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You’ve got your tickets, jersey on, money for snacks (or beer!) and you’re ready to partake in one of arguably the most Canadian past times ever.. the good ol’ hockey game!
Whether you’re an avid fan and season-ticket holder, attending because your boss hooked you up with tickets or your boyfriend is the biggest hockey buff EVER, chances are you’ll attend at least one hockey game this season.
If you’ve grown up watching or have never seen a whole game before, there are a few tips and tricks for how we can all be better fans inside the arena – and there’s definitely some etiquette you should brush up on before you go.
1. Don’t miss puck drop
We know, a lot of us are coming from work before the game, or maybe you’re out with friends for dinner prior to a hockey-filled night of fun – but doors are usually open at least one hour prior to the game actually starting, and you have to know what time the puck is actually dropping!
Plus, watching the boys hit the ice for warm-ups is always a good time AND you’ll have more time to get snacks and find your seat if you get there early – just saying.
Speaking of being ice-side.. You wouldn’t do it to your fish tank, so why do it at a hockey game? Behind-the-glass seats are a privilege – and as such, you’re kind of setting an example for the entire crowd.
Players can be inches away from your face, and not only does banging on the glass make you look less than favourable, but players have enough to worry about aside from being distracted by the “moral support” of clanging hands.
3. Dress for your team – or don’t bother
Want to paint your face or chest?
Go for it – as long as you’re sporting the right colours. If you’re planning on wearing team apparel, make sure it’s one of the two teams that are in the game – if that means leaving your uncle’s borrowed 1962 Leafs jersey at home, so be it.
Don’t have hockey apparel? Just dress to stay cozy and warm.
4. Watch your feet – or at least your kid’s
We all know it’s a given not to put your feet on the backs of seats at the movie theatre, so why is the arena any different?
Keep your feet off the chair’s in front of you – and even more importantly, if your kid is kicking someone’s seat, put a stop to it – we’re all just trying to enjoy the game!
5. Keep your eyes on the game, not your phone
Hockey is one of the most fast-paced, quick-moving sports out there so even if you look away for a second, you could miss an incredible play.
Of course taking pictures and video is all in good fun, but your Instagram and Tik Toks will still be there after the game.
Also, while you shouldn’t text the whole night away, it’s even worse to have a full-fledged conversation on your phone.
6. Don’t be a puck-hog
That’s right, this doesn’t just go for the players on the ice. Chances of catching a puck are actually pretty rare (please don’t bring your baseball glove), so on the off chance a puck sails over the boards in your direction, you’re sure to earn yourself some camera time.
But, you know.. maybe give the puck to a kid?
You might want to put that puck on your mantle for the rest of your life, but what’s better than making a kid’s night?
As a bonus, you’re way more likely to get yourself plenty more applause and camera time if you share.
7. If you’re going to heckle, keep it classy
If you believe everyone around you needs to know your thoughts, at least make it good. Screaming “Shoot the puck!” and booing a bunch of under-20 players is not likely something anyone cares to hear about.
If you have an amazing one-liner that’ll bring the house down, please proceed, otherwise just cheer and react like everyone else.
And please don’t swear – the kid you gave the puck to will be so disappointed.
8. Know when to leave and return (and don’t do it early)
Is there anything more distracting than the guy in the middle of a row who decides to clumsily squeeze by everyone else in the middle of a play causing you to miss that epic goal?
There’s ample time to do what you need between plays and periods while returning to your seat in a polite manner – so hang tight until the play stops.
Oh, and if you’re one of those “It’s 12-2 we might as well leave to beat the traffic” people, just don’t – you could be missing out on some really good end-of-game action.
Ready to put your new-found hockey game etiquette to the test?
The Royals are back in town on Friday, February 7th to face bitter rivals the Kamloops Blazers. Tickets are still available!
- When: Friday, February 7th – puck drop at 7:05 p.m.
- Where: Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard Street
- Tickets: Available online and at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre box office