Hockey 101 A Beginners Guide to Ice Hockey

Hockey 101 | A Beginners Guide to Ice Hockey

Passion and commitment to this passion make a person learn and excel. For a sports enthusiast, the keys to a good game are knowing the basics and then applying the rules in the game. Sports are not essential only for fun and break, but they teach life lessons to those paying attention and always come with some basics on how to play the game.

In this article, we will learn about the basics of ice hockey, one of the most exciting games.

Basics of Hockey

Hockey is easy to play, and you learn the game with no complex rules if you understand the basics. Every game comes with the one most important law that is understood; you have to score more than your opponent to win the game.

So, coming to the basics of ice hockey.

The Team and Players

In ice hockey, two teams compete against each other, with each team comprising six players playing the positions of goalkeeper, right and left defense, center, and right and left-wing.

Number of Periods

Each game has a total of three periods, and a team’s score is counted when any of its players successfully shoots the puck into the other team’s net.

Three Basic Rules

Hockey comes with three basic rules: offside, icing the puck, and offside pass.

Skill Required

Since ice hockey is played on ice, it is crucial to have good skating skills. That’s what you need to learn before actually coming to play hockey. Ice skates and sticks are used to glide around the ice playing a puck. These are the basics around which the game of hockey revolves.

What are the Rules of Hockey?

Hockey comes with its own rules and regulations, maintaining its uniqueness.

  1. Faceoff

The first important rule is faceoff. Faceoff indicates the start of the game. During the faceoff, all the players stand opposite each other at a distance, and the puck is dropped between them by an official.

  1. Offside

The player’s puck must have crossed the opposite side before the player himself, and if both the skates of a player cross the opponent side without the puck, offside is called, resulting in a faceoff.

Another form of offside is a two-line pass, which is when a player receives the pass by crossing a blue line and the center red line before touching it.

  1. Icing

Icing is the third rule of the game, resulting in a faceoff in the game. This rule is essential to make hockey quick without wastage of time. If a player from one team shoots the puck into the opposite team’s side and the puck crossing the goal line is touched by any other team player other than the goalie, then icing is called on the team that attacked. Icing is waived off if the goalie touches the puck or the attacking team touches it.


Whenever any player other than the goalie gets hold of the puck, it is necessary for them to immediately either knock or place it back down to the ice; otherwise, there is a penalty of a two-minute minor. If a player is pulled down from behind or the net is deliberately dislodged, then the team rewards a penalty.

Sudden Death Over

A five-minute sudden-death overtime period is allowed if a game ends in a tie. Overtime periods are generally of a total of twenty minutes.

Hockey Equipment

Like every game, there is a necessary equipment kit for hockey, too, the most essential being the puck and the hockey stick. A helmet is also critical for all the players to avoid any serious injury, especially the head injury. There is also a mouth guard for guarding the mouthparts like jaws from a knockdown.

Ice Hockey Equipment

Other equipment is shoulder and arm pads, elbow pads, and gloves. Hockey pants, shin pads, and hockey socks are also mandatory for all the players and are designed especially for their protection.

There are also ice skates and a jersey along with a chest and arm protector in the equipment kit. And last but not least are blockers, catch gloves, and leg pads. All the equipment is designed so that players can play easily on the ice, and their body parts are protected from any sorts of severe harm or debilitating injuries.

How to Play Hockey?

Now, for a beginner, an important question is how to play ice hockey. Here is a guide.

Object of the Game

The object of the game is understood; to win and to win, your team needs to score more than the other team. Goal more for this purpose.

Starting the Game

The essential rules and basics are discussed above. Playing is simply putting those rules into practice. The game is played on the ice rink and will start with a faceoff in which the referee will drop the puck.

Players and their Positions

Each team has six players playing on the ice. There are three periods each of twenty minutes in which one team has to score more than the other to win the game. Players have to hit the puck over the goal line to score without using their hands.

Ice Hockey Gameplay

There are six different positions for the six players, and each specific position has its particular function. The goalie stops the puck from entering their net. The left and right goal players stop the other team’s attacks and help score. The forward-center takes the faceoffs and is also responsible for gaining possession of both rink sides. The forward left and right play along the sides of the rink.

Hockey for Beginners

If you love excitement and adventure, ice hockey is the right sport. It is also the proper exercise for you because all the hard work, practice, and patience guarantee to keep you healthy, fit, and smart. You cannot be lazy and obese and also a good hockey player. Instead, the game itself will transform you into a good shape.

Time Structure

Hockey games consist of 60 minutes. Each game has three time periods, and each period is twenty minutes long. There is a fifteen minutes intermission time after each period. The total time of hockey games differs at different levels because of certain factors like injuries, penalties, etc.

Overtime and Shootout

Hockey games do not end in a tie, so if a hockey game ends in a tie, it is decided through two different periods; the overtime and the shootout. Overtime is a five-minute additional time after the regulation, in which the teams play three vs. three formats to determine the winner of the game.

Overtime is a five-minute additional time after the regulation, in which the teams play three vs. three formats to determine the winner of the game. Overtime is a five-minute additional time after the regulation, in which the teams play three vs. three formats to determine the winner of the game.

The Officials

Four officials monitor the hockey games. These are the two referees and the two linesmen. The linesmen are responsible for overseeing any infractions that do not result in penalties, while the referees watch over the offenses resulting in penalties and determine the goals.

The Bottom Line on Hockey 101

If you are a beginner in the world of hockey, then welcome! Described above in the article are also sorts of basics and rules that you need to learn and put to practical work. Executing them will gradually result in you becoming an expert player. Because it is a game, only practicing hard and experience will polish your skills and make you a better player.

Remember the rules and practice well with senior players or people who already play ice hockey, and you should be good! Patience and perseverance will bring you the sweetest of fruits.

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