Unicycle Hockey Exhibition games during Inline Hockey Tournament at major mall.

So I get this phonecall…(actually this one was an email) from the lady who heads up the InLine Hockey club where we play. They have a set of portable boards used to create a temporary rink and to get some additional exposure for their sport, they’ve arranged to have this rink erected at a major shopping center in Pretoria.
The rink will be up for a period of a week and they’ll play two tournaments on the two Saturdays, with lots of practise time and ‘give-it-a-try’ time during the week.
Would we be interested in playing some exhibition games?
Is the pope catholic?
Are the Kennedys gun-shy?
Does a one legged duck swimming upstream in winter get a cold arse?

Uhm, yes.
We have to pay a pretty hefty fee to get to play as they have to cover the costs of erecting the rink. We’ll make a plan, we’ll get some sponsorship or else we’ll all chip in. We’ll make a plan.
We can’t miss out on this kind of opportunity to get this kind of exposure.
They also added some info about us to their website.
Check it out.

Just in case you want to drop them a line and thank them for hosting Unicycle Hockey, you can mail them here.

I’ll keep you updated with info and a write-up of the games.

Re: Unicycle Hockey Exhibition games during Inline Hockey Tournamentat major mall.

GILD wrote:

> So I get this phonecall…

> Would we be interested in playing some exhibition games?

Wow, good luck. I hope it goes well. It’s always nice to be contacted
about these things.

> Unicycle Hockey

I’m glad to see that you’ve seen the light :slight_smile:

> I’ll keep you updated with info and a write-up of the games.

Please do.



That’s an excellent opportunity, good work Dave!

The day started rather stormily.
Not because of dodgy weather, but because we’re doing a Circus School job at another shopping center in Pretoria.
Between the end of that job and the start of the game, we have an hour to do a 45 minute drive, find parking get ready, get on the rink and play UniHoki.
Devin stays in Pretoria, he knows how to get there, but he has to go home first cause he forgot some basics. Like his stick and his shoes.
I’m amazed he remembered the unicycle.
Garth has a vague idea of how to get there.
He’ll follow Devin (till Devin has to turn off to go to his house - so he’ll be a bit late) to get on the right route and we’ll all follow Garth.
As we leave the shopping center, everybody decides to buy some pies first.
Must have victuals.
We leave at 12h45.
No stress. I’m waiting for Alan and Andre to get ready to follow me following Garth.
Who’s following Devin.
Please try n keep up.
Which I didn’t try to do cause I assumed Garth would wait for the convoy to form up.
Plan B.
It takes a while for Allan to join myself and Andre in our mini-(secondary) convoy, at which time Garth and Devin are simply distant memories.
I phone urgently but Garth’s phone rings merrily to voicemail.
I start stressing. And I don’t do stress well.
I phone Devin. He could’ve been a Californian Surfer Dude. Not a problem, he tells me, just come out of the parking lot and go up to the traffic lights (we call them robots but I’ll spare you that little cross-atlantic confusion today) and turn left. Follow that road till you get to DF MALAN Road then turn left again. From there, you’ll have to turn right into Schuman street and follow that untill you go straight thru the middle of Pretoria, out the other side, and find the highway, follow signs to Johannesburg and the next offramp will take you to the venue.
All this on a cellphone, while I’m trying to eat a pepper steak pie and some chips and avoid being killed by minibus taxis who believe they’re carrying militiamen in Beirut and are in a quite a rush to get to wherever they’re going.
I’m getting phonecalls from other players. “Where is this place?”
“I’m here, where are you?”
I’m really, really tense by now.
The TV guy from SuperCycling phones.
“Where is this place?”
I try n give him directions to a place I’m desperately trying to find.
In the meantime, the road is doing all sorts of interesting things that Devin didn’t tell me about.
“Go Straight” isn’t meant to be confused with the S-bending, slipway route I had to follow to stay on the road I wasn’t on.
No wonder he’s such a good player.
Then I get a phonecall from Devin, “Sorry man, Schuman doesn’t start that low, take BLOOD, and then left in…”
How it happened, I have no idea, but I found the highway. Andre and Allan are blissfully ignorant of all of this.
They think I have a clue.
We hit the highway, armed with Devin’s warning “It’s a tricky bugger, take the fork left, but then take the right hand side fork and the left hand side fork off the right hand fork”.
No wonder the Chinese use chopsticks.
“But just keep following the JOHANNESBURG signs and you’ll be fine.”
I’m following the Johannesburg signs. Somewhere between the various right- and left hand forks, Nigel phones. “I’m at the IMAX theatre…”
I manage to get him to the Arena side of the complex, but in the process miss the final fly-under JOHANNESBURG sign.
I see it, from the wrong side of the road, as I hang up the phone.
I phone Devin, man-o-the-hour. He tells me to panic.
I take the next offramp, cross over the bridge, get back on the highway, heading the right way now.
As I take the JOHANNESBURG fork, I notice that Allan isn’t behind Andre anymore.
Phrantic Phonecall.
Turns out Garth took a wrong turn somewhere and hooked up to the back of us and since we seemed to know where we were going, he joined us.
Untill he decided that we were about to take a wrong turn.
He managed to get Allan’s attention, but Andre and myself went blissfully along and didn’t make a wrong turn.
Suffice it to say that their corrective measure included going thru the same tollgate twice, and having to pay, both times.
As jy dom is moet jy kak.
We eventually arrive at Menlyn.
A monster of a shopping center where even the parking attendants admit that it can be a bit confusing.
I eventually manage to find parking, I manage to find the rink and sit down to relax.
Just briefly.

