Shotfromthepoint’s Blog

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The Hapless Hockey Manager

Posted by Astra on November 22, 2009

Research for my upcoming memoir of a hockey mom has spawned a new chapter:  the Hapless Hockey Manager.  I am the protagonist.  I have taken on the added challenge of team management for my daughter’s hockey team this season.  A Team Manager handles every off-ice duty including making sure the team has ice time.  There is an expectation from the coaches and parents that I actually know what I am doing.

As I recently posted, my daughter’s team participated in their first hockey tournament of the season.  Many of the preliminary details had already been arranged by our very experienced head coach:  the tournament registration itself and blocking group hotel rooms.  A defining moment of my hockey manager haplessness occurred following our third and final round robin game.  While looking over the tournament results board with another parent, she turned to me and said, “What do they do when there is a tie?”  It dawns on me as I look at her expectantly that no punch line is forthcoming; she really is waiting for the answer.  “Uh oh, “I think to myself, “Don’t look stupid, think fast”. I embarrassingly recall the tournament rule package I picked up at the registration desk, suddenly realizing I was probably supposed to read it and not use it as a placemat at the snack bar.  So I knowingly nod, and my eyes wander over to the rule board seeing if I can fake this… Aha!  There it is!  Tie Break Rules (in red).   “A tie in overall points is settled by highest goal differential.  Most tournaments, in my experience, settle tie breakers by goals for and against, but I guess not this one”.  I am saved; she walks away and relays my professional expertise to her husband.

At dinner that evening (which I pat myself on the back for organizing), the head coach mentions to me that our round robin ranking will determine who we play in the semi final game and when that semi final takes place (as there are 2 semis played at 2 different times).  Again, it dawns on me again that it is my role to determine what our final standing is, and to communicate the time and location of our semi final game to the rest of the team.  Since not everyone has access to email while away from home (this age of Blackberrys and iPhones makes my job decidedly easier), this will require old fashioned communication:  phoning people’s cell phones and hotel rooms.  This exercise will also require some level of sobriety for the rest of the evening – a state of which I am not always accustomed during hockey tournament weekends. 

As the rest of the story goes, the team does manage to all show up at the right arena and at the right time but we lose in the semi final to another rival Nepean team – a fact which is not being blamed on my haplessness I hope.  I have managed to stave off those who doubt my competence for yet another weekend.  There are many more challenges for me to overcome this year, the next big one being our December practice schedule!   I am certain that by the end of the season I will have to rename this chapter in my memoir.   I simply cannot remain stupid all year!  Go Fireblades Go!

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