Something is missing this summer. When I really think about it, I haven’t seen a game in a long time.
Some call it ‘road hockey’ or ‘street hockey.’
It has been a long time since I played in a good game of street hockey and longer since I saw a game.
I remember when my street was full of kids and adults playing on the road. The curb became the sidelines and the nets were placed just in front of the driveway of our neighbors. Oh boy, we did have fun!
We played on the asphalt. We were brave back then, we used no equipment. There was no reason too as we played for fun. We didn’t whack each other to much, no one ever bled. We stop for all cars. We had to as we played in the middle of the road. I remember someone always yelling ‘CAR.’ How we all laughed!
It was a great way of spending time just before dinner on a school day. In the summer months everyone got to play till the sun went down. We ran back and forth till we couldn’t see the net nor the puck any more. It was one of the games the kids on the street played that included the adults. It was one of the only times when we all saw our neighbors and friends. The game became a social part of the street.
Things have changed a lot since then. Kids don’t play outside anymore. A whole generation is missing a great part of life by staying indoors. People are more up- tight about things like a bit of blood oozing out of a body part, sweating, having lots of fun and smiling. Homework and chores are important but team work is also.
What was once a simple game of yelling ‘hockey game in 5 minutes,’ with no formal teams nor leagues has become a major sport. There are international tournaments and associations everywhere. Europe and Asia has their own associations but they follow North America’s rules. Canada has the Canadian Ball Hockey Association. The U.S. has the American Street Hockey Institute. Both play under the rules of the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (I.S.B.H.F.) This federation is a non-profit organization which started in 1993. They started to organize tournaments in 1995.
These games taught us a lot about others and ourselves. We grew into mature adults with the teachings and lessons we learned from the asphalt. I miss watching the game. It was always exciting, fast- paced and full of childhood laughter. I truly believe the children of today are missing out of something really special. I think our neighborhoods need to bring out the pucks more often. The community that plays together……..
I day I hope I can hear the famous yell once again. “CAR”