Thursday 16 June 2011

Schram Hockey

Back in high school we had a phys ed teacher named Schram. He had a first name, but nobody used it. Anyhow, one of almost every student's favourite activities during phys ed class was a sport we dubbed "Schram ball". The rules are as follows:

1. there is a net in opposite corners of the gym
2. put the ball in the other team's net

Those are the rules. You can kick the ball, throw the ball, carry the ball. You can body check, grab, tackle. Whatever you want. I suppose eye gouging was frowned upon, but there was no explicit rule against it.

I tell you this, because last night's game 7 Stanley Cup final was not unlike Schram Ball. It was not the same sport that the Canucks excelled at during the regular season. It was a slightly different sport. One where slashing, holding and interference were legal. Now, I am generally a fan of physical hockey and "letting them play", but you don't need dirty hockey to have an exciting game. The 2011 Winter Olympic final is a good example of that.

Set the tone early by chucking people who hold or interfere into the bin, and then pull back a bit and refrain from calling any marginal stuff. That gets you good hockey. You know, I'm not sure that Aaron Rome's hit that earned him a 4 game suspension would have even earned him a minor penalty last night.

And this is certainly no excuse for the rioting after the game. That unfortunate debacle could ruin the chances of us watching the Jets on the big screen at 201 Portage if they ever make a playoff run. However, when you get so far only to have the rules changed on you, it would be very aggravating. Especially when the new rules hurt your best players and favour the other team.

It was certainly a deliberate decision - one that the refs discussed prior to the game. Perhaps they even received direction from league VP of Hockey Operations Mike Murphy on how to call the game. The same Mike Murphy who suspended Rome for 4 games based not on precedent, but on a gut feeling. The same Mike Murphy who overturned a Canuck goal in the first round last year upon video review, then later admitted it was the wrong call -- according to this wiki article.

Whoever made the decision, it's something for the league's owners and new director of officiating to think about before next year's playoffs. (note: I am a little bit bitter because I was cheering for the Canucks, so you can take that into account. )

related local post: S&M


unclebob said...

When I was in scouts in southern Ontario many moons ago it was called murderball and played with a medium-soft rubber ball about the size of a basketball.It was the one thing that kept attendance up.

cherenkov said...

Murderball ... ya, I've heard of that too. Very much the same thing I am sure. I wonder if gym teachers are still allowed to do these things.

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