Hock-away Beach ’21
Did you know this weekend is the annual Hock-away Beach women’s tournament? Whether you’re a returning player or new to the NYC Women’s Ball Hockey movement, strap in and learn about the makings of this great tournament, coming to you live at Rockaway Beach this weekend 9/18. And if you haven’t signed up yet: you still can.
Women’s Ball Hockey NYC (WBHNYC) is inclusive and open to trans women, nonbinary, and non-conforming folks. So come one, come all!
I virtually sat down with a few of the many amazing organizers of the Hock-away Beach tournament (Marcella, LJ, Mia) to give everyone an idea of what to expect this weekend.
What *is* Hock-away beach?
Marcella: It’s an Annual Women’s Ball Hockey Tournament that celebrates hockey and community. It takes place on an outdoor rink right next to the beach. Translation: It’s a freakin’ blast and you should be there.
Mia: Hock-away Beach is a magical and very real place where women get passed to, make plays and score!
What inspired you to get it started?
Marcella: We were inspired by our community’s history of women-led initiatives in the sport and wanted to do our part. Hock-away is the first thing we did together as a group but now that we’re an organization there’s a lot more to come. The idea of Hock-away is that it remains something our community can always come back to and celebrate together each year.
LJ: The power of women’s sports. We can be leaders, work together, celebrate each other’s success, push our boundaries and acknowledge our progress. This is sports in general but sometimes these aspects get lost in a coed league.
Mia: As we were conceptualizing community, a tournament inclusive of all skill levels seemed like the natural expression of healthy competition.
What’s your favorite thing about the tournament?
Marcella: Getting to play with different people and working together as a team towards a common goal. Hanging on the beach and celebrating after with your community is a very close second.
LJ: Competing (was going to say winning) and getting the chance to play with other women I admire in our community.
Mia: We work the better part of a year to present the community with programming such as this—my favorite thing is being on site and really seeing how much joy the day brings.
What would you say to someone on the fence about deciding whether or not to come?
Marcella: Just come out and try it– you got this and we got your back.
LJ: Honestly, the only thing to be on the fence about is the commute. And it’s SO worth it.
Mia: We know it’s a long way to travel for most people, but playing by the ocean is the most amazing thing! In the city we’ve had to deal with nails sticking out at MOFO, being sexually harassed by local boys in Queens and skirting human poo at BTSH. The seaside commute is well worth it!
What’s one thing every ‘rookie’ should bring to the tournament?
Marcella: Sandals for beach time btw games (and sunscreen, looking at you @ emily moore).
Mia: I kinda can’t say enough about this tiny SunYear folding chair Dani Rylan turned me on to. Hock-way is a long day, so it’s nice to have somewhere to sit that’s not hot pavement.
Who is your favorite fellow BTSH woman to play with?
Marcella: That’s a tough one. We switch up the teams, so you find chemistry with different people each year, which is part of what I think makes the tournament fun. So, I don’t really have a favorite but can quickly name a few off the top of my head. Let me think.. Umm.. Ok.. Longley is a ton of fun to play with– she’s always in the perfect spot at the right time and fun to set up. Becca is a beast down the line and at powering the ball through on the transition. Hmm ..who else? Julie Katz is really great because she always has a good sense of what the other team is doing, which can really lend clarity when it feels like nothing is going your way. I’ve never played with Tori but she’s really good at making plays out of the corner. Aliza Rana is playing this year for the first time and she can really snipe, so whoever plays with her is gonna rack up a bunch of apples. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to play with the Herr sisters (hockey is in their blood) so I hope they make it out this year (although I wouldn’t look forward to playing against them). And basically all the defensive players– it’s such an important position and essential to winning (sorry in advance for my poor backchecking lol).
LJ: Marcella because she is a pro at dishing out compliments… real answer, so many!! Obviously love the Cobra Kai women.
Mia: Geez, so many. Is it Cherie repping large for BIPOC women? Tia because she often says funny things? Is it Suz cuz? Honestly there are so many great women at BTSH with superb skills and amazing attitudes, like this author (who didn’t pay me)* Tash, Annie, Shelly, Charlotte, Ryann, Courtney, Andrea… Fierce yet humble.
*confirmed I did not pay Mia
If hock-away beach was a hot dog, what condiments would be on it?
Marcella: Hock-away beach is clearly a sandwich – Hockey + beach time + community.
LJ: No. Hock-away is the perfectly done steak you cooked for yourself and your friends. Enjoy it!!
Mia: Obviously, Hock-away is not a hot dog, it’s a taco!
There you have it folks. This media editor is looking forward to her first-ever Hock-away Beach tournament and we hope to see you all out there. Even if you’re a dude or dude-identifying, you can come out to support, help ref or keep score, or just donate to the cause. See you all out there!