Meribel Patinoire [ice rink] hosts Ice Hockey matches every Tuesday evening during the winter season. We went along twice, the first time to see Meribel ESF vs Courchevel ESF and the second time to see Meribel ESF vs La Rosiere ESF. The teams are all ski instructors from ESF [Ecole de Ski Francais]. The entry is only 5 EUR, with pints of Kronenbourg only 4 EUR and vin chaud only 2.50 EUR [absolutely bargain prices for a ski resort!]
There is a popular misconception that Ice Hockey is quite a violent sport, with fights often breaking out. I've been told that this is only common in America and Canada and is almost encouraged, to boost ticket sales! I imagine it helped that the teams were colleagues, but we only saw one minor disagreement, and certainly no fighting or bravado.
Compared to the big games you see on TV, this is sort of like the 'Sunday pub league' of the Ice Hockey world. Nonetheless, it was still very entertaining and nice to do something a bit different while in a ski resort. I've been watching Ice Hockey on the Olympics and it's so insanely fast compared to the Meribel matches. I'd love to go and see a professional game one day; definitely something to do while in the USA in the future, along with going to see an NBA Basketball game and a Baseball game!
One of the highlights for us was when the ice smoothing machine came out, after the first third of the game. We cheered for the chap every time he came round and managed to get a mexican wave going each time he went past too. After we'd had a few beers, we did a little rink invasion at the end too...