Ice hockey is
played on a rink, a sheet of ice which is
usually between 185 and 200 feet long and
about 85 feet wide.
The game is
played in three periods of equal length; 20
minutes for each period at most levels, but
often 10, 12 or 15 minutes in youth classifications.
The sport involves four basic skills: skating,
passing, stick-handling and shooting. These
skills can be learned at any age, and the good
hockey player continually works to improve and
refine his or her skills.
is not an important factor in becoming a skilled
and successful hockey player. Every player has
an opportunity to be a part of the action, given
the speed of the game, the number of players on
a team and the size of the surface upon which
the game is played.
The Four Basic
Skills Of Hockey
1). Skating is
the skill that makes hockey unique, and it's
something that players at all levels of the
sport continually strive to improve. Without
adequate skating ability, players are less able
to perform the other essential skills of the
Stick-handling is perhaps the most difficult of
the basic skills to master. It allows a skilled
player to maneuver around opponents and create
better offensive opportunities.
3). Passing is
what makes hockey a true team sport and helps
make the game fun. Passing gets everyone on the
ice involved in the action and turns scoring
into a team effort. Helping teammates experience
success is what the game is all about, and
passing allows the thrill of scoring to be
4). Shooting is
the end result of an offensive team play and is
the action that produces a goal. Many players
spend most of their time practicing shooting
because they believe scoring is the most fun.
Players should, however, place an equal emphasis
on the other basic skills of hockey, given the
fact most players generally take fewer than six
shots in an entire game.
A team is
comprised of a maximum of six players on the ice
at any one time (see "penalties").
is responsible for guarding the team's goal and
preventing the opposing team from scoring.
responsibility of the defensemen (two) is to
prevent the opposing team from having a good
shot at the goal. The defensemen also attempt to
gain possession of the puck and pass to
teammates to initiate an offensive scoring
responsibility of the forwards (three: right
wing, center and left wing) is to score.
However, forwards also assist the defensemen by
back-checking after their team has yielded
control of the puck to the opposition.
The ice surface
is divided by blue lines into three zones:
defensive, offensive and neutral.
zone is the area in which a team protects its
own goal and attempts to keep the opposition
from scoring. This same zone is the opposing
team's offensive zone, or the area in which they
are attempting to score.
zone is the area between the two blue lines.
levels of ice hockey competition, three
officials, one referee (identified by an orange
arm band) and two linesmen, are utilized. At the
youth level, two officials, both of whom are
referees, are common. The referee is the
ultimate authority during the game and is
primarily responsible for calling penalties and
determining if goals have been legally scored.
responsibilities of the linesmen include
determining violations of off-side and icing
while assisting the referee in enforcing the
rules of the game.
rules of hockey are divided into three basic
that result in a face-off
that result in a player being awarded a penalty
that result in a player being sent to the
penalty box for a specified period of time
is a brief explanation of each category or type
of violation. Naturally, there are technical
aspects of each rule that will, at various
times, determine whether or not the violation is
: An offensive player may not precede
the puck across the blue line into the offensive
Pass : The puck may not be passed from a
team's defensive zone to a player of the same
team who is beyond the center red line (applies
only to Junior B and above).
: A team, when both teams have an equal number
of players on the ice, may not shoot the puck
from behind the center red line over their
opponent's goal line (except if the puck goes
into the goal). In Junior B and above, the puck
must first be touched by a player from the
defensive team before icing is called.
A penalty shot
is most commonly awarded if:
1) A player,
while in a scoring position, is fouled from
behind and deprived of a scoring opportunity; or
2) A defensive
player grabs or falls on the puck when it is in
the goal crease.
To take a
penalty shot, an offensive player takes control
of the puck at center ice and tries to score
against the opposing goaltender. All other
players are removed from the action.
following penalties, the penalized team must
play minus the number of players serving such
penalties, with one exception: the penalized
team can have no fewer than four players,
including the goaltender, on the ice (delayed
Penalty : Two minutes. If a team is
scored upon while they are shorthanded because
of a minor penalty, the penalty shall terminate
Penalty : Five minutes. Does not
terminate early for any reason.
Penalty : Five or ten minutes, depending
upon the violation, and is served by a teammate.
If assessed a match penalty, the offending
player is ejected for the balance of the game
and may not play in future games until the case
has been reviewed by league administrators.
following penalties, the team will replace the
penalized player on the ice immediately:
Misconduct : Ten minutes. Served in the
Misconduct: Ejection for the balance of
the game and the player or coach will serve an
additional one game suspension.
Misconduct : Ejection for the balance of
the game and the player may not participate in
any future games until the case has been
reviewed by league administrators.
is a quick list of penalties and their
: Hitting or swinging at an opponent with the
: Impeding the progress of an opponent by using
the hand, stick or any other means.
: Checking an opponent with the elbow extended.
: Using the stick to impede the progress of an
: An action against an opponent's leg which
causes the opponent to fall.
: Body checking an opponent at an excessive
speed; checking or pushing from behind.
High-Sticking : Carrying the stick above
normal shoulder-height. If the violation results
in an injury to an opponent, a major penalty
should be assessed.
