Ice hockey is a special kind of Hockey played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a puck into the opposite team's goal post. It is a fast-paced sport and is very popular in countries that are sufficiently cold for ‘natural ice cover’ such as the Nordic countries, Baltic States, the Czech Republic, Canada and United States. Ice hockey is the national winter sport of Canada and it is one of the most popular and major North American Professional sports. 162 of 177 medal of the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship have been swept by seven major nations, which are Canada, Finland, Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, United States, and Slovakia. The rules of ice hockey vary slightly from nation to nation because the majority of ice hockey competitions across the world are played according to the conditions of three major ice hockey organizations, USA Hockey, Hockey Canada, and the International Ice Hockey Federation, and each of them has their own set of rules. Read on the article to know more about ice hockey rules.
Rules Of Playing Ice Hockey
Object Of The Game
The team, which scores more goals than the opposition is declared as the winner.
The Hockey Stick
- The Goals are scored by using the stick to shoot the puck into the opposite team’s net.
- A shot that unknowingly blocks into the net off another player's body is allowed to consider as a goal.
- A standard puck, which is made of black, vulcanized rubber, measures three inches in diameter, one inch in thickness and weighs between 5.5 and 6 ounces.
- One shouldn’t pick the puck up in hands in this game. It is considered as illegal and a penalty will be charged for the team, whose member picked the puck in his hands.
The Ground Or The Playing Surface
- The surface where the game takes place is called as the ‘rink’.
- The rink is primarily divided into zones by a red line at center, and two blue lines.
- The rink often measures 200 feet by 85 feet, however, some European rinks are slightly larger in size.
The Major Zones
- The rink of the ice surface is divided into three major zones.
- ‘Attacking Zone’ or ‘Offensive zone’ can be defined as an area where opposite team’s net is located.
- ‘Defending Zone’ can be defined as the area where the defense’s goal net is located.
- "Neutral zone’ is the area which is marked in the middle of the rink between two blue lines.
- The net measuring six feet wide and four feet tall is apt for ice hockey.
- There are two nets at opposite ends of the rink, guarded by the goaltenders.
- In Ice Hockey, each team has six players on the rink, one goaltender, and five "skaters" usually.
- All players except the goaltender can go and play anywhere on the rink.
- All other players except two individual opponents should be positioned on the defensive side of the puck during the faceoff.
- The faceoff is used for continuing the play following any stoppage in the game.
- Nine designated faceoff spots are painted on the rink.
- If a player attempts to injure any other player, he is evicted from the game immediately.
- The most common penalty is fighting and both the players get five-minute penalties, when teams can launch substitutes.
- If a penalized player is dismissed, a teammate is assigned to serve his major penalty. No substitution is allowed in this kind of a situation.