By: Matt Henton
You probably remember playing street hockey when you were a kid. Setting up goals on ends of the streets, finding a ball to play with instead of a puck, and having to move out of the way for every car. The new Dek Hockey League looks to bring back all of those feelings from your childhood.
The Dek Hockey League is a new league that plays Tuesday through Thursday nights at 6 p.m. Dek hockey is based off of ice hockey, so much of it is the same. Each team has three players and a goalie on the “Dek,” which is what they call the court where they play. Each team has a total of 7-10 players. A lot of the rules are also the same, with one big difference, you are not allowed to fight at all in the league. If players gets into a fight they are automatically kicked from the game, and even possibly the league.
The new Dek rink is located at Lincoln Park and looks like a regular rink, with a wall around it, except it also has a fence to stop the ball from escaping. It has penalty boxes as well, so players can serve their penalties, just like ice hockey. The game consists of three periods of play, with each being 13 minutes long. Like ice hockey, the game is very fast paced and the players usually play in short bursts so they don’t get tired easily. Unlike ice hockey, though, the players play in tennis shoes and with a rubber ball.
Dek hockey is a national sport, and has many recreational leagues across the states. You can play for three different leagues. The leagues are categorized as A leagues, which are the highest ranking, to B and C leagues. Springfield only has a B and a C league, but is also one of the southern most cities in the nation to have a Dek league. So, hopefully, as more and more cities pick up this amazing sport, then the league itself will grow as more and more people take to the sport.
Steve Miller is our vice-president of client services and sales development coach. He is also an avid Dek Hockey player. “It is a very exhilarating and fast-paced game. My nephew, Jack Healy has played hockey all his life, so it has given me a chance to play with him, my son Pete, another nephew, and my son in law. It’s a family affair,” Says Miller. “I am most likely the oldest playing in Springfield league. One of the strategies is to go hard for a minute or so, and then change lines. You would not think that 13 minute periods would provide much playing time, but it does. It is a competitive and faced paced game. After the game, most all of us are wiped out, but it is a lot of fun.”
INB supports the league through a sponsorship which includes a sign on the rink. You can register for $80 per person, and you can rent all of the equipment you need, like pads and such, for $4 a week. You can register either by yourself and be placed on a team or you can register an entire team at once. For more information on the league, visit their website at www.springfielddekhockey.com or you can email the league at email@example.com.