There are several ways to play hockey in Sydney depending on your skill level, your location, how much you can travel and your availability. There are 6 rinks around the Sydney metropolitan area plus nearby rinks at the nearby Central Coast & Hunter areas. Each section features more information about each category at various rinks as session/game times vary. Full hockey equipment is required for all categories except Skate Schools. Skating ability is required at all levels except for entry level Skate School.
All rinks have an attached Skate Shop with varying opening hours and varying ranges of hockey equipment & supplies stocked. Some Skate Shops can be opened during the rink’s hours of operation while others have rigid opening hours. [Rink Profiles]
As a potential new player, you will need to learn how to skate before you even think of picking up a stick. You should enrol in a Skate School of your choice and start learning the basics. Even at this stage, it is usually OK to learn to skate in hockey gear including hockey skates. You will not be able to use hockey sticks or pucks in a Skate School however some classes may teach hockey skating techniques. You will also need to practice outside these classes – this can be done at General Skating Sessions. Rinks classify their General Sessions according to School Term or School Holidays times. Some Skate Schools do not operate during School Holidays.
Once you have progressed through Skate School, the next step is to learn how to skate with a hockey stick and a puck. There are specific sessions (usually called Hockey School or Hockey Development) where you can learn and practice these skills with other people. Some programs will insist on a certain level of completion at Skate School before you start Hockey School/Development while others will give you an informal skating assessment. Skating skills are required. If you haven’t already, be sure to watch games to Learn The Game.
More experienced players may wish to attend Coaching Clinics which are usually run by Australian level players & coaches.
In conjunction with learning to play sessions, you may want to work on your game before you progress to a competitive league. You may not be able to commit to a league and just want to play with some mates. At some rinks, there are sessions that are called either Drop-In or Stick & Puck. Also known as scrimmage, Drop-In usually enables people to play on loosely formed teams. There may be self-administered “gentlemen rules” or referees for Drop-In/Scrimmages. Stick & Puck usually allows players to work on their skills in a hockey environment without being in game situations. Hockey Schools/Development also feature elements of Drop-In, Scrimmage, Stick & Puck.
Development, Recreational & In House Leagues are often classified together. These leagues can focus on gaining hockey skills within a game environment. In-House leagues are great for players who do not want to play at elite levels or do not want to travel. In-house leagues are usually played at the same rink without needing to travel elsewhere. Some elite level players also play higher levels of in-house leagues outside of their primary season.
Tournaments & Leagues require more commitment and on occasion, more travel. There are varying levels of competition ranging from beginner to elite and from children to adults. Tournaments are usually shorter events (for instance, a weekend) while competitions & leagues are multi-week (if not multi-month) commitments consisting of several games and one of several forms of finals. Finals are also referred to as post-season in higher level competitions, usually those outside of Australia.
Photo: Demi Barclay
Page last updated 04 August 2017