It is easy to follow a game of ice hockey if you understand the rules of the game. The playing surface also called as the rink is divided into zones using one red line at the center and two blue colored lines. While a North American rink is about 200 feet by 85 feet, a European one is little bigger. The rink zone has three zones with the goal net placed at the defending zone for the team defending and the middle which is placed between two blue lines is called as the `neutral zone’. The opposite net is the attacking zone, also called as the offensive zone. The rules for playing the game should be followed within this area.
The Teams for the game
Each team i.e. the defender and the attacker have six players each on the ice rink, one goaltender as well as five “skaters”. These five has specific positions on the rink, three forwards and two defensemen. Irrespective of their positions, all the players on the rink playing a game of ice hockey can move about anywhere on the ice except the goalkeeper who cannot go beyond the red line at the center.
Substitutions for the game
There is no restriction on the number of substitutions and the team can do at any time. There is also no need for any permission for the coach or referee. A substitute can join the game even when the game is in full action but only thing to be kept in mind is that the departing team member should be at a distance of about five feet of the bench and is not playing with the puck or is with any of the opponents.
When can a penalty be given to the team?
The game commences when the referee places the puck between the two teams and near the two forwards of both teams. When there is faceoff, all team members should be on the defensive side and it is only when there is a stop to the game and there is a need to resume it. There are only nine faceoff spots on the ice rink and it should be done only on these positions. The duration of the game is for 60 minutes with three 20-minute periods. The clock stops whenever there are any stoppages in the game for any reason.
A penalty or an illegal move can be imposed on the team when a body check targets the head or the back of an opponent if he is facing the boards. A player can use only his shoulders, torso or hip or stop an opponent only when he has the puck.
Usually a player is charged with minor penalty when he tries to obstruct the opponent by tripping, holding with the hockey stick or hands, hooking or interference when the opponent is without the puck. During a minor penalty, the player is sent off for about two minutes and no substitution is allowed during this period and the penalty ends immediately if the opponents score a goal. Minor penalty is also when there is dangerous usage of the hockey stick or physical fouls which can be considered as dangerous. The major penalty is for five minutes and can be when there is a fight among the members. It can be also be when a severe injury or attempt to injury is done on the opponent.