If you have hockey-living children and you find that your basement is usually filled with your children's friends, you shouldn't be surprised if hockey games break out. While most basements aren't conducive to full-sized hockey games, many children enjoy mini hockey — a version of the sport played with small plastic sticks and players who kneel. Although you can rig up a makeshift rink, it can be fun to invest in a set of dasher boards to make a proper rink enclosure in the basement. Here are some considerations for tackling this project.
Have Proper Lines
While dasher board suppliers like All American Arena Products can offer you a wide range of styles, including plain boards, it's fun to buy boards that have the proper lines. A red line to mark the center of the mini rink, a pair of blue lines to designate the offensive zones and a red goal line close to each end of the boards will show the kids where to set up their mini nets. Keep in mind that the lines will be marked on the boards, so you'll want to continue them on the floor. You can go all out by painting the floor white or light blue and then connecting the lines from one side of the boards to the other.
Taller Is Better
Some dasher board suppliers cater to those who are looking for boards for indoor mini rinks, which means that you can commonly get boards that are much shorter than regulation height. For example, you might find boards that are just a couple feet tall. While there's nothing wrong with pursuing this idea, you should keep in mind that shorter boards will allow the hockey ball to escape the rink area more often, resulting in interruptions to the game. Going with taller boards will prevent this issue.
Depending on your level of commitment to this project, you may also wish to buy boards that have one or more doors. Deciding to move in this direction depends on several factors, but your children and their friends will undoubtedly get a thrill from rink doors. If there are so many kids that some kids need to sit on the sidelines, they can enter and exit the game through the doors — just like their professional counterparts. You could even include a door on one side of the rink to represent the penalty box, and then box in this area with wood.