Interference : Impeding the progress of
an opponent who is not in possession of the
Cross-Checking : Checking an opponent
with the stick across the body.
From Behind : An extremely dangerous
action characterized by a player checking an
opponent directly from behind. Parents, players,
coaches and referees must all work to eliminate
this infraction from our sport.
Hockey Terms, A to Z
: An assist is credited in the scoring
record to the offensive player or players
involved in the play immediately preceding a
goal. Maximum of two assists per goal.
Check: The action of the forwards
skating back into their defensive zone to break
up the opposing team's offensive play.
Check: Using the body to impede an
opponent who has possession of the puck to break
up or disrupt an offensive play.
A scoring opportunity that occurs when there are
no defending players between the puck carrier
and the opposing goaltender.
Movement of a team in possession of the puck out
of its defensive zone.
On The Fly: Substitution of players
without a stoppage in play.
The Puck: Shooting the puck out of the
defensive zone or away from the front of the
Penalty: A team shall not be shorthanded
on the ice more than two players at any one time
because of imposed penalties. Therefore, should
a team receive a third penalty, that penalty
shall be delayed in its start until one of the
preceding penalties has terminated. Also, the
referee will not call a penalty until the
offending team has touched the puck.
Whistle: When a violation occurs, the
official will not blow the whistle to stop play
as long as the non-offending team is in
possession of the puck. The moment the offending
team touches the puck, play will be stopped.
Dropping the puck between one player from each
team to initiate play.
Forechecking: Pressuring the opponent
when they control the puck in the neutral or
Crease: The area marked off in front of
the goal. An offensive player may not enter the
goal crease unless the puck is already inside
Judge: An off-ice official who sits
behind the goal, outside the boards, and
determines if the puck enters the goal. Should
there be a difference of opinion, the referee
will have the final decision.
Term referring to a player scoring three goals
in a single game.
A team, when both teams have an equal number of
players on the ice, may not shoot the puck from
behind the center red line over their opponent's
goal line (except if the puck goes into the
goal). In Junior B and above, the puck must
first be touched by a player from the defensive
team before icing is called.
Officials: More commonly referred to as
"off-ice officials." Includes the goal judges,
game timer, penalty timer and official scorer.
Not all positions are utilized in youth games.
When an offensive player precedes the puck
across the blue line and into the offensive
zone. For an off-side violation, a face-off will
be conducted in the neutral zone.
Pass: In Junior B and above, the puck
may not be passed from a team's defensive zone
to a player of the same team who is beyond the
center red line.
Check: Using the blade of the stick to
knock the puck away from an opponent.
Play: An attempt to score by a team
which has a numerical advantage in players due
to a penalty or penalties.
Crease: A restricted area, marked by a
red semi-circle, in front of the timer's table
which a player is prohibited from entering while
the referee is reporting a penalty.
Offensive players positioning themselves to
block or shield the opposing goaltender's view
of the puck.
Shorthanded: When a team is playing with
one or two fewer players than their opponent due
A sweeping motion with an accentuated back swing
to shoot the puck (similar to a drive in golf).
An unmarked area in front of the goal
approximately 10 to 15 feet in diameter.
shot: The motion of shooting the puck
with the puck directly against the blade of the
A machine used to resurface the ice between
What Will They Need?
hockey equipment is a key issue for players,
parents and coaches. When purchasing and fitting
hockey equipment, remember two important
factors: 1) make certain the player is
adequately protected and 2) be sure the fitting
allows freedom of movement so the player can
properly perform the necessary skills. By
carefully considering these two factors, your
child will be more comfortable and will better
enjoy their participation.
A complete set
of hockey equipment can be purchased for a
relatively reasonable cost. Shop around for the
best values and remember that you need not buy
the most expensive equipment.
: Purchase skates that will fit your child
today, with no more than 1/2" allowed for
growth. Seek adequate protection in the ankle,
toe and instep areas. Improperly fitted skates
will hamper your child's ability to skate.
: Must be of a design and construction approved
by CSA - hockey helmet standard (CAN/CSA–Z262.1). Must be sized at the time of purchase to
fit properly. The chin strap must always be
: Must be of a design and construction approved
by tCSA - hockey facemask standard
Guards :Must be of a design and
construction approved by tCSA - hockey facemask
standard (CAN/BNQ 9415-370). This essential
piece of equipment is designed to prevent
potentially fatal lacerations to the neck and
throat caused by skate blades.
Mouthpiece : WHMHA encourages players of all ages and
ability levels to use a mouthpiece.
: Length should generally extend from the ice to
the player's chin (with skates on). Quality and
price differ greatly, so the choice is yours.
: Check for proper length so they protect the
knee and shin completely.
and Cup : Essential protective
: Check for proper fit, with good finger and
Pads : Adjust to fit the individual at
the time of purchase. A fiber cap is extremely
important in preventing shoulder separations and
should extend to the tip of the shoulder.
: Held in proper position by suspenders. Pants
provide protection for the lower spine, hips and
Pads : Properly fitted so they do not
goaltenders, special equipment is necessary,
such as: gloves (catching and stick), chest and
stomach protector, goalie skates (with a
protective shell), leg pads, and shoulder and
arm protectors. The goaltender's equipment is
especially important, so seek advice from a