|–||Rules of the Game – Basic|
|–||Tools of the Trade|
|–||Rules of the Game – Minor Penalties|
|–||Rules of the Game – Major Penalties|
|–||Rules of the Game – Positions|
|–||Basic Hockey Lingo|
|–||Advanced Hockey Lingo|
OBJECT 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.
BASIC RULES OF THE GAME OF HOCKEY
A goal is scored when the puck entirely crosses the vertical plane of the red goal line into the net. A goal will not be allowed if the puck has been thrown or otherwise deliberately directed by an attacking player into the net by any means other than the stick. However, the puck can be deflected off a skate or off the attacking player's body if no overt attempt is made to throw or kick it into the net. If a player of the defending team puts the puck into the net in any way, the goal will also be allowed. A goal will be disallowed if an attacking player initiates contact with the goaltender.
This is the method by which the puck is put into play. During a face-off, one player from each team lines up to face each other at one of the rink's nine face-off spots. The referee or linesman drops the puck between the players, who then battle for possession.
Length of the Game
In the USHL, the game is divided into three 20-minute periods. Since the clock is stopped when the play is stopped, one period will usually take up to 35 minutes to play. There is a 15-minute intermission between periods during which time the ice is resurfaced. During the regular season, if the score is even (tied) after three periods of regulation play, the teams will play an additional overtime period, with a four on four format, with the team scoring first (sudden death) declared the winner and awarded an additional point. If no one scores during the overtime session, the game proceeds to a shootout round. During the regular season, teams will be awarded two points for a win (in regulation, overtime, or shootout) and one point for an overtime loss or a shootout loss. During the playoffs, if the score is tied after three periods of play, 20-minute sudden-death overtime periods are played, with the regular five on five format used, until a team scores.
In the USHL, three officials enforce the rules on the ice. The referee, who is distinguished by orange armbands, calls violations and penalties and has the final decision on any dispute. The referee is assisted by linesmen who call off-side, icing, and penalties under unique circumstances.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
The puck is six ounces of solid vulcanized rubber, three inches in diameter, and one-inch thick. The pucks are frozen prior to the start of a game to make them bounce resistant, and can travel at speeds exceeding 100 mph.
Historically constructed of wood in the old days, sticks are now made of many different materials including aluminum, graphite, and Kevlar. There are one- and two-piece models for players other than the goalies. On the two-piece models, the blade is attached to the shaft about six inches up from the heel of the stick blade, using heat or some sort of locking system.
Traditionally made of leather, manufacturers now utilize a combination of materials (Kevlar/graphite) when designing a skate boot to make it light, stiff, durable, and more protective.
Hockey is a collision sport where high-tech protective gear is a must for all players. Shoulder pads, elbow pads, shin guards, gloves, padded pants, mouth guards, and helmets are worn by all players. In the USHL, players under the age of 18 must wear a face mask. Players over the age of 18 can wear just a visor on their helmet to protect their eyes from high-flying sticks and pucks if they so desire. Goalie equipment differs slightly from regular player equipment.
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 and are typically called for the following infractions:
Tripping: Player uses stick, arm, or leg to knock down an opponent.
High-Sticking: Striking an opponent with the stick above shoulder level.
Slashing: The act of swinging a player's stick at an opponent, whether contact is made or not.
Holding: Player holds an opponent by using his hands, arms, or legs.
Charging: Player, as a result of distance traveled, violently checks an opponent in any manner.
Interference: Player interferes with or impedes the progress of an opponent who is not in possession of the puck.
Elbowing: Use of an extended elbow to foul opponent in a manner that may or may not cause injury.
Cross-Checking: A check rendered with both hands on the stick, and the extending of the arms, while the check is being delivered.
Hooking: Using the stick in a manner that enables a player to restrain an opponent.
Boarding: Checking an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently into the boards.
Delaying the Game: Player or goalie delays game by deliberately hitting the puck with his stick or hand outside the playing area or deliberately knocks the goal post from its normal position.
Kneeing: Hitting an opponent with a distinct movement of the knee.
Roughing: A minor altercation that does not warrant a major penalty (pushing and shoving rather than actual fisticuffs).
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.
Each team has a 23-man roster, of which 20 dress for each game. Every team uses six players at a time on the ice: three forwards (center, right winger, and left winger), two defensemen (left and right), and one goaltender.
All players are allowed to carry the puck, make forward/backward passes, and shoot at the opposing goalie. Players can also go on and off the ice while play is in progress.
Unlike his teammates, the goalie does not skate around the ice. His job is to keep the puck out of his net by stopping shots that can exceed 100 mph. The goalie can use any part of the body or any piece of equipment to stop the puck. He needs quickness, good balance, concentration, and courage!
