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Hockey 101
Object of the Game

Playing format: Ice Hockey is a fast-paced game played on a frozen surface by two (2) teams, comprised of six (6) players each. The object of the game is to place a round, black disc made of vulcanized rubber, the puck, into the opponent’s net using L-shaped hockey sticks. The players wear ice skates, use their sticks to push the puck across the ice, and place it into the opposition’s net. The team with the most goals at the completion of play is proclaimed the winner.

Continuous action is the principle guideline for the rules of ice hockey. Only the officials have the authority to stop play. In many instances, players must deal with issues such as minor injuries, fatigue and equipment problems while the game continues.

Keeping this simple summary of the game in mind, you can now review the rules, strategies, and player positions in order to obtain a complete view of the game. Most of the rules are quite logical, stemming directly from the desire to keep the game moving while trying to protect players from any serious injury. Ice hockey is an exciting game with relatively simple rules. Once you grasp the basic concepts, you will be well on your way to enjoying this fast-paced and exciting sport.

Hockey rink specifications: An official NHL ice rink is 200 feet long and 85 feet wide, with four (4) rounded corners. The walls that surround the ice surface are called boards. The boards that are located behind the nets are called "end boards", while the boards that stretch the length of the rink are called "side boards". The boards are approximately three and one-half (3 ˝) feet high, with shatterproof glass extending from the top of the boards to provide additional protection for fans.


Division of the ice surface: The playing surface is divided into three distinct sections or "zones". These areas are referred to as the "Attack Zone" (area from the blue line down to the end boards), the "Neutral Zone" (area between the blue lines, divided by the center line) and the "Defensive Zone" (area that team defends from end boards to blue line). The zones are determined by lines that are painted in the ice and extend up the side boards. There are five lines on the playing surface; two red goal lines, two blue lines and a center red line.
  • Goal lines are located 13 feet from the endboards at both ends of the rink.
  • Blue lines divide the ice into three sections: defensive zone, neutral zone and attack zone. The blue lines are located 60 feet from each goal line.
  • Center red line divides the playing surface in half and is located between the blue lines. The red line marks the center of the neutral zone which is 54 feet long.
  • Face-off circles are located at each end of the rink on either side of the goal crease. The center ice face off circle is located in the middle of the playing surface.
  • Goal creases are the two semi-circular areas in front of each goal and denote the playing areas of each goaltender. Skaters may only enter the crease if the puck is there.
  • Referee crease is a semi-circular area with a five-foot radius in front of the timekeeper’s table. During a stoppage in play, players are prohibited from entering or following the referee into this area.

Diagram of the crease area
Hockey 101
" Object of the Game
" Three Main Rules
" Player Positions
" Equipment
" Penalties
" Scoring
" Terms
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