When he looks around the dressing room at the Planet Ice rink in Delta, Ralph Haugland sees a lot of fellow hockey players who, like himself, were born before the Second World War.
"I'm going on 74," said Haugland, a South Surrey resident. "All the guys here are over 70, and at least three of the guys are into their 80s."
It's summer scrimmage time for Haugland and others involved in the Great Vancouver Oldtimers Hockey Association, set to hit the ice again in September.
A lot of the players are old pals who like the social aspect of the hockey league.
"We have refs, and we play to win, you betcha," Haugland said with a laugh. "We get competitive."
Penalty calls involve a penalty shot, not time spent in the box, in order to make the game more exciting.
In this league, the majority of players are retired, of course. Some are "snowbirds" who miss games because they fly south for the winter.
"We have one guy who takes his boat over from Saturna Island for games - him and another retired doctor who plays. I love having them on the ice," added Haugland, chuckling.
New recruits are always welcome to join in the action, with daytime games on Monday (in the 65+ division) and Friday (70+).
"Everyone is welcome to come out and give it a shot," said Haugland. "If you're fairly fit, you'll do alright. If we get more players, we'll just add more teams."
Currently, four teams are part of the 70+ division, now in its third year. The cost to play is $250 for the season, which runs from September to March. To get involved in the 70+ division, email Haugland at ralph@norquip. com or call 604-830-0295.
The contact person for the 65+ division is Ed Sawicki, email@example.com.