By the time Al and Garth join us, we’re running a bit behind, but nothing serious.
We get the kit (BEEEG thanx to Allan for sponsoring and sorting that out for us), pick teams and take to the rink.
A bit smaller than we’re used to but a lovely smooth surface.
The bevelled corners are more angular than we’re used to and this really nice as the ball is less likely to hug the wall all the way, making it virtually impossible to play. It comes off the wall nicely, but at a different angle to the brickwall we’re used to at the Rangers Rink.
All told is was a very close game with nothing given, nor asked.

There are some pics up in the gallery.

For disturbingly obvious reasons, I quite like this one…

While this one gives a better idea of the venue.

There is also an 18mb video clip up here.

I did an interview with the guy from SuperCycling after the game.
That’s to be broadcast in August sometime.
He’ll let me know.
A lady also came up to me during halftime.
She’s involved in a stunt company and they’re looking to add some other interesting activities to their roster.
Unicycling caught her eye.
They also operate a ‘Bridge Swing’ just outside Pretoria.
“Ah, can I do a bridge swing on my unicycle?” I ask.
“If you do it on your uni, you can have the swing for free” she tells me.
I like her already.

On our way out we decided to pop into a skate park just around the corner and found a stunning inline rink.
Narrower than we’re used to, but much longer.
We’re playing again at Menlyn on Wednesday evening at 19h00 and next Saturday at 13h00 after which we’re heading off to the skatepark to go play another game on their rink.

We’ve now got a couple of venues.
We’re thinking about hosting the first World Cup Unicycle Hockey Tournament in 2010.

Anyone interested?

Great write up. sounds like heaps of fun. I’d love to come. Would it take me long to get there?


Not long, just ask Devin for directions.

Phew! I was getting jittery just reading that.

Good on yer for the excellent exposure. Did you get funding sorted in the end or did you have a whip round?

The shirts were sponsored by Alan, who stuck his website unicycle.co.za on the back.
We dipped into the Juggling Club fund (money earned by doing things like the circus school gig) to pay the entry fee for the event.
We’ve got a signage company interested in sponsoring us as well.

As soon as we can come up with a decent logo-design, we’re looking at getting a sign made to go up on the side of the clubhouse back at our home rink.

Any suggestions?

Hey GILD, didn’t the springboks get absoloutly thrashed by AUS in the last rugby game?

but back on topic, in your design you need a wheel and a hockey stick crossed over it, kind of like the mighty ducks symbol but with a unicycle instead of a duck mask.

49-0 as I recall.
And word is we were mighty lucky to get that 0.

