Thursday, November 20, 2008

How To Act At A Hockey Game

New people at hockey games can be a blessing and a curse. Of course we all want to see new fans, and then we hope they become regular fans and even season ticket holders. On the downside, they don't know the "unwritten rules" of attending a hockey game.

You can't really blame them, did we know all the etiquette at our first games? Probably not. While it might be a little irritating for you and me, do you remember how intimidated you were the first time? Maybe a little, at least?

Hopefully new fans will stumble across this blog entry and learn a thing or two. So, if you are a new fan, WELCOME! we love it that you are here and hope you have a great time at some hockey games. If you are not a new fan, please read these thoughts I have cobbled together. All are welcome and encouraged to leave comments...

Rule #1 - HAVE FUN. You are at the game to have a good time, to see some exciting hockey action, socialize with friends or even seating neighbors you've never met. The object is for everyone to have a good time. That being said, there are some things to be aware of to ensure everyone's good time is preserved.

Beyond that, in no particular order:

If you sit near the tunnel where the officials enter and leave the ice, you'll notice them being heckled. It's OK, they sort of expect it. But there are lines that can not be crossed. Never throw anything at them or reach out in a threatening manner. Watch what you say, be decent about it. What you may also notice is the officials are pretty good about giving pucks to kids, etc.

Watch your language. Yeah, it's a sporting event, and some swear words will probably be tossed out. But there are families and children who are also at the game to have a good time and don't want to hear all the sailor talk. They deserve that. We can all have a good time without sounding like a bunch of goons.

Thunderstruck - the Cyclones opening song. When the lights go out and this song starts, fans should stand and clap vigorously to the beat. It's the beginning of the wave of energy that we all hope carries to the final horn and a Cyclones victory.

National Anthem - have a little respect. Everyone stands and faces the flag. Gentlemen remove their hats. Right hand over your heart (or salute if you're in uniform of some kind). Sing. Go ahead, at least mouth the words. The crowd should face the flag at the end of the building under the restaurant; unless there is a group (military, scouts, honor guard, etc.) in the building, in which case their flag should be faced.

NEVER, ever, throw things onto the ice. It's dangerous for the players who could catch and edge, twist their leg, and injure a knee or something. It disrupts the game, and the HOME TEAM can get a penalty for it. Security will be watching, and if caught you'll get thrown out.

Wait for a whistle. Fans should not be in the isles or climbing through seats while the puck is in play. Not only does bother people trying to watch, but it can be dangerous. The puck, a broken stick, or other objects can come flying off the ice and could injure somebody. Everyone needs to be able to see the action and be ready to duck. If fans are climbing over each other, it could be dangerous. Wait until the referee blows the whistle for a stoppage of play.

Clap when the goalie makes a good save. Proper Canadian crowds are known to show their appreciation for all good saves, from both sides. The guy is putting his body in front of a 100 mph hockey puck, contorting himself in all kinds of funky positions wearing 50 pounds of gear. He deserves the applause.

Also clap when your team clears the zone while short-handed. So if the Cyclones have a man in the penalty box and the play is taking place in their zone, when a Cyclones player finally clears the puck past the blue line, cheer. It's a good thing and helps kill the penalty. Let the players year you and know that you appreciate their efforts.

Always clap when an injured player gets up. From either team. Always.

If I think of more I'll add it. Please leave comments...


OpenID RBannerLady said...

I think you pretty much covered it all ...... except for two areas.

Behind the visitors bench; though one can heckle and be disruptive, it is also important to watch the language (because of the presence of young people) and not throw anything.

BE COURTEOUS to visiting fans that have come to support thier team!! There are times some come great distances and they should be treated as we all would like to be treated when following our team in other cities.

4:08 PM  
Blogger WendyB said...

The Red Coats are coming! The Red Coats are coming! LOL. I've been there. But what I don't understand is why the photographers from the newspaper get to stand on the landing, happily snapping away, but I get told that I can't take pictures from there, even though I'm not blocking anyone's view. Is there a waiver I can sign or something? I've had a serious concussion before, so I know the risk, and to quote Dr. McCoy, "I choose the danger."

Yeah, the language used to make me laugh. As a young child, I can remember hearing a man who had no doubt had too much to drink screaming obscenities no more than a couple of seats behind me. At the time, it struck me as funny more than anything else. I remember thinking, "Doesn't he see me sitting here?" As for the heckling of players and officials, I don’t do it. But I do enjoy hearing some of the wittier, more intelligent banter that takes place. It should never be too personal or mean-spirited, though.

And no, one should never throw anything onto the ice. Unless you are in Detroit and just happen to have a boiled octopus in a plastic bag tied around your waist. But even then, there are unwritten rules about when it is appropriate. :D

5:42 PM  
Blogger Guido said...

Good stuff! Wendy, since I am a part-timer and pretty much just work on the ice, I'm really not familiar with the photo policy. I've seen discussion about it on discussion boards as well.

I believe the rule is no "professional" cameras - and they usually define that as having a changeable lens.

Part of it could be that the team has a photographer who has rights to take pictures and sell them; and accredited members of the media get press privileges - but that is just a guess.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one:

When someone is put in the penalty box, try not to be too irratating. Do not pound on the glass or kick the glass. This is very annoying to not only the player, but also the other fans. It's rude to do this even if they ARE from the opposing team.

3:31 PM  

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