Ice Hockey Rules: History, Positions, Players - teenflixsports

Ice hockey rules History, basic rules, player positions

The first rules of ice hockey were created by a group of students from McGill University in Canada, in 1877. At that moment, the history of ice hockey began to take shape , which over the years defined the basic rules of hockey that we know today. Since the origins of ice hockey , this extreme contact sport has become one of the most popular in countries with cold climates such as Canada, Russia or Finland.

Ice hockey rules change  depending on the country or federation under which the matches are played. For example, in America it is played in a different way than in Europe or Asia. The differences affect for example the number of players on the ice. However, some of the basic rules of ice hockey are shared regardless of the region in which it is played.

To be a good  ice  hockey player , you have to perfectly control skills such as ice skating, holding the stick correctly, passing the puck and shooting it on goal with power, and finally, anticipate to steal the puck from your opponents.


  • Origin and history of ice hockey
  • types of hockey
  • Basic rules of ice hockey – 10 rules in summary
  • How do you play ice hockey?
  • Duration of an ice hockey game
  • hockey equipment
  • hockey player positions
  • ice hockey penalties
  • ice hockey terms

Origin and history of ice hockey

The history of ice hockey originates in Canada, where a group of students from McGill University wrote the first written ice hockey rules in 1877. The same University founded the first team called McGill University Hockey Club. In Europe, the first hockey players joined the Oxford and Cambridge university teams.

The development of the game and the  rules of ice hockey led over the entire country of its origin. In Canada, hockey spread rapidly as there were a large number of players who wanted to play this new sport.

Due to the great popularity of the game, the city of Montreal, taking advantage of the winter fair of 1883, created the first ice hockey competition. In the year 1886, the history of ice hockey took a turn, when the players of various teams that participated in the Montreal competition decided to create the league called the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. They added some rules to the ice hockey rules  such as the penalty or the puck that is currently used. Previously, ice hockey rules  dictated that the puck must be square and made of wood.

In 1888, Lord Stanley of Preston, President of Canada, would make a name for himself in ice hockey history. He created the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup competition, which would later be known as the Stanley Cup. The first players in history to win the Stanley Cup were those of the Montreal Hockey Club. In 1910, this award was given to teams with professional hockey players. And today it is the trophy given to the winner of the National Hockey League ( NHL ).

types of hockey

Hockey is a family of sports in which we can see sports that share similarities, but are also very different from each other. For example, the rules of field hockey are very different from the  rules of ice hockey . And the equipment of hockey players are in some cases very different. Apart from sharing some basic hockey rules , they also share a good part of their history.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey was invented in Canada in 1877 when the  ice hockey rules were first written. It receives this name since hockey players try to score a goal, that is to say, introduce the puck (disc) into the opposing goal while skating on ice.

Hockey grass

The  history of field hockey begins practically with human history, records have been found that a sport very similar to hockey was played in Egypt, from the years 2,000 BC Here the players do not skate, the players run after the ball to Hit it and score a goal. The goals are larger and squarer than those for ice hockey or roller skates.

Hockey skates

Roller hockey was born in England at the end of the 19th century, but in reality its history is related to that of  Ice Hockey , since it is a variant of it. This sport can be practiced in warmer or more tropical places than Ice Hockey , since it does not need a weather condition, (in this case, cold) to be practiced.

Basic rules of ice hockey – 10 rules in summary

  • In hockey, whoever scores the most goals wins.
  • Ice hockey is played in three periods of 15 minutes each.
  • It is played with a disc called a puck.
  • Each team is made up of five field hockey players  and a goalie.
  • The basic rules of ice hockey dictate that the game begins in the center circle with a face-off. The referee drops the puck between two opposing players fighting for their team's position.
  • According to the rules of ice hockey if the game ends in a tie, it will be defined in shootouts (penalties).
  • Players can use physical force to win the puck from their opponent. As explained in the basic rules of ice hockey , body control may be used but is prohibited on the back or above shoulder height.
  • Hockey players charged with a minor penalty must leave the ice for 2 minutes and their team will continue to play with 5 players. Ice hockey rules say that if the opposing team scores a goal in those two minutes, the player may return to the ice immediately.
  • A minor penalty may include tripping an opponent with the hockey stick, stick or hand grab, stick hook, or body check on a player without the puck.
  • Major penalties remove a player from the ice for up to 5 minutes. These may include fighting, inflicting serious injuries on opposing players, or continual minor infractions.

How do you play ice hockey?

Ice Hockey faces two teams whose objective is to introduce a rubber puck. Called a disc, puck or pill, in the opposite goal as many times as possible. At the same time, the opposing team should be prevented from scoring. As in all hockey disciplines, the puck is handled by a slightly open "L" shaped stick.

To play, you'll first need to familiarize yourself with the basic rules of ice hockey . Next, to become a good ice hockey player , you will have to train ice skating, control of the puck with the sitck, passing and shooting. In addition, you will have to carry out exhaustive physical training to strengthen your body and thus withstand all the blows and contacts that the ice hockey rules  allow.

Duration of an ice hockey game

Each ice hockey game is made up of 3 periods of 20 minutes each. Time only runs while the puck is in motion. In each period, the teams have the right to request a 30-second time-out, so that the coach can talk to his players. Between period and period there is a 15-minute break.

