The size of NHL Rinks has changed over the year. Now two different hockey rink sizes are being used. Recreational, international, and professional arenas have different rink sizes. International and Professional rinks are wider, while recreational rinks are smaller.
Do NHL rinks differ in size? Yes, the NHL Rinks are of two different sizes. There are some rinks that measure 197 ft by 98.5 ft (60 m x 30 m), which are called international hockey rink sizes, and others that measure 200 ft by 85 ft (60.96 m x 25.9 m), known as North American rinks. Each of them has a corner radius of 28 feet (8.5 meters).
Let’s read more about NHL rink size.
What is the International NHL rink size?
The current size of an international NHL rink is 197 ft by 98.5 ft (60 m x 30 m). The international Hockey rinks are larger than North American rinks. This size is allocated by the International Ice Hockey Federation as is used by the World Juniors and Olympics.
In 2019 KHL decided to make this Rink smaller. This decision was made as competitions like the Olympics, IIHF World Championship, and World Junior Ice Hockey Championships are taking place there. Two dimensions were accepted by KHL:
- 197 ft by 92 ft (60 m x 28 m)
- 197 ft by 85 ft (60 m x 26 m)
These sizes only differed in length as it was only feet smaller than the NHL rink size.
American Rink vs. European Rink Sizes
American hockey players would feel different in the rink size while playing a game on European rinks.
American hockey rinks are built according to the standard size of NHL rinks, 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. In comparison, European rinks are 197 feet long by 98.5 feet wide. There is a minor difference between the width of these rinks.
According to the hockey players, the size of all hockey rinks should be the same. Players playing on European rinks are more suitable to perform well on the larger size, such as the international rinks, which size is 200 feet long and 100 feet wide. American rinks are ideal for players who play in small-size rinks like NHL rinks.
NHL vs. Olympic Rink Size
There is a difference of about ten widths between NHL and Olympic Rinks. Olympic rinks are 200 feet long by 98 feet wide, and the NHL rink’s size is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. It seems a minimal but massive difference for the players playing in these rinks.
The Vancouver Olympics played once on the NHL size rinks in 2010. Since the Rink was smaller than the one they usually played on, it was challenging for the players to score.
What are Recreational Rink Sizes?
Arenas for Recreational rinks are the same size as the others, but their rinks are smaller. Can these size dilemmas be resolved on a recreational rink?
They are specially built for young hockey players where they practice before playing on the international hockey rinks.
Children or young hockey players mostly use Recreational Rink as they do not need large surfaces like professional hockey players. Every recreational Rink around the world is different in size.
Should sizes be standardized?
The performance of the players changes according to the size of the Rink. All arenas should adopt the NHL rink size. It’s ok when players play in national leagues, but the problem arises when games are held in Olympics.
The small size of the rinks benefits American players, while European Players will need help playing in such rinks. Players want the standard size of rinks as this could lead to the game fair.
Most older and local arenas have rinks smaller than 85 or 100 x 200 feet and are thin and shorter. Most Arenas prefer the standard size of NHL and Olympic. All Rinks have the exact shape of a rectangular with rounded corners recreational rinks also have the same shape as others.
How long is a hockey rink in yards?
The dimension of the hockey rink is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide, the length in yards is 66.67, and its width in yards is 28.33.
German League can use the NHL rinks as they play games on 61 x 30 yard rinks, which means they need a rink of 56 to 61 yards long and 26 to 30 yards wide, and NHL rinks come in this category.
Hockey rink size in North America
North America follows the same standardized size as NHL rinks. NHL, AHL, ECHL, and college hockey are some hockey leagues in North America; all use the same size rinks. The Rink’s size in youth hockey is different as it was built 10-20 years ago when the standard size of the Rink was 175 feet long and 65 feet wide. It could be changed if the arena went through construction. The size of rinks in North America has increased over the years. In 1929, NHL rinks were standardized to be 200 feet long and 85 feet wide. Before that, the Rink in the arena was 200 ft x 80 ft or smaller.
The table below shows the standard size of the Rink before 1929.
|Toronto Mutual Street Arena||200 x 80|
|Ottawa Auditorium||200 x 80|
|Hamilton Barton Street Arena||200 x 80|
|Boston Arena||200 x 80|
|Montreal Forum||200 x 80|
|Madison Square Garden||186 x 86|
|Detroit’s Olympia Stadium||200 x 83|
|Buffalo Memorial Auditorium||196 x 85|
|San Jose Cow Palace||185 x 85|
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the standard ice rink size?
The ice rinks should be the same in all areas; the standard size of ice is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide, which is also the size recommended by the NHL.
What is the high school hockey rink size?
High school hockey rinks are big enough that their standard size is 200 feet long by 80 feet wide, which is only a few wide smaller than the NHL standard size.
What is the college hockey rink size?
There is no standard size for college hockey rinks. They have played games in the NHL arena, where the rink size was 200 feet long by 85 feet wide, and on Olympic sheets, the rink size was 200 feet long by 100 feet.
What are the youth hockey rink dimensions?
Youth hockey rinks are 46 feet long by 20 feet wide, much smaller than the NHL rinks. A size 80 feet long by 44 feet wide is considered best for teen players.
What is the KHL rink size?
There are two rink sizes where the KHL players can play. One is 197 ft long by 92 ft wide, while the other is 197 ft long by 85 ft which is a few feet smaller in length and a few feet wider than NHL rinks.
Is the Olympic hockey rink the same size as the NHL rink?
Olympic Hockey rinks are just ten feet wider than the NHL, as the size of NHL rinks are 200 feet long and 85 feet wide, while Olympic hockey is played on rinks of size 200 feet long and 98 feet wide.
NHL rinks are not all the same size; they are all different. As we can see, the American rink size is slightly smaller than the European. Over time, the international rinks are getting smaller while the American rinks are getting larger. The Player’s performance is also different in these rinks. The International Hockey Federation and the Olympic ice should also follow the rink size of the NHL.