The right and left defensemen play a dual role. They have to stop incoming opponents, preventing them from shooting at their goaltender. They also have to support their forwards on offense by initiating offensive charges and following the play into the attacking zone. Once inside the offensive zone, they attempt to keep the puck inside the blue line.
The center primarily operates up and down the middle of the ice and takes all face-offs. The center is the playmaker, passing between the two wings to set up a goal. In the defensive zone, the center's job is to get back and assist defense "down low" and try and break up the opposing team's play.
Right and left wings predominately move up and down the sides of the rink with the direction of play. The wingers are often big players willing to battle along the boards to gain possession of the puck and create scoring opportunities. Defensively, they guard the opponent's pointmen and try to keep them from shooting.
“BASIC HOCKEY LINGO”
Letter worn on the uniform of the assistant team captain.
An assist is credited to a player who helps set up a goal. Assists are awarded to the last two men to handle the puck immediately preceding the goal. There is a maximum of two assists per goal. The person who shoots the puck on net can receive an assist for a rebound goal.
The wall around a hockey rink (which was at one time really made of wood, but which is now usually of fiberglass) measuring about 42-inches high and topped off by synthetic glass to protect the spectators while giving them a good view of the action.
A clear scoring opportunity where no defensive player is between the puck carrier and the goaltender.
Letter worn on the uniform of the team captain.
The area between the two blue lines; otherwise known as the neutral zone.
Clearing the Puck:
When the puck is passed, knocked, or shot away from the front of the goal net or other area.
The area between the goal line and the blue line.
A fake by a player in possession of the puck in order to get around an opponent or to make a goalie move out of position. To deke, you move the puck or a part of your body to one side and then in the opposite direction. ("Deke" is taken from "decoy.")
Delay of Game:
This is called when a player purposely delays the game. Delay of game is commonly called when a goalie or defenseman shoots the puck into the stands without the puck deflecting off a skater or the glass. Delay of game also occurs when a player intentionally knocks a goal post out of its stand (usually in an attempt to prevent a goal from being scored).
In this situation, an attacking player has preceded the puck into the offensive zone (normally a case for off-side), but the defending team has gained possession of the puck and can bring it out of their defensive zone without any delay or contact with an opposing player.
Whistle is delayed until the penalized team regains possession of the puck.
When a player exaggerates being hooked or tripped in an attempt to draw a penalty.
Empty Net Goal:
A goal scored against an opponent that has pulled the goalie for an extra attacker in an attempt to tie the game. This typically happens late in the third period with under two minutes to play in the game.
The action of an official dropping the puck between the sticks of two opposing players to start play.
Forwards forecheck by hurrying into the opponent's defensive zone to either keep the puck there by pressuring the opposition or take it away.
Freezing the Puck:
A player freezes the puck by holding it against the boards with the stick or skates. A goalie freezes the puck (when the opposition is threatening to score) by either holding the puck in the glove or trapping it on the ice. Note:
A delay-of-game penalty can be called if the goalie or other player freezes the puck when the opposition is not threatening.
When a team has five skaters on the ice plus their goaltender.
A player who scores three goals in one game achieves a "hat trick."
If a player clears the puck from his side of the red line, the whistle will be blown as soon as the puck crosses the goal line. However, if an attacking player is determined to clearly be the first player to play the puck, the icing will be nullified. The determination for this will happen no later than the first person reaching the end-zone face-off spots.
A 15-minute break in between each of the three periods. In the playoffs, there are additional intermissions before each sudden-death overtime period.
Two linesmen are used to call off-side and icing, and handle all face-offs not occurring at center ice. Although they don't call penalties, they can recommend to the referee that a penalty be called.
In each game there is a referee and two linesmen.
A team is off-side when a player crosses the attacking blue line before the puck does. A face-off then takes place just outside that blue line (in the offending player's defensive zone). The determining factor in most off-side situations is the position of the skates:
Both skates must be completely over the blue line ahead of the puck for the play to be off-side.
Shooting the puck immediately upon receiving it without stopping it first. A one-timer is an effective way to beat the goalie before he can slide from one side of the crease to another.
(Five minutes) Called for fighting or when minor penalties are committed with deliberate attempt to injure. Major penalties for slashing, spearing, high-sticking, elbowing, butt-ending, and cross-checking carry automatic game misconducts. During a five-minute power play the team with the man advantage can score an unlimited amount of goals before the penalty expires.
(Two minutes) Called for tripping, hooking, cross-checking, slashing, charging, roughing, holding, elbowing, delay of game, diving, or boarding. If the team on the power play scores, the penalized player returns to the ice.
