Basic rules of ice hockey

As in any other professional sport, ice hockey also has its own rules and regulations. These rules are quite complicated, because they are very detailed for any situation in a game. To play ice hockey professionally both trainers and players have to be aware of every single detail of these rules, but for ice hockey fans and amateurs it would be useful to understand at least basic rules to understand the game.

Ice hockey is a team sports game, which is played on the field covered with ice. The main objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposite team.

The hockey field has rectangular shape with rounded corners. In different leagues the sizes of the field differs, but mostly it is standardized to 30 m x 61 m with 8, 5 m corner radius. The field is surrounded with 1 m high barrier for the safety of players and fans. The whole field is divides in smaller sectors with specific lines. Together there are 5 lines – 2 goal lines, two blue lines which separate the offensive/defensive zones from the neutral zone and 1 center line.

In professional ice hockey players also have specific equipment. It consists of skates, a closed helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey gloves, hockey pants, leg guards, thigh pads, hockey socks, shirt and hockey sticks. The goalkeeper also needs to use chest protectors and some other details of equipment are little bit different too. The field inventory consists of goals and the puck.

Together the team consists of 20 players – 12 forwards, 6 defenders and 2 goalkeepers. During the game, each team has 6 players on the field – 5 field players and the goalkeeper. The players on the field can be changed any time and that can be done unlimited times.

The game of hockey is divided into 3 periods. Each of these periods lasts for 20 minutes. There are breaks between each period. If there is a tie after these three periods, the game is extended for 5 minutes. If none of the team scores during the extension, result of the game is settled by penalty shots. These penalty shots are executed by three players of each tem and the team which scores more goals wins, but regardless to the count of penalty shots scored, winner team gets only one point to the total score.

There are also judges in professional ice hockey games. Their takes is to make sure that players play by the rules and in case of any misunderstandings settles the dispute. There are many violations that judges needs to settle such as the inhibition of the game, goalkeeper interference, highly elevated bat, unsportsmanlike conduct, etc. In any game there are two judges responsible for the offensive/defensive zone and two responsible for goal zone. Judges are entitled to give penalties to the players for violations. Most common penalties are declines.