Tape Balls (…no, not that kind)

Did you ever make a tape ball? I’m not sure if the tape ball is a sporting artifact unique to hockey but I cannot think of any others that could actually produce such a thing. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, hockey players wrap tape around their shins and sometimes ankles to keep all the lower gear in place.  Some guys use a lot of this.  It used to be that white tape was the primary source for this (it certainly was for my tape ball) but in later years, the clear plastic stuff became the mainstay and still is.  After the game, you strip the tape off and throw it away – or you wrap into a ball.  Once the ball is created, you simply keep wrapping your old tape around the outside of the ball after every game or practice.

I had a tape ball when I was a kid.  Not sure when I started it but I’m guessing it was around Pee-Wee.   We won a house-league championship in there somewhere and I had everyone on the team sign it at the end of that season.  However, when the next season rolled around, I just taped over those signatures and kept going.  So much for the nostalgia of a band of house-league brothers.

I kept building it through my remaining house-league and high school years but these suckers get pretty heavy after awhile.  I think mine was about six inches in diameter when I stopped adding to it and I’m guessing was 5-10 pounds, big enough that I could feel the extra weight in my bag weighing heavily on my shoulder.  Given that we used to have to walk 10-15 minutes to the rink at University for intramural games, I suspect this is the point in time where I started leaving it out of my bag.

Once left out of the bag, it was the beginning of the end for the tape ball because left behind, it quits growing and then one has to ask “what’s the point of having one?”  (Although I guess one could ask that question about a tape ball at any time theoretically couldn’t they?)

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Filed under equipment, House League

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