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Price not available. In This Article. Best Women's Ice Hockey Skates. Best Budget Ice Hockey Skates. American Ice Force 2. Ice hockey , game between two teams, each usually having six players, who wear skates and compete on an ice rink.
The object is to propel a vulcanized rubber disk, the puck , past a goal line and into a net guarded by a goaltender, or goalie.
With its speed and its frequent physical contact, ice hockey has become one of the most popular of international sports. The game is an Olympic sport, and worldwide there are more than a million registered players performing regularly in leagues.
Until the mids it was generally accepted that ice hockey derived from English field hockey and Indian lacrosse and was spread throughout Canada by British soldiers in the mids.
It was probably fundamentally this game that spread throughout Canada via Scottish and Irish immigrants and the British army.
The term rink , referring to the designated area of play, was originally used in the game of curling in 18th-century Scotland.
Early hockey games allowed as many as 30 players a side on the ice, and the goals were two stones, each frozen into one end of the ice. The first use of a puck instead of a ball was recorded at Kingston Harbour, Ontario, Canada, in By the opening of the 20th century, sticks were being manufactured, shin pads were worn, the goaltender began to wear a chest protector borrowed from baseball , and arenas still with natural ice and no heat for spectators were being constructed throughout eastern Canada.
In national attention was focused on the game when the Canadian governor-general, Frederick Arthur, Lord Stanley of Preston , donated a cup to be given annually to the top Canadian team.
The three-foot-high silver cup became known as the Stanley Cup and was first awarded in — The first winner was the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association team, which also captured the Stanley Cup the following season by winning the initial challenge series to determine the Cup holder, which was the Cup-awarding format that Lord Stanley originally intended.
Since the cup has gone to the winner of the National Hockey League play-offs. In the Canadian Amateur Hockey League was formed.
Thus, the first acknowledged professional hockey team in the world was formed in the United States , in , in Houghton, Michigan.
The team, the Portage Lakers, was owned by a dentist named J. With the arrival of offside rules, the forward pass transformed hockey into a true team sport, where individual performance diminished in importance relative to team play, which could now be coordinated over the entire surface of the ice as opposed to merely rearward players.
The six players on each team are typically divided into three forwards, two defencemen, and a goaltender.
The term skaters is typically used to describe all players who are not goaltenders. The forward positions consist of a centre and two wingers : a left wing and a right wing.
Forwards often play together as units or lines , with the same three forwards always playing together. The defencemen usually stay together as a pair generally divided between left and right.
Left and right side wingers or defencemen are generally positioned as such, based on the side on which they carry their stick. A substitution of an entire unit at once is called a line change.
Teams typically employ alternate sets of forward lines and defensive pairings when short-handed or on a power play. The goaltender stands in a, usually blue, semi-circle called the crease in the defensive zone keeping pucks from going in.
Substitutions are permitted at any time during the game, although during a stoppage of play the home team is permitted the final change.
When players are substituted during play, it is called changing on the fly. A new NHL rule added in the —06 season prevents a team from changing their line after they ice the puck.
The boards surrounding the ice help keep the puck in play and they can also be used as tools to play the puck.
Players are permitted to bodycheck opponents into the boards as a means of stopping progress. The referees, linesmen and the outsides of the goal are "in play" and do not cause a stoppage of the game when the puck or players are influenced by either bouncing or colliding into them.
Play can be stopped if the goal is knocked out of position. Play often proceeds for minutes without interruption.
When play is stopped, it is restarted with a faceoff. Two players face each other and an official drops the puck to the ice, where the two players attempt to gain control of the puck.
Markings circles on the ice indicate the locations for the faceoff and guide the positioning of players. The three major rules of play in ice hockey that limit the movement of the puck: offside , icing , and the puck going out of play.
A player is offside if he enters his opponent's zone before the puck itself. Under many situations, a player may not "ice the puck", shoot the puck all the way across both the centre line and the opponent's goal line.
