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flyin9

Wearing a Mask in Beer League?

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Is there an unwritten protocol on wearing no visor, visor, or masks in beer league?   There are guys in the league that range in abilities from unorganized rec hockey all they way to playing in the NHL. It seems like the same case all the time but many guys that played junior hockey chirp guys that wear masks. Do they have a valid argument or are they just... you know? 

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Where I live you have to wear at least a visor to play in any of the leagues, but many wear full cages.  I did the half shield for a few years but after taking a soft deflection off the lip and a few close calls with high sticks I came to my senses and realized I wasn't making millions playing and remembered how much dental work sucks, so the full cage came out of retirement.  The only time chirping a guy with a cage is ok is if they're constantly running around trying to start stuff with other guys knowing they're nice and safe behind a cage, otherwise everyone has to go to work in the morning and a cage makes sure your face still looks pretty.

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Howdy,

The only protocol that matters is that you shouldn't listen to idiots like that.

Mark

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I completely agree with what's been said. I wore a half shield for quite a while. One day I had a feeling that it was time to put the cage back on, which was a good thing because I took a puck to the face that night. The guys that chirp about cages are dopes. I tell them I would much rather be a pussy and were a cage that be Mr Macho and bleed all over the ice because I took one to the face. I didn't sign a huge paying beer league contract so I still work for a living. 

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I remember back in my 20s when I started playing beer league I thought it was cool because I no longer had to wear a cage and could do a half-shield.  Between my friend getting an errant high stick in the eye which required multiple surgeries and never got back to normal and several near misses myself, I am back to a full cage.  I don't even notice it.

I know my buddy who I coached with who played through NCAA won't back down from the argument that with more protection, people are more careless with their sticks.  I don't have data either way but he takes it as gospel and I think that may be the source of some of the attitude from high-level players.

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4 minutes ago, BenBreeg said:

I know my buddy who I coached with who played through NCAA won't back down from the argument that with more protection, people are more careless with their sticks.  I don't have data either way but he takes it as gospel and I think that may be the source of some of the attitude from high-level players.

I think it's more likely that any carelessness with their stick is because the average beer leaguer never played high level hockey. Much more so than the fact that people have cages.

I can't speak for everyone, but personally I don't really want to clip somebody in the face regardless of whether they have a cage or not, so I'm no more and no less careful regardless of what somebody is wearing. In fact, the protection somebody has on their face has absolutely no bearing on what I do on the ice. Probably because I suck at hockey and am looking down at the puck the entire time... 

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31 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

Probably because I suck at hockey and am looking down at the puck the entire time... 

It's a brotherhood and I consider myself a proud member! 🙂

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The only rule is what you're comfortable with. If you're being an ass, you'll get chirped. If you get chirped for doing nothing, that person is the ass. 

There's a difference between playing with high level players vs low level players. High level players are in control most of the time, from where they shoot to how they wield their stick. They tend to be aware of what's going on.

Low level players are wildcards. They'll aim low stick and send it into the rafters. They'll skate like they're baling hay, poking and jabbing guys all the way up the ice and not even realize what they're doing. In general, they can be menaces to others and themselves. So if you're playing with low level players, strap a cage on. Hell strap two cages on. 

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High level players do tend to chirp other high level players if they wear cages.  Over the years, I've met a bunch of former D1 players and pros/semi-pros, who will definitely chirp other D1 and similar level players if they wear a cage, AFTER playing in college.  One D1 guy I talked to said it's because playing in D1, guys are much dirtier with their sticks because everyone is wearing cages, so there's more disregard in that sense.  However, the chirps are still usually in the lighthearted nature.

With that being said, I have never heard anyone chirp someone for wearing a cage in beer league level hockey, unless it's someone who's mouthing off/playing dirty, or if it's someone who wants to fight someone not wearing a cage (and won't remove their helmet for the fight).  Those chirps are a little more, how to say, not lighthearted.

