JCC Floor Hockey


Juranka's Corner

Dec 13, 2004

so much happened tonight that
its hard to conceive that i could
fit it into
a single newsletter

it did
and i will

the jabberwalky phenomenon
happened again

the power of encouragement is mystical
but more about that later

the new rules were in effect
even though they have not yet
been posted on this website

here is a sneak preview
of the rule changes

1) All line changes must be made within 5-7 feet of the bench. If the oncoming player comes into contact with the ball, another player, or interferes with play even without contact, it will be a 2 minute penalty.

this rule is intended
to prevent the situation
where players call for a sub
and leisurely walk
back to the bench

teams will only have
a 7 foot "grace" distance
to switch up players

of course Josh is watching the play
and doesn't always catch
what's going on around the bench

but still, this rule will definitely
encourage players
to run to their bench
for changes "on the fly"
it will take that much longer
for their subs
to get back into the fray

2) The referee has discretion along the wall. Any contact, even accidental, is now a 2 minute penalty, with the referee having discretion to make it up to a 5 minute penalty.

Puya noticed a while back that Josh
is not calling the minimum 5 minutes
for infractions close to the wall
and posted this discrepancy
in a forum on the website

Thanks Puya !

Even though the original
no tolerance rule was
supposed to impress everyone
with how serious the league is
about dangerous play next
to a solid brick wall,
it was understandably difficult
for Josh to justify
major penalties for
minor infractions

so the old rule is amended
so that 2 minute penalties
can be called along the wall
unless of course,
Josh feels its more "major"

3) The referee does not need to explain every call/non-call. One request for a call is understandable, but repeated outbursts are subject to an unsportsmanlike conduct 2 minute penalty.

This rule will hopefully
put an end to the bickering
that Josh has to deal with

its bad enough that players
give each other a hard time...
but the ref is impartial -
he doesn't care what the score is
he's not for or against any team
and there's no excuse to be
insulting in any way towards him

in every sport and every league
the rules are the same with respect
to how you treat your officials
so if he feels like you are
making his job harder by directing
any animosity towards him
he can give you a two minute penalty
and/or eject you from the game

Paul Lepage says that in the nhl
the refs simply tell a player
"not another word" and
if they say absolutely anything
its two minutes automatically
and if they say anything after that
then its an automatic game suspension

no body ever feels like
they deserved a penalty
and often josh will make
a questionable call but
as Larry said at the firk,
"Josh makes fewer bad calls
then us players make bad plays"

4) When the goaltender plays the ball after a whistle, he is given 7 feet of clearance in all directions.
Additionally, the ball may not be rushed for 3 seconds after the goalie releases it. Offenders get 2 minutes.

this rule was made by request
from the regular goalies who
want to get the ball back into play
as quickly and effortlessly as possible
without having to deek around someone
(eg. Adam)

this rule guarantees
that the back of the net
will have to be vacated
by the opposition
because its also
within 7 feet of the goalie and
the 3 seconds grace period
will allow the defenceman back there
to gain control and
check out the passing situation
before an opponent
can chase them
around the net

5) Bench interference. Spectators (including other teams) will be restricted to upstairs, giving enough space on the bench so that no legs or sticks need to overhang. If a stick or leg interferes with the play-even if no contact is made-a 2 minute penalty will be called.

players who let their legs and sticks
hang over the bench often interfere
with the game

a new rule will stipulate that
if the ball touches them or their stick
its an automatic 2 minute penalty
and what's more, if a player
needs to take any evasive action
to avoid the obstructions
at your bench then
Josh can call that too

no actual contact
with player or ball
is necessary
make sure nothing is hanging out
when the play
comes around your bench

besides these five amendments
to the rules,
Josh has started cracking down
on excessive stickplay
especially when the perpetrator
had been successfully deeked

in the first game
Puya had passed me
and i reached around him
wacking at the ball
and though i didn't hit him
i was given a penalty
(my first of the year)

amir did something similar,
trying to lift aron's stick
after he had been deeked cleanly

if someone deeks you cleanly
then you need to run to get
back into position
as opposed to
using your stick
to slow them down

its a good rule because
its usually during those
desperation moments
that hacking escalates

* * * * * * * * * *

there are
two other topics
that are
getting a lot of attention

before the games began
carter and amir
mentioned their concern
about smaller 6-man teams
which were proposed
and polled on the website

they didn't like the idea at all
and felt so strongly against it
that they would consider not rejoining
if it went to 6 person teams

short-benched teams
often surprise everyone
with season-defining performances

not to mention the great exercise and
second wind and adrenaline rush

so although i don't prefer it,
i don't really mind it either

* * * * * * * * * * *

another topic on a lot of players minds
is the upcoming under/over forties game

the over 40's only have
eight eligible players
so they can all play
but the under 40's
have over 30 players

That means that a lot of players
will be excluded
whatever team gets selected

Davie has made a selection
and because he has been
the only one to do so,
its the one on record
for the first event.

