This weekend a group of 4 from NYC headed down to spend a few hours scouting the rink. Here’s what one player (Birdseye) had to say about their experience:
The court itself is pretty nice. It’s no Pit, but few things are. It used to be a tennis court that has had boards put up all around it for hockey. They’re banked in the corners, and only (maybe) 3 feet high on the left and right sides. So I’m sure we’ll see a few players go over the walls during the tournament. 8-10 foot high chain link fence right against the boards on three sides, with benches along the western side of the court. The size is not too big, not too small, all in all a good size. The only real negative that I could see is that it is sloped with the northwest corner being the low point (the goals are at the north and south ends of the court). That corner had a lot of dirt in it that made the surface a bit slippery and ball tended to roll that way. D.C. has placed their goal post 6-10 inches farther apart than NY does with about 2 feet behind the goals. So slightly wider goals with no real room to play the ball behind them. Oh, and they have nice bright white lights that actually turn on and make it easy to see. We didn’t have time to stay and play at night, but the lights came on around 6pm and the difference was noticeable.
Across the street from that court they have the ThunderDome. As Doug said, “so awful it’s awesome”. It made me think of lost Aztec ruins. It’s a sunken basketball court with concrete bleachers on both sides. The whole thing is grey and very angular. The court surface is completely beat, all cracked and bumpy. Lots of “character”. It might be that every team has to play at least one game there during the round robin.
How does D.C. play you ask? They’re definitely better than they were last year. Like everywhere, they have a mix of players, some are ok, a couple are great. They all seemed very solid. They certainly run screens better than we do, it can be difficult to get the ball past them. From what I saw, they’re not as fast as a lot of the NYC players, but it’s a smaller court and that speed isn’t as big of an advantage (except for Zack who seemed to be everywhere at once). There was one player Bruce who I kept underestimating, he a bit older so my mind wanted to equate him to Frank the Tank, then he schooled me a couple times. Not all older players wildly hit the ball.
Useful? You make the call.