The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Adult Beer League Hockey Tournaments
20 Tips to be a Beer League Hockey Tournament All-Star
Surviving a hockey tournament weekend begins with attitude. These tourneys are a tour away from the everyday so one must prepare mentally and spiritually. Words like “morals” and “hesitations” should be abandoned. Excessive obscenities? Alcohol abuse? Threesomes? Safe words? Nick’s package? We make no promises, but odds are good you’ll encounter some of these. Whether that’s a good thing is where attitude comes in. Please visit our friends at Hockey Monkey to stock up gear at great prices before your big tournament!
Hockey tourneys are basically summer camp for adults and like any good boy or girl scout will tell you, always be prepared! To help you do just that, we’ve gathered a list of the best tourney tips from a pack of seasoned hockey weekend vets.
- Mind the Jets
Get your skates sharpened before you leave town, and don’t plan it for the day before either. You don’t want to be that guy who has to run around town to find a skate shop right after checking into your hotel. It cuts into your drinking time, which is unacceptable.
- Yes, there’s water in beer… no, that’s not what we mean
Start hydrating the week before. We have a feeling we need to be specific here, so we’ll spell it out for you: this doesn’t mean extra beers. Water is good for you, it keeps your muscles in good shape and will help you with your stamina when you’re in the A Final Sunday afternoon, fifth game of the weekend.
- Socks – not just for jerking off anymore!
Sure you have your tried and true favourite socks you wear for games but three games a day means those socks are soggy the next time you lace up. Do yourself a favour and pack 3-5 pairs. Same goes for sports bras, ladies.
- Two guys, one pickup
Or three or four, whatever fits in your vehicle. Make a carpool plan at least a week or two in advance. Better yet, if it’s in the team budget, spring for a team camper or bus. Fewer designated drivers means more road trip antics.
- Budget Boozing
Drink cheaper by knowing your booze prices. Driving to a state or province with higher liquor taxes? Stock up before you leave home. Canadians heading over the border to the US, even with shitty exchange rates you’re probably still better off buying down there. You’ll be kicking yourself if you end up paying twice the price for the same 30 pack.
- Map to happiness
Know where the closest liquor stores and McDonald’s are. We’ll assume you’re a loser who forgot tip #5 and showed up without brews. It’s a party foul to mooch off your teammate right from the get-go, so the least you can do is make a run to replenish his stock. And sure, sober you is a stuck-up dick who’s too good for McD’s but come 2am you won’t hesitate to shovel McNuggets down your throat. Make it easy on yourself and map out your route before you’re gunned.
- Easy eats
Book a hotel with complimentary breakfast. Your hungover ass isn’t too good for muffins and cereal. Before an early game you’ll want something extra fast and easier than those puck bunnies that followed you back to the hotel, trust us.
- Refuel from the comfort of your own bed
Keep a bunch bananas and protein bars on the nightstand. When morning hits and you’re hurting so bad you can’t even crawl to the toilet, you still need to get some fuel in you. Keep those emergency reserves within reach. Bananas are scientifically proven to help you recover from a night of drinking (as are eggs, if you can find your way to a real breakfast joint). The protein bars are just a staple in a hockey player’s tourney kit.
- Chug smarter
Choke down a big glass of water before your head hits the pillow, and another one when you wake up. It’ll make a huge difference in how you feel on the ice, and help you sweat out that vodka faster.
- First-Aid for first-liners
Pepto-Bismol and Advil are your new best linemates. Those margaritas were going down so smooth the night before, but now they’re about to come back up with a vengeance. The Pepto will help settle your stomach so you can fuel up for the game – it’s vital you eat so power through and get it in ya. When your head is pounding harder than your top grinder it’s crucial you take Advil, or any ibuprofen – NEVER ACETAMINOPHEN! That’s Tylenol, incase you were wondering. Most of Tylenol is converted in the liver, which is preoccupied with the assault of liquor you threw at it the night before. Advil is safer. Take it in the morning, it won’t help the night before.
- Buddy system
Room with someone with a similar party style. Some guys have no problem keeping it going til 4am and being first to hit the ice hours later. Nothing causes a rift in the team more than pairing that player with your early-to-bed boys. When good-time-guy rolls the party back to the room, your literal sleeper pick will be ready to ring a puck off his head. Be smart, pair with a party buddy who makes sense.
- Attendance mandatory
Show up to your games. It doesn’t matter how hungover you are. We’re all hungover. Get over yourself. You made a commitment to your teammates to show up, you gotta have their backs. Work hard, play hard – you commit to both or stay the fuck home.
- If you’re gonna spew, spew in this
Keep a garbage pail on the bench. You may not feel like chundering right away, but it can sneak up on you. No one wants last night’s midnight Big Macs saturated into their skate laces.
- Don’t be a dick on the ice.
Have fun, we all paid to be here and have a good time. Don’t ruin that. You need to read the tone on the ice. If you’re in a division where you’re prime to dominate, maybe you don’t need to hammer clappers from the point all day. Everyone is just there to drink some beers after the game and that’s way harder when you’re in a hospital bed. The nurses don’t take kindly to slipping beer into your IV, trust us.
- Drink like a winner
Beer before game – hard alcohol after. You don’t wanna be that guy who’s dummied before the first puck even drops. You’re useless to everyone. A few beers before the games makes it fun for everyone. Leave the hard stuff for after the skates are hung up for the evening.
- Eat a vegetable.
If you’re asking what that is, you’re already in trouble. A weekend of greasy food sounds appealing, but your muscles will recover better if you throw in some of the green stuff. Broccoli, spinach, even some damn carrots. Get it in you and you’ll thank us when you’re hoisting the championship cup.
- Track your tendy.
We’re not big on babysitting grown-ass men and women, but this is the exception. Your tendy is the one player you can’t go on without, so just know what hotel room number they’re in. Not a bad idea to give em a courtesy wakeup call in the morning. Maybe buddy them up with your most responsible teammate for extra security.
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- Bosses score the corner office
Do whatever you can to make sure someone on your team gets a room in the corner. Fewer neighbours sharing your walls means less chance of a noise complaint when you’re tearing it up all night.
- Make a fashion statement
Up the ante by getting team shirts printed or showing up in costumes. This is the best tip we can give to teams with lots of single chicks or dudes. It makes your team stand out, gets lots of positive attention and gives you an easy icebreaker when you want to chat up that hottie at the bar. Plus, everyone wants to party with the fun team! (Fun fact: Dani’s dad met his wife at a hockey tournament while dressed as a hula girl.)
- The shot stick
If you haven’t heard of it, this is about to change your life. Clue/tape/Maguyver 4 or 5 shot glasses along a hockey stick. Plastic prefered. Fill em up and practice your teamwork taking shots together! This is another great tool for making new friends at the bar – but make sure you send it in with your most charismatic player because you’ll likely have to convince the manager to let you keep it. (Tip: Tell him/her it’ll encourage people to buy more shots = increased sales!)
If you use this guide at your next tournament we can guarantee you will have a kick ass time. Don’t be the guy or the team at the adult tournament that is so focused on bringing home that cup that you forget to the whole reason that adult hockey tournaments are so great. Hanging with your team, drinking beers, and playing a bit of puck. Above all things remember the main goal at adult hockey tournaments is to have fun. Do you have any other awesome tips to help survive adult hockey beer league tournaments? Let us know about them in the comments or on twitter @BeerLeagueTalk
— Beer League Talk (@BeerLeagueTalk) January 28, 2016
February 4, 2016