Knowing the Ice Hockey Rules
Ice hockey is a common contact sport played on ice, typically at an outdoor or indoor rink, where two teams of skates use their sticks to toss a rubber ball toward their opponent’s goal to score goals. Unlike basketball, ice hockey involves very little running or walking, and players are not allowed to wear any type of uniform, other than the hockey uniform which is usually white. However, there are some minor rules that must be followed when playing this game. This article briefly covers the essentials of Ice Hockey.
Ice hockey is played indoors on an ice rink and is played for about ten to fifteen minutes at a time. The game is played with two penalty boxes which can each consist of four players. There are three goals in each game, which are scored when the ball is dropped through one of the two penalty boxes to open the scoring. One referee is on the ice at all times, the other two assistants. Other than that, there are no other rules.
Each player wears a uniform that is either white or color coordinated from head to toe. Except for the uniform, players also wear protective clothing such as jerseys, gloves and boots. They are also instructed to wear appropriate clothing for the weather. This clothing does have an affect on the outcome of the game. For instance, if it is sunny and the ice is slick then a player may not be able to skate as effectively.
Another important aspect of the game is the formation of the teams. Each team has ten to fifteen minutes to play. Formations can vary from four players to five players in certain instances. The time limits are usually set by the officials; however, they generally follow the guidelines listed above for the specific game.
Another common rule used for Ice Hockey is overtime. Overtime is when a player scores an extra goal during play. Overtime is usually played until one team has been given a penalty shot for too many men on the ice. The game is normally played five on five. The game can also be played with three or four defensemen instead of the usual two.
Penalties occur for a variety of infractions. A minor penalty is for misconduct, a slashing attempt, interference or being suspended. A major penalty is for slashing, boarding or throwing an object onto the ice. Hitting a penalty shot will instantly terminate play and send the game to the dressing room.
As part of the standard Ice Hockey rules, time-outs are used. Time-outs are for when the ice is not clear. For example, a player is skating along the ice when a teammate touches the ice with his stick. Instead of allowing the player time to make it back to the playing field, the time-out is called. The time-out is for a maximum of five minutes.
In addition to the standard Ice Hockey rules, teams play a single ten-minute overtime. Overtime is played until the game is completed or one team wins. The first official break in play is usually two minutes before the end of the game. When time-outs are used, the last team to skate off the ice must remain in the ice stall until the coaches have called the end of play. After this, play commences again.
There are three types of penalty plays in Ice Hockey. Penalties are categorized as dangerous play, supplemental discipline and misconduct. Each of these categories has different rules that may be used in different situations. In many cases, the game is played without penalty time but the outcome may be decided based on the above rules.
A team cannot play with three players except for goalies. When there are three or more players on the ice at the same time, a misconduct or dangerous play penalty is incurred. Other rules that may be enforced during play-offs are being too slow or fast, crossing the center line, interference and icing. Inducing stoppages of play is also an allowable strategy.
Ice Hockey is a fast-paced sport. Playing schedules are normally four weeks per season. During regular season play, the matches are split into three periods of three minutes apiece. The playoffs go a bit longer. Many matches are played in extra time. For this reason, Ice Hockey rules are different for play-offs and championships.