Having started in 2008, the league will begin its eighth season on Feb. 26. The league is open to all players, and it does not require a lot of experience or equipment, just a modest level of fitness.
“We don’t care if players don’t have much hockey experience or haven’t played in a while but there is a lot of running so they should be in half-decent shape,” said Rob Gibson, who has been in the league since it started.
Gibson recommends those who want to play but don’t feel up to the running to attend the open “pick-up” sessions during the season and join the league the next season.
The kit required is basic sportswear and a stick. Gibson said wooden hockey sticks could be bought in Korea for around 40,000 won, but that CBHK sold composite sticks for 70,000 won.
He added that some players wear additional gear, such as protective pads and gum shields.
|Pictures by Michael Schwarzl|
The league plays its games in the Jamsil Olympic Sports Complex, between noon and 8 p.m. Each team plays two 45-minute games within a two-hour time slot.
Each team is sponsored by a bar, and Gibson was keen to stress the social side of the sport.
“The league is competitive but there is a very large social aspect to the league,” he said.
“Players hang out at the rink after their games have finished to watch the next game while drinking beer and chirping.”
Gibson added that the volunteers who run the league also help organize parties and events at the bars that sponsor the league. Last year these included a pub crawl, banquets and team parties.
The league also hosts a tournament every season, which has attracted teams from Hong Kong, Japan, Busan, Daegu and ice hockey teams from the Seoul area.
CBHK has also sent teams overseas to Japan and Hong Kong, and in March will be sending a team to play in Thailand for the first time.
Would be players must register on the site and attend at least one of the two rookie sessions on Feb. 19 from 1-3 p.m. and Feb. 25 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Players are then assigned to one of eight teams, with the total number of players capped at 112, with priority for those who register first.
The fee for the spring season is 160,000 won, which includes 15 weeks of hockey, a team shirt, and a buffet banquet at the end of the season. Deadline for payment is Feb. 25.
To get to the inline rink, leave Exit 6 of Sports Complex Station and walk into the parking lot past the baseball stadium toward Olympic Stadium. Turn up the ramp between the main stadium and the display for Olympic heroes, which is on the right. The inline rink is at the top.
To find out more, visit http://www.cbhk.org/.
By Paul Kerry