Friday, December 2, 2011

View from the Penalty Box

In case you've ever wondered what the view from the penalty box in the hockey arena was like, here are a few pictures.  See, parents volunteer to keep score in the Official Score Book, to run the clock and to "work the penalty box" for each of Kidlet Three's home hockey games.

I volunteer for the penalty box.  Which means getting situated in the plexi-glass area that usually isn't heated about 15 minutes before the game starts.  Then turning to the bench where the players will be sitting I can see that someone has carried each player's water bottle to the bench and neatly lined them up.  The players will soon be leaving the locker room and getting on the ice to warm up before the game starts.

This is Alex and he has an injury so he can't play hockey right now.  So he was assigned the water boy duty.  I was so impressed that he was the one that neatly lined up the bottles!
The score book stays on the table from game to game.  There is real carbon paper (some of you won't even know what that is) in between the several copies of the score sheets.  After the game each coach gets a copy of the score sheet and a copy stays in the book for the front office to collect at the end of each day.  Each time a team takes a shot toward the goal, a dot has to be made on the picture of the arena at exactly the location the player was at (the player taking the shot).  I know I would get too involved in the game to pay attention to that much detail so I don't volunteer for the score book.  Oh, penalties and goals are recorded on here, too. 
And then there is the clock.  This is the apparatus that makes the clock work.  Too many buttons for me!  The number of minutes in each period of the game are displayed from here.  When a player has a penalty, the player number and the number of minutes for the penalty get plugged in here to display on the big wall clock.  The pressure is on the clock person when there is a penalty because the game can't continue until the penalty time is entered and ready to be started.  I don't volunteer for that kind of pressure.
Instead I stand in the plexi-glass area looking toward the bench to see what Kidlet Three is doing and to check his blood sugar during the game.  If a player does receive a penalty, I open the door and get the player into the box and then shut the door.  Then I watch the big wall clock count down the penalty minutes.  When the penalty clocks ticks down to zero, I open the door and scoot the player out.  Not a stressful job.  UNLESS the game is crazy and the boys are being naughty and causing all kinds of penalties.  There was a time I had three players in the penalty box and the big wall clock wasn't working.  In my head I had to remember what time each boy could leave the penalty box and get back into playing the game.  That was a little stressful because, wowzers, the coaches will yell at me if I leave a player in the "box" too long!
I also get to hear the game plan during the period breaks when the coaches talk to the boys.
The only part of the penalty box you can't really experience from these pictures is the extreme COLD and the SMELL.  I wear my boots, hat and gloves plus bring hot tea to sip on during the game.  And for the most part, I stay warm.  There doesn't seem to be anything I can do about the Sometimes-Overwhelming-Odor that hockey gears picks up.  When more than one player is in the box I close my eyes and say:

Take me away Calgon...

After this short tutorial, you are officially trained in on Penalty Box Duty! 

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