Hockey 101 | Basic Game Play And Rules Of Hockey

The popular sport of ice hockey is played on ice. Each team comprises of six players, one of them being the goaltender. Players use ice skates while playing on the icy surface. The skaters use their hockey sticks to hit the puck into the opponent’s goal net. The puck is a hard vulcanized rubber disc and the objective of the game is to score the maximum number of goals.
The ice surface on which the game is played is called as rink and a standard North American rink is 200 feet by 85 feet. It is divided into zones by the red and the blue lines. The red line, which is at the center, divides the rink into half; while the blue line divides the rink into three zones which are defending zone, neutral zone and the attacking zone or the offensive zone.
The defending zone is the area where the defending team’s goal net is located. The attacking zone or the offensive zone is the area where the opposing net is positioned. The area that is in the middle between the two blue lines on the rink is called the neutral zone. The rules of the game are more or less similar wherever it is played. The rules or the code of play are set by the two major organizations, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the Canadian founded National Hockey League (NHL).
During the game the vulcanized rubber puck, which measures one inch in thickness and three inches diameter and weigh around 5.5 to 6 ounces has to be struck into the opponent’s goal net using the hockey sticks with which the players can control, retrieve, pass or shoot the puck. The puck also may be moved by feet but picking it with hand is not allowed and is considered as a fault. A goal is scored when the puck is struck into the opponent’s goal net. The goal net is four feet tall and six feet wide cage that has nylon mesh in the back. The net is guarded by the goaltender that prevents the puck from entering into the net.
The team consists of six players each. All the players except the goaltender can move around anywhere on the rink. The goaltender is not allowed to cross center red line which divides the rink. The players may be substituted at any time, even when the game is in progress. The only condition being that the departing player must be within five feet of the bench and should not be involved in the game or be engaged with an opponent. The game consists of three periods of twenty minutes each. The teams interchange their goal nets after each period and at every overtime played.

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