The puck goes out of play whenever it goes past the perimeter of the ice rink onto the player benches, over the glass , or onto the protective netting above the glass and a stoppage of play is called by the officials using whistles.
It also does not matter if the puck comes back onto the ice surface from those areas as the puck is considered dead once it leaves the perimeter of the rink.
Under IIHF rules, each team may carry a maximum of 20 players and two goaltenders on their roster. NHL rules restrict the total number of players per game to 18, plus two goaltenders.
In the NHL, the players are usually divided into four lines of three forwards, and into three pairs of defencemen. On occasion, teams may elect to substitute an extra defenceman for a forward.
The seventh defenceman may play as a substitute defenceman, spend the game on the bench, or if a team chooses to play four lines then this seventh defenceman may see ice-time on the fourth line as a forward.
A professional game consists of three periods of twenty minutes, the clock running only when the puck is in play.
The teams change ends after each period of play, including overtime. Recreational leagues and children's leagues often play shorter games, generally with three shorter periods of play.
Various procedures are used if a tie occurs. In tournament play, as well as in the NHL playoffs, North Americans favour sudden death overtime , in which the teams continue to play twenty-minute periods until a goal is scored.
Up until the — season regular season NHL games were settled with a single five-minute sudden death period with five players plus a goalie per side, with both teams awarded one point in the standings in the event of a tie.
With a goal, the winning team would be awarded two points and the losing team none just as if they had lost in regulation. From the — until the —04 seasons, the National Hockey League decided ties by playing a single five-minute sudden death overtime period with each team having four skaters per side plus the goalie.
In the event of a tie, each team would still receive one point in the standings but in the event of a victory the winning team would be awarded two points in the standings and the losing team one point.
The idea was to discourage teams from playing for a tie, since previously some teams might have preferred a tie and 1 point to risking a loss and zero points.
The only exception to this rule is if a team opts to pull their goalie in exchange for an extra skater during overtime and is subsequently scored upon an empty net goal , in which case the losing team receives no points for the overtime loss.
Since the —16 season, the single five-minute sudden death overtime session involves three skaters on each side. Since three skaters must always be on the ice in an NHL game, the consequences of penalties are slightly different from those during regulation play.
If a team is on a powerplay when overtime begins, that team will play with more than three skaters usually four, very rarely five until the expiration of the penalty.
Any penalty during overtime that would result in a team losing a skater during regulation instead causes the non-penalized team to add a skater.
Once the penalized team's penalty ends, the number of skaters on each side is adjusted accordingly, with the penalized team adding a skater in regulation and the non-penalized team subtracting a skater in overtime.
This goes until the next stoppage of play. International play and several North American professional leagues, including the NHL in the regular season , now use an overtime period identical to that from — to —04 followed by a penalty shootout.
If the score remains tied after an extra overtime period, the subsequent shootout consists of three players from each team taking penalty shots.
After these six total shots, the team with the most goals is awarded the victory. If the score is still tied, the shootout then proceeds to a sudden death format.
Regardless of the number of goals scored during the shootout by either team, the final score recorded will award the winning team one more goal than the score at the end of regulation time.
In the NHL if a game is decided in overtime or by a shootout the winning team is awarded two points in the standings and the losing team is awarded one point.
Ties no longer occur in the NHL. The overtime mode for the NHL playoffs differ from the regular season. In the playoffs there are no shootouts nor ties.
If a game is tied after regulation an additional 20 minutes of 5 on 5 sudden death overtime will be added.
In case of a tied game after the overtime, multiple minute overtimes will be played until a team scores, which wins the match.
In ice hockey, infractions of the rules lead to play stoppages whereby the play is restarted at a face off. Some infractions result in the imposition of a penalty to a player or team.
In the simplest case, the offending player is sent to the penalty box and their team has to play with one less player on the ice for a designated amount of time.
