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    Ice Hockey Gets Hot

    tonyIn downtown San Francisco, there are warriors in our community who play tough hockey once a week. Behind and on top of Moscone Center, there is an ice rink (across from a small bowling alley), and it houses adult hockey leagues five nights a week. On Thursdays, the gay-oriented San Francisco Earthquakes play in their 8-team league, and the team has 15 players.

    I went to a recent game, and felt privileged to join the team in the locker room prior to their game. I found a room full of men, and one woman, who had an enthusiasm for the game that I had never seen before. Team members Drew and Dan said in the locker room that they were both new to skating, but that it was “very fun” and “required commitment.”

    There were smiles throughout the room, and there was even a supportive straight guy who was going to play goalie for the team that night. He was on loan from another team for that evening to replace a missing player.

    sports

    The players take 20 minutes each just to get dressed, and that is rushed! They have chest pads, shoulder pads, leg pads, shin guards, face masks (or shields), crotch cups, mouth guards, hockey socks (which go on the outside of the leg pads and shin guards) and more. Deer hair used to be used for padding, due to the way the material absorbed shocks, however, it has since been replaced with more high-tech materials. There are also skates to be laced up, and they each need their own ‘stick.’