by Dan Adkisson
Hockey is a sport loved by millions in both the US and Canada, as well as further afield worldwide. Some might say, a controversial shout, that it’s the best sport ever.
In this article, we’ll explore whether that claim has merit and look at 7 reasons ice hockey is terrific. Whether you’re a massive fan or someone just following the sport so you can get the latest hockey odds, we’re sure you’d agree it’s a great sport.
1. It’s Incredibly Fast
Hockey is a fast-paced sport that requires split-second decisions and reactions. The game is played on ice, so the players are constantly skating at high speeds and trying to avoid collisions with each other. This makes for an exciting spectacle that is sure to get your heart racing.
Like tennis and basketball, if you blink, you might miss a critical moment in the game. Hockey moves at such high speeds, with some of the transitional play changing the course of the game in seconds and having a lasting impact. If you love high-speed action, this is the sport for you.
2. The Skill Level Is Insane
Skating at high speeds while stick-handling a puck and avoiding other players is no easy feat. The skill level required to play hockey at even a semi-professional level is extremely high, which is why it’s such an entertaining sport for spectators. Players make it look effortless but trust us, it definitely isn’t!
While it might look fairly simple from an outsider’s perspective, players gliding around and dribbling the pick, how many of you can honestly say you’re a good skater? Being able to turn quickly and at a split-second’s notice requires insane amounts of control and coordination, much more than many of us can manage, even with practice.
3. There Is Constant Action
Unlike some sports where there can be long periods of inactivity, hockey always has something happening. Even when the puck isn’t in play, there is usually still plenty of action going on as players fight for position or jostle each other off the puck. This constant activity makes it very difficult for viewers to take their eyes off the action.
When you watch hockey, you’re almost guaranteed plenty of action that’s pretty much unrelenting. The one issue people have with other sports, soccer, in particular, is that you can go an entire game without seeing much action, especially at the higher levels, but this will unlikely ever really be the case when it comes to hockey.
4. The Crowds Are Crazy
Hockey crowds are some of the most passionate and intense in all sports. They are always loud and enthusiastic, regardless of whether their team is winning or losing. This creates an electric atmosphere inside the arena that is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
While it’s not quite Boca versus River Plate in Argentina’s soccer league, hockey is pretty much unrivaled in North America when it comes to crazy atmospheres. Hockey isn’t for casual fans, and if you don’t know your stuff and don’t properly support your team, you’ll soon stick out like a sore thumb.
5. The Players Are Tough
Hockey players are some of the toughest athletes in the world. They must be able to withstand constant physical contact and collisions with other players and fall onto the ice. This toughness is one of the things that make hockey such a great sport to watch.
Nobody likes crybabies in sport, soccer we’re looking at you, and hockey players are potentially the toughest contact athletes on the planet, maybe only rivaled by rugby players. It’s not unusual to see plenty of blood, and a fair amount of fights break out on the ice when things aren’t going to plan. It’s great for spectators.
6. There Is No Offseason
Unlike some other sports, there is no offseason in hockey. The NHL season runs from October through April, and then there are various international tournaments and leagues that take place during the summer months. This means that fans can enjoy hockey action all year round.
There’s nothing worse than having to go months without sport, and you certainly won’t find this happening with hockey. It’s a massive industry, and you’ll almost always have an opportunity to catch some action no matter when it is in the year. Make sure to check out the lower leagues, as they won’t always align to the NHL’s standard calendar.
7. It’s Just Plain Fun
At the end of the day, hockey is just plain fun to watch. There is always something happening on the ice, and it’s a sport that is easy to understand and follow. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just a casual observer, hockey is sure to entertain you.
Whether you want to take the whole family for a big day out or fancy some alone time, hockey is perfect. While at the game, you can get involved with other supporters and have fun, as well as eat plenty of food and maybe even have some beers.