Minor penalties last for two minutes, major penalties last for five minutes, and a double minor penalty is two consecutive penalties of two minutes duration.
A single minor penalty may be extended by a further two minutes for causing visible injury to the victimized player. This is usually when blood is drawn during high sticking.
Players may be also assessed personal extended penalties or game expulsions for misconduct in addition to the penalty or penalties their team must serve.
The team that has been given a penalty is said to be playing short-handed while the opposing team is on a power play. A two-minute minor penalty is often charged for lesser infractions such as tripping , elbowing , roughing , high-sticking , delay of the game , too many players on the ice , boarding , illegal equipment, charging leaping into an opponent or body-checking him after taking more than two strides , holding, holding the stick grabbing an opponent's stick , interference, hooking , slashing , kneeing, unsportsmanlike conduct arguing a penalty call with referee, extremely vulgar or inappropriate verbal comments , "butt-ending" striking an opponent with the knob of the stick—a very rare penalty , "spearing", or cross-checking.
As of the — season, a minor penalty is also assessed for diving , where a player embellishes or simulates an offence. More egregious fouls may be penalized by a four-minute double-minor penalty, particularly those that injure the victimized player.
These penalties end either when the time runs out or when the other team scores during the power play.
In the case of a goal scored during the first two minutes of a double-minor, the penalty clock is set down to two minutes upon a score, effectively expiring the first minor penalty.
A five-minute major penalties are called for especially violent instances of most minor infractions that result in intentional injury to an opponent, or when a minor penalty results in visible injury such as bleeding , as well as for fighting.
Major penalties are always served in full; they do not terminate on a goal scored by the other team. Major penalties assessed for fighting are typically offsetting, meaning neither team is short-handed and the players exit the penalty box upon a stoppage of play following the expiration of their respective penalties.
The foul of boarding defined as "check[ing] an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently in the boards"  is penalized either by a minor or major penalty at the discretion of the referee, based on the violent state of the hit.
A minor or major penalty for boarding is often assessed when a player checks an opponent from behind and into the boards. Some varieties of penalties do not always require the offending team to play a man short.
Concurrent five-minute major penalties in the NHL usually result from fighting. In the case of two players being assessed five-minute fighting majors, both the players serve five minutes without their team incurring a loss of player both teams still have a full complement of players on the ice.
This differs with two players from opposing sides getting minor penalties, at the same time or at any intersecting moment, resulting from more common infractions.
In this case, both teams will have only four skating players not counting the goaltender until one or both penalties expire if one penalty expires before the other, the opposing team gets a power play for the remainder of the time ; this applies regardless of current pending penalties.
However, in the NHL, a team always has at least three skaters on the ice. Thus, ten-minute misconduct penalties are served in full by the penalized player, but his team may immediately substitute another player on the ice unless a minor or major penalty is assessed in conjunction with the misconduct a two-and-ten or five-and-ten.
In this case, the team designates another player to serve the minor or major; both players go to the penalty box, but only the designee may not be replaced, and he is released upon the expiration of the two or five minutes, at which point the ten-minute misconduct begins.
In addition, game misconducts are assessed for deliberate intent to inflict severe injury on an opponent at the officials' discretion , or for a major penalty for a stick infraction or repeated major penalties.
The offending player is ejected from the game and must immediately leave the playing surface he does not sit in the penalty box ; meanwhile, if an additional minor or major penalty is assessed, a designated player must serve out of that segment of the penalty in the box similar to the above-mentioned "two-and-ten".
In some rare cases, a player may receive up to nineteen minutes in penalties for one string of plays. This could involve receiving a four-minute double minor penalty, getting in a fight with an opposing player who retaliates, and then receiving a game misconduct after the fight.
In this case, the player is ejected and two teammates must serve the double-minor and major penalties.
A penalty shot is awarded to a player when the illegal actions of another player stop a clear scoring opportunity, most commonly when the player is on a breakaway.