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I wore a half-shield in my first 3 or 4 seasons and got chirped for NOT wearing a cage because there was only one other half-shield and 2 no-shields out of about 70 guys. One of the no-shield guys (Boston Jr. hockey in the 70s) took 7 stitches to his eyebrow and switched to a half-shield afterwards. Then, he got cut again from a face-to-face collision with a cage. Now, there are about 100 guys and about half a dozen shields and about that many with nothing but a helmet. I'm no longer one of them.

I'm a very aggressive F1 forechecker so a lot of pucks get flipped just over my head and I had some very close calls from that. I also typically take away the board-rimming option on the right side as F2. One time, I turned to get off the ice instead of jamming the boards at their blue line because my shift was over. Elevated clearing attempt caught me flush behind the ear on the lowest part of my helmet...mouth level if I'd have been facing the play. I also camp out right in the slot facing the point for deflections and took one off the lowest part of the three-quarter Oakley shield I'd recently switched to from the smaller shields. With my smaller visor, that one would have been multiple chiclets. So I switched to old Pro-Tec cages after that, and now I get chirped because I wear them in contact with my big schnoz because that minimizes the reduced visibility of a modern cage. It's still vulnerable to stick blades, but guys in my league are responsible with their sticks and my main concern is getting blasted in the face by pucks.

In my first season with the cage, a very good player missed my stick trying to lift it as I was beating him to the outside and his stick blade caught me flush on the cage so hard that it snapped my head back and drew a penalty. A few games later, one of my D-men (also, a very good player) whipped the puck into the offensive zone and his stick just flew out of his bottom hand as I was chasing it into the zone from behind him. That one caught me right across the cage like the follow-through of a baseball bat. 

This is what happened to my cage from the missed stick-lift and now I get chirped for still wearing it that way.

https://s5.photobucket.com/user/ProWriter/media/Cage.jpg.html

 

 

Edited by YesLanges

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I could see that. In lower divisions especially the guys in visors are usually the guys who are in the wrong division. 

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Couple things.
 

1. Chirping is part of the game, and in most of the leagues I play in more of it comes from my own team than anywhere else, and it's almost all in good fun.  Any serious chirps from other players won't have anything to do with a cage, they're much more likely to have something to do with my mom.

2. Wear what you're comfortable with (which hopefully is at least a visor).  I play with a couple guys that have gotten pretty jacked up by random pucks.  One played 7 seasons as a defenseman in the SPHL and never lost a tooth to later play in a easy parent/kid game, puck rolled up the stick and knocked out his 4 upper fronts.  Another guy I've played some pickup with with had a puck deflect off someones stick in the neutral zone and had a retinal detachment making him essentially blind in that eye.  

Dental work isn't cheap and it's super shitty to have done, but losing an eye really sucks.   I don't like wearing one, but I won't play without a cage.  Bubbles are too hot and fog up for me, but i know plenty of guys that like them.  

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The only chirps guys with cages get around here will be, "Lose the cage if you're gonna play like that."

The flip side is the moron who can't control his stick, gets yelled at by a visor/nothing guy he clips and replies with, "put a cage on."

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I wore a visor for awhile and all was fine until I got hit in the eye with a puck that took a weird bounce off the post in warmups.   I was skating behind the net and I don’t remember anything.  My teammates said the puck hit the post as I was turning up ice and went under my visor into my left eye.   I broke my orbital and messed up my left eye.   I’ve been wearing a cage since but I keep getting gnarly headaches because my left eye has issues focusing through the cage, I’ve tried a bunch of cages and am currently using a Re-Akt.   I’ve tried using a bubble but the fogging drives me nuts.  I’ll still toss on a visor for stick and puck (don’t tell my fiancé) but I’m at a loss for what to do next.

I’ve def taken chirps for the bubble, most of the guys I skate with know what happened to me so its friendly.  I’ve never taken any for the cage.

