Decision Time

So, I have this dilemma, and I’d love it if anyone reading this would weigh in. Who knows, maybe in writing this it’ll help make up my mind…
I’ve been taking hockey classes through the Pacific Hockey Association (PHA) since the beginning of June. My friends have played on PHA league teams in the past. But my friends have also played in the Northern California Women’s Hockey League (NCWHL). I’ve done two “Give Hockey a Try Day” (GHATD) sessions with NCWHL, and enjoyed them.
As with everything, there are pluses and minuses to both leagues- I’ve included here the points that are most important to me.
PHA: Your team picks a name and logo, it goes on your jersey (that you have to buy) along with your name.
Has stock jerseys and you borrow them for the season. No name or logo, and you don’t get to keep it.
(Lame as it is, I really want a “this is my jersey for the very first team I played on”, and I want to have my name on it. There is a possibility that I could just buy the jersey, but I’m not sure.)
PHA: 17 games + playoffs if your team makes it. It’s all gameplay- no practices unless your team rents ice time.
NCWHL: 21 games. At my level, it’s more like 21 ice slots, with some games and some practices.
PHA: My hockey class friends will be playing here. I’ve gotten close with like 5 of the people I met in class and we hang out a bit outside of class, and it’s awesome, and I want to play on a team with them. Plus Charlotte will be playing in PHA next season.
NCWHL: Nicky will be playing here, and at my level, but she’s a goalie, so she won’t really be on my team, even if we get to play together sometimes. There aren’t enough goalies and so they “float”.
PHA: $475 + jersey
NCWHL: $435 (maybe more becasue I’d be registering late)
I am tempted to add a last category here called “drama level” but I won’t. I’ll just say that all my friends have had trouble with their teammates in PHA, and I keep getting told that NCWHL is “nicer”. And from what little I’ve seen of this side of it, NCWHL seems better organized.
To sum up, NCHWL will give me more practice time, with others at my level. I am woefully behind the rest of my class in PHA in some things, and practice is a good thing. PHA lets me play with my new hockey friends (and yes I know I can make more friends in NCHWL, but I like my PHA friends), and I get a jersey. I know that’s a material thing, but I’ve never played a sport EVER and I’m sentimental, so it’s probably way more important to me than it would otherwise be.
(Third option- should I take a year off, work on my skating, lose some more weight and try again later?)
Seems like it should be a no-brainer, but it’s not, so weigh in please.

5 thoughts on “Decision Time

  1. pea

    i’m with you on the jersey. i’d want that too. that said, a jersey, while cool, wouldn’t really make up for the drama. and if it is as drama filled as you hint at, then the overall hockey experience would be tainted and possibly ruined, tempting you to stop playing. soooo i think i’d go with the safer option, which in my view with this info is the NCHWL.
    as for waiting another year. no. you’ve been doing well. might as well jump in. this from the girl (woman, whatever) who constantly puts off doing things till later when she’s thinner, in better shape, prettier, etc.
    you’ve done the hardest part, in my opinion, and that was getting the energy and motivation to join and continue going. i wouldn’t stop now.
    my two cents. take them for what they’re worth. 😀

  2. heather

    Definitely don’t take a year off. You’re enjoying it and you should keep it up. From reading your facts, it sounds to me like you’d prefer PHA…

  3. HockeyPhool

    Judy – first, keep playing. You’ll never learn as much as you will by just playing. Your skating will come along, your fitness will improve, and you’ll understand the game much more thoroughly.
    Second, play on a team where your teammates treat you with respect and camaraderie. This may take a while to feel out, especially if you change leagues but it makes a huge difference. In rec hockey, fun is the only reason to play. Team drama takes a lot of the fun out of it.
    It *is* nice to have your own jerseys, but even if you play in the NCWHL maybe you could convince your teammates to all purchase team T-shirts to wear after your games when you go hang out.
    Above all, have fun!

  4. Hockey Rocker

    Keep on playing hockey. Money seems the same for both leagues. Team jerseys are great. But you can buy a jersey for memory sake too.
    You develop your ability while working on skills in game time situations. You never know until you try. Learn to play friends are great too. It’s always good when you can have beverages with team after games. My negatives are how far the rink is from home, and the BS factor on the team. On a personal note, I met my girlfriend playing on the same team. Good thing we like the same position, right wing! One game, at skatetown, she was battling some no skills punk in the corner, he was interfering her play and yelling expletives, she took exception and threw down, he fell to the ice and stayed there, they went to box for 5 minutes time out. That’s when I knew she was the one for me. It’s been love ever since. Take it easy TC

  5. Chad

    Whatever you do, no way should you take a year off! You wouldn’t get that year back if you did, and it’s obvious from reading this entry that playing means a lot to you.
    I tend to agree with HockeyPhool. You can find other ways to replace the sentimental value of a jersey. That extra practice time is what’s key, IMO. This is what you need to get ready should you decide to switch over to the drama of the PHA.

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