We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Playoff Beard?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports n' Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The playoff beard is a superstitious tradition among North American sports teams, particularly those of the National Hockey League (NHL), in which players do not shave their facial hair while competing in postseason play in order to bring their teams luck. This practice was started by the NHL’s New York Islanders in 1980, and has since become a ritual among most NHL teams. The playoff beard tradition has even been adopted by some athletes in other professional and non-professional sports, although it has not attained the same popularity it enjoys among hockey players. Many NHL fans show support for their favorite team by growing a playoff beard, sometimes as part of a charity fundraising initiative.

It is believed that the playoff beard tradition was established by the 1980 New York Islanders. The players of this NHL team began to collectively shun razors as they entered the playoffs, and several weeks later they won the league’s national championship. Convinced that their beards had brought them luck, they carried on the practice during the next postseason period. By 1984, the Islanders had won four consecutive championships, and the playoff beard had been firmly established as a postseason NHL tradition. As of the early 21st century, players from almost every NHL team can be seen sprouting facial hair as they enter the playoffs, with the most outrageous results often becoming a subject of discussion for sports talk show banter.

Athletes in other sports, both professional and non-professional, have also periodically taken up the playoff beard tradition. In particular, it has been seen from time to time among players in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL), as well as those on Major League Baseball (MLB) teams. Overall, however, the custom has never achieved the same level of popularity among athletes from these sports as it enjoys among hockey players.

Many NHL fans choose to show support for their favorite franchise by growing a beard along with that team’s players. Like the players, these fans shave their beards only after their team has either won the championship or been eliminated from the playoffs. Some fans grow playoff beards as part of a charity fundraising initiative. Generally, these initiatives involve agreeing to grow a beard in exchange for monetary pledges which may come from family members, friends, work colleagues, and so forth. These pledges are then donated to a charitable organization which may be selected by the fan himself or may be chosen by a philanthropic arm of his favored NHL organization.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet , Former Writer
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including Sports n' Hobbies. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By backdraft — On May 05, 2012

I wish that there was an equivalent to the playoff beard for girls. What are we supposed to do, let our leg hair get really long?

I am just as rabid a fan as my boyfriend but I feel like I can't participate in all the playoff excitement. Most people wear their playoff beards with a lot of pride. The best playoff beards are proof of how much you love your team. How am I supposed to show my love?

By Ivan83 — On May 05, 2012

A friend of mine has been growing a hockey playoff beard for this years NHL playoffs. He is a huge Rangers fan and I think around playoff time his blood turns Ranger's blue.

The funny thing is that he never normally has a beard but he is one of those guys that can grow a full beard in less than a week. The hair just pours out of his face. So he is normally pretty clean cut but for the few weeks of the playoffs he turns into a lumber jack.

By nextcorrea — On May 04, 2012

I have grown a playoff beard every time the St Louis Cardinals make it into the playoffs. We went all the way last year, actually played the maximum amount of baseball games that it is possible to play over the course of the playoffs. I didn't shave for a few weeks and I was looking pretty scruffy by the end.

Luckily my boss is a huge Cardinals fan and I was not the only guy in the office that was growing a beard. It became something to talk about around the water cooler. And even if it is just silly superstition, I hope that I never have to shave prematurely.

M.C. Huguelet

M.C. Huguelet

Former Writer

Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
Learn more
Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports n' Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.