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The A Vision Ahead Elite bubble does not fog at all, at least not on the ice. It may fog a bit on the bench depending on conditions. It's literally like having nothing in front of you. I checked the website to post a link for you here before responding and was shocked to see that they don't seem to offer the full bubble anymore, only cage/visor combos. You might find one on eBay. Anybody know why they stopped producing these? I've only used it after (unrelated) dental surgery or when I had games the night before an international flight and couldn't afford taking any risk of a stick through my Pro-Tec cage. I don't have a good excuse for why I don't wear that bubble all the time. I no longer wear just shields for sticks & pucks, only because I don't want to get used to not having the cage in front of me and then play with the cage. 

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On 2/25/2019 at 11:03 AM, flyin9 said:

Is there an unwritten protocol on wearing no visor, visor, or masks in beer league?   There are guys in the league that range in abilities from unorganized rec hockey all they way to playing in the NHL. It seems like the same case all the time but many guys that played junior hockey chirp guys that wear masks. Do they have a valid argument or are they just... you know? 

Do what you think is best for yourself, not for others. 

I've been hit in the mask with a slap shot deflection. I didn't even have the time to move or put my hand up to block it. The mask was an Itech full shield. I was able to remove the puck mark. That was temporary. Taking a puck to the face would have been permanent.

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On 3/1/2019 at 2:36 PM, nicktsigos said:

I wore a visor for awhile and all was fine until I got hit in the eye with a puck that took a weird bounce off the post in warmups.   I was skating behind the net and I don’t remember anything.  My teammates said the puck hit the post as I was turning up ice and went under my visor into my left eye.   I broke my orbital and messed up my left eye.   I’ve been wearing a cage since but I keep getting gnarly headaches because my left eye has issues focusing through the cage, I’ve tried a bunch of cages and am currently using a Re-Akt.   I’ve tried using a bubble but the fogging drives me nuts.  I’ll still toss on a visor for stick and puck (don’t tell my fiancé) but I’m at a loss for what to do next.

I’ve def taken chirps for the bubble, most of the guys I skate with know what happened to me so its friendly.  I’ve never taken any for the cage.

I use Itech full shield (or Bauer now). Anyway, I bring a towel and anti-fog spray with me to the bench along with my water bottle, because whatever I spray on the shield doesn't last the whole game.

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To see a teammate hovering around the rink looking for his teeth that just got knocked out from a loose stick.  No thanks.  It’s not even the sticks sometimes, it’s a deflected puck that rides up a stick or some other variation.  I’ll take the chirping vs having to call my boss to explain why I can’t work the next day.  Just not worth the risk to me. 

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Where I play, you aren't even required a visor. But it seems like most high level guys at least wear a visor or a cage/bubble (ex-OHLers). 

As long as you know the risks, I say it's up to you. Just keep in mind that it's mostly other people's actions that will put you at risk. 

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It's kind of like not wearing a seatbelt because you're a good driver. On one hand, it's not you that you need to be concerned about. Other the other hand, you may say "I don't need it because I've never had any issues" until you very much do. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 2:36 PM, nicktsigos said:

I wore a visor for awhile and all was fine until I got hit in the eye with a puck that took a weird bounce off the post in warmups.   I was skating behind the net and I don’t remember anything.  My teammates said the puck hit the post as I was turning up ice and went under my visor into my left eye.   I broke my orbital and messed up my left eye.   I’ve been wearing a cage since but I keep getting gnarly headaches because my left eye has issues focusing through the cage, I’ve tried a bunch of cages and am currently using a Re-Akt.   I’ve tried using a bubble but the fogging drives me nuts.  I’ll still toss on a visor for stick and puck (don’t tell my fiancé) but I’m at a loss for what to do next.

I’ve def taken chirps for the bubble, most of the guys I skate with know what happened to me so its friendly.  I’ve never taken any for the cage.

The Bauer hybrid is the best for not fogging. I wear it now and have never had one issue with fogging. I don't even have to use any anti-fog spray. I just use that if I need to get some smudges off. It's a little heavier than the regular bubble, but you don't notice it when it's on your head and strapped up. I highly recommend it. I went from a visor to a cage and had to switch after about 3 weeks because I just couldn't stop seeing the bars.

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