When I began hockey 4 years ago as someone who had never played the game before, there were very few places available for me to play. The majority of adults playing the game had at least some hockey or skating skills. I had none. In fear of getting on the ice and appearing to be more of a pylon then a player, I decided to try recruiting some other newbies to see if we could put together a couple of teams to play some very beginner shinny once a week. The more people I talked to, the more I found to be interested. Along with a friend of mine who is a beginner goalie, we searched for some ice time and found Friday nights were available. We took the plunge and booked 2 hours every Friday night. In the back of our minds was always the thought "This is craziness! We’ll never have enough players to fill 4 teams." Within 2 weeks, we had 4 full teams. In another 2 weeks we had 8 teams and a wait list! So started the first season of the Adult Rookie League in Burlington Ontario.
I am so pleased and excited to say that 4 years later, we now have 28 teams. This is an amazing league where beginner men and women (yes co-ed!) go to play fun, safe hockey. We have two divisions now. Beginner and Rookie. Many of the beginners have never played hockey before, maybe never skated! We asked the more advanced skaters (ie – the skaters that have learned to stop without having to use the boards) to help the weaker players. Pass them the puck, let them carry it, even take a shot if they make it that far! Rookie division is a bit more advanced but still for skaters that are working on their skills. We have a few rules we’ve added to keep the league fun and not too competitive. Our summer season this year sold out in less than 3 weeks! It’s great to see so many adults trying hockey and falling in love with the game. We have one forward line that’s a Mom, Dad and son. A Father and daughter defensive pair. A Father and 2 daughters as another forward line. Lots of girls that have joined with guys that have never played before as well! It’s a mixed bag of players but all share the same passion for the game of hockey! And the Adult Rookie League has brought us all together. Amazing what a little spark of an idea can do!