A penalty shot allows the obstructed player to pick up the puck on the centre red-line and attempt to score on the goalie with no other players on the ice, to compensate for the earlier missed scoring opportunity.
A penalty shot is also awarded for a defender other than the goaltender covering the puck in the goal crease, a goaltender intentionally displacing his own goal posts during a breakaway to avoid a goal, a defender intentionally displacing his own goal posts when there is less than two minutes to play in regulation time or at any point during overtime, or a player or coach intentionally throwing a stick or other object at the puck or the puck carrier and the throwing action disrupts a shot or pass play.
Officials also stop play for puck movement violations, such as using one's hands to pass the puck in the offensive end, but no players are penalized for these offences.
The sole exceptions are deliberately falling on or gathering the puck to the body, carrying the puck in the hand, and shooting the puck out of play in one's defensive zone all penalized two minutes for delay of game.
In the NHL, a unique penalty applies to the goalies. The goalies now are forbidden to play the puck in the "corners" of the rink near their own net.
This will result in a two-minute penalty against the goalie's team. Only in the area in-front of the goal line and immediately behind the net marked by two red lines on either side of the net the goalie can play the puck.
An additional rule that has never been a penalty, but was an infraction in the NHL before recent rules changes, is the two-line offside pass.
Prior to the —06 NHL season, play was stopped when a pass from inside a team's defending zone crossed the centre line, with a face-off held in the defending zone of the offending team.
Players are now able to pass to teammates who are more than the blue and centre ice red line away. The NHL has taken steps to speed up the game of hockey and create a game of finesse, by retreating from the past when illegal hits, fights, and "clutching and grabbing" among players were commonplace.
Rules are now more strictly enforced, resulting in more penalties, which in turn provides more protection to the players and facilitates more goals being scored.
The governing body for United States' amateur hockey has implemented many new rules to reduce the number of stick-on-body occurrences, as well as other detrimental and illegal facets of the game "zero tolerance".
In men's hockey, but not in women's, a player may use his hip or shoulder to hit another player if the player has the puck or is the last to have touched it.
This use of the hip and shoulder is called body checking. Not all physical contact is legal—in particular, hits from behind, hits to the head and most types of forceful stick-on-body contact are illegal.
A delayed penalty call occurs when a penalty offence is committed by the team that does not have possession of the puck. In this circumstance the team with possession of the puck is allowed to complete the play; that is, play continues until a goal is scored, a player on the opposing team gains control of the puck, or the team in possession commits an infraction or penalty of their own.
Because the team on which the penalty was called cannot control the puck without stopping play, it is impossible for them to score a goal.
In these cases, the team in possession of the puck can pull the goalie for an extra attacker without fear of being scored on.
However, it is possible for the controlling team to mishandle the puck into their own net. If a delayed penalty is signalled and the team in possession scores, the penalty is still assessed to the offending player, but not served.
In college games, the penalty is still enforced even if the team in possession scores. A typical game of hockey is governed by two to four officials on the ice, charged with enforcing the rules of the game.
There are typically two linesmen who are mainly responsible for calling "offside" and " icing " violations, breaking up fights, and conducting faceoffs,  and one or two referees ,  who call goals and all other penalties.
Linesmen can, however, report to the referee s that a penalty should be assessed against an offending player in some situations.
On-ice officials are assisted by off-ice officials who act as goal judges, time keepers, and official scorers. The most widespread system in use today is the "three-man system", that uses one referee and two linesmen.
Another less commonly used system is the two referee and one linesman system. This system is very close to the regular three-man system except for a few procedure changes.
With the first being the National Hockey League, a number of leagues have started to implement the "four-official system", where an additional referee is added to aid in the calling of penalties normally difficult to assess by one single referee.
Officials are selected by the league they work for. Amateur hockey leagues use guidelines established by national organizing bodies as a basis for choosing their officiating staffs.
