When Gene Townes slid a nifty pass to land the puck right on the stick of Vicky Thurber and she flipped it into the net, the combined age of the goal scoring duo was 134 years. And in the Never Too Late League, that’s not all that unusual.

Twice a week, for the past 30 years, a group of the Island’s older hockey enthusiasts have gathered at the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena to shoot the bull and shoot the puck. They have conceded body checking and slap shots to the good sense that comes with age, but the competition and the camaraderie are as strong as ever. They come with artificial knees, creaky hips, and a universal sense that staying on the move improves their health. Most are in their 50s or 60’s, some are even older.

“It’s competitive, but it’s friendly competitive, because we’re all older,” said Mr. Townes, who is 70. “Most people have to go to work the next day. I’m so old I don’t have to. When this thing originally started, it was called the Cardiac League, a long, long time ago.”

In the locker room before a recent ice session, Ms. Thurber was assigning black jerseys and white jerseys, dividing the skaters into teams. She is as close as the group has to a coach. Though she commands some authority she is not immune to locker room ribbing.

Less body checking, more passing as the years pile up. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“She used to run the league and then she couldn’t remember everybody’s name,” chimes in Anthony Cappelli from across the room.

The name Never Too Late is a double entendre. It applies to older players, but also to younger players just learning the game, or those who have similar speed and skill sets on the ice.

“It’s probably the only league where someone can come in and learn to play with us,” said Ms. Thurber, who has been skating with the group since the beginning.

“We bring up a lot of people that have never played, or their kids start playing so they say I might as well learn,” said Mr. Cappelli.

That’s how Heather Neal got started. As the co-owner of the B-Strong gym in Oak Bluffs she may be the fittest person on the ice, but she had never played hockey until her children got involved in local youth leagues.

“I was 45 when I started,” Ms. Neal said. “Might as well try it. How hard can it be. I found out how hard it can be,” she said with a laugh.

Out on the ice, the game is underway, starting slowly, then picking up in intensity. It is apparent that Steve Costa, who everyone knows by his childhood nickname “Meatball,” has hockey skills that surpass many on the ice. With a gray beard and an artificial knee, he still skates circles around many of his Never Too Late buddies. But he takes care to involve all of them in the plays.

Graham Smith is off to the races. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“It’s a good combination of people that play,” Mr. Costa said. “It’s been good. It’s pretty passive and fun.” But he concedes, with a mischievous smile, that the game does involve a competitive element. “Well, everyone gets mad,” he said.

Tim O’Bryan is among the most enthusiastic of the players on the ice. He was asked if he could keep up with the older players.

“I come close,” he said. “This is about having fun, to me. A little bit of exercise, and I like the sport. It’s better than going to the gym.”

The group is chronically short of goalkeepers, so for this session they use plastic guards over the nets with holes in strategic places for players to shoot at. It doesn’t slow down the action much. The scrape of skates and clack of sticks gets more intense as the session nears an end.

Peter Temple come to the bench for a brief rest. All the rests are brief — there are six players to a side, and five of them need to be on the ice to make a full team.

“It’s great, we don’t take the game too seriously,” said Mr. Temple, who is 68. “A lot of passing, good players, you’re not apt to get hurt, which when you’re my age is a real concern.”

Mr. Temple has his priorities in order. For him, the Never Too Late League provides a welcome break from his duties, which include chairing the Aquinnah planning board.

“The planning board meeting you have to behave,” he said. “Here you can take out a little bit of your frustrations.”