Hockey 101

  • Last Updated: June 13, 2021
Hockey Rink Illustration

Basics of the Game

Hockey is played on an ice surface by two teams of six players wearing skates that allow them to move at speeds of up to 30 mph. The object of this fast-paced game is for the players, using a stick, to put a small hard rubber disk (puck) into the net of the opposing team, thus scoring a goal. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. The rules governing the game are designed to keep the game flowing with lots of action up and down the ice.

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Any player, other than a goaltender, will be sent off the ice for two minutes during which time no substitute shall be permitted. If the shorthanded team is scored upon before the two minutes elapse, the player in the penalty box is released.

Minor penalties are the most frequently called penalties. Any player, other than the goaltender, will be sent off the ice for five minutes (a five-minute major) during which time no substitute will be permitted. Major penalties are assessed for many of the same infractions that apply to minor penalties except they involve a greater degree of deliberate violence that results in injury. The player who is serving the five-minute major must stay in the penalty box for the full time, regardless if a goal is scored on the "shorthanded" team.

Any player who records three major penalties in a game is automatically ejected.

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Hockey Terms

Like many sports, hockey is a sport rich with terms and language that help describe many of the particular aspects of the game.

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The Zamboni

The first ice resurfacer was developed by Frank Zamboni in 1949 in the city of Paramount, California. Zamboni /zæmˈboʊni/ is an internationally registered trademark, though the term is often used as a generic colloquialism for any ice resurfacer.

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