How many Skaters do you need for Pickup Hockey?

It’s every pick-up hockey organizer’s biggest dilemma. How many skaters do I need to have on my list? Well, there’s a reason we call ourselves 20Skaters. As you probably know by now, twenty is ideal for ensuring a competitive and cost effective game.

Having too few or too many players can ruin the experience, or hurt you financially. Organization is the key, but investing your time into spreadsheets and frantic, last-minute messages is too stressful for your thankless job. Here are some pitfalls to avoid, and ways to ensure you get 20 skaters every time:

Need more Skaters

4912724006_e7c10d8a12_bYou have a guy down on one knee behind the red-line, struggling to get up. Another player is standing alone at centre ice, waiting for his sixth break-away pass in a row. The lone guy on the bench looks like he might have a heart attack. Worst of all, you lost $100 on the game, putting you deeper in the hole. Sound familiar?

Having too few players ruins the competitiveness of the game, and will lead to you personally financing the games. It isn’t always because your roster is limited and/or simultaneous vacations; you might need better organization and more reliable players.

Too many Skaters

When guys are changing in the middle of the room, you probably have too many skaters (or play in a really old arena). Having anything more than 1 set of subs (20 skaters total) can ruin the experience, and lead to resentment from the guys. Every pick-up hockey game has one or two players who take 5 minute shifts, even when there’s 8 guys waiting on the bench.

While it might benefit you in the short term financially, having too many skaters will eventually lead to guys finding other games to play in. Your impressive roster will cease to function if you start losing your core guys in droves.

How we can help

20Skaters takes the hassle out of organization. You can rank your players, listing your core guys, secondary, and tertiary skaters. We handle emailing your players, confirming attendance, processing payments, and following up with your last minute bailers. We don’t mind being the bad guy.

For games that need more skaters, we have a substantial list of pick-up hockey players who can fill in during your slow weeks. We monitor the confirmations so that we can take action if you are short guys in the days leading up to the game. You might even find someone to permanently replace an unreliable player!

Best of all, our system works for you. Adding a last minute friend of a friend is simple and easy.

For organizers with too many skaters on their list, our process is straightforward. You set up the core guys who have guaranteed spots every week, the rest get to play based on first-come, first-serve confirmations. Those last-minute Larry’s you keep having to harass two-hours before game time? You better believe they’ll be signing up when our first email goes out.

Make sure to avoid oversubscription

If you grow your list too quickly, you could end up with too many full-time guys. Always keep your core guys happy, and add only when you need to.

If more than twenty skaters show up, it’s an easy process of elimination to determine who didn’t sign up. We know from experience that the guys who play by the rules will help you put the pressure on the slackers.

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