JCC Floor Hockey


Juranka's Corner

Oct 11, 2004

no game tonight

no great heroics

no Firkin news
except that Mitch informs me that the MTV line drank and left before
the end of the final game last week which is when Aron and i showed up
which means that E and F were tied for the Oct 4th Firkin Power-rankings
with 5 each.

since tonight is thanksgiving
i'd like to thank all of you who
heard the call and responded to the
stick and safety questions

all the players comments are at the
end of this email and have been
only slightly edited to fit with
the subject matter and to reflect
what i'd like others to have said (just kidding)

so, to review what's been said about sticks

at first glance its obvious that the opinions
are as varied as the sticks and playing styles
of the league members themselves but
on the qustion of fibreglass safety
there was an overwhelming majority

the JCC (under the supervision of Tony)
purchased black and white plastic sticks
many years ago and it is beyond question
that there is a dire need to replace and
replenish our stick stocks

the responses of almost all the players
addressed the question of whether we
should keep up the status quo by asking
the JCC to purchase only plastic sticks
or to venture into the territory of
JCC-bought fibreglass sticks

one extreme is Aron who
wouldn't be happy with plastic
and Jeff Wener who believes
that heavy white plastic sticks are even
more dangerous than fibreglass ones

on the opposite end is Jeff Silver
and Sander who think fibreglass
should not be allowed

Sander and Silver stand alone
in this "plastic stick only" paradigm

all the rest of the respondents
either implicitly or explicitly
indicated that fibreglass sticks
were acceptable in our league

Ron Wener added that consistency was important
so whether fibreglass or plastic we should all
use the same.

Vinnie added that transparent sticks with metal inside
(better known as "Lantz sticks") are scary.

Joel L. and Mike Tanner, both plastic stick users thought
fibreglass is okay, and potential victims should buy shin pads.

Shiney and Paul Lepage, both big white plastic spaghetti stick
users gave no objections to fibreglass sticks.

Adam stressed that hacking was the problem
and not the type of stick the hacker used.

and the last three respondents outdid each other
in the macho category implying that fibreglass
was definitely okay

it seems like the longer i waited for a response
the less likely an anti-fibreglass opinion would
be expressed

Andrea sent me an email while i was composing this
and she proposed that we use wrapping paper tubes
which are hard to find this early before Christmas.

The overwhelming concensus is that fibreglass is okay
but i believe it's prudent for us to consider Shalinsky and
Silver's position seriously. Especially since Sander
is a lawyer and his email reads like a legal document
which will be submissible in court as evidence
should he wish to sue for injuries at some later date.
The JCC asks us to sign away our rights at the beginning
of the year and may be well advised to get a litigation lawyer
to check that document in light of a probable lawsuit
from one Sander Shalinsky.

All joking aside, its important to flesh out the substance
in Sander's text, most notably that yoga pants are not only stylish
but also a great absorber of blood, sweat and tears.

From experience i know that hacking does become
a problem at play-off time but it is limited to various
individuals. I was hacked last year and the recurring pain
in my thumb, throughout the summer, led me to believe
that it may have been fractured. The individual used a plastic stick.
By the time the playoffs roll around i'll be wearing gloves.

Neither Jeff Silver nor Sander wear shin-pads or any
protective equipment for that matter. It does make a big difference.

The committee will take the rest of the week off work
to study your responses and make recommendations to Kim.

Hopefully she hasn't already ordered the sticks...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

incomplete survey
(only 22 of 42 league members responded)

those who own their own sticks
white fibreglass (idomo 9300): Jeff W., Ron (l), Lev (r), Chris, Paul R.
white fibreglass (other): Vince (l), Aron (l)
black fibreglass (less rigid than white) - Tom(r), Larry, Jamie (just broke)
transparent shaft - Dave & Loren Lantz
black plastic: Joel L.

those who use JCC sticks
short (black): Jeff S.(r), Mike T.(r), Patrick, Andrea
long (white): Mike S.(r), Mark, Gabe, Paul L.
no pref given: Mitch (l)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Here are the players responses with my
summary in quotes, next to their names.

Ron Wener : "fibreglass okay, consistency"
The key for me is consistency.
If everyone has a light stick,
then that's fine with me
(I'm prepared to change sticks).

