Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 3, Rule 3

The game: Ottawa vs. Tampa Bay.

Why I chose it: Two teams whose recent past did not involve playoffs or the Stanley Cup are back in the game and on the rise. It's hard to pick a side.

My peeve: There are way too many injuries happening way too early in the season. Good, sturdy, young players are going down. Supensions are up. Slow down, boys. It's a long season. You can take somebody's head off and decorate your yard with it AFTER the Olympic break.

The quirk: All parts of the rink are surrounded by glass or netting, except the players' benches. Safety first, unless you're a player.

The rule: Section 1, The Playing Area. Rule 3: Benches.

Number of sections in the rule: 2.

Definition: Think this is a silly rule? Think again. This one is all about the foundations of diplomacy and fairness: equality, neutrality and uniformity. For example, accommodations, including benches and doors, must be uniform for both teams. Or check this one out: the doors for each bench must be uniform in location and size and as convenient to the dressing rooms as possible. But really, who wants to watch a diplomatic, fair hockey game?

My favorite highlights:

Rule 3.1, Players' Benches: The players' benches shall be on the same side of the playing surface opposite the penalty bench and should be separated by a substantial distance, if possible.

Rule 3.2, Penalty Bench: These benches or seats must be capable of accomodating a total of ten persons, including the Penalty Timekeepers. The penalty bench(es) must be located in the neutral zone.

Number of times rule violated: 0.

The final score: Tampa Bay 5. Ottawa 2.

The morals of the story:

The game: This rule requires that players be kept as far away from each other as possible. The penalty benches are designed to accommodate multiple players from each team sitting in them at one time. Make no is uncivilized. The people who created this rule knew this. If you want civilized, join a country club. Because you won't find that here.

Life: You have two choices in life: you can sit on the players' bench, quietly, not breaking any rules or getting into the action. Or, you can get out there, break a few rules, be uncivilized and sit on the penalty bench knowing that you put it on the line. Benches were never meant to hold us down forever. Don't let them.

Next up on 10/31: Rule 4, Signal and Timing Devices.

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