Decades Ago, Maimonides Laid the Groundwork for Floor Hockey

2.06.2017
Floor Hockey

The New York Times in early January published a feature story on the popular and intense boys’ floor hockey competition in a league composed of Metro New York yeshivas and day schools.
Like many things, Boston was the proving ground for this sport — specifically, Maimonides School in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Some even wonder whether it was imported from Maimonides.
“I know that my Maimonides classmates who entered Yeshiva College in 1971 brought the game from Maimonides to YU,” recalled Abe Katz ’71. “I would argue that Maimonides may have been the first day school at which the sport was played.”
“We called it the MHL, the Maimonides Hockey League,” confirmed Jack Gottlieb ’69. “It involved the classes between 1968 and 1970, mostly boys.” The venue was an outdoor basketball court that was sacrificed in 1985 for the construction of Fox Gymnasium. “We used to ice over the basketball court and play in rubbers on our shoes,” said Rabbi Ed Goldstein ’71.
“I believe we were playing street hockey on the court well before the other schools were,” said Allan Goldstein ’69 (no relation). “In fact, I think I brought the first hockey stick to school while everybody was still using their feet.”
Although it was always intramural, veterans say floor hockey engendered the intensity and enthusiasm that the article describes.
“Our class had to wait for the ‘69 class to graduate before we could play on the basketball court,” said Rabbi Goldstein. “We made do with a space by the kindergarten near the back entrance to the school.”