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This winter, it's street hockey time!

This winter, it's street hockey time!

Unless you have a hockey arena in your back yard, why not get everyone up for a friendly game of street hockey? Ice or snow? Check. Good food after the game? Now we're talking! You can't go wrong with a healthy activity everyone will love, even the spectators in the living room!

What you'll need:

  • a relatively quiet street with little traffic
  • at least 3 players and a goalie per team
  • 2 hockey nets made of aluminum or PVC
  • some street hockey balls
  • hockey sticks cut to the height of the players
  • water bottles to quench everyone's thirst
  • a hot lunch for after the game

As for equipment, what's important is that both teams start on an equal footing. If everyone has basic equipment (helmet, gloves and shin guards), then everyone can have fun pretending they're in the NHL. If not, a warm jacket, hat and gloves and a pair of boots with enough traction are all that's needed. As well, don't forget your goalies: it's a good idea to equip each with a mask to avoid accidents.

What about the rules?

The game starts much like any regular hockey game: faceoff in the middle, no hogging of the puck (or ball), etc.

  • You can touch the ball with your hands, but not to score a goal.
  • There are no offsides.
  • Sticks should be kept below the elbows to avoid injuries.
  • No contact between players is allowed. That's right! Pushing your opponent into a snowbank is against the rules.
  • There are no penalties, because you're all there to have fun, right?

How long do we make it?

As in real hockey, a street hockey game should have breaks between periods of play. Since the weather's often cold, you can shorten the game this way:

  • Three periods of 10 minutes each
  • a two-minute break between each period

You can certainly choose to extend the game and fun beyond our suggestion. However, if your team has young children, keep in mind that they'll tend to get cold much quicker than everyone else. Limiting the activity to an hour at the most will allow your "pee wees" to head back indoors and warm up. Come to think of it, Flamingo chicken nuggets should do the trick nicely!