it would be less of it. Winning by being the best and strongest team is what the game is all about.

THE ONLY THING YOU WILL REMEMBER WILL BE THE FINAL RESULT

We all seem to agree what the game is really about: to play clean, to stay calm under pressure, to be the best teammate and athlete you can be, and, of course, to use our words and skills, and not our fists. It is clear that women’s hockey is different than men’s in many ways, but in the end, the only thing you will remember about the game, whether it’s men or women’s, is the final result.

 

A Penalty Box – Don’t Be Like The Simpsons!

All hockey players and fans are familiar with the penalty box aka “Sin Bin”: a  small space as part of an ice hockey rink, located next to the officials’ box.This is the area where a player sits to serve his or her time of the given penalty for minor offences such as body checking, holding, and tripping etc. Players who are sent to the sin bin are usually charged with offences that will have them sitting in the box for a minimum of 2 minutes. While penalties can go up to 10 minutes, offences can be severe enough to merit an outright expulsion from the game, charged to players causing serious injuries.
And what about female hockey players?

Here we look at some of them who have sat in the penalty box on the things that goes through their mind, and what they actually do while being served a penalty.

Amanda Backebo

Amanda Backebo (21, Sweden): I’m the kind of player that rarely ends up in the penalty box. But when it happens, it’s usually because of the opposite players fall down by themselves. Or  I got mistaken for the one who actually did something, or a team penalty. So,  I usually think of how blind the referees are, and that they are in a serious need of some glasses, or to visit ophtalmologists.

SKATING FROM THE PENALTY BOX BACK TO THE TEAM BENCH AFTER THEY SCORE IS THE WORST FEELING

Jaclyn Hawkins

Jaclyn Hawkins (32, Canada):  I very rarely took penalties. I could count on one hand how many I took during my university career. So, when I did, I would just pray and hope that the other team didn’t score while I was sitting there. Doing that skate from the penalty box back to the team bench after they score is the worst feeling.

THE FIRST THING I WATCH OUT FOR IS THE TIME AND MY COACH

Yasmin Kamal

Yasmin Kamal (31, Malaysia): I usually think about what I want to do when my penalty minute is over. If I should scan the ice and quickly get into position or change immediately? But the first thing I would watch out for is the time and my coach. My coach might want me to do something. So I always keep a look out for him from across the ice. With time, I know how much time I have so I can make a difference in that shift.

iF THE OTHER TEAM SCORES WHIL I HAVE A PENALTY, I FEEL LIKE MY TEAMMATES ARE MAD AT ME AND DISSAPOINTED IN MY ACTIONS

Amie Varano

Amie Varano (23, USA):  I try my best to stay out of the penalty box because I do not want my team to be down a player especially in an important game. If I do get a penalty it’s usually for checking. While I’m in the box I’m looking at the bench to see what my coach wants me to do, either go out and join the play or go straight to the bench. If the other team scores while I have a penalty then I feel like they are mad at me and disappointed in my actions.

iF THE PENALTY WAS REALLY MY FAULT, I APOLOGIZE TO THE TEAM

Anna Kublina

Anna Kublina (20, Latvia)I’m trying to stay away from penalty box. But when I’m sitting there, the first thing I think about is whether the penalty was really necessary. After that, I’m watching the game and hoping that my team play well. There have been a couple of times where the refs have made a really bad call, and I got pretty annoyed. But don’t we all think like that, do we? If the penalty was really my fault, when I get back to the bench, I apologize to the team.

i CRITICIZE REFS VERY RARELY, WHEN IT IS OBVIOUS THEY WERE WRONG

Wen Lin

Wen Lin (28, Singapore):  I criticize referees very rarely, when it is obvious they were wrong. There was once where my opponent covered the puck with her body and held on to my stick while lying down, refusing to let go and play the puck. The ref did not call. I got pissed and checked her into the board. While trying, I missed her twice, but when I checked her, I felt rather good. You know, checking is not allowed, but I get hot and short tempered during games. So it always feels good to let it out like that 😉

I FEEL BAD AND GUILTY AT THE SAME TIME

Reka Partos

Reka Partos (21, Hungary): The first thought that comes into my mind is that I can’t allow these factors to bother me next time, because in this way I put the whole team in a bad position, not just myself. They have to work much more and they have a less scoring chance. The second thing in my head is the hope they kill the penalty as much as possible. When I’m there I feel bad and a little guilty at the same time, because it’s not only me who takes responsibility for my actions.

THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU CUT

These ladies told us their thoughts and feelings while sitting and waiting in the penalty box. So, all we can conclude is serving the time of a given penalty is never easy. That’s why in the biggest fight you have to think twice before you cut –  otherwise, the consequences can be very bad for the team.

 

 

 

Are you a superstitious hockey player?

Are you a superstitious hockey player? Do you whisper some special prayers before stepping on ice? Do you skate to the opposite side when you see a black cat on a rink? 😀 Do you make special hairstyles before important matches? Do you beleive some special food can help you to win your opponent? Do you have your own private sorcerers?

These questions are just a small part of the various rituals and beleifs in the women’s hockey world. Some female players openly admit they believe in some supernatural powers. Others claim they have their own special rituals, but deny they are coiled.

