The Players

Center

Most like football forwards in regard to playmaking ability. Operating up and down the middle of the ice, centers lead their team’s attack by passing the puck between his two wings to set up a goal. Defensively, he tries to keep the play from leaving the attack zone. As the play approaches his own goal, it’s the center’s job to hustle and break up the opposing team’s plays.

Wings

You can’t fly with just one. These guys follow the action up and down the rink on either side of the center. Left and right side wings pass back and forth, trying to position themselves for a shot on goal. Defensively, they guard the opponent’s wings and attempt to disrupt them.

Defensemen

The two defensemen try to stop incoming play before any chance of scoring is possible. They block shots, clear the puck from their own net area and entertain the opposing team’s forwards with body shots and ridicule. Offensively, they move the puck up the ice and pass to the forwards, then follow play into the attack zone.

Netminder

As the last line of defense, everyone takes a shot at the goalie. This player’s challenge is to keep the puck from entering his team’s goal. Goalies can use any piece of equipment or any part of his body (even the head) to protect his net.

The Rink

Ice hockey is played on an ice surface known as the rink.

The rink is marked into 3 areas or Zones. These are referred to as the Neutral Zone which is the middle area, then the Defensive and Offensive zones.

Your netminder is in your Defensive Zone, and you try to score in the goal in the Offensive zone. Each zone is seperated by a Blue Line. There is a red line down the centre of the ice, and also a red line at each end called the goalline.

The Goals

A goal net, or cage, is 6 ft wide x 4 ft high. It is designed so that the pucks entering the net will stay in, though shots will occasionally rebound off a back post and carom out. The goal line itself is 2 inches wide.

The Puck

Made of vulcanized rubber. It is 3 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. It weighs about 6 ounces, and is frozen before games to make it slide and not bounce. Players can hit the puck at over 100mph, and it’s important to keep an eye on the puck at all times incase it leaves the ice.

Scoring

Scoring a goal is the object of the game. It is not necessary to shoot the puck into the netting behind the goalie to score.

If the entire puck crosses the goal line inside the posts, it is a goal unless:
– An attacking player kicks the puck, throws the puck or otherwise deliberately directs the puck into the goal by means other than the stick.
– An attacking player is in the goal crease, and is in no way held by a defender, while a teammate “scores”.

While a goal does not count if an attacker kicks it in, if that same attacker kicks it in off a defender other than the goalie, it does count. In this case, the kicker is credited with the goal. On the other hand, if a shot is deflected in off a teammate, the teammate gets credit for the goal, and the shooter gets an assist.

The Teams

Six players make up each team, a center, a right and left winger, left and right defensemen and a goaltender.

Referee

The referee controls the game. He is the one with the Orange bands on the Arms of his shirt. He calls all of the penalties and must decide the legality of goals. Sometimes he will call time-out and ask the linesmen for an opinion before he makes a final decision.

Linesmen

The duty of the linesman is to determine offsides and icings. They drop the puck for face-offs and chase the puck after stoppage of play. It is also the linesmen’s unenviable job to break up fights while the referee assesses the penalties.

Starting Of Play

The game begins with a face-off, in which the referee drops the puck in the center circle, and two players facing each other in an attempt to gain control of the puck. Face-offs at different locations on the ice are used to restart the play throughout the game.

The Game

Unlike football, when there is a penalty or stoppage in Ice Hockey the clock stops. This means a 60 minute game of Ice Hockey see’s60minutes of actual play.

Hockey is split into 3 x 20minute periods. If the scores are level at the end of the game, 5 minutes of overtime are played and then Penalty Shots are take to determine a winner. In the English Premier league a game cannot end as a draw.

There are two main rules to remember in Ice Hockey.

OFFSIDE is when an attacking player crosses the blueline into the Offensive Zone before the puck does. Play is called and a faceoff takes place in the neutral zone.

ICING is when the puck is shot from your half of the rink (before the centre line) right the way down to the other end crossing the red goal line, without another player touching the puck or being able to stop it. Play is immediately halted and resumed with a faceoff in the offending team’s defensive zone. Teams can “ice” the puck if they are penalty killing, but not if they are on the power play or at even or full strength.