There are not many rules of beer league hockey, but there are a few. The #1 rule of beer league hockey is: Don’t Be a Jerk. Everyone is here to have fun, make some friends, drink some beer, and maybe get some exercise. But the #2 rule of beer league hockey is less-talked about.

Rule #2 of beer league hockey: Stop complaining

The title of rule #2 encompasses every piece of the rule. Hockey is a tough sport for tough (or tough-ish) people. The longer you complain about something, the less time you (and probably everyone else) will have playing this sport you all love so much.

Here are some pieces of beer league hockey rule #2:

Get up

I played a tournament this last weekend where I fell and got slightly injured. It was not bad, but enough to stay on the ice for a few minutes. But when I fell, my first thought was “I’m offside, I need to get up.” Because I learned that when you fall, you get up and keep playing.

If you are not injured, get up as quickly as you can and get back in the game (or quickly go back to the bench).

This does not mean you need to get up if you’re injured

People get injured in hockey, it happens all the time. If you are truly injured, or even if you need a few seconds to check yourself and make sure you aren’t injured, stay on the ice. You do not want to injure yourself further — your safety and health are SO much more important than any game. Take the time you need to assure you are fine before getting up.

What we are talking about above is people who ARE fine but are trying to draw a penalty on an opponent.

Don’t milk it

If you try to milk your fall for a penalty, you’re more likely hurting your team than anything else. If you do not get up right away when you fall, get tripped, get hit, or anything else, you are taking one player away from your team and your chances of convincing the ref to call a penalty is very low (and can actually draw a penalty on you).

Most refs are good enough that they will see the penalty if it was truly a penalty. And if they didn’t, they won’t call it. No amount of dramatics is going to get them to change their mind.

Don’t complain to the ref

If trying to draw a penalty on your opponent is not going to change a ref’s mind, I can tell you that complaining is *definitely* not going to change a ref’s mind. If they don’t call a penalty, it’s because it probably wasn’t a penalty (or they missed it) and complaining to them is only going to cause you to get your own penalty.

Abuse of officials is an entire USA Hockey rule (601), and they can call you for this — which will also cause your team to be down a player, or get you kicked out.

If you are a beginner, it’s OK to ask a ref what you did wrong. But you should be doing this through your team captain.

Be a good teammate

All the above pieces of rule #2 come down to being a good player, person, and teammate. It is a game, no one is going to make the NHL, and we are all here to have fun (and maybe get a little exercise). Help out your team, play as hard as you can while you’re out there, and bring beer when you can. Don’t take the game more seriously than everyone else because it may cause you to break BOTH rule #1 and rule #2.

Rules of beer league hockey

Adult hockey is so much fun, but you have to want to have fun. The players who are constantly complaining and whining are the ones who tend to enjoy it less.

Go out there and try your best and understand mistakes happen (from yourself, other players, and refs) and feel thankful you are able to play this amazing sport.