No ice? No problem. All you need are ‘balls’

With hockey season upon us, many local Calgarians have taken to the rinks to play ball hockey until the ice and snow arrive.

Ball hockey has seen interest increase ferociously in the past few years, and some NHL hockey players such as Vancouver Canucks’ forward Alex Burrows have become advocates for the sport.

“I’ve been playing ball hockey in an organized competitive league for five years now,” says Patrick Pearson, a former SAIT student.

“It’s even more of a workout than ice hockey, but it has all of the other elements.”

In Calgary, ball hockey has spiked in popularity and has many different leagues for men, women, and children off all ages.

Each league plays in the spring, fall and winter.

“I played in the spring last year and loved every minute of it,” stated Mitch Romanuk, a front-end manager at Sobeys, and self-proclaimed Flames fanatic.

Romanuk, who was his team’s captain, mentioned that it was never a problem getting his team together and show up to play almost every night.

“Sure you have the odd times you have to play with a short bench because real life duties get in the way,” explained Romanuk.

“But it’s simply just for fun and because we all love the game.”

While playing in an organized league is one way to play the sport, some locals have been spending some of their time on a cement hockey rink to catch the fever.

“There’s a rink two blocks away from my house,” explained Sheldon Goodvin, a carpenter living in Rosscarrock.

“I just go out there and sometimes we get a game going with a bunch of people just like you would if there was ice.”

There’s no questioning Calgarians will do whatever it takes to play the game of hockey, whether it’s on ice, grass or cement.

[It]’s something that I believe would be of interest to campuses -Emmaa Roberts

“It’s our greatest stereotype, but I don’t mind embracing it,” explained Goodvin.

While ball hockey has a lot of organizations involved in the sport, some believe post-secondary schools could take interest in creating a league.

“It’s something that I believe would be of interest to campuses,” explained Emmaa Roberts, a former University of Calgary student who plans to attend SAIT in the winter.

“There’s a lot of work to be done on the subject, but I’m sure that it would be a success if we gave it an honest effort. I know quite a few of my boyfriend’s buddies would love to play, and it would be a great way to get more involved in school sports.”

So until real ice appears, many will take to the streets, rinks, or even basements to get their hockey fix, even if it’s with a ball rather than a puck.

About Trin Potratz 5 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Trin Potratz worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.