Dekhockey is the Quad-Cities’ first and only street hockey league in the area, and over the first three years of the league’s existence, it has become a local phenomenon for hockey players of all ages.
Dekhockey is owned and operated by Patrik Levesque, who played professional hockey for the Quad City Mallards from 2009 to 2010, and part of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Levesque was first introduced to Dekhockey in his hometown of Trois-Rivieres, Canada, where he immediately fell in love with the sport.
In 2012, Levesque introduced the Quad Cities to Dekhockey. This unique sport offers leagues for all ages to participate in, including a women’s league.
“That’s the beauty of it, everybody can play no matter what age you are,” Levesque said.
The league currently has players as young as two years old and as old as sixty-seven participating. The junior league is split into three different age groups: ages 2 to 5, 8 to 11, and 12 or older. The adult leagues consist of a men’s league and a women’s league.
Games are played seven nights a week at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf, Iowa. The required equipment to participate is a helmet, gloves, shin pads, and of course, a hockey stick. The league provides equipment for players eight and younger at no cost, and they have rentals available for all other age groups. Compared to ice hockeysome of the differences include no checking, no icing, and a hockey ball is used instead of puck.
“Dekhockey is a family event,” Levesque explains. “I see a lot of families. I see the mom on Monday, the dad on a Tuesday night, and the kids on the weekends. The whole family plays, so it’s pretty cool.”
The league also has zero tolerance for fighting. The consequence for fighting is an automatic year suspension. However, there hasn’t been a fight since the league started.
Instead of fighting, Dekhockey teaches players positive life lessons such as working as a team. “You learn good things for the future. You learn to work as team, anything in life you got to be able to work as a team. Nothing can be accomplished on your own,” Levesque said.
Initially, Levesque’s main goals for the league included expanding to two rinks and reaching a total of 2,000 players. This past August, Levesque and the league accomplished the first goal by expanding to two hockey rinks. The second goal is definitely within reach, since the league originally started with 200 players and now has over 1,400 players currently registered.
Dekhockey also has its own webpage, QCDekhockey.com. Players interested in joining the league can sign up on the web page, keep up with live statistics from the adult league games, and also purchase Dekhockey merchandise.