If you are a relatively new hockey player looking to play actual hockey games -- not just scrimmage or rat -- then I suggest you go to the American Heartland Ice Arena website and sign up for their Novice League. I play in the league right now and I think it is very good for beginners. The rink is near Chicago, the cost of the league is affordable and you will be playing with other relatively new adult hockey players.
But you might have some questions. That's OK. Let your buddy The Hockey Noob give you the skinny on this D-level leauge:
Experience: Most players had between two months and two years of experience when the league started. You should take some lessons before joining a league, so if you haven't taken any yet check out the the Resources page for a list of rinks that teach hockey.
Age Range: Players in the Heartland League range from their early 20s all the way to their mid-50s. Most are in their 30s and 40s.
Gender: The league is co-ed, though it is mostly men. Some teams have one or two women (one team is even captained by a woman), but since this is a no-hit league it is ideal for co-ed play. Which reminds me...
No Hitting: This is a no-check league. Also, fighting is not allowed, so wannabe tough guys need not apply.
Cost: $160 for 10 games.
Location: The American Heartland Ice Arena is located at 7384 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, IL 60712 (map).
Nights: Games will be held on Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights.
Dates: The league's Spring season is slated to start the week of March 31, 2014 and run until June 22.
Time: Games will start at 10pm or earlier -- but not too much earlier. Many players in the league are parents, and expressed a desire to have their games after the evening rush hour.
Teams: New players must participate in one of the free evaluation skates, held on March 25 and March 27 at 9:10 p.m. Teams will be made afterward, with the intention of making them balanced.
So, what are you waiting for? If you've taken some lessons, give the Heartland Novice Hockey League a try.
And if you have any questions, hit me up with a comment below.
BONUS: Here's a recap of my first game in this new league.
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Filed under: Hockey Games