In North America, the national organizing bodies Hockey Canada and USA Hockey approve officials according to their experience level as well as their ability to pass rules knowledge and skating ability tests.
Hockey Canada has officiating levels I through VI. Since men's ice hockey is a full contact sport, body checks are allowed so injuries are a common occurrence.
Protective equipment is mandatory and is enforced in all competitive situations. This includes a helmet with either a visor or a full face mask, shoulder pads, elbow pads, mouth guard, protective gloves, heavily padded shorts also known as hockey pants or a girdle, athletic cup also known as a jock, for males; and jill, for females , shin pads, skates, and optionally a neck protector.
Goaltenders use different equipment. Goaltenders wear specialized goalie skates these skates are built more for movement side to side rather than forwards and backwards , a jock or jill, large leg pads there are size restrictions in certain leagues , blocking glove, catching glove, a chest protector, a goalie mask, and a large jersey.
Goaltenders' equipment has continually become larger and larger, leading to fewer goals in each game and many official rule changes.
Hockey skates are optimized for physical acceleration, speed and manoeuvrability. This includes rapid starts, stops, turns, and changes in skating direction.
In addition, they must be rigid and tough to protect the skater's feet from contact with other skaters, sticks, pucks, the boards, and the ice itself.
Rigidity also improves the overall manoeuvrability of the skate. Hockey players usually adjust these parameters based on their skill level, position, and body type.
The hockey stick consists of a long, relatively wide, and slightly curved flat blade, attached to a shaft. The curve itself has a big impact on its performance.
A deep curve allows for lifting the puck easier while a shallow curve allows for easier backhand shots. The flex of the stick also impacts the performance.
Typically, a less flexible stick is meant for a stronger player since the player is looking for the right balanced flex that allows the stick to flex easily while still having a strong "whip-back" which sends the puck flying at high speeds.
It is quite distinct from sticks in other sports games and most suited to hitting and controlling the flat puck. Its unique shape contributed to the early development of the game.
Ice hockey is a full contact sport and carries a high risk of injury. Skate blades, hockey sticks, shoulder contact, hip contact, and hockey pucks can all potentially cause injuries.
The types of injuries associated with hockey include: lacerations, concussions, contusions, ligament tears, broken bones, hyperextensions, and muscle strains.
Women's ice hockey players are allowed to contact other players but are not allowed to body check. Compared to athletes who play other sports, ice hockey players are at higher risk of overuse injuries and injuries caused by early sports specialization by teenagers.
According to the Hughston Health Alert, "Lacerations to the head, scalp, and face are the most frequent types of injury [in hockey]. One of the leading causes of head injury is body checking from behind.
Due to the danger of delivering a check from behind, many leagues, including the NHL have made this a major and game misconduct penalty called "boarding".
Another type of check that accounts for many of the player-to-player contact concussions is a check to the head resulting in a misconduct penalty called "head contact".
A check to the head can be defined as delivering a hit while the receiving player's head is down and their waist is bent and the aggressor is targeting the opponent player's head.
The most dangerous result of a head injury in hockey can be classified as a concussion. Most concussions occur during player-to-player contact rather than when a player is checked into the boards.
In recent years, the NHL has implemented new rules which penalize and suspend players for illegal checks to the heads, as well as checks to unsuspecting players.
Concussions that players suffer may go unreported because there is no obvious physical signs if a player is not knocked unconscious. This can prove to be dangerous if a player decides to return to play without receiving proper medical attention.
Studies show that ice hockey causes Occurrences of death from these injuries are rare. An important defensive tactic is checking—attempting to take the puck from an opponent or to remove the opponent from play.
Stick checking , sweep checking , and poke checking are legal uses of the stick to obtain possession of the puck.
The neutral zone trap is designed to isolate the puck carrier in the neutral zone preventing him from entering the offensive zone.
