Hockey is an exciting team sport that requires skill, strength and teamwork. Versions of hockey include: ice hockey, street hockey and inline hockey.
Ice hockey requires players to wear ice skates and pads and is played on an ice rink with a frozen rubber puck.
Street hockey can be played on any indoor or outdoor surface. Empty parking lots, net-less tennis courts, blacktop playgrounds, basketball courts and indoor gyms can all become street hockey "rinks."
Inline hockey is very similar to street hockey except players wear inline skates on their feet. Inline hockey is often referred to as "roller hockey" and can be played indoors or outdoors.
Object of the Game
The object of the game is to score more goals than the other team by shooting the puck or ball into the opponent's net.
Teams and Players
To play hockey you must have 12 players in the game at any given time (six per team). The Positions are three forwards, two defenseman and one goalie. Three forwarsds comprise one line consisting of a center (C), right wing (RW) and left wing (LW).
A regulation NHL ice hockey game consists of three 20-minute periods, including two 18-minute intermissions. If the score is tied after all three periods, an extra five minute period called overtime, is played. If the score is still tied after the overtime period, a shootout takes place. The shootout consists of a single player from each team taking turns in a one-on-one breakaway against the goalie with no other players involved.
The center is typically the team's quarterback. The center usually directs play in both the offensive and defensive zones. The center also sets up plays for his/her teammates to score goals in the opposing zone and takes most of the faceoffs.
The wings or wingers play on the
right or left side of the center.
They cover their areas as the
forward line enters and plays in the
Like wingers, right and left
defenders mainly cover their areas
both in their opposing zone and
their own zone. In their own zone,
they stay close to the goal so that
they can help defend the goal from
the opposing team. The defenders
usually play behind the forward
line. This allows them to keep the
puck in play in the opposing zone
and keeps them in position to more
easily defend their own goal when
the play returns to their zone.
The goalie’s job is to stay in or
near his/her goal area, which can
be called the crease, and stop the
other team from scoring. A goalie’s
responsibility is to prevent the puck
from entering the goal. He or she
can kick it, catch it, grab it or bat it
out of the way - just do not let it go
past the goal line. The goalie usually
plays the entire game and rarely
moves away from his/her crease.
Street Hockey Equipment
Street hockey is played with street
hockey sticks (usually a wooden shaft
with a plastic blade) and either a
plastic puck or no-bounce ball. This
equipment is specially designed
for street hockey and works best on
playgrounds and gym floors. It’s only
slightly different from the equipment
used to play ice hockey. Your best bet
is to wear comfortable sports clothes
and a T-shirt with your equipment.
You should wear athletic shoes
that are good for the gym or the
Forward & Defenseman Gear
In regulation street hockey forwards
and defensemen should wear elbow,
knee and shin pads, a mouthguard
and an approved protective helmet.
However in physical education class
or a pick-up game with your friends,
equipment is not required but it is
Goalies are required to wear a
helmet with a face mask, chest
protector, blocking glove, catching
glove and goalie leg pads. Goalie
sticks are specially designed with a
wider blade. For physical education
class and pick-up games with your
friends a minimum of a helmet with
a mask, stick and gloves is required.
Ice Hockey Equipment
Due to the physical nature of the
sport and speed of the game, ice
hockey requires more pads. Most of
the padding is worn underneath the
player’s uniform and not seen. The
most important piece of equipment
is ice hockey skates. Ice hockey
players use sticks that are usually
made of a composite material and
have a custom curve on the blade.
The puck is five ounces of solid
vulcanized rubber, three inches in
diameter and one inch thick. The
puck is frozen before games to make
it bounce resistant.
Forward & Defenseman Gear
In regulation ice hockey forwards
and defensemen are required to
wear helmets, shoulder pads, elbow
pads, gloves, shin guards and
hockey pants. Many players elect to
wear a protective shield attached to
their helmet and a mouthguard.
Goalies are required to wear a helmet
with a full facemask, a neck guard
(to protect from skate blades),
shoulder pads, arm pads and a chest
protector. The signature pieces of
goalie equipment are the blocker,
catching glove and leg pads.
Division of Playing Surface
The ice hockey playing surface is divided into three distinct sections or zones.
These areas are referred to as the offensive zone (area the team attacks from
the blue line to the end of the boards), the neutral zone (area between the blue
lines, divided by the red line) and the defensive zone (area the team defends
from the end boards to the blue line). The zones are determined by lines that are
painted in the ice and extend up the side boards. There are five primary lines on
the playing surface–two red goal lines, two blue lines and a center red line.
Street hockey can be played on
almost any indoor or outdoor
surface. An official street hockey
rink, however, is divided into two
sections or zones. These areas are
referred to as the offensive zone
and the defensive zone.
An official NHL rink is 200 feet long
and 85 feet wide with rounded
corners. Walls surround the ice to
keep the puck in play. These walls,
called boards, are three feet high
with shatterproof glass extending
from the top to protect fans from