Despite the world’s biggest trophy in domestic ice hockey being named after the British aristocrat that helped to make the sport so popular, the UK hasn’t had much success in it for much of the last century. But that hasn’t stopped a passionate and loyal fan base from forming in the UK. In fact, the Elite Ice Hockey League has continued to go from strength to strength in the country since its formation in 2003.
There’s also plenty of overseas competitions to follow from in the UK, including the NHL and the KHL. Betting on these leagues is also popular among hockey fans, with many also choosing to take advantage of the plethora of free bet promotions run by bookmakers in the UK while they do it.
However, if you’re thinking you’d like to do more than just sit in the stands and you want to get out there on the ice, then here’s how you can get started playing ice hockey in the UK.
Learn to Skate
It may seem a bit of an obvious first step, but learning to skate is incredibly important. It doesn’t take long to get to grips with the basics, but you need to be confident skating close to people, changing direction quickly, and getting back up quickly when you hit the deck.
Your local ice rink will be a good place to start with this, most offer regular public sessions where you can go and get more acquainted with the ice. You may also want to consider skating lessons if you want to perfect your abilities.
Find a Local Team
Hockey is a team sport, so if you want to start playing you’ll need to join one. Thankfully, there are plenty of options for players of different levels. If you’re in England or Wales, then the English Ice Hockey Association has a list of ice rinks where you can play and who you need to get in touch with.
Most of England is within an hour’s drive of a rink, with the exception of northern Cumbria, Devon, and Cornwall.
As a beginner, you may need to speak to a few different clubs to find one that has room for someone with your ability.
Training at Home
Of course, you’re not going to be able to set up an ice rink in your living room, but you can still train at home. Using a stick and a ball will be a good way to develop basic control techniques, but it won’t quite replicate a puck on the ice.
That’s where the Green Biscuit comes in. It’s a puck that behaves on hard surfaces in a similar way to a standard puck while on ice. This will give you plenty of time to practice outside of your weekly or fortnightly training sessions and will form a big part of your development as a hockey player.