Aron : "must have fibreglass"
I currently use the 9100 style,
but I think I would be happy
with the more flexible black fibreglass.
I definitely wouldn't be happy
having to use a short black,
or floppy, heavy white.

I find the black sticks too short,
and the white sticks too flimsy.

I like to use a solid stick,
which is why I went and bought my own.
I'd be fine, I suppose, with a taller black stick
as long as it wasn't 'bendy'. But, for me,
it's not hockey if the stick is wobbly.

Vinnie : "fibreglass okay, Lantz sticks are scary"
I use the white fibreglass one.
Those transparent ones with
the metal thing running down the shaft
scare the hell out of me.

Jeff Silver : "plastic only"
i don't think any fiberglass or hard sticks should be allowed.
While there has not been a serious injury in the last few years
while i have been playing, there are many bloody shins,
swollen thumbs and bruised fingers from the hard sticks where
even accidental contact hurts for a few days after

the plastic sticks supplied by the jcc right now are perfect
from a safety standpoint and should just be upgraded for quality

goalies should not be allowed to use wooden sticks b/c
i have been hit by those enough times to know they hurt!

Sander : "plastic only"
I would like to clarify my position on the stick issue.
During the game in which I was involved, I was hit a number of times on the
lower leg by a "non-JCC issued" floor hockey stick. The blows resulted in
broken skin and bleeding on my knee and lower leg. If not for the absorbing
power of my yoga pants, I think the matter would have been even more
pronounced with an obviously bleeding leg as evidence.
No penalty was levied and frankly I agreed with the ref. And this is the
fundamental point in considering the issue: Virtually any stick could be
used as a device to injure if the player has the intent in mind, whether it
is a league issue stick or otherwise. I was hurt as a result of INCIDENTAL
CONTACT with a stick. There was no intent to injure on the part of the
player and I think the action was well within the rules. Those who know me
I'm sure will agree that I am not a shrinking violet. Nonetheless the injury
did occur as a result of the act. I think that if a stick is so rigid that
incidental contact with a body part will cause that kind of injury that type
of stick should not be allowed.
I have no ill will toward the person who used the stick that injured me nor
do I have ill will towards others who use those sticks and others like it.
However, I do believe that that the fibreglass stick of the type that
injured me as well as the black stick of the type that our good friend Tom
uses and which I happened to have handled immediately prior to the game
should not be permitted because it is too easy to be injured by them.
To digress slightly in order to make a further point on the same issue, I
think most injuries and infractions occur when two players are tired. When
one is tired mentally, one tends to make more mental mistakes. When a player
tires, it becomes more likely that they will pay fast and loose with the
stick. If that stick is made of such a rigid composition, I think the
likelihood of injury to other players increases dramatically.
Finally, I think a certain responsibility need to lie with the JCC. If the
JCC were providing adequate equipment throughout, nobody would have felt
the need to go out and purchase their own stick. JCC: now is the time to step
up to the plate.

Joel L. : "fibreglass okay, buy shin pads"
Simple solution. Buy soccer shin pads....the cost $12
and I have been wearing the same pear for 8 years.
They are great....no more pain...no more mental
anguish...only love and happiness.

I got 7 stitches above the eye in 6 years ago from a
stick..and it does not matter what type of stick it is.
But I was wearing eye glasses and therefore I got
cut above the eye....
so...buy shin pads, wear glasses...don't worry about
the sticks...
If Josh did not call high sticks we might have an
issue with some chipped teeth...but the sticks don't
come up in this league.

Mike T.: "fibreglass okay, buy shin pads"
I like the short sticks, specifically the ones with the
fairly rigid black shafts and the red blades.
They're short enough for good stickhandling and ball control,
firm enough for a good hard shot, and yet not so inflexible
so as to cause injuries. (By the way, I'm more on Joel L.'s side there--
I don't think the stiffer sticks that guys have bought are a big problem,
if people wear shin pads. Or pears...)
Anyway, I shoot right. And I'd love more of the sticks I've described.
And I hate the longer, white-shaft sticks because they're too long for
good ball control and the shafts are like spaghetti noodles.
I can't believe people actually like them but I know some guys do.
So if the JCC goes out and buys more sticks, it seems fair that
they buy an assortment to suit differing tastes.
That being said, I agree with Joel L. in that I think with shin pads and eyewear the
most we're going to wind up with is a few little bruises here and there, even with
some guys using bought sticks. I play in an outdoor league through the spring and
summer with wooden sticks and the orange ball, so by comparison, any plastic stick
with a plastic ball seems pretty benign. Josh is a good ref, and people here are
basically good about keeping sticks down.

