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Dek hockey players have range of options in Penn Hills

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Penn Hills Progress
Above, Nate Otley and Shawn Sinclair of the Junior Dekrats (in white) look to take the puck from Dom Hurley of the Goal Diggers during Greater Pittsburgh Dek Hockey's 2013 Summer Jam Tournament. Signups for spring and summer leagues are under way.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch
Riverview ninth-graders, from left, Ian Kobal, Brian Rossi, Paul Dozzi, and Brenden Shane run on the new dek hockey surface installed on the rink in Riverview Park in Oakmont. A new dek hockey league will be based out of the rink.

It's shaping up to be a lively summer for any Penn Hills resident with an interest in dek hockey.

A new league, a new rink and a new playing surface are all opening in different parts of the municipality.

At the Rosedale Beach Club, an idea that's been kicked around for a few years is finally coming to fruition.

Club officials are converting one of their two tennis courts into a dek hockey rink.

“We were able to partner with Penn Fencing, who have been hugely generous with workers donating their time to help get it done and providing materials at an attainable price,” Rosedale Board President Michele Shimko said.

One of Rosedale's members works at the Butler-based Penn Fencing, “and we approached him to ask what they could do for us,” Shimko said. “We were pleasantly surprised at what they were able to do.”

Shimko said the plan is to have the rink ready when Rosedale opens for Memorial Day weekend for the summer.

When it comes to venues that combine dek hockey and swimming, it's hard to top the Olympic Swim & Health Club on Twin Oak Drive.

The club is home to Greater Pittsburgh Dek Hockey, North America's second-oldest dek/ball hockey organization.

Director of Hockey and Facility Operations Billy Sullivan is once again leading the youth program, and April is its biggest month.

“The week of April 7 is when all four of our new youth leagues start, as well as our four adult divisions,” Sullivan said.

Youth participants will be entered in a draft, while those in the adult division sign up with a team already built.

In addition, the club will host its Midwest Regional Tournament April 4 to 6, an earlier start date than usual.

“We moved it up this year because of the date that Easter falls,” Sullivan said.

Now, there are 32 teams signed up in the four youth age groups, Sullivan said.

The sign-up deadline is March 23.

To register, call 412-852-0854 or visit

Down the road, Penn Hills resident Chris Sinclair is looking to establish a new dek hockey league in the Oakmont area.

Sinclair, 36, who is also a youth coach for Greater Pittsburgh Dek Hockey, will base the league at the new dek hockey rink which opened late last year.

“We're going to start things up in April at the dek hockey facilities at Riverside Park (in Oakmont),” he said.

A final decision on the name — either Oakmont Hockey or Pittsburgh Premiere Hockey — will come at a future meeting.

For now, Sinclair is focused on a March 23 free clinic and registration day.

“We've already hosted some free clinics down there,” he said.

“This one will run from noon to 6 p.m., and then our regular season will start April 12.

The league will be broken down into age divisions (4 to 6 years, 7 to 9 years, 10 to 12 years and 13 to 15 years), and while Sinclair does have plans for an adult league, it likely won't start up until later in the spring.

So far, about 75 children are signed up, and Sinclair's goal is 120.

“That way we'll be able to have four teams in each division,” he said.

To sign up, visit and click on the “Contact” link, or stop by the March 23 clinic at Riverside Park, located near the intersection of Hulton Road and Third Street in Oakmont.

Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or

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