Foam sticks, a high school gymnasium and all the excitement of the NHL. That’s right, I’m talking floor hockey. Most Americans learn about the sport in gym class during their teenage education. I was lucky enough to play a lot of the hardwood soft stick so I’m considered an expert by Midwest bullshit, know-it-all standards. Put on your non-marking shoes and get ready for the ScoreBoredSports guide to floor hockey.
You don’t need too much. A set of sticks, two goals and a puck or ball. I only ever used foam sticks. Anything too hard was considered dangerous at my weird school. Remember, keep the stick below your waist level or you’ll spend two minutes in the box. As always, good footwear is critical. Gym shoes will do nicely. Something that still has some grip. In terms of clothing, anything athletic will work. No jeans please. If you can grow a quick hockey mullet, then please do. Great hockey hair can really put this whole thing over the top. Oh, and our goalies never had any real pads. But if you have enough gear for both tenders, then game on Wayne.
Put your second best player at the center of the defense then put all your best stick-handlers up front and at the wings. Bad floor hockey players can still play decent defense. Just clog the passing lanes and crash down on whoever has the puck. For those totally unfamiliar with hockey, the easiest way to score is to draw the goalie to one side and pass to a shooter on the far post. Then just let them just tap it in.
Try to keep possession and pass the rock. Dump and chase can be effective but it takes your advantage of control away. Sometimes the best pass is backwards. Soccer players can understand this. You can’t drive straight to the net without attracting the whole defense. If you truly have no pass or option then play the puck forward, into space. Hopefully one of your mates can win the 50-50 ball and reclaim possession in the attacking third to set something up. If your crew is getting worked, then try to figure out who is torching you and stop the bleeding. Maybe put a spy on their best player and try to slow them down.
Don’t wear a watch
So this one time in high school, I had a very memorable day of FH. The quick backstory was I had a free period while the middle schoolers had their gym class. Well they were pucking around one day and I was looking for something to do. The gym teacher was also my track and soccer coach so he let me join to help fill out teams.
Cut to later, I’m kicking ass and scoring mad goals but this little jerk kid Danny kept pestering me. He’d hit me with his stick and do anything he could to bug me. I caught a pass in the corner and had my back to the net. Danny closes in and starts hacking me with the stick again. These are foam sticks with plastic handles so it doesn’t hurt but it’s annoying as all shit.
Normally, the gym teacher would stop this type of slashing but I think my coach liked seeing me get provoked by this underclassmen. Danny hits me again and I turn and slash him back, knocking his stick to the ground. Now, coach blows the whistle and tosses me from the gym. I leave in a huff. What I didn’t see or know until later was that Danny was wearing some awful metal watch and it cut his wrist when I retaliated. Danny bled all over the gym floor then went to the hospital. So don’t wear a watch when you play floor hockey or else Bruno will tell you what time it is. Don’t believe me? Just watch.
I never got in trouble for the whole Danny thing but I do feel bad about what happened. I mean who thought a foam stick could be so deadly? The lesson is floor hockey can be lots of fun but leave that wrist bling in your locker.