The purpose of our league is to provide the adults of this community the opportunity to participate as gentlemen and ladies in friendly although competitive ice hockey, with the primary purpose of exercise and the pure enjoyment of playing hockey ” just for the fun of it “. The Nittany Hockey League had its beginning Christmas Eve 1 980. An outgrowth of several parent/ youth ice hockey games sponsored by the State College Youth Hockey Association.
During these games a number of parents enjoyed themselves so much that they wanted to get together and have pick-up games among themselves. The opportunity presented itself about 5:00 P. M. Christmas Eve 1 980. After a youth hockey game, about 20 adults without any equipment rented the outdoor ice from the University, chose teams and played “shinny” for about an hour.
I remember it was snowing, and the puck frequently would burrow under the snow on long passes and become lost altogether. Despite the obstacles, a good time was had by all and several more games were held. The next season the enthusiasm was even greater as Penn State opened the new indoor rink. Waiting for the completion of the rink, the season was delayed.
We began by inviting all interested parties and then divided the group into three teams according to the color of the jersey that was worn. Red, White, and Blue. these three teams were shortly joined by a fourth team in Green, schedules were drawn and we were underway. No referees, no face offs. Everyone was on the honor system acknowledging our own sins by surrendering the puck to the opposing team. Real ladies and gentlemen.
Today we have grown into eleven teams, playing in two divisions; a competitive division and a not quite so competitive division. While there is no question that the most skilled players play in the competitive division, and the least skilled players compete in the less competitive division, the division one plays in is primarily by choice and opportunity. About eighty percent of the players in each division are pretty equal in ability.