Booking Your First Pickup Hockey Game

Instead of a standard “hey we have a blog” post, I figured I’d attempt to write something useful. I figured we could start at the start. If you’ve never ran a pickup hockey game, where do you start?

Caveat, I’m writing this for the pre-20 Skaters organizer. Obviously most of these steps are either painless or don’t exist if you’re one of the lucky ones working with us.

When?

The challenge is there is very little icetime available. In Guelph there are really only two people you have to phone in order to find out about icetime availability. The city owns six rinks, the university owns the other two. The city facility booking phone number is 519-837-5678. For the university, you’ll want to speak with Lorianne Fraser at 519-824-4120, extension 53790. Phone both those numbers and find out from them what’s available.

Once you decide on a time, it’s time to pay up. The only way I know of is to pay in full, you can give them a credit card over the phone. If you’re eventually buying a regular weekly time then you can setup a payment schedule with them. You’ll have to sign some waivers etc and drop them off or fax them to seal the deal.

Who?

First job is to secure two goalies. Goalies typically don’t pay for icetime. Phone, text, email, whatever it takes to make sure you have two tenders coming out. You’ll need that before worrying about skaters as most will want to know that you have two goalies coming out.

Next is securing skaters. It’s black magic having skaters who say they’re coming actually come out. Personally it’s tough to leave home once I have a fire going and start into a movie. Getting skaters to pay ahead of time can inspire attendance, at least for me. You may want to just assume some skaters won’t actually show up and oversell the game slightly.

Game Day

I email a reminder to everyone you think is coming on the day of. In that you may want to remind your skaters to bring a dark and light sweater. Depending on what you’re charging skaters, you may want to bring along some change as chances are everyone will have a twenty dollar bill. Water bottles? After game beers? Pucks?

Good luck, enjoy your first game as an organizer…

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