Ice hockey is played between 2 teams of 6 players each who try to score points by hitting a puck with a stick into the opponent's goal.

Ice hockey can be confusing to the first-time observer. Understanding the rules will help you identify what’s going on in the game and provide you with a greater appreciation of the sport. Here, you find out about the object of the game, and some details about players, pucks, penalties, and points.

Rules Of Playing Ice Hockey

Rules Of Playing Ice Hockey

Rules Of Playing Ice Hockey:

The Playing Area

The playing area, in other words the surface is practically a thin ice sheet, known as the rink. The rink has to be divided into several zones with a red line at the center and a pair of blue lines. Now, as far as the measurements are concerned, the typical North American rink is 200 feet by 85 feet. They are larger when it comes to European ice hockey surfaces. The rink needs to be enclosed by boards and plexiglas throughout. The playing surface is divided into 3 zones. The defending zone is how the goal net is located for that team which has to defend that goal. Then, there’s two blue lines in the middle of the rink, and in between them is what is called the neutral zone. Finally, the area where a team has to attack, the opponent’s goal, is known as the attacking zone.


  • To play organized hockey, players will require the essential equipment, skates, helmet (with visor or cage), mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey gloves, hockey pants, athletic supporter (jock), shin pads, hockey socks, jersey, and hockey stick
  • Goaltenders their very own category of equipment, goalie helmet (cage required), chest and shoulder protectors, athletic supporter (jock), hockey pants, blocker, glove, goalie stick, goalie pads, and goalie skates.
  • For on ice equipment, there are two (2) nets at each end from the ice and pucks.


  • Hockey is played with six (6) players around the ice for each team; five (5) skaters, one (1) goaltender.
    The normal roster size of a hockey team is twenty (20) players; twelve (12) forwards, 6 defensemen, and 2 (2) goaltenders.
  • There are an unlimited quantity of substitutions and they can happen anytime; during play and/or a stoppage of play; except once the defensive team ices the puck.
  • The goaltenders have limited control over the puck, there is a trapezoid behind the aim where goalies are allowed to handle the puck, when they play the pluck outside el born area below the goal line, and it’ll result in a delay of game penalty. This trapezoid doesn’t exist in international play.


Ice Hockey Equipment

Ice Hockey Equipment

  • Icing is when the defending team shoots the puck on the ice, without touching another player, across two red lines, first one being the red centre line and also the second being the goal line. The opposing team must touch the puck prior to the team who iced the puck, or even the call will become void.
  • In international rules, the rule is “no touch” icing; meaning the play is known as dead once the puck crosses the aim line.
  • The team who ices the puck isn’t allowed to substitute players in this stoppage of play.


People who do not obey the rules are penalized. Probably the most common amongst them is the fact that a player is sent off. It’s a major penalty, and the player is sent off for 5 minutes. A player can be sent off just in case he is involved in a fight with another player. Elbowing, kneeing, checking from behind, and roughing are also reasons for giving a player a problem. The usage of the stick inside a dangerous way, like hooking, tripping, slashing, spearing, etc., requires penalization. In case of a minor penalization, a player is distributed off the rink for a couple of minutes. Moreover, if your goal is scored, the penalty immediately comes to an end.