Body checking is using one's shoulder or hip to strike an opponent who has the puck or who is the last to have touched it the last person to have touched the puck is still legally "in possession" of it, although a penalty is generally called if he is checked more than two seconds after his last touch.
Body checking is also a penalty in certain leagues in order to reduce the chance of injury to players. Often the term checking is used to refer to body checking, with its true definition generally only propagated among fans of the game.
Offensive tactics include improving a team's position on the ice by advancing the puck out of one's zone towards the opponent's zone, progressively by gaining lines, first your own blue line, then the red line and finally the opponent's blue line.
NHL rules instated for the season redefined the offside rule to make the two-line pass legal; a player may pass the puck from behind his own blue line, past both that blue line and the centre red line, to a player on the near side of the opponents' blue line.
Offensive tactics are designed ultimately to score a goal by taking a shot. When a player purposely directs the puck towards the opponent's goal, he or she is said to "shoot" the puck.
A deflection is a shot that redirects a shot or a pass towards the goal from another player, by allowing the puck to strike the stick and carom towards the goal.
A one-timer is a shot struck directly off a pass, without receiving the pass and shooting in two separate actions.
Headmanning the puck , also known as breaking out , is the tactic of rapidly passing to the player farthest down the ice. Loafing , also known as cherry-picking , is when a player, usually a forward, skates behind an attacking team, instead of playing defence, in an attempt to create an easy scoring chance.
A team that is losing by one or two goals in the last few minutes of play will often elect to pull the goalie ; that is, remove the goaltender and replace him or her with an extra attacker on the ice in the hope of gaining enough advantage to score a goal.
However, it is an act of desperation, as it sometimes leads to the opposing team extending their lead by scoring a goal in the empty net.
One of the most important strategies for a team is their forecheck. Forechecking is the act of attacking the opposition in their defensive zone.
Forechecking is an important part of the dump and chase strategy i. Each team will use their own unique system but the main ones are: 2—1—2 , 1—2—2, and 1—4.
The 2—1—2 is the most basic forecheck system where two forwards will go in deep and pressure the opposition's defencemen, the third forward stays high and the two defencemen stay at the blueline.
The 1—2—2 is a bit more conservative system where one forward pressures the puck carrier and the other two forwards cover the oppositions' wingers, with the two defencemen staying at the blueline.
The 1—4 is the most defensive forecheck system, referred to as the neutral zone trap, where one forward will apply pressure to the puck carrier around the oppositions' blueline and the other 4 players stand basically in a line by their blueline in hopes the opposition will skate into one of them.
Another strategy is the left wing lock , which has two forwards pressure the puck and the left wing and the two defencemen stay at the blueline.
There are many other little tactics used in the game of hockey. Cycling moves the puck along the boards in the offensive zone to create a scoring chance by making defenders tired or moving them out of position.
Pinching is when a defenceman pressures the opposition's winger in the offensive zone when they are breaking out, attempting to stop their attack and keep the puck in the offensive zone.
A saucer pass is a pass used when an opposition's stick or body is in the passing lane. It is the act of raising the puck over the obstruction and having it land on a teammate's stick.
A deke , short for "decoy", is a feint with the body or stick to fool a defender or the goalie. Many modern players, such as Pavel Datsyuk , Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane , have picked up the skill of "dangling", which is fancier deking and requires more stick handling skills.
Although fighting is officially prohibited in the rules, it is not an uncommon occurrence at the professional level, and its prevalence has been both a target of criticism and a considerable draw for the sport.
At the professional level in North America fights are unofficially condoned. Enforcers and other players fight to demoralize the opposing players while exciting their own, as well as settling personal scores.
A fight will also break out if one of the team's skilled players gets hit hard or someone receives what the team perceives as a dirty hit.
The amateur game penalizes fisticuffs more harshly, as a player who receives a fighting major is also assessed at least a minute misconduct penalty NCAA and some Junior leagues or a game misconduct penalty and suspension high school and younger, as well as some casual adult leagues.
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