News and Sports

Shelburne Shooters launch brand new season at CDRC

April 26, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By Brian Lockhart

Ball hockey is one of the fastest growing sports across the country. The sport has made huge strides over the past two decades with leagues spring up in all provinces.

The Shelburne Shooters got their 2018 season underway this week with games taking place at the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex.

“This was our opening game of the season,” said coach Norm Burke who is on the bench with the mixed novice / atom Dekes of Hazard.

“I would guess about 80 per cent of our players also play ice hockey. The kids who love to play hockey love to play both ice hockey and ball hockey. It’s also a good introduction for kids who like to play ball hockey out on the street with their friends and it’s relatively low cost.”
The Shooters combine different but similar age groups for their teams to make sure each team has a full line-up and to create four teams in a division.

One of the biggest difference playing ball is hockey is it’s almost totally dedicated to playing the game with very little practice time.

“In ball hockey we only practice for a few minutes before each game. There’s not as much work for a parent volunteer – who has a full time job – to get prepped before a game,” explained Burke, who is also an ice hockey coach. “When you’re coaching ice hockey you spend two or three hours working up a practice that’s only going to take an hour. In ball hockey you only need a few minutes practice. In ball hockey we just play – all our floor time is dedicated to playing games.”

Though the sport similar to playing ice there are some big differences when playing on concrete.

“Stick handling and the ability to control that bouncing ball,” Burke said are the two main skills needed.

He added, “Hand / eye coordination is important. Even though the ball is a hard plastic it bounces a lot. If kids are good soccer players as well they seem to make good ball players, along with kids who play lacrosse. Shelburne has done quite well as a league. We have around 170 – 180 players. We’ve been competitive every year.”

In contrast to ice hockey, playing on the floor requires a lot less equipment. A helmet, gloves, and soccer style shin pads are required, but other than that, shorts and a jersey make up the rest of the gear.

The Shelburne Shooters have a full slate of games every week through the spring and early summer.

         

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