Knee-Hockey Rink | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Knee-Hockey Rink 

Published April 1, 2014 at 4:00 a.m. | Updated April 4, 2022 at 7:55 p.m.

Ice is nice, but April is better known for, well, rain. That's when the hockey-crazed Saia family takes its favorite sport inside.

"Knee hockey" is played with a small foam ball instead of a puck and shorter sticks than the kind used in a regular rink. Players scoot around on their knees, obeying ice-hockey rules as they attempt to chase the ball into the other team's goal.

Sean Saia and his 10-year-old son, Cameron, built their 12-by-20-foot basement rink in a weekend, but they're still perfecting it, with finishing touches such as a ceiling-mounted model Jumbotron made from a cardboard box. Logos from local and national companies are displayed on the boards that circle the rink — just like in the NHL.

The only thing missing are the cheering fans.

The Saia Family: Parents Sean and Melanie Saia. Kids: Sierra, 16, Kelsey, 14, and Cameron, 10.

Tips for making your own knee-hockey rink:

  • Use laminated, 1/4-inch-thick, medium-density fiberboard panels supported with 2-by-3-inch lumber to create sides high enough to contain the ball — five feet behind the goals; 2.5 feet everywhere else. Doors to access the rink and players' box can be framed with 1-by-3-inch pine boards and finished with hinges and latches.
  • Lay down cushy carpeting to keep knees comfortable.
  • Kids can get involved by marking rink lines on the carpeting with colored duct tape, printing images for the boards or writing up original house rules.

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

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About The Author

Becky Tharp

Bio:
Becky Tharp is the Kids VT calendar writer. She lives with her husband and their two boys in Williston.

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Bio:
Matthew Thorsen was a photographer for Seven Days 1995-2018. Read all about his life and work here.

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