Ice hockey has continuously improved since its discovery. It was originally played using a ball and stick in the early 1800s. Today, it has a set of rules or regulations that keep the players in check. Ice hockey is played on a standard playing field more referred to as the rink (measuring 200 feet by 85 feet).

Just like any other ball game, the objective of the game is to lead the puck and shoot it into the goal which is enclosed in a net that is six feet wide and four feet tall. It’s guarded by the goaltender of the opponent. The winner must shoot more pucks into the net than the opponent.

In ice hockey, a team comprises of six players; a goaltender, two defensemen, and three forwards. The players have three periods to play and shoot the puck into the opponent’s goal. Each period has twenty minutes.

Rules for Ice Hockey.
The game starts with a face off where a referee drops the puck between the forwards of the two teams. The other players are on the defensive side, waiting for the puck to be passed on to them. Substitution of players is also not allowed while face off is ongoing. Body contact is also not allowed during this time; otherwise, a penalty will be called. The players are then required to scatter into the rink.

Players entering the opponent’s field into the net for a goal should ensure that the puck precedes the player currently controlling it. Unlike the rest of the players, the goaltender is not allowed to roam the court, as his job is to guard the goal.

During the game, a player passes the puck to their teammate to reach the opponent’s goal. Sometimes back, a player was not allowed to pass the puck directly to their teammate on the opponents side when the offensive team is still in their court. Otherwise, he/she will commit the two line pass. However, the National Hockey League (NHL) currently changed a set of rules and allowed the two line pass.

A hand pass is allowed as long as the puck is slid along the ice and not towards the teammate. The defending players try to steal the puck from the opponent by hitting their shoulder, hip, or torso and subsequently getting hold of the puck, a move called body check. A body check is illegal when a player is not in possession the puck.

Players’ substitution is unlimited and can be done anytime after the face off time. It is allowed without the referee’s permission as long as the player is substituted within five feet from the bench. The Official Scorer awards goals and not the referee. In the case of questionable merits or controversies, a video replay can be sought to clarify things.

Below is a video on a beginners guide to Ice Hockey:

A goal is awarded when the puck is propelled by the player and enters the net. In case the puck is passed directly to a teammate but hits him accidentally and bounces off towards the net, this is also considered a score to the team.

During the 2005-2006 NHL season, the National Hockey League had some of the rules changed. The first one was noted above. Other changes are:

  • Restricting the playing field of the goaltender.
  • Making the uniform lighter but offer protection to the player at the same time.
  • No tolerance for aggressiveness towards the opponent.

A shootout is used in the case of ties. The NHL enforced more fines during this season. Furthermore, the area of the neutral zone was decreased. This increased the playing field.

Let’s meet in the field!