While some may argue
with his choices,
my only concern is
that the under 40's
have only 6 players.

I guess i'm into the
symmetrical thing

i feel that both teams
should field the same
number of players

either way,
it will be a really exciting event
with arguably most
of the best players
facing off against each other

on with the games...

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

Rebel Bees vs. Red Zep

Evan laced up the pads
for the first game

this was his first time
in net this year

and the rebels,
6 strong,
prepared for their
third encounter
with the zeps

last week the rebels
had seriously missed Matt
(their marathon runner)
and they were badly out-run
by the ronnellys

again they would have
to go without Matt
(who is in Ohio on
computer business)
they did get back gregus
their franchise player

we didn't have our
sharp-shooter kitch
but our spiritual guide timmy
turned up to
lift our spirits

the yellow belly sap suckers
as lepage wanted to call them
are the second place team

the fact that
they were blown-out last week
didn't make us feel
any more secure
because most teams
rebound after a blow-out &
they beat the zeps handily,
13 to 7
the last time we met

but for two games in a row
there had been
more than the usual bickering
going on behind the
rebel bumble bee bench

it started with a particularly
ill-tempered game between
the chops and the rebels
that i wrote about
two newsletters ago

and then again during the
rebel-ronnelly blowout
last week

so i asked amir about it but
he didn't think anything unusual
was going on

"we're in second place still so
there's nothing wrong"

and thus, the game began....

the defense was tight
on both teams
during the first half

but the zeps
were passing
a lot more than usual

i scored the first two goals
on great passes
from aron and steve

steve was at the top of his game
doing his solo 100 yard dashes
up and down the gym,

sometimes up and down the walls

our team had never been
so loose

we were giggling
more than usual
and passing the ball
more than ever
and strategies
unfolded amidst
the spontaneity

natural generosity
was so abundant
that passing plays evolved
from random acts of kindness

this was one of those nights
that wives would get swapped
if we were eskimos

steve scored before the half
on a three-way "glam line"
passing play and
the zeppelins led 3-0
at the half

so Evan had a shut-out
for his first period in goal


the second half witnessed
another rebel melt-down

the zeps have been there

most of the teams have

but for the rebel bees this
would be the second week
in a row

three goals by mitch
and three more by steve
and before long it was 9 to 0

sander said after the game
that the rebel bees problems
began with selfishness

they didn't pass
they didn't run when
they didn't have the ball
some self-acclaimed superstars
were triple shifting
they were missing matt

we may have to
put a stop-watch
on puya

everyone standing still
and no passing almost always
go together

if you don't expect a pass
you don't look for open ice

if you don't bother
getting in the clear
no one can pass to you
even if they want to

i think the lack of cohesion
on the bench is to blame
because the passing game
comes from
a unified team mindset

i'm sure some sport psychologist
must have written a Ph. D. about it
and if they didn't, they should have

puya got into penalty trouble
and josh began exercising the
unsportsmanlike rule on him

he got 2 minutes and then
a game suspension which
adds another 10 minutes
onto his PIM

if you have a reputation
for yapping in the refs face
then josh's new powers
will hit you first

gregus scored with 5 minutes left
and steve scored once more
and finally
the game was over
10 to 1, red zeps

paul resigned as captain
after the game which
may have been the best move
because the team's morale
is at an all-time low

the new guys could
definitely use leadership
but that leadership may be
more diplomatically presented
by someone with a more
gentle demeanor
like gregus (sander's choice)

paul thinks his team
should have rotating captains
so everyone gets a chance
to experience the joy and
frustration of the position

another interesting
lepage suggestion
was to change
the team's name

he thinks
that the name
"bumble bees" was
not only unlucky,
more like bumbling bees,
but also
bees are too buzzy

his team needs to chill
so "mellow yellow"
should set a new relaxed tone
with a groovy love vibe

two assists for larry
in the second half

hat-trick for mitch

4 assists for aron
who's decision to play D
helped stonewall yellow
and get him those assists
he's been after

