Sunday, September 21, 2014

Small Humans On Ice

The wife and I took a nice leisurely Sunday afternoon drive over to the other side of town today. Our objective was to watch some miniature humans wielding wooden spears glide around on frozen water while chasing after a piece of hard rubber. Oh, and we also went to see some of our friends here in Las Vegas whose young children play hockey.

It was nice to hang out in the stands with one of the dads, just talking about life, while watching his son on the rink nearest to us. These kids are all around 6 to 8 years old, so they take a regulation size rink and split it in thirds. Each mini-rink then has action going north to south, instead of a full-sized rink where the game would be going east to west. From my vantage point, I could also clearly see the rink at the far end, where the son of our other set of friends was playing his little heart out.

In addition to the on-ice action, I also had a great view of my wife getting in her exercise for the day. The players were split so that each rink was playing 3 on 3, and each line of 3 would get 2 minutes on the ice before their teammates took a 2 minute shift. As it worked out, each of the friends' kids were on opposite shifts, so there was always one on the ice and one off at the same time. So every time the buzzer went off announcing the 2 minutes was over, she would then march from one end of the rink to the other, in order to get some photographs of each child in action. The entertainment derived from the Pavlovian response that developed became an added bonus for me. All her running around paid off though, as she got some excellent photographs. There's tons more to sift through, but posted with this piece are a few of the best ones she's found so far.

As one would imagine with kids of this age, there are varying degrees of skill and enthusiasm on display. While some could handle themselves with little to no trouble, others seemed to trip over the face-off circle. This is the kind of league where being a goaltender could be incredibly disheartening. One little guy just wasn't ready to be a netminder yet. He wasn't able to react quick enough, and also was pretty clueless as to positioning. He knew to be in front of the net, but not much more than that. It's very possible that, because of his size (he seemed a little small when compared to the other kids his age), the goalie equipment may have been a tad heavy for him, which would definitely slow his speed. It was a little sad to see him getting beat time and time again, and you could read the mounting frustration in his body language. He stayed in there, though. I just hope he sticks with it and doesn't get discouraged, because his effort alone will get him somewhere in life.

Blog Post Soundtrack: Down, The White Stripes, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Daft Punk, Pearl Jam, Beethoven, Chuck Berry

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