If at the end of the 60 minutes of regulatory play there is a tie, the ice hockey rules dictate that an extra time of 5 minutes is played at sudden death, that is, the first team that scores is the winner regardless of the minutes that have been disputed. In the event that the tie persisted after that time, the result would be defined by a round of free throws (penalty shots).

hockey equipment

In the basic rules of ice hockey contact is allowed, which means that much of the game revolves around physical contact. This makes it a sport with which it is easy to suffer an injury. Considering that ice hockey is a tough sport, it is very important to wear protective equipment when playing this sport. The basic equipment needed by ice hockey players is as follows. Helmet, shoulder pads, elbow pads, mouth guards, protective gloves, hockey pants (padded shorts), shin guards, and cup. In addition to all this, ice hockey skates and ice hockey sticks They are essential and necessary components.

hockey player positions

Ice hockey rules say that each team must send six players to the rink. The basic formation consists of a goalkeeper and five skaters who are divided between attackers and defensemen.

In the lower zone of each team there are two defenders on each side of the goalkeeper. These hockey players are in charge of cutting off the offensive advances of the rival team and preventing them from scoring goals. The attack is made up of a center back who plays in the middle and is dedicated to creating goal plays. And on each side they have a winger, whose tasks are to score goals in their offensive zone.

ice hockey penalties

In NHL ice hockey rules , penalties are punishments that require players to leave the rink for a certain amount of time. During this time the player must belong within an area of ​​the rink which is known as the penalty box. There are three types of penalties: minor, major, and misconduct. The referee's criteria will determine how hard the infraction was. The harsher the action, the more severe the reprimand will be.

minor penalty

Minor penalties trigger a 2 minute stay in the penalty box. Some of the more basic infractions that warrant this type of punishment include causing an opponent to hit the rink walls, committing a charge, delaying play, committing a stick charge, obstructing a skater or goalie, holding a opponent, knee or elbow, hook an opponent with the stick and raise the stick over the shoulder to try to play the puck in the air.

If the eliminated player's team concedes a goal during penalty time, the Power Play for the opposing team will come to an end.

When an attacking player is fouled in an overt goal play, ice hockey rules dictate that the referee may choose to call a penalty instead of calling a minor foul. In this action, the attacking player will have a one-on-one with the rival goalkeeper.

major penalty

Larger penalties carry harsher punishment for ice hockey players . These send the player who committed the offense to the penalty box for five minutes. Fouls that can commonly be considered minor, can become major if the offending player shows that he intentionally wanted to harm the opposing players. In the ice hockey rules, offenses that are automatically classified as major include hitting an opponent with the tip of the stick, hitting an opponent with the body or with the stick from behind, hitting an opponent with the body or with the stick to the head and hitting an opponent with the blade of the stick.

Unlike minor penalties, players who are penalized must serve their entire penalty no matter how many goals their team conceded during their absence.

Misconduct Penalty

Misconduct penalties result in a 10 minute stay in the penalty box. The acts that provoke this infraction included in the basic rules of ice hockey are: saying obscenities, abusing the officials, entering the officials' area and fighting or causing a fight. In this type of punishment, the offending player's team can substitute him in the rink for the duration of the reprimand.

In the ice hockey rules, it states that in the event that the goalkeeper is the penalized player, he will not leave the field. It will be one of the other hockey players  who takes the penalty and leaves the rink.

ice hockey terms

Ice hockey , like most sports has its own terminology, which will make it easier for you to understand the rules of ice hockey. If you want to be a  proper ice hockey  player  ,  you will have to know what these basic expressions mean.


As the  basic rules of ice hockey say , the power play is the moment in which a team has numerical superiority due to the expulsion of one or more players from the other team. In the event that the team that is in a situation of power play (numerical superiority) scores a goal, the expelled hockey player or players may re-enter the field. If the expulsion has been permanent, at the time of the annotation, substitute players may enter to cover the gap of the expelled.

Penalty or Penalty

In the  rules of ice hockey , penalties are a type of serious infraction that can only be whistled by the main referee of the game. All penalties receive as a punishment the expulsion of one or  more hockey players . If the expulsion time is not permanent, the players must belong to a specific cubicle for them.

There are different types of penalties, and depending on the severity of these, hockey players may or may not return to the field. The penalties are as follows: Minor Penalty (2 minute elimination), Major Penalty (5 minute expulsion). Misconduct (10 minute elimination, but in case of being penalized more than once it will end with the player's disqualification). Game misconduct (Expulsion without option to return to the game)

Off side

Just as football has offside or offside, in the rules of ice hockey we also find a rule in this regard. And just like with soccer, the official rules penalize the player who is ahead of the puck when he is attacking. Therefore, in the NHL  there is a blue line that marks the start of offside. If you cross this line with your two skates before your team's puck, you will be penalized with offside.

Face to face

According to the  rules of ice hockey , the face to face or face off in English, occurs when a player from each team disputes the puck within one of the nine circles of the rink (ice rink), this always happens at the beginning of the match or part, when a goal has been scored, or to restart play after an offence. Head to head can only be played by two hockey players , one from each team. It does not matter which field players they are, as long as they are not the porters. Once the puck has touched the ground, the other players on the team can intervene.


Within the  basic rules of ice hockey there is a rule to ensure that the game is hectic, and some team is dedicated only to sending the puck towards the opposite goal without any movement, this is icing . Icing  occurs when  hockey players shoot the puck forward and it crosses the red half rink line, as well as the red goal line of the defending team.

When this situation occurs, the referee orders a face-off in the defensive zone of the offending team. The icing has two exceptions, if your team is at a numerical disadvantage of players, the icing  will not be whistled as an infraction, also there will be no face in the event that once the puck is shot, it enters the rival goal, in that case the goal is valid.