Hockey 101

Two Main Rules | Icing is Not | Types of Infractions | The Positions | The Penalties | Fun Facts

Relevant Links:
ECHL Rule Book
ECHL Standard of Rule Enforcement (NHL video)

Two Main Rules
Offside
Offside
An attacking team is “offside” when any member precedes the puck across the defending team’s blue line. The position of a player’s skates, not the player’s stick, is the determining factor. If both skates are across the line before the puck, the player is offside.
Icing
Icing the Puck
“Icing the puck” is not permitted when the teams are at equal numerical strength. The infraction occurs when a player on the defensive side of the center line shoots a puck across the attacking goal line, at any other point than actually into the goal. When this occurs, play is stopped and the puck is returned to the offending team’s defensive zone for a faceoff.
Icing the Puck is Not Called
Icing is not called if…
  • the goaltender plays the puck
  • a defending opponent, in the judgement of the linesman, could have played the puck before it crossed the line
  • an attacking player is first to touch it
  • the offending team is shorthanded due to penalty
Types of Infractions
Boarding
Boarding
Driving an opposing player into the boards with a body check of illegal or excessive force.
Charging
Charging
Using more than two strides to build up speed before initiating a bodycheck.
Cross-Checking
Cross-Checking
A check or blow that delivered by a player with both of his hands on his stick and no part of his stick on the ice.
Delay of Game Deliberately shooting or batting the puck with the stick outside the playing area, closing hand on the puck (other than goaltender), or deliberately displacing a goal post from it’s normal position.
Elbowing
Elbowing
Deliberately striking an opponent with an elbow.
Fighting
Fighting
A large-scale punching or shoving match.
High-Sticking
High-Sticking
Striking an opponent while carrying the stick above shoulder level.
Holding
Holding
Clutching an opposing player’s body to impede progress.
Hooking
Hooking
Using the blade of the stick to hook an opponent from behind.
Interference
Interference
Impeding the progress of an opponent not in possession of the puck.
Roughing
Roughing
A small-scale punching or shoving match.
Slashing
Slashing
Striking an opponent with one’s stick.
Spearing
Spearing
Jabbing at an opponent with one’s stick.
Tripping
Tripping
Placing a stick or body part in such a manner that it causes an opponent to fall.
The Positions
Center The center forward usually leads the offense by carrying the puck, operating mostly up the middle of the ice. The center exchanges passes with the wings trying to steer the play toward the opposing team’s goal. In most cases, the center also is responsible for participating in faceoffs, attempting to gain possession of the puck.
Right/Left Wing The two wings patrol the sides of the rink working with the center on the attack to set up shots. Defensively, they guard the opposing wings and try to disrupt their plays and shot attempts.
Defensemen The two defensemen try to stop the incoming play before any chance of scoring is possible. They attempt to break up passes, block shots, clear the puck from in front of their own net and drive opposing forwards away from the goalmouth. Offensively, they carry the puck up the ice and pass to the forwards. On offense they get the puck to their center and wings and follow the play into the attacking zone, stationing themselves just inside the opposition’s blue line at what are called the points in an attempt to keep the puck from leaving the zone.
Goaltender The goaltender’s job is to keep the puck from entering his team’s goal. He may use any part of his body or equipment, and he is allowed to catch and smother the puck. He seldom leaves the mouth of the goal.
Player Lines Because hockey doesn’t demand a stop in play for substitutions, players can go on and off the ice while the play is in progress. Each line, which consists of groups of three forwards and two defensemen, change about every minute. Each team usually carries four lines of forwards (center, left and right wing) and three sets of defensemen.
The Penalties
Minor Penalty When given a minor penalty, the penalized player must stay in the penalty box for two minutes, and his team must play with one player less than the normal complement. This is known as a power play for the team with the extra player. Should the team with the power play score before two minutes are over, the penalized player is allowed to return to the ice and the teams are at equal strength. Minor penalties include: boarding, charging, elbowing, high-sticking, holding, hooking, interference, roughing, slashing, spearing and tripping.
Major Penalty When given a major penalty, the penalized player must stay in the penalty box for five minutes and, depending on the situation, his team might play with one less player. These offenses include more serious penalties: butt-ending, checking from behind, fighting, high-sticking and spearing. Depending on the severity of the offense, these penalties are sometimes accompanied by a game misconduct, removing the player from the game.
Misconduct
Misconduct Penalty
Usually called against a player who becomes excessively abusive in language. Although the player must sit out for ten minutes, the team does not play shorthanded.
Game Misconduct The suspension of a player for the balance of the game, but the penalized team does not have to play shorthanded.
Match Penalty For deliberately injuring an opponent, the offending player must sit out the remainder of the game. The team must play shorthanded, with the severity of the injury determining the length of the penalty.
Fun Facts
The Game A hockey game consists of three 20 minute periods with two intermissions. Goals each count one point and are scored by shooting the puck into a net that measures four feet high by six feet wide. In the event of a tie game, the ECHL mandates a shootout round, in which players from both teams alternate taking penalty shots until one team has an unsurmountable advantage. In the Kelly Cup Playoffs however, the teams continue to play 20 minute periods with intermissions until a winning goal is scored.
Scoring A point is awarded for each goal scored and each assist. There can be up to 2 assists awarded on each goal.
Hockey Rink The dimensions of the hockey rink in the Rabobank Arena are 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. International competition including Olympics and World Championships are played on International rinks which measure 200 feet in length and 100 feet wide.
Hockey Puck The puck is make of vulcanized rubber and measures 3″ in diameter and 1″ thick. Each puck weighs approximately 6 ounces. The pucks are frozen prior to each game, this prevents them from bouncing on the ice.

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