Professional hockey season winds towards the finish line in the spring with the games to crown the champion usually occurring in early summer, and it's an exciting time of the year to see a live game with a date.
It's not just for puck heads and sports fans, hockey games are entertaining and full of action for everyone. Their high energy is contagious, so any pre-date nerves can quickly diminish as soon as the game gets going. Sharing a less formal experience with your date is a brilliant way to get comfortable with each other - especially if it relates to a personal interest. You want your date to get to know you after all! Or, if you’re new to the game, you’ll get an insight into the type of person your date is. But, not everyone is into sports, so you’ll want to check with them beforehand before you book any tickets.
The game is sure to get the conversation going, whether it’s celebrating a goal or asking for a clarification about a rule. Plus, it can get pretty brutal and physical - hockey isn’t for the faint of heart! There’s huge potential for a post-match debrief over a drink and food, and even the chance to catch up on how your favorite team are doing on a future date.
If either you or your date is new to ice hockey, a quick primer on what it’s about may help. To summarize the game (very simply):
- The objective of the game is to get the puck into the opposing team’s goal using hockey sticks. It must cross the goal line to count. Kicking or throwing the puck isn’t allowed.
- Games are split up into three parts, lasting around 20 minutes. There’s an intermission between each of these, which are usually between 15-20 minutes. Games can sometimes last a little longer with overtime, and can reach up to 2.5 hours.
- Each team is made up of twenty players, but no more than six will be on the ice at one time. This includes a goaltender for each team.
- The hockey rink is split in half with red lines. It is further split up with blue lines. These create three zones called the neutral zone, defending zone, and attacking zone.
There are a couple of rules to understand too:
An attacking player can’t get ahead of the puck if it gets into the opposition’s defending zone. If they do, they’re considered offside.
This is where the puck is hit into the opposition’s goal from a defense zone, without coming into contact with another player. Basically, players can’t just strike it from one end of the rink straight into the goal.
There’s a whole range of different hockey games you can go to. For the professional leagues, at stadiums and large scale rinks. For something a little more nearby, look for minor league or college teams. Local games may have some good deals on tickets too! Information and details on games can be found online and in local listings.
What to wear to a hockey game
Hockey is a true winter game but has the longest season of all major professional North American sports, with the majority of games taking place during the colder months. Depending on whereabouts in the country a match is taking place, it’ll either take place in an indoor or outdoor ice rink. With either venue, you’ll want to dress for warmth - the venue will be somewhere between cool to cold. You definitely don’t want to be shivering on those aluminum stands! Here’s what you can wear to keep cozy:
Opt for Layers:
Shirts, sweaters, even a hockey jersey. Layering up is the best way to keep warm whilst spending time by the rink.
A jacket or thick flannel.
Sturdy, Closed Toe Shoes or Boots:
You might be standing up during the game, so you’ll want to make sure your shoes are comfortable.
Show your Personality
Style up your outfit with a piece of jewelry, pin, or fun accessory. Whatever feels like expresses you!
If you’re attending a match that’s outside, it’s worth considering the following extras:
- A thick, waterproof winter coat with a hood.
- Multiple pairs of thick socks.
- Gloves, hats, and scarves. Basically, as many layers as possible.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to dress in comfortable clothes that’ll keep the heat in. To show a little team spirit, a scarf or hat in team colors are great for showing support.
Are hockey games cold?
As mentioned above, hockey matches typically take place in indoor ice rinks, or outdoor rinks during the winter. Whatever type of location, it’ll be chilly as the ice will need to be kept cold.
The exact temperature will vary depending where the game is. Indoor rinks can see air temperatures get to be 50-60°F. Remember, the nearer to the ice and further away from people you are, the colder it’ll be. The ice is usually around 24°F. Outside games can get even colder, having to be below freezing to keep the ice intact - so you really want to wrap up warm!
Hockey games are an exciting date idea for those looking to share their personal interests or fancy experiencing something a little different. The rules don’t take too long to get to grips with, so it’s relatively newbie friendly. The excitement and energy is high level, which can be brilliant to overcome pre-date nerves, and will provide plenty to talk about afterwards. We’ll be cheering you on from the bleachers!