(10 minutes) Called for various forms of unsportsmanlike behavior or when a player incurs a second major penalty in a game. This is a penalty against an individual and not a team, so a substitute is permitted.
Off-ice area at the neutral zone where penalized players serve their time.
When a team is shorthanded and attempts to prevent the opposition from scoring.
A free shot, unopposed except for the goalie, given to a player who is illegally impeded from behind when he has possession of the puck with no opponent between him and the goal except the goalie. The team which commits the offense is not penalized beyond the penalty shot, whether it succeeds or not.
Happens when a team has a one- or two-man advantage over the opposition due to penalties.
The frozen surface inside the boards on which the game of hockey is played. The surface is typically 200-feet long by 85-feet wide.
When a goalie stops a shot from going into the net.
Occurs when one or more players are between the shooter and the goalie, blocking the goalie’s view of the play.
Used to decide the outcome of regular season games that remain tied after the overtime session. In the playoffs, games are decided by sudden-death overtime.
Shot on Goal:
An attempt by the attacking team to score a goal by shooting the puck toward the net. This results in either a save or a goal.
Happens to your team when the opposing team has a one- or two-man advantage due to penalties.
A slap shot occurs when the player swings the stick back and then quickly forward, slapping the puck ahead with a forehand shot.
An abbreviated slap shot. The purpose of the snap shot is to combine the main advantages of the wrist shot (shot accuracy and quick delivery) and the slap shot (puck speed).
A term for carrying the puck along the ice with the stick.
Losing control of the puck to the opposing team.
The vehicle used to prepare the rink's ice surface before the game and after each period. The Zamboni scrapes a thin layer off the ice, and puts down a fresh layer of heated water that freezes to form a new layer of ice.
“ADVANCED HOCKEY LINGO”
Otherwise known as the offensive zone. The areas between the opponents blue line and their goal.
Forwards in the attacking zone skate back to their own end to prevent opponent’s shots on goal.
A common term for a hockey puck. “Put the biscuit in the basket.”
A common term for an ice rink.
A very intense game where the crowd becomes loud and boisterous.
What the biscuit goes into. Actually, it’s the goal.
A key part of the goalie’s equipment. It is the glove that goes on the hand that holds the stick.
Another word for defenseman.
A defensive alignment (similar to the diamond) often used by a team defending against a power play.
The play used by the attacking team to move the puck out of its own zone and up the ice toward the opponent's goal.
Using the shaft of the stick to jab or attempt to jab an opposing player. Known in Quebec as "donner six pouces" (to give six inches).
A style of goaltending wherein the goalie tends to cover the lower half of the net with his or her leg pads.
For the goalie, this is a glove (which looks like a fancy first-baseman's mitt) that goes on the non-stick hand.
When a player, generally a forward, hangs out behind the play waiting for an outlet pass so that he can have a breakaway.
Changing on the Fly:
When players from the bench substitute for players on the ice while the clock is running.
Coast to Coast:
Refers to when a player carries the puck from deep in his own defensive zone, all the way to the opposing team’s goal.
The television or radio analyst, usually a former player, who gives the audience an insider’s view of the game.
A line of players that is known for big hits and tough play.
Crashing the Net:
An aggressive strategy in which a forward charges towards the opponent's net in hopes of deflecting a shot, banging a loose puck in, obstructing the goaltender's view, or simply creating mayhem that could lead to a scoring chance for his team.
A defensive alignment (similar to the box) often used by a team defending against a power play.
When an elite player stays on the ice for double duty to give his team an added lift. This is common when a team is down a goal late in the game.
Dump and Chase:
A style of hockey where a team shoots the puck into one of the corners of the offensive zone and then pursues it. This is opposed to carrying the puck into the zone.
Typically the player on the team with the most penalty minutes is called upon to protect his teammates when they are pushed around.
To rub one’s gloves in the face of another player. Most players don’t appreciate this.
The hole between the goalie’s leg pads. If a player scores a goal and the puck went in between the goalie’s pads, the puck went through the five-hole.
A pass where the puck remains on the surface of the ice.
A pass where the puck is lifted so that it goes over an opponent or his stick.
A goal that takes little talent to score. Most such goals are scored from right in front of the net, often when the goaltender is out of position.
The area just in front of the goal and crease lines.
Gordie Howe Hat Trick:
When a player scores a goal, gets an assist, and gets into a fight all in the same game.
A tough, hard-nosed player who does what it takes to get the job done. To be referred to as a grinder would be considered a compliment.
When a player passes the puck ahead to a teammate.
A player who has no injury and is still not dressed for the game.
Heel of the Stick:
The point where the shaft of the stick and the bottom of the blade meet.
A very fast slap shot.
A hard, accurate shot.
