I sadly quit playing Adult/Beer League about a decade ago.. We have quite a few decent leagues here but they are rather expensive.. even the crappier leagues are just too much $$$ for me. Plus the games got too late, getting home at 12:30am and having to wake-up at 6am to be at work by 7am was getting too harsh. But every game was the same, we'd have 10-11 really good players + our goalie who was always stellar show, and we'd get up a few goals early in a game, try and hold the lead, and usually have a team of older guys comeback and make a game out of it... Unfortunately too many games where the older guys were wacking away at the younger guys because they couldn't keep up, and referees that do men's league games really don't care it seems. Eventually always lead to one of the younger guys swinging back, then the fun would start... scrums over what... a freaking recreational adult game? Jeez.. get off the ice if you aren't having fun! I guess I can speak from experience as I've recently become an Official.. but I try my best whether it's Adult B/C/D or PeeWee AA/A down to Squirts AA/A/B. Some guys just do it for the money sadly, I did a game last night outdoors, just a fun league, Adult "B".. Whoever was assigned the game cancelled last minute and I got the call 45min before game start and was excited to get out of the house and go skate... even if it was reffing an outdoor game in 30 degrees F with 25+ mph winds @ 9pm. I let the guys play, most of the guys knew one another so I knew it was a friendly game, they also knew that they almost did not have an Official so they were appreciative, I let them play hard and have fun, it's great when there are absolutely no knuckleheads on the ice and everyone is there to have fun. I've made the mistake of "letting guys play" before and seeing it turn into a circus, especially the last 5-10min of a game, whether it's close or not. Most of the other leagues I've either played in or Officiated it always seems like 1 out of every 4 games there is always an incident. Always some bender or clown that blames the Official's for not calling every little infraction, honestly if Officials called 100% of the infractions in any game at any level the game would last close to 2 hours. The longest game I've officiated was 110 minutes for 3 15min periods.. because the players were just being knuckleheads. If you are playing a game starting at 10:30pm you probably aren't getting the "Wes McCauleys" of Officiating.. you'll get either the young hungry guys like me who want the work or mostly the older guys who don't care and want the game to end ASAP because they are more worried about work in the AM. I used to give refs a hard time but after signing up and becoming one I feel bad for some of the guys, especially the kids (who shouldn't be reffing Adults to begin with), but there is a shortage of Officials... Lots of great young guys/kids sign up, do the seminar, do a few games, and quit. Because of A-Hole 10u Coaches @ the AA levels blasting them non stop the whole game. I've had to throw one coach out who just wouldn't stop complaining... his team was getting crushed (on the scoreboard) and they started getting too physical, then I saw kids dropping the shoulder.. So yeah, any Official is going to start calling it a little tighter once they see kids (who aren't even old enough to body-check) trying to head hunt. I loved playing but my days are behind me, 9 years of travel club + 4 years of HS Varsity, with a few years of adult leagues after that I just got spent. I rarely want to play anymore, I just love coaching been doing it for 10 years, and recently started Officiating and kind of enjoying it more than coaching to be honest... maybe it's the money, but who would have thought the kid who lead the NJYHL consecutive years in a row at the "A" level back in the 90's would be Officiating.. not me It's been a pleasure to play in the 90's when hockey was "tough", and I may be a little more lenient come penalties, especially with the younger levels where the kids are learning.. if something happens away from the play I'll just talk to the kids and "warn" them and their coaches. Coaches sometimes don't realize Officials have 0% invested in either team, there is no favoritism, when I'm doing well I'm consistent both ways, even when I'm doing "poorly" I'm still consistent both ways... Regardless it's a blast, especially helping the younger kids at the A/B levels. As for the AA Minors/Majors those games need a little more discipline and no matter what you do it's always the "Ref's fault" with those levels, Coaches never take themselves into consideration... and I just smile at them when they start chirping.. if they go over the line they get a bench minor, 2nd offense is another bench minor and a match penalty. No referees want to throw coaches out, trust me it's silly.. the Refs looking to toss folks are either having a bad day or doing a game they shouldn't be, whether because of past issues with the club/coaches or they are used to Bantam/Midgets and are stuck doing a Squirt/PeeWee game and are just unhappy (because they don't pay as much). I wish USA Hockey did more to train young Officials, sadly all we get is a short 6-8 hour seminar, where you get maybe 30 minutes of instructions in the classroom and about 30 minutes on the ice just dropping pucks and backing away from the circle. I'd like to get to Level 3 so I can do HS games, but I'm not ready.. I'll admit that... and I played competitive travel from age 5 to 18 (then a few years of adult league). Decided to start coaching, been doing that for 10 years, and now Officiating and the past 3-4 months have been the best! I may not play anymore, mostly because I've had too many injuries and just can't move like I used to and it's aggravating. I wish I still could but it's not going to happen, so I've found my new nitch.. Coaching & Officiating.. sadly I feel like Officiating will overtake Coaching as there isn't enough time in the weekend for both.