Mike S.: "fibreglass okay"
I like the big white sticks... the short ones are don't work for me
and frankly I think they are conducive to more high sticks on the follow through.
As well... I have not worn any equipment at all for the three years I have been playing
and I cannot tell the differences between the marks from a certain style of stick,,...

Paul L.: "fibreglass okay" (wants a Lantz stick)
i'm in agreement with mike except for the fact that the white sticks offer a
superior wrist shot because of their spaghetti quality. now if i could only hit
the net.

Adam : "fibreglass okay"
Sticks don't hurt people. People hurt people.

Harris : "fibreglass okay"
I'm sure we're all aware of a certain element of risk when playing,
regardless of what kind of sticks are being used. Personally, I wear shin
pads because I was tired of getting whacked when I played occasionally over
the summer. I know it's never intentional, yet even if it's careless or
accidental, the bottom line is, it hurts and it's annoying. I've heard some
players also use jocks or pears to protect their genitalia. I'm confused. I
know the league is not super competitive and most of the guys are all
buddies, yet there must be a certain element of competitiveness
where one strives for that extra edge to shoot that thing even better. I was
contemplating purchasing a fiberglass stick. I've only used the white plastic
and have nothing to compare it with but they seem too short and flimsy
and the blades are a bit thin, but I play with it because I love to play and it's fun;
I noticed those black and red ones are even shorter. I'm o.k using the plastic
but it seems the supply is not so extensive. I would try a fiberglass but I
wouldn't feel comfortable using one if some people are worried that they are
more unsafe. I guess the league should either provide both types,
or come to a decision whether to ban the fiberglass ones out of
safety concerns.

Jeff W.: "black plastic is safer than fibreglass is safer than white plastic"
It seems to me that the primary consideration should be safety, not "quality of shot".
I agree that the fibreglass sticks are higher risk than the short blacks, but
they are lower risk than the heavy white ones.
" Force equals mass times acceleration" is simple physics, regardless of opinion.
I would be happy to leave my fibreglass at home if we all used the lighter black sticks.
I only started to use them after tiring of the white sticks going through my black one -
either from above, below, or laterally. They only came into use after being ordered
years ago by Tony. The fibreglass is protective.
A white stick crushed an aluminum stick I used years ago.

I am in accord with those who find the black sticks too short for them. It is simple.
Sticks come in various lengths. We can get long and short. The need for a heavier shot
is not more important than the protection of body parts. Nobody had to lose an eye before we made goggles mandatory. I would rather be less effective and not put others at risk.

Mitch : "fibreglass okay"
I don't care which sticks we use as long as everyone agrees so some sort
of standard and that the league-bought ones are not a disadvantage to
the individually bought ones.

I too wear shin pads but I wish they were 1" taller because I always get
clipped right above the pad. Actually I think it just depends on how
you play and naturally, most people are going to get bumps and bruises
playing this game.

If I had to vote for "least fearsome stick" I'd vote for Jamie Sarner's...
Since it broke simply by my 125 lb. frame running through it,
I don't see how it can be a danger to anybody. Therefore I think we
should all use that kind.

Steve: "fibreglass okay"
I like wood sticks with ball hockey blades - I also like orange balls

Puya: "fibreglass okay"
Ohhhh yes, orange ball would be grrreeeat!!!

Patty: "fibreglass okay"
Try playing in other ball-hockey leagues where the play is much more physical,
the balls are harder, and the real possibility of fighting exists.
Buy shin pads and while your at it, get gloves too before someone chimes in on
how hard these plastic sticks are on your fingers.

Andrea: "used wrapping paper tubes okay"
I think we should play with nerf balls, used wrapping paper tubes,
and every third person should be blind folded.
every week Josh could make up new rules and
tells us them only as we break them

i think the new committee lacks vision.

[editor's response: blind-folds are a wonderful (tho' slightly kinky) way
to spice up a floor hockey game and this new committee may be all for it,
especially since we already lack vision]

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