5 goals and an apple for stevie
who chris chambers believes
"could win the scoring race"

since the steam room was broken
"TEAM STEAM" had to use the hot-tub
and became the "JET SET"

those jacuzzi jets
are great for lower-back pain
and the bubbles
floating on the surface
are great for privacy

grey eminence vs.
the orange county choppers

john sinhur was back in goal
and thrilled us all night
with his wild
stacked pads

the choppers were
without davie
who is injured again and
is vacationing in isreal
for a month

have a great time dave

i've been told by my dad
and others that
the holy land has
a deeply mysterious vibe
that is perfect for soul searching

unlike the old
davie-less chops
this orange team was
in the game
from the beginning
to the end

the eminence was without roy

it was 3-2 eminence
going into the half

tanner's shot was discussed
at the firk afterwards
& most everyone felt
that his wind-up is illegal

the rules state that
"on wind-up,
the blade of the stick
may not come
above your shoulder.
On follow-through,
it may not come
past your chest. "

the reason mike
gets away with it
(according to adam and evan)
is that the stick
is moving so fast
that its virtually impossible
for josh to see it

tanner doesn't have the
big dramatic wind-up
that sticks out
like a sore thumb
and gets normal
hoser mortals
like me, in trouble

his wind-up takes
a fraction of the time
and the stick is
always in motion
so its hard to
gage its height

if you can't see it
you can't call it

the short sticks
are perfect for that
because they are light

also since they are short
they quite naturally
attract less attention

i think that its magic
and when a magician
does a trick
i think its okay
for them
to get away with it

evan thinks it may still be
just as dangerous as
anyone else's wind-up
but thus far
no one has been injured
by the invisible
tanner wind-up

aron thinks another
part of tanner's magic
that also makes him
immune to suspicion
is his non existent follow-through

big wind-ups tend to produce
big follow-throughs so when
josh doesn't see a follow-thru
then instinctively it reaffirms
that there must have been
no illegal wind-up

the second half began
with a couple of chambers goals
stretching the gap to
5-2 eminence

the chops rebounded with
goals by dan and richard

during the last minutes
with their goalie pulled,
orange was within one of
the great grey eminence

an empty net tanner goal
in the last minute put the game
out of reach and the choppers
again failed to win or tie
their first game

yet another close game
with the chops just falling short
in the last few minutes

this may be the first time
a team goes into the new year
without even a tie

definitely a strong argument
for possibly another trade
but i'm only starting rumours here

the dreaded black ronnellys
vs. greener pastures
(aka "virgin allah
and the sisters of mercy")

this was the most exciting game
of the night

virgin allah
and the sister of mercy
were without patty
and andrea

ronnellys were shane-less

silver had bled profusely
last week from his shins
so this week
he finally began
wearing shin pads -
blood is the teacher

the goalies, larry and john
were totally awesome
making this game
a serious pressure cooker

total end-to-end action
that evoked applause
over and over from the stands

going into the second half
it was 2-1 ronnellys

at this point the ronnellys
turned on the jets
adam got his second of the night
as did noah, earning him the title
"sniper worthy of distinction"

when the score was 5-2 ronnellys
john got a throwing the stick penalty

this is the moment that the
jabberwalky phenomenon happened again

aron and i were discussing
the power of encouragement
and he pointed out how pathetic
joel lessem's body language was

he began slouching
and dragging his feet

he was upset
at the penalty and
down three goals,
he must have felt
that the dreaded ronnellys
were well on their way
to wrapping it all up

so aron yells out
"joel, you've got
to lead this team !"

next thing you know,
jordan "hi-rez" reznick
who is killing the penalty
alongside joel is
tearing up the side,
totally out of control
(yet in control)
and as he falls
into the corner
he passes the ball to joel
in the slot
and the big sister scores
a short handed goal

all this transpires
within 20 seconds
of aron yelling to joel

total jabberwalky phenomenon

the power of encouragement
is mystical and that is why
captains and others
have to lead
with encouragement

later on josh calls
another penalty
on the sisters

this time its because
of a brotherly scuffle
in the crease
between the wener boys

in fact, ron admitted at the bar
that he rushed the net and
pushed his brother but
just like in the big leagues,
the ref often only sees
and calls the retaliation

two penalties all game
and both went to the sisters
who prior to this game
had only 11 minutes total