And what do you believe in?

NEVER TAPE YOUR STICK BEFORE A GAME!

Veronika Bucifalova

Veronika Bucifalova (18, Czechia): I do have few rituals before game and I try to do them all every time. I will  not share all of them with you, just a few. Some people tape their stick before a game, I have a rule that I try not to break and that is NEVER TAPE YOUR STICK BEFORE GAME. So that is  a kind of my anti-ritual, but lets get back to the actual rituals. I’ve made a playlist of songs in my phone, and I have to listen to it before a game. I usually listen music until the coaches show up in the locker room. I also have a necklace that I only wear for a game for good luck. Maybe I could share more, but it is a little bit personal.

TAPING THE POST OR THE CROSSBAR WITH MY STICK

Sandra Abstreiter

Sandra Abstreiter (19, Germany):   Before a game I usually try to watch hockey videos or highlights, to get in the right mood. When we get to the rink I always try to have some fun with my teammates so that I don’t get too nervous. When it is time to get dressed I usually put on and tie my left skate first and strap on my left pad before the right one. On the ice I do what many goalies do which is taping the post or the crossbar with my stick before getting ready for the shot. During the game it is always important to stay focused throughout the whole game so I always try to not think about anything besides this game at the moment.

I HAVE TO WEAR THE SAME SOCKS EVERY TIME

Tia Marie Kay

Tia Marie Kay (19, USA):  I have a lot of small thing I need to do before stepping on the ice before a game. For starters, I get dressed by putting on my left skate first and then right and the same with my skin pads. I put my hockey pants on after my shin pads and then taping my shin pads up. Finishing it off my putting my top gear in. If I don’t get dressed like this I feel very off and kind of unorganized. I have to wear the same socks every time and sometimes if I am having a really good practice week before a game weekend, I won’t wash my socks before because I think that I would be washing away the hard work. 

I JUST SIMPLY BELEIVE IN ME, MY WORK AND MY TEAMMATES

Jelena Grković

Jelena Grković (20, Hungary): I do not beleive in rituals. But some of my teammates do unusual things before the game. Some of them act like ‘last time we won, we played in white jerseys, so we should play today  in white as well. Or ‘last time we won, I ate chicken and pasta, so that’s what I am gonna to eat ttoday, too”. Maybe it is good for them, because they strongly believe in it, and play more relaxed. I just simply believe in me, my work and my teammates

I ALWAYS NEED MUSIC BEFORE A GOOD GAME

Phoebe Staenz

Phoebe Staenz (23, Switzerland): I am not superstitious. But, certain things just need to be done. I like to tape my stick before a game. It helps me focus. I always need music before a good game. It is the easiest way to get me excited for the game and keep me for tensing up. Loosey goosey is how I like to start my game. Other than that I dont think rituals are any good unless they cant be influenced externally. I have had days where I forget to put on a certain item of gear at a certain sequence and It came down to not being focused on the game. 

PRE-GAME COFFEE IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Liga Miljone

Liga Miljone (20, Latvia):  I am superstitious. I think that every hockey player is at some point coiled. I have a few things that I do before games. When it comes to the equipment that has pairs, for example skates, gloves and so on, I always start with the right side and then comes left. I also have a special music playlist that I listen to while we are going or driving to the ice rink. And of course, pre-game coffee is very important!

I DON’T LET ANYONE TOUCH MY HOCKEY STICKS ON GAMEDAYS

Krista Yip-Chuck

Krista Yip-Chuck (28, Canada): I’m not someone who will get upset if my routine doesn’t go as planned. But I do have several superstitions. I won’t give all my secrets away but I typically change into my equipment left side first. I don’t let anyone touch my sticks on gamedays and like to play on a bit of an empty stomach. One funny story from last year is that my equipment manager would get me grape bubblegum before the game.

THE SAME TECHNICOLORED STRIPED UNDERWEAR

Danielle Sabido Imperial

Danielle Sabido Imperial (20, Philippines): Oh, definitely special underwear. 😀 Ever since I scored my first goal in the Manila Ice Hockey League, I made sure to keep wearing the same technicolored striped underwear. I thought why not I guess. Several though, not just a pair – I have enough of the same technicolored pattern.

Well, this is just a part of rituals and beleifs female players do before games, and there are a thousands others, for sure.. Some players call it superstition, some are just focusing on the game. Psychologists think it is important just to believe in something or  someone. It helps to player’s self-confidence and a better game. Whether it is underwear, putting the equipment in a certain order or something else,  it’s important just to feel good, and enjoy the game.

The Ice Queens are ready for the upcoming holidays

The Ice Queens are ready for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The last games of the first part of the championship are finished, the suitcases and bags are already packed.  The scene of the family home is flashing in the air. We can already feel the well-known scent of baked cookies with almonds and cinnamon, as well as we can hear the shuffiing of festively decorated gifts under the Christmas tree. Yes, holidays are  here, and we’ve been wondering, how they are celebrated in the world of women’s hockey?

