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by Rhonda Spivak, Jan, 13, 2011

Ohad Rafaeli is in charge of the Hillel floor hockey league , which  he says  has been running consistently year after year for over the past 10 years.

"I have spoken to Jewish men (who play in the Maccabia Ice Hockey League) who can recall playing in the league when they were university students. These men are 40+ years old today, he says. 

The League begins in the 2nd or 3rd week of September and ends in the first week of December  and then begins again in January.. 

"This will allow for all the players in the league to get comfortable in universityl and not feel stress from what is supposed to be a fun recreational hockey league. The program will work with university schedules through the course of the fall and winter semesters...T he League's first half will end the first week in December because it is important for the league players to focus on studying for their final exams."

The League breaks over Reading Week in February since "a lot of students will take this time to relax or go on vacation." 

The league plays until the last week of classes in April, "allowing the players to focus on their post secondary education. "
This is a 20 week regular season and playoffs with a finals, semi-finals, and quarter-finals.

Rafaeli says, "An ideal league is eight teams.  Our time slot is from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. We have the first game from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. and the second at 8:30-9:30 p.m. on both days.  This allows for four games to be played a week, and all eight teams to have played once. This is my second year running the program. Last year, we had seven teams, which was not an issue as all it meant was one team played both the Tuesday and Thursday once every six weeks.  This year, I am glad to announce, we have eight teams. This way it is easier for players to schedule the one game a week they play in their busy university lives."

Each team is represented by a captain.

"Each captain is responsible for recruiting their own roster.  Most commonly a team will consist of 8 players plus one goalie.  On the court at one time are a goalie and four players on each team, so this roster setup allows for two lines.  However, some teams have a few less than 8 players while some have a few more," says  Rafaeli.

 When asked whether the  floor hockey  leage is for  men or women or co-ed, Rafaeli replied: "Anyone can play in the league. People come to me and ask how they can play; I inform them about the league and direct them as best as possible. This is not only a male league. Females may also play, although, since I’ve been in the league no women have played. The league does attract a lot of attention, it is very common to be at a game and observe spectators watching and enjoying the level of competitiveness and sportsmanship involved in the league."

Maxim Berent , president of Hillel told th eWinnipeg Jewish Review, “ We are pleased to have our Floor Hockey team. At Hillel Winnipeg, every student has the opportunity to be involve in the Jewish campus life in one way or the other. Floor Hockey is a program that provides an opportunity for students with a passion for sports. There is something for everyone at Hillel, the Centre for Jewish Campus Life."  

The league is followed on Check out the group: JSA Floor Hockey. For the most part the members of the group are active players but some are former players, as well, who still follow the league.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.