So, here’s the thing. Hockey is much more than a game. It’s a community of people—a family. So, here’s a few points to get you started.
1) This is not a football match.
That means don’t swear if you’re in the audience (kids are around!) and definitely don’t throw the puck back if you’re lucky enough to receive one. Though this is pretty unlikely nowadays because safety netting has been installed in most rinks.
2) Please, don’t bang on the glass.
There is nothing more frustrating than the audience banging and shaking the glass. No, they cannot hear you, and you will be silently judged. You will however distract them, and your favourite player may end up not being your favourite after the reaction.
3) Heckle. Or chirp.
It’s hockey culture to heckle the other team and yell at the ref. As long as you know your limits, heckling can be a great source of banter for all.
4) Don’t get out of your seat until there is a break in play.
No matter how many bottles of beer you ended up drinking, hold it in until the ref blows his whistle, then quickly walk out of everybody’s way before play resumes. Even better: just wait until the end of the period!
5) Learn the chants!
If you truly want to become a distinguished fan of your local hockey team, you need to learn the jokes, songs and chants. Remember to join in with the crowd as much as possible and be LOUD! Your team needs your support.
6) Grab a jersey
There’s a big culture just around hockey jerseys themselves. Unfortunately, they can be quite expensive. So don’t worry about not having one at all! However, they do look very cool and show dedication. Grab one if you can! Ideally, it should be a team jersey for either the home or away team. In the UK because hockey is a minority sport, you can also get away with wearing any NHL team jersey. Just don’t bring a Swindon jersey to Bracknell vs Basingstoke!
7) Get off your damn phone!
Hockey is a super fast-paced sport. You genuinely will miss something if you look at your phone, even for a few seconds. Enjoy the game!