When Is The Hockey Season Start? [Fact Checked!]

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Hockey season starts in the fall and winter – generally speaking – and it’s one of the most glorious sports seasons. The air is crisp, the scenery is beautiful, and nothing sounds better than a squeaky hockey stick hitting the ice.

The only downside to hockey season is that it’s a pretty competitive sport and there’s a lot of rivalry between the teams. This can make for some pretty tense moments. Even worse, there’s a tiny bit of bad blood between the players and the owners of the teams. If you’re a hockey fan, you either have to stay away from the games or find ways to make the rivalry a little more friendly. (It’s safe to say that the last thing any of us need is another rivalry in sports. Especially with the Yankees and the Red Sox already at each other’s throats. And that’s exactly what we have now. Get ready for the most expensive game in the history of sports. One that will probably end in tears.)

With hockey season just around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to address one of the most confusing topics in hockey – namely, when does the hockey season start and end? What are the rules about playing hockey in the winter and what are the exceptions? To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled an extensive guide that will shed some light on this subject. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn something new.

Hockey Season Starts In The Fall

Hockey season starts in the fall and winter – or, more specifically, in the latter part of October and the early part of November. However, under certain circumstances, the season can start a couple of months earlier. (For instance, if the Olympic qualification period falls during the summer, the season will start a little earlier. Or, if the Stanley Cup turns out to be a bit of a tight competition, the season might not finish until later than usual.)

The reason behind this is pretty obvious: during the summer, it’s not uncommon for there to be a lot of athletic activities that keep people active and busy. (The same goes for the winter – there just aren’t that many sports to keep us entertained. Unless you live in a warmer climate, in which case the beach is waiting for you.) As a result, it’s pretty much guaranteed that some hockey will be played during the summer even if it’s officially banned. (Think of all the neighborhood ice rinks that were turned into mini-golf courses this past spring. Or the street hockey tournaments that took place during the summer in Brazil.)

So in the summer, it’s safe to assume that some form of hockey will be played, officially or unofficially. Even in the winter, with the temperature dropping to its lowest, there will still be some games played. This is especially true in the case of elite-level hockey, where the coaches and players take extreme measures to keep their bodies in good condition.

Hockey Season Ends When The Snows Recede

The season ends when the snows (or a close relative) recede. This is typically in the spring, though it can vary from year to year depending on a variety of factors, like when the last snowflake falls, the temperature, or how much precipitation there is. (In other words, does it snows a lot in the area where you live or is there just a light dusting?)

The one rule that almost always applies is that the season ends when the snow starts to disappear. This is why in some parts of the country (like California), the outdoor hockey season is almost over when the first snowflake hits the ground. (Though it’s still hot as blazes and the beach is calling. Which is probably why California is home to some of the most famous hockey hot-spots in the country. (Don’t you wish you were living there?))

When the snow starts to disappear, it often marks the beginning of the end for the hockey season. This is especially true in areas where the climate is harsh and the snow stays on for a long time. (Like the Northern and Southern hemispheres.) One could argue that the hockey season is actually over when the last puck is dropped in the last game of the season.

Playing Hockey In The Winter

Hockey is a winter sport and it’s one of the most popular ones too. This is probably because it’s not only a great way to pass the time, but it’s also a very efficient training tool for the winter season. (Also, if you live in a colder climate, it’s the best way to stay in shape.)

Unlike in the summer, there aren’t many reasons why one would want to play hockey in the winter. The main ones are:

  • It’s cold
  • Fewer daylight hours
  • Fewer people around
  • Fewer things to do
  • It’s slippery on the ice
  • Fewer mosquitoes
  • Fewer things to eat
  • Fewer places to hang out
  • Fewer cars on the road
  • Fewer things to break (unless you play in the winter)

So while it’s generally a good idea to play hockey in the summer, there are a lot of circumstances where it doesn’t make sense to do so. This is particularly true in the winter. Though if you enjoy the winter, there are obviously many advantages to playing hockey in the winter. (Just make sure you’re prepared for the extreme cold. Even the National Hockey League knows that it gets a lot colder than it looks.)

The only other thing to keep in mind is that unlike in the summer, when it’s generally acceptable to play hockey on a whim, in the winter you need to be a little more precise about when and where you’ll be playing. (Or are you going to be shoveling snow all night?) This is especially important if you want to play hockey competitively. (Though it’s still perfectly acceptable to play in the winter in a recreational setting.)

Hockey Rivalries

As mentioned above, rivalries are an essential part of sports. It’s something we as fans enjoy seeing and it keeps the games more exciting. (It also adds a bit of passion to what would otherwise be boring spectator sports. Though maybe not for the teams and players.)

Hockey is a pretty competitive game and it has a lot of rivalries. Some of them are pretty legendary. For example, the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens have been battling for over a century now – and it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop anytime soon. (Though it should be noted that both teams have been on a decline for the past few years. Which probably means we’ll see a new “winner” of this epic rivalry soon.)

Another interesting rivalry in hockey is the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. (Yes, that’s correct. The Flyers used to be called the “Orange and Black” and the rivalry started back in the 1970s. Though it didn’t become an official rivalry until the 1990s.) This is partly because both teams are located in the same state (Pennsylvania) and partly because the rivalry is pretty evenly matched. (Pittsburgh is actually the home team, in case you were wondering.)

We could go on and on with other rivalries in hockey. It’s a great game when you think about it. (I mean, it’s not like we were talking about golf here. Though that’s probably the game that pays the bills.) There are so many interesting facts and figures about hockey that we could write an entire book about it. (Though we probably won’t have the time.)

In the summer, it’s generally acceptable to play hockey on a whim. Though you can usually find someone willing to play in the minors if you’re looking for some action. (In the winter, you need to be a little more precise about when and where you’ll be playing. And make sure you’re prepared for the extreme cold.)

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