There are still people who believe that hockey is a man’s sport or a youth sport. However, dek hockey is experiencing strong growth and is attracting more and more women. Currently, 20 centers offer this sport year-round. In the summer, there are more than 80 centers, in addition to the numerous tournaments organized throughout Quebec.

This summer, I will start my 4th year in dek hockey. At DekHockey Drummond where I play, there are over 70 women’s teams. A sign of the popularity of this team sport among women. Literally sold on ball hockey, I explain (almost) everything about dek hockey and how to get started. I also share with you the many benefits I’ve discovered.


Dek hockey, a sport accessible to all women, regardless of their level

As women, we often have the imposter syndrome. We don’t always dare to venture out when we have no experience. Like many, I hesitated for a long time to join a league because I had never played hockey. I have always loved team sports and competition. I played soccer for a long time in my youth, but never hockey.

One morning, I picked up the phone and signed up. I discovered an intense sport, adapted to my level, made unsuspected friendships, and kept in shape. The perfect game plan!

Catherine Fagnan au dek hockeyCatherine Fagnan en action

Competition and fun

I started playing in a draft league for women 30 years and older. It was perfect for me! Regardless of the league, all players are ranked according to their level. This way, everyone can have fun and have a chance to hit the ball during the games. After each season, all players’ ratings are re-evaluated.

Dek hockey is played on a three-on-three surface, plus a goalie. In mixed leagues, there is always a girl in the game. She gets a lot of assists because when she scores a goal, it counts as two points!


The benefits of dek hockey

Cardio, intensity, friendships, fun, endorphins, energy… dek hockey brings me a multitude of benefits that I had underestimated before signing up.

It’s an intense team sport above all! In 45 minutes, I used up a lot of energy while having fun. As a team, we have fun, we encourage each other, we develop strategies and our skills to counter the opponent. As the season progresses, we improve and develop strong friendships with the players on our team, and even with others. 


Dek hockey is as good for your physical health as it is for your mental health!


Tournoi Dix10 à GranbyTournoi de hockey balle à Granby: plaisir, compétition et amitié

At the end of a season, you get to know everyone. You substitute on other teams. In short, you become part of a beautiful community that is passionate about the same sport.

That’s why I now play on two teams in the summer, as well as the winter. I occasionally substitute on other teams, in addition to playing in a few tournaments a year. The more you play, the more you want to play. Even when you’re sweating in 35 degrees Celsius in the summer, you find a way to have fun!

Gagnantes coupe stanley du Dekhockey Drummond

Some dek hockey highlights

  • In 2020, a national line of 12 men’s teams was to be created. The project was postponed due to Covid-19.
  • Associations are currently lobbying to bring the sport to the Olympics.
  • Every year before the pandemic, Quebec teams participated in international tournaments in Europe and in the South, notably the Alex Burrows Tour.


Think you’ve got the bug for dek hockey?

Here are some tips and advice on how to play dek hockey this summer:

  1. Call into the dek hockey center near you to find a line that fits your skill level.
  2. You don’t need much equipment. Plan on a budget of $200 to $300 to get started. You will need:
    1. a hockey helmet, ideally with a grill;
    2. gloves;
    3. shin guards;
    4. and a dek hockey stick (some centers refuse ice sticks).
    5. I also recommend a good pair of non-slip shoes designed for the surfaces. If your budget allows, get a pair of rain shoes as well, as the surface becomes very slippery and can be dangerous when wet.
  3. If you haven’t moved around much in the last few weeks, get active! Dek hockey is a very cardio-vascular sport that requires quick changes of direction. Prepare your body accordingly to avoid injury.
  4. If you can practice handling the ball and shooting at the goal, it won’t hurt. Otherwise, a good sense of the game will be a great starting point.

On that note, good dek hockey! We can’t wait to (re)start playing!


Related article: What to eat before a hockey game.

Photo credits:

  • Main picture: Bo Hockey, Tournoi Dix10 à Drummondville
  • Picture 1: Ghyslain Bergeron, Dekhockey Drummond
  • Photos 2 à 4: Focus Action, Tournoi Dix10 à Granby