Parental Guidance: Consult Hockipedia
Hockey is like any sport. It has its own unique sights and sounds. It has its typical cast of characters and, for better or worse, it has its own lingo. New families, and even seasoned ones, are often confused by words or phrases they hear around the rink.
Wanting to be cool, moms and dads cannot always join the conversation with a pack of young players walking by, the experienced fans around them at a game or the team parent who is trying to get in your wallet.
Well fear not, my gift to you is some “real” definitions to some of hockey’s most popular terminology to put you in the loop. Because nothing is sadder, really, than two uncool parents resigned to more conversation with each other!
Bar Down: Often used by a player to describe where his parents are between periods or after the game. As in, “My dad is in the bar down the street.”
Celly: A term used to describe a person who spends too much time on their mobile phone when they should be yelling at referees.
Stick Time: The word “stick” actually describes the sliver of rink available to kids for independent practice that isn’t being taken up by coaches giving lessons.
Team Fund: Often sent as an e-mail, this is a request for money and usually arrives just after you have cancelled your cable and gym membership to pay your club dues.
Puck: An object that, after the opening faceoff, disappears from sight entirely. If the DMV used this as a sight test, I would be taking the bus.
SCAHA: An acronym for the governing body of hockey in SoCal. This organization makes the folks behind the counter at the local post office seem efficient.
Bucket: Is a word for a hockey helmet and, what you put ice water in to be cool on Facebook.
Two and 10: Avery serious penalty given for contact to the head or other dangerous play. This quite often happens to your child when a relative has flown in from some far away place for their only chance to see a game.
Thanksgiving: This is a traditional American holiday enjoyed by many families who do not play hockey. Hockey families know this time of year as “tournament time” or “stuck-on-the-405-and-eating-takeout-Chipotle time.”
Faceoff: The play where the referee dangles the puck tantalizingly over the ice and then may or may not drop it depending on how quickly his mom brought him his pop tarts for breakfast that morning.
Power Play: Is where parents find out who really has “power” over the coach. It then becomes your job to find out what kind of baked goods those parents are bringing him.
Sin Bin: The place where a player goes to serve the time for their penalty. At the Valencia rink this is a popular place for dads to get in some quality advice time.
Slap Shot: Is a shot in hockey where the player winds up and hits the puck as hard as he or she can. Two things always occur during a slap shot. A) A parent is cringing at the impending breakage of the stick, and B) a stick manufacturer is laughing while lighting a big cigar with $100 bills.
Standing on their head: Refers to a goalie who plays very well. And if you ask a goalie parent this is what a goalie literally must do to get any attention around this place.
Barn: A loving description of a hockey rink and an accurate term for many others.
Shift: The “turn” a player gets after they have waited on the bench. Usually forwards do this in groups of three. The word derives from seeing a hockey mom’s attitude “shift” from talkative to nervous as her player hops over the wall.
Flow: The type of hair hockey players grow when they “flow” it all back so it’s very long. Many hockey dads try the same thing, however that is called a comb over.
Well there you have it. Next time you see a group of experienced hockey people, jump right in and prepare to see the looks of amazement!
Scott Johnson is a Santa Barbara resident and the father of four hockey-playing children.