That’s a very kewl emblem.
Where’s it from?

hahaha go the wallabies :stuck_out_tongue:

i just got a mighty ducks logo off the net, and a unicycle wheel, and put them both in paint and i got that

Ahh, a good “will they, won’t they” story, glad that you made it there Gild. When you got there was there many spectators? It’s a hard thing to gauge whether or not people who don’t play Unicycle Hockey enjoy watching it but what was there reaction?

Anyway thanks for posting the photos and video, us Emu’s can now study them ready for 2010 :roll_eyes:

BTW you seem to be playing without a goal keeper, is this the way you normally play?

Yeah, we normally have some basic zonal allocations and the rearmost player will go to the goals when there is an attack by the opposing team. We don’t normally ‘leave’ one player behind in the goals.
When one team plays a player short, the opposing team also ‘sportingly’ undertakes not to take advantage of their numerical superiority by allocating a dedicated keeper.
When a 6.5 is given, the player with the 24 and the most pads (read ‘me’) will normally take the role as keeper. Unless a defender did something particularly nefarious and fully deserves to be made keeper as punishment.

We’ve outlawed holding onto the goals in it’s entirety.
This is (partly) in an attempt to stop beginner players from only hanging on the goal-posts and not getting the riding- and playing practise they need.
The rest of the thinking behind it is that if a beginner is holding onto the goal and an attacking player crosses the halfway-line, the defending player is illegally obstructing his opportunity of taking a shot from the halfway line. The law clearly states that you’re not allowed to influence the game in any way while holding onto anything.

That rink is substantially smaller than the one we’re used to and it did affect our play.
We normally play a slightly more open and flowing passing game.
I’d like to hear your comments and comparisons to your own style and level of play.
With and without ‘game-face’.

We usually play with a keeper when there are 4 or more in a team though towards the end of an hour this is not so rigid. If we’re feeling competitive we also play with someone staying back in defence as well as the keeper though we only normally play for fun.

The goals we play with are a light weight transportable custom build (OK they’re made from plastic drain pipes and fittings, but they’re very good). Because of this you can’t hold on to them as they just bend so we don’t have that problem.

If there’s less than 10 of us often we play that you can only score from inside a D that is painted on the court we play on. This means no long shots and changes the dynamics of the game.

I also noted that you seem to mainly play one handed; we tend to mainly play two handed. Personally I play two handed right side mostly but I’ll switch to left or one handed if necessary.

BTW here’s our 2 logo’s; the first from 2005 the second from 2006 and we may do a new one for 2007.

Yeah, if our games end up drawn ‘Fun All’ we’re quite happy.

We don’t have a D on our rink but use an imaginary line thru the tops of the two circles on the rink.
We also use this when we’re short of players, or unilaterally if one team is down a player.
I quite miss the long shots as those are just about the only goals I ever score.
When you hear the play ‘Purple Penguin’ being called, be afraid, be very afraid.

Never could really get the hand of two handed playing, except for shooting.
Might be worth putting some time into getting the hang of it.

Love the LEGO based one.
Phil wouldn’t have had anything to do with that, would he?

Hmm :thinking:

Two handed does give you more power for playing the ball and is good for tackling.

I’m not sure who came up with the original idea I just took directions from the group to produce it, although Phil’s brother John is an EMU.

At one stage we were going to make a UniHoki movie based on a merciless parody (always liked that phrase) of the GridIron/SuperBowl phenomenon.
It would start with a guy playing our national anthem (Nkosi Sikelele i’Africa (god bless africa)) on the bagpipes and go downhill from there.
As part of that kind of nonsense, we started coming up with bizarre names for different plays from post-goal restarts.
The ‘purple penguin’ is the one where I ride to the right hand side of the rink and as I cross the halfway line take a long-range shot at goal.
There are a variety of coloured ‘penguin’ plays as variations of this.

To quote the Lunis, ‘…not entirely serious…’

Being the publicity hounding slut that I am, I issued a press release about this momentous occasion.
You can read and giggle here.

That segment is now available here.
(21MB, 7m29s)

This lead us to appear on another popular Sport Show.
The clip of that is here.
(41MB, 14m43s)