Hockey is a fast-paced, athletic and exciting sport. As in other sports, there are rules that govern how the game is played. In this article, you’ll look at some of those rules so that you can be an informed spectator or player.
The number of players on a team:
- There are six players on the ice for each team. They can be any combination of forwards, defensemen and goalies. The only exception to this rule is if a team is penalized with a bench minor penalty (for too many men on the ice), in which case they must play with three skaters and one goalie.
- If a player gets injured during play and must leave the game permanently, then they must sit out until their next shift starts or when another player comes in to replace them at center ice. If there’s no stoppage in play (like an impending faceoff), then the next time that player takes his first shift back into action will be considered his return from injury; otherwise he’d have had two full shifts between periods during which no one could sub him out for an injured teammate without incurring penalties themselves!
- The puck is made of vulcanized rubber and weighs six ounces. It is two inches in diameter and rounded at both ends to decrease injury when it hits players or objects like the boards or glass surrounding the playing area (color may vary depending on the type of game).
- The goal has vertical posts extending 4 feet above the crossbar and 4 feet below it. This allows for shots from different angles; it also has horizontal crossbars that are 8 feet off each post at their highest point, which prevents pucks from being shot into the netting above them when they bounce off posts during play.
The number of players on each team during a game is variable. The National Hockey League has six players per side, while most other leagues have five. For NHL schedules, check online.
The rules of the game are contained in The Official Rules Book: National Hockey League, referred to as “the book” by players and fans alike.
Offenses that result in penalties include tripping (deliberately kicking another player), cross-checking (swinging your stick at another player), boarding (charging into an opponent after they have been checked into the boards) and spearing (using your stick like a spear).
Infractions that do not result in penalties include icing (passing the puck across one’s own goal line), offsides (having more than two players from one team on their opponent’s side of center ice when play begins) and delay of game for too many men on the ice—an infraction called when three or more teammates are skating together towards their opponents’ goal with no intention of stopping until they reach it.
The goal is scored when the puck entirely crosses the goal line. The goal is not scored if:
- The puck goes in off an opposing player (unless he has possession of it and carries it into that zone).
- The puck goes in off a referee or linesman (if they are on their feet and have control of it).
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Hopefully, you enjoyed learning about the rules of hockey. Hockey is a fun sport, and knowing the rules makes it even more enjoyable!