Noodle Hockey is a game that my students take SERIOUSLY!!! We have a saying: “Friends come and go but Noodle Hockey is life!” Whether or not your group takes this maxim to heart or not, they will have a lot of fun playing Noodle Hockey. Now is the perfect time to get your Noodle Hockey supplies because all the stores are selling pool noodles. Buy one pool noodle for every two students you expect to have playing!
To prepare, spend some time cutting these noodles in half. [NOTE: there is some division among Noodle Hockey aficionados about whether it is best to go half-noodle or full-noodle. My personal preference is for half-noodle. This is partly because full-noodling lends itself to a controversial practice known as “looping” in which the hockey player folds his noodle in half, creating a loop with which to make power shots. Another reason is that my Senior Pastor’s name is not Rick Warren and half-noodling is easier on the budget] Put your noodles in a box with a rubber ball roughly the size of a grapefruit. Noodle Hockey can be played with a beach ball but, again, this is a matter of preference!
The game area can be set up indoors in bad weather but it works perfectly on a lawn. Set up goals using two lawn chairs about 3 full-noodles apart. How big you make the rest of the space will depend on the size of your group. Close quarters works better for a smaller group while a larger field will work best for a bigger group.
Divide up teams via your preferred method. Avoid any situation where you might be facing off against the pastor’s kid. ESPECIALLY if he is asthmatic and/or wears glasses.
By now you have surmised that this game is played like field hockey only with foam noodles. You can make the rules as simple or as complicated as you want to. I tend to keep things simple so that my Junior High students can get most of the rules in between squirrel spotting sessions. Here are my simplified Noodle Hockey rules:
Danny’s Simplified Noodle Hockey Rules: Alright guys! Put those noodles down! No one pick up a noodle until AFTER I am done giving these instructions! Each team needs to choose a goalie… NOT RIGHT NOW! the goalie will be allowed in between the chairs and can block the ball only with his body or his noodle. If the ball goes in between the chairs and passes through, that is a point for the team that shot it! Are you paying attention, Timmy? This is important. No hitting eachother above the knees! I will put you in the penalty box for 5 minutes. If the ball goes out of bounds, everyone goes back to their goal and whichever team didn’t knock it out will start it! Look over here, Timmy! No holding the ball or pinning the ball with your noodle. You can’t kick the ball either. I think that’s it… LET’S GO!!!… Timmy, over here… We’re starting… It’s called noodle hockey… Just pick up a noodle and we’ll show you.
Okay so that’s about everything you need to know about Noodle Hockey. This is a favorite of students and volunteers alike. The other night I had a volunteer tell me that this game reminded her of how much she liked field hockey. She said it was great because it didn’t come with all the stick related injuries. All your volunteers may not share the same affection for Noodle Hockey but remember… volunteers come and go but Noodle Hockey is LIFE!!!
Does YOUR group play Noodle Hockey? What variations do you play?