Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Summer Hockey Fun

You'll probably realize as you read this article that this is less about summer hockey and more about hockey-related fun while on summer holidays. There are lots of great hockey schools and summer hockey leagues one can participate in over the warmest months of the year in North America, but there are many more fans who enjoy summer holidays away from their respective nine-to-fives. What this article is all about are options for the summer-loving hockey fans who want to enjoy the leisurely warm weather while still being the best hockey fans they can be.

I know a number of people who enjoy playing cards at the lake or while camping, and one of the more popular games I see being played is cribbage. Honestly, I don't have a clue on how the game is played, but wouldn't it look infinitely better on one of these?
That hockey-rink cribbage board can be found on Etsy.com and is made by Neil Enock from Calgary, Alberta. While it may seem a little pricy at $155.94, Neil has included the following information which may make it a perfect gift for your summer-loving hockey fan.
"Our cribbage boards can be customized with the addition of stock logos or custom graphics and can be further personalized by engraving your text message on the cribbage board or gift box."
Pretty solid idea, right? If I knew how to play cribbage, I might be inclined to purchase this cribbage board. However, since I don't know how, I thought I'd offer it up to you, readers, for those that know how to play a little crib.

Everyone in North America at one time or another has played board games. Some families and friends still gather for "board game night". And I would guess that virtually everyone aged thirty and older has played Trivial Pursuit. The game, created in December 1979 in Montreal, Quebec by Canadian Chris Haney, is one of the most widely-played games on the planet, and there are games that cover all genres and age groups: Baby Boomers, Geniuses, younger people, and, of course, sports fanatics. The Trivial Pursuit All-Star Sports edition was produced in 1983, so you'll probably have to be a major sports historian to know some of these answers or at least thirty years old. The categories are broken down into the following:
  • Blue - nicknames.
  • Pink - football.
  • Yellow - catch-all.
  • Brown - basketball.
  • Green - baseball.
  • Orange - numbers.
Now, if you ask me, it seems nearly criminal that a Canadian-devised game doesn't include hockey as a category on its own, but these games were mass-produced in the United States. Naturally, the categories are more reflective of that society's sports followings in the 1980s. The good news? There are a ton of hockey questions in the "nicknames, "catch-all", and "numbers" categories, so it's not like you'll go without any hockey trivia. And to be honest, they are tough questions if you don't know your hockey history!

At $0.99 on eBay, that's a heckuva deal for anyone looking to infuse their trivia or board game nights with some additional sports questions! For those that are searching deeper for something more Canadiana, there was an All-Star Sports edition for Canada produced in 1981 with hockey replacing basketball in the brown color category, but those have been much harder to find in my searches!

Of course, if you're looking for cooler options than indoor games, there is an item that I would have killed to have had as a child. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Wham-o Slip-N-Slide Water Knee Hockey game.
For anyone who has played knee hockey, imagine doing it outside under the sun under sprinklers in the summer! Totally awesome, right?!? I'm going to be looking for one of these at my local retailers soon!

According to reviews, "[t]he rink measures nine feet by five feet, and attaches to any garden hose. There are 30 nozzles, each of which spray a two-foot plume of water over both players. It comes with two plastic hockey sticks, an oversized plastic puck and two 12-inch high by 32-inch wide by 8-inch deep inflatable goals. The rink itself is made of sturdy PVC". If knee hockey in a hallway or a rec room was your thing as a kid, imagine how awesome it will be outdoors! Amazon is selling them for less than $40 right now - a steal when you consider the number of days you'll put in making kick saves in the summer!

There are a few summer ideas that should help tide you over until hockey season starts again. I intentionally avoided video games because the summer months are meant to be spent outdoors, and these ideas should help cultivate some additional outdoor time with friends. In other words, the perfect summer!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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