Refers to the curve of a player’s stick. Each player’s lie on their stick is different.
Light the Lamp:
To “light the lamp” is to score a goal. There is a goal judge positioned right behind the net who activates a red light when the puck crosses the goal line.
A team with one or more players on the ice than the opposing team due to a penalty. The team is also on a power play.
When a player is chasing a loose puck and has his back to the rest of the ice, his coaches and teammates will yell "man on" if an opposing player is in close pursuit.
When a player puts all his effort into a shot.
Natural Hat Trick:
Scoring three goals in a row. A very rare occurrence in the USHL.
Neutral Zone Trap:
A defensive ice-hockey strategy used by a team to prevent an opposing team from proceeding through the neutral zone (the area between both blue lines) by forcing turnovers in that area.
Usually either a two-on-one or three-on-two into the offensive zone, which more often than not leads to a scoring opportunity.
"The Original Six":
Term for the NHL’s six senior franchises; The New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadians, and Chicago Blackhawks.
Defensemen usually hang out at their team's blue line, but a "pinching" defenseman will leave his post and push further into the offensive zone in order to support the forwards and keep the puck in the zone.
The pipe is the goal post, and if you hit a puck "between the pipes" you score a goal!
A superstitious practice of an NHL player not shaving his beard during the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A position just inside the blue line usually occupied by a defenseman when their team is in control of the puck in the offensive zone.
Trying to knock the puck away from an opponent by stabbing at it with the blade of the stick.
A large, muscular offensive player (6 ft.–6 ft. 5 in., 210–240 lb.), with the mobility to track a puck to the corners of the rink, the physical toughness required to dig it out, and the puck-handling skills to get it back to anyone in front of the net.
A goal scored with exceptional flair and skill.
Pulling the Goalie:
A team that is losing will sometimes take their own goalie off the ice and use another forward. This situation occurs most frequently near the end of the game when a team is behind and needs some emergency offense.
Ragging the Puck:
Using up time on the clock when leading in the final moments of a period or the game.
The 10 ft. 2 in. official sanctuary from all players when he skates to the timekeeper where he reports his final decision on a goal or penalty.
A hockey team's dressing room. It also loosely refers to a team's chemistry or aura that surrounds the team, or a team's camaraderie. There is a saying among hockey players:
Nothing leaves the room. Everything that is said in a team's dressing room among the team stays within the team. Reporters and even coaches are invited into the physical room after games and practices, but never into the emotional inner sanctum of “the room.”
An airborne pass from one player to another. It is called a saucer pass because the puck resembles a flying saucer in midair.
When a player covers an opponent one-on-one everywhere on the ice in order to limit the effectiveness of his opponent.
Slang term for a goalie that gives up a lot of goals and appears to have a lot of holes. Think spaghetti strainer.
Place a player goes after he is called for a penalty. Also simply known as the penalty box.
The prime scoring area up the middle of the ice, between the face-off circles in the attack zone. This is where you will find “snipers” like Alex Ovechkin or Patrick Kane.
A player who is a pure goal scorer who is always able to find open space to get his shot off.
Spin 'o' Rama:
Phrase to describe a player completing a tight circle with the puck fully under control in an effort to get by a defender.
Splitting the Defense:
When a player in possession of the puck goes between two opposing defenders while attacking.
Stack the Pads:
A save wherein the goaltender drops to one side and makes the save with his leg pads stacked on top of one another.
Standing on his head:
Phrase used when a goaltender is playing great, stopping everything sent his way, and making outstanding saves.
This type of player never misses a defensive assignment. You will never find him out of position in the offensive zone. The true definition of a “defensive defenseman.”
A great save by the goalie will have the announcer say, “He stoned him from point-blank range.”
Using the entire length of the stick with a sweeping motion along the surface of the ice in order to dislodge the puck from an opponent. A team that is shorthanded on a power play often employs a sweep check.
Adjective describing a perfect pass. The centers of the blades of hockey sticks are usually wrapped in black tape.
Three tape-to-tape passes that lead to a goal. Tic-tac-toe goals are usually scored on odd-man rushes or power plays because opponents don't have enough defenders to break up passes.
Dragging the puck along the ice with the end (toe) of the stick blade on the ice as opposed to the bottom edge.
Placing a shot in the top quarter of the net.
A lot of players gathered in one area, usually in front of the goal net.
Defensive formation designed to minimize the opposition's scoring opportunities and keep its offense from functioning. The idea is to trap the puck in the neutral zone, halting the opponents from entering the offensive zone.
A center that has equal value in his offensive and defensive zone. Mark Messier was the ultimate “two-way center.”
A player skates behind the opposing goal and attempts to wrap the puck around the goal post and into the net.