the entire team collectively
had less penalty minutes than
puya got on this one evening

and as lessem proudly pointed out
they had less than half
of the penalty minutes
of the next lowest penalized team
(which would be the ronnellys
and the zeps)

the short-handed goal
refocused the sisters
who killed this second penalty
and were back in business

evan and jeff w. combined
for two goals
and the game was tied 5 all
with 4 minutes left

adam's third of the night
put the ronnellys ahead again
but jeff wener's third
tied it up

the ronnellys had
one more great opportunity
as silver did one of his original
circus juggler rushes
where he runs by everyone
while bouncing the ball
on the blade of his stick

the final bounce went
over and past larry
but andrew macphail
was there
to sweep the ball away
only 6 inches
from the goal line

so the game ended a tie

for the ronnellys
who held a three goal lead
well into the second half,
it felt like a loss

adam thought afterwards
that their big mistake
was to sit back
on their lead

hat-trick for adam
hat-trick and 2 assists for jeff wener

* * * * * * * * *


Goalies - John
Mellow - Sander Paul
Ronnellys - Adam Noah Ron
Eminence - Paul Chris Gabe
Sisters - Joel Adrew Jeff
Zeps - MTV Aron tom
Admin - KIM and Adam

altho the zeps had 5
the admin had a 100% turnout
and thus win this power-ranking

it was great to have kim
join us at the bar

the first part of the evening
was used to elucidate
the humble origins
of this great league

Joel Lessem started
as a 15 year old in 1983

he played in the gym
with characters called
winston, raleigh, and jerry

there was also mike dafoe
whom veterans (myself included)
remember from a few years back

lessem missed only two seasons
(from 95 to 97)
which means he has clocked
19 years playing ball hockey
at the JCC

aron proposed that
next year we put crests
on the shoulders of the shirts
to commemorate
longevity in the league

the founding fathers
of our modern league
include the wener brothers,
jim martella (who brought
tanner and patty into the league)
and tony who held kim's position
as league administrator/player

this group started playing
in the late 80's using
the small gym
which is now the JCC theatre

i remember going in there
before the renovations

it was a third the size
of the gym we use

after the games
they would always
go to the Korona
which was a
Hungarian restaurant
that i used to go to
as a university student
when i was an omnivore
with no money

next we discussed the Ed award

Hooman won it last year
and nobody knows where he is
and the award is still
in his possession

but since he is still
on this email list
and his emails still
seem to get delivered

we should be able to
get it back

Ed died during a floor hockey game
and the award had been presented
the first year by his widowed wife

we discussed whether or not
it would be wise to honour Ed
by asking his son (also named Ed)
to present the award

Kim suggested that
we could have the banquet
at her house

wow, yeah, yes

chris chambers gave me
an inspiring book of poetry
which he published a few years ago

aron proposed that to extend
the artistic potential of the league
every player after every game
should write a poem about it

then we asked sander and paul
what happened to mellow yellow

i've already written their responses
but the conversation led
to the 3-way passing play

a quick unexpected pass
seems to trigger
a fast second pass
and the chain reaction
sets up three way passing plays
over and over

3-way passing plays get
into the stats as two assists
but the play has to be a
bing-bang-boom event

the three-way
opens up opportunities
like a cork-screw

the third player
is usually in the slot
with even the goalie
way out of position

at its best
that first quick trick pass
is unpredictable
because it is an
pre-cognitive reflex

if you think about passing
your opponents can read that

you need to pass
faster than you think
and that means that
passing is automatic

no cast of superstar soloists
stand a chance against
a cohesive passing team

the passing play
is the ultimate equalizer
for player like me
who can't run and deek

the russians began by destroying
team canada in 1972 because they
were a cohesive unit

in the end canada won
because they managed to gel
into a real team
during the tournament
but they definitely started
like soloists

passing is symbiotic

those who assist
need the scorers
as much as
the scorers need them

so you'd think that passing
would be a huge part
of every team
every night

but the passing game
is very elusive

when the zeps passing game
is gone it is like a curse

it usually lasts all game
and we usually
get blown away

because passing
is proportional
to team cohesion

both are a function
of intra-team GENEROSITY

on that note
i end this
longest of all newsletters
and bid you all

a very merry christmas

hope to see you at
monday night pick-up

Juranka's Corner Archive

The complete archive of anecdotes, game recaps, rants and ramblings.