It’s a relatively new sport, but it has taken Québec and the Saint-Georges region by storm.
Dek hockey is played with teams of seven to ten players, and each game is played three against three. Imagine ice hockey, but with sneakers instead of skates, and a ball instead of a puck.
Dominic Tapp, Facility Manager at Mont Sainte-Marguerite Wind, has been an active member of the Saint-Georges dek hockey league since it began.
“The sport has been growing over the past five or six years across our region. I went to see a couple of games the first year to check it out and I thought it was really interesting. A year later, my son and I started playing, and soon after that, I became the captain of the MSM team,” explains Dominic.
This summer, he took it a step further and played on three different teams.
“This was the first year I was able to play on the same team as my son Alexis because he’s 15 now and can play on the adult teams. Before that, he was on a youth team,” says Dominic.
A Family Affair
They’re not the only ones with family members on the same team—families playing together is a common trend.
“It’s not just a hockey game, it’s an event! We see a lot of families playing together because in the summer, it was something they could do together with other friends and family. This game has become something people look forward to because it’s a good opportunity to socialize,” he says.
And there are a few ways that friends and family can play together.
“Everyone can participate. We have a youth league for kids under 14. Then we have an adult league for everyone 15 and up. There are men’s teams, women’s teams, and mixed teams as well,” Dominic says.
A Team Effort
The teams are arranged so that players of all skill levels can enjoy the game.
“Once you register, you can start to play. As you score points during games, a committee keeps track and evaluates you. So if you’re a really good player, they try to balance the teams so that everything is fair,” he explains.
At the end of each season, there’s a tournament at the regional level, and the winners of that go on to play against regions from other parts of the province.
“There’s a little bit of money to be won, and some trophies. Winning teams can also win a free season pass so they don’t have to pay for next year. But we all play because it’s fun and keeps us active, but there are a few treats to be won,” he says.
The winter season is in full swing, having started just after Thanksgiving. In the summer months, games are played outside on a blue plastic surface. In the winter, the game moves indoors.
Dominic and Alexis are excited to get back into playing dek hockey every week.
“I like to move around, but this game is fun and is something I really want to do. I can’t wait to play and it’s very enjoyable!”
Learn more about dek hockey and the Saint-Georges league by visiting their website here.