You Might Be a Minor Hockey Parent

hockey dad

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I began this with a list originally forwarded by a hockey Dad from the Devil’s team who received it in an email from yet another hockey Dad.  We joked over a couple of beers we were enjoying while our daughters were working hard at practice. Several of the Ifs hit really close to home.  I’ve added a few of my own and welcome any others you can think of.  If you’ve done any, or like me, many of these……youuuuuu just might be a hockey parent (with deference to Jeff Foxworthy and his little Redneck thing).

If you base the next purchase of a vehicle on how many kids, sticks and hockey bags it will hold.

If you know the location of every Tim Horton’s within a 400 kilometre radius.

If you give directions to places relative to the closest arenas.

If you’ve quoted Don Cherry, Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe or lines from the movie Slap Shot in conversations with your kids.

Slap Shot Movie

If you know the name of every single kid on every single team your kids have every played on……. but don’t have a clue who their  school mates are.

If you’ve lost your voice at a weekend tournament.

If the smell of a locker room or unwashed hockey gear doesn’t make you nauseous or if,  in truth, you actually enjoy it.

If you feel lost when you have a hockey free weekend.

If your spouse waits until you decide where to sit and then chooses a spot on the opposite side of the arena.

If you know at least three rink rats on a first-name basis.

If you can justify complaining about someone who donates hundreds of hours of volunteer time to your son or daughter.

If you ground your kids for a week when they misbehave (except for hockey practice).

If you’ve had to replace panels or your entire garage door after several pucks were shot at or through them.

If you’ve rationalized spending $250 on a Synergy for a 9 year old, but won’t spend $5 on a birthday card for your wife.

If when someone asks how old your children are you respond, “I have a ’95 and a ’97.”

If practices are a major part of your social life.

If you buy gloves according to how loud you can clap in them.

If you don’t mind the giant dead spot in your backyard where the rink used to be.


If you find yourself missing the parents of your kids’ teammates during the off-season.

If you rank arenas based on the quality of their french fries.

If you refuse to make any plans with your friends until you check your kids’ hockey schedules.

If you open a credit line to pay for all the registration fees, equipment and travelling expenses.

If you’ve ever leaned to the left or the right to psycho-kinetically attempt to help your did avoid a hit or guide a puck into a net from 150 feet away.

If all of your computer passwords begin with “hockey” or contain your child’s jersey number.

If your wedding anniversary celebration has included a watching a game or practice followed by a trip to McDonalds or some wing joint.

If you have been barred from more than one rink on more than one occasion for bad behaviour.

If you’ve purchased a new $200 stick because old one “didn’t have any goals left in it.”

If you know a few 5 year olds who are good, but “lack focus.”

If your kids have asked if Christmas is “Home or Away” this season.


If you’ve sat up all night with pre-game jitters in anticipation of a game you aren’t even playing in.

You juussst might be a hockey parent.

I’d love to see this list grow so let me know what you can add in the Comments below.


10 Telltale Signs of a Hockey Dad

If you’ve begrudgingly or otherwise experienced any of the items in the list below…….you may be a Hockey Dad.  For the record, I have either performed or witnessed all of these in the past three months.  We Hockey Dads are a special, beautifully flawed breed.

1. Broke land speed records and at least three Highway Traffic Act laws to get from one rink to another to see the last five minutes of your other kid’s game.


2. Rushed to the local Emergency Room to deal with a hockey-related injury including, but not limited, to:

  • a sprained shoulder sustained in an ice-crashing, thud during an exhibition/tryout game
  • a potentially fractured nose, the result of an errant slap shot launched at your own unprotected and obviously unsuspecting face during extra practice on the driveway
  • a leg lacerated by a misguided, skate blade requiring three inner and eight outer stitches
  • a badly bruised elbow coupled with a well-struck funny bone that certainly wasn’t all that funny


3. Arrived home after work on a night you didn’t have a hockey game, hockey practice or hockey-related meeting and proceeded to plop yourself on the coach to watch….hockey.


4. Turned around and drove 20 minutes back to your house to retrieve the pucks, stick, jersey, helmet, skates or other necessary piece of equipment “YOU” forgot to pack in the car on the way out the door.


5. Arrived at the rink over three hours early to scout the teams you may be playing later that day.



6. Woke up on a weekend morning, well before the sun, and far earlier than you would during the week to go to work to venture off to a rink for a game or practice.



7. Driven around in near-zero temperatures with all of the minivan windows rolled down and several strategically positioned air fresheners dangling from the roof to combat the stench of particularly malodorous equipment.



8. Lay awake in bed till past 1am reviewing the last game or next practice in your overactive brain.



9. Heard your voice crack like that of a prepubescent school boy as you implore the Boy or the Devil to track down that loose puck or bury the opportunity in the high slot.



10. Spent an inordinate amount of time chronicling your experiences in and out of arenas as a means of virtually commiserating with vast leagues of other parents just like you.



Feel free to add to this list, which is far from definitive, but a good start with which I am certain many Dads who walk in similar shoes to mine can relate.