FINLAND – A CHRISTMAS CALENDAR

Emma Terho

There is a tradition in our club to have a Christmas calendar. During December, every other day, a different female hockey player is represented on our FB page and Instagram profile. Of course, this is not an ordinary presentation – every girl gets a short, cute story and special Christmas look, as you can see on the photos. For those who want to find out more about our tradition, let them take a look on the FB profile Blue Espoo Naiset, or on Instagram bluenaiset – says Emma Terho, the Olympic bronze winner in ice hockey from Finland.

 

 

CANADA – SECRET SANTA, AN UGLY CHRISTMAS SWEATER AND A GINGERBREAD HOUSE

Krista Yip-Chuck

The last four years my team has always returned to school the day after Christmas, which is still a holiday for Canadians. So, to celebrate, we hold our own “Secret Santa” gift exchange, where each girl on the team receives a gift anonymously. After opening it, the receiver has to guess which one of her teammates gave it to her. The gifts are always personal and very funny. We also watch the start of the IIHF World Juniors U-20 Boys Hockey Championship. Of course, there is always a big rivalry between the Canadians and Americans on the team. – these are the words of  Canadian Krista Yip-Chuck, a former Yale team captain, and the future member of the Latvian women’s ice hockey national team.       .  

Stacey Scott with her teammates
Stacey Scott is a Canadian hockey player, playing in Europe as well.:
On my team in Canada (Western University), we usually have a dinner, and everyone wears an ugly Christmas sweater. Then we would have a gingerbread house competition, and then do a gift exchange, either doing a secret Santa style or we played a gift stealing game. It was always very funny, and we really liked those parties.
A ginger house – a part of Christmas tradition

SERBIA – DELICIOUS FOOD AND SANTA ON SKATES

In our club (HK Vojvodina), we celebrate Christmas and New year holidays at once. – says the mother of two young sisters hockey players, Tamara and Jana Radović. The youth (girls and boys), their parents and family members, coaches and senior players, we are all invited to the ice rink. Everyone of us brings something to eat and drink, mothers make some pies and cakes for everyone to share. Last year all the kids got symbolic presents from Santa on skates, knitted boots with candies inside. We also had an exhibition Christmas game.

 PHILIPPINES –   CHRISTMAS PARTY IN A RESTAURANT

In Philippines it is very warm in this part of the year: the normal temperature is about 34oC. We have a Christmas party with all Federation members, youth, female and male players, and parents. Our president owns a restaurant where all our events are typically hosted, including the Christmas party this year. – says Danielle Sabido Imperial, the captain of the Philippines national women’s ice hockey team. Everyone is free to sit where they want, and people usually give around gifts. After the dinner, we move to a bar connected to the restaurant where we can hear speeches from Federations officials and team members. The atmosphere is relaxing, and we enjoy being together.

Danielle Sabido Imperial with the Pilipines’ hockey colleges

SLOVAKIA – SECRET SANTA AND EXIBITION CHRISTMAS GAME

Lenka Čurmova

 Every year for Christmas we do secret Santa, and we really enjoy the gifts excange. This Christmas I got two sweat coffee mugs, as I am a BIG coffee lover. We play an exhibition Christmas game with boys as well, against each other.  After that, we have a Christmas dinner together. 🙂 It’s  very nice to spend entire day in “Christmas hockey” atmosphere , get presents, and have fun as well . – says Lenka Čurmova, a member of the Slovakian national women’s ice hockey team.

A Slovakian Christmas exhibition game

SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC – A SPECIAL CHRISTMAS SURPRISE

In my country, December is like your summer vacation, the longest holiday of the year. So, hockey players usually do not celebrate together Christmas. But we did it with our national women’s senior team, on the Qualification tournament in Bulgaria this year.

Dalene Rhods with her national teammate

                     

Our managers surprised us before our last game again Belgium – says Dalene Rhode, a member of the national women’s team of the South African Republic. We had a Christmas party on tour, where our managers planned an amazing evening for the last day. There was secret Santa, and it was so much fun. We all had Christmas headwear, and decorated tables, with some good Christmas music.

UKRAINE – PRESENTS, FUNNY GAMES, BARBEQUE AND HOCKEY

Tatyana Tkachenko from Ukraine is the president (and the player as well) of the Dnepr Queens women hockey club:
We celebrate Christmas and New Year, as well as other holidays, with the team, like a family. We gather together and get the presents for our kids, play funny games, enjoy barbeque party and play hockey as well. Every year before the New Year’s eve, we organize a special holiday hockey game. We have fun on ice, we enjoy being together, and congratulate each other upcoming holidays, with the best wishes for the future.
The Dnepr Queens womens ice hockey club
 My dear, brave and gorgeous ice Queens, merry Christmas and happy New 2018 year! I wish you all the best in the future, to you and your family, friends and teammates. Let health, success, happiness and love accompany every further step you make!

 

Women’s hockey players stronger than their male counterparts

Kuwait is the only country in the world where the number of female ice hockey players is higher than male players.

Female’s players country

If we take into account the official statistics IIHF list for the season 2017/2018,  http://www.iihf.com/iihf-home/countries/kuwait/ , we will see following results:

  • number of total players: 443
  •  number of female players: 246
  • number of male players: 94
  • number of junior players: 103