Ice Hockey Rules Simplified

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Ice Hockey Rules Simplified

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You cannot touch the puck with your hands in ice hockey. Ice hockey requires the wearing of protective safety equipment by the players.

The ice rink divides into three zones marked off with blue lines:. Basic ice hockey rules allow six players in each team.

The players, one goalie and 5 outfield players, have a specific position and role within the game. The left and right side offensive ice hockey player positions try to score goals.

The squad's defenders protect their team's goal area from the opponent's attackers. A ' face-off ' starts the game as well as any following periods of play e.

The referee drops the puck inside the center circle of the neutral zone. One player from each team will position themselves inside the circle.

Players tussle for control of the puck. They do this without touching each other with their sticks or any body parts. Unlike most sports, general play often occurs behind the goal in ice hockey.

That's because the playing area extends up to the perimeter boarding. Attacking players are not allowed to enter their opponents' defending zone until the puck gets played past the defending line.

No player can enter the goalkeeper's crease unless the puck has already passed the line. The standard goalie position is inside their team's crease.

Basic ice hockey rules allow them to use their hands or any other part of their body to keep the puck from entering the goal.

Substitutions take place regularly in ice hockey. The team coach rotates players often to achieve strategic objectives and rest any tired team members.

You cannot win an ice hockey game unless you score goals. Accurate passing and skillful shooting is the best way to place the puck into your challenger's goal.

The team with the most goals at the end of the game are declared the winners. Should the game end in a tie then the game will go into overtime where the first team to then score will be crowned winners.

The game is played on an ice rink measuring roughly 61m in length by 30m in width. The rink is split into three main sections.

The middle section is the neutral zone and includes a centre circle where the games start. At either side of the neutral zone are attacking and defending zones of which are determined by whichever team has the puck at the time.

In each attacking and defending zone are two end zone faceoff circles and spots. There is a goal crease which is a half circle surrounding the goal.

Behind the goal is the boards area. Each player will have their own hockey stick along with ice skates and a series of padding which may include face mask, helmet, padded shorts, shoulder pads, arm guards and gloves.

Each goal tender will have the same but on a much denser scale due to them being in the firing line of the puck much more often.

Each team can have a maximum of 20 players. Of these 20 players only six may be on the ice at any one time. The rest will be used as substitutes but can come and go from the game as often as required.

The six starters include a goal tender and 5 outfield players. Whilst each player will be given a position, the players are free to move around the ice as they choose.

This does exclude the goal tender of which must remain within their half and not pass the center red line.

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Then the penalized player with the least amount of time can come out. Any remaining players with time remaining are to remain in the box.

For example, if there is a 5 on 3, and player 1 has 20 seconds left while player 2 has 50 seconds left, and the team with 5 players scores, then the face-off comes to center ice.

A 5 on 4 will result for the next 50 seconds and the player who had 20 seconds left on his penalty will be permitted to leave the box before the face-off.

Otherwise, if the time were to expire naturally, and no goal is scored in the period of time during the penalty, then play continues as the penalized player will come out of the box to continue play.

I will discuss major penalties later. Here are the minor penalties with their appropriate time penalties. High sticking is a minor penalty where a player's stick makes contact with any part of an opposing player above the shoulders.

Intent has nothing to do with most minor penalties. In the case of a player's stick, they are to always be in control. Even if someone else causes a high sticking penalty, there is no argument and no grey area.

High Sticking is a 2-minute minor offense. However, if blood is drawn by a high stick, the time will be counted as two minor penalties in a row. Because it is determined as two minor penalties, if a goal is scored in the first 2 minutes, then the rest of that 2 minute period is removed and the second minor is started.

If a goal is scored in the second 2 minute period, then the player can come out of the box and continue play.

Tripping is the act of taking down an opposing player by taking his skates out from under him. There are two varieties of boarding. The minor 2 min version is a mild act of attacking a man from behind into the boards while in a defenseless position.

This rule was created to protect the health and future career of NHL players. Players are allowed to run into a.

Players who are hit from behind into the boards around the rink are considered defenseless. The referee will judge whether the hit into the boards was malicious or not.

If he feels it is an offense but not a major penalty, it will be a 2-minute minor. We will talk about the major penalty version later.

Players are allowed to check other players as long as the puck is close, and it is not an unnecessary hit.

There is one exception. Players are never allowed to check the goaltender. In recent seasons, players have found ways to interfere with a goaltender without actually checking him.

As a result, a new definition of goaltender interference was adopted. Players must make all efforts to avoid contact with the goaltender while he is in the crease the blue paint in front of the goal.

Players are also prohibited from facing the goaltender and waving in his face or other acts of distraction. It is permitted to stand in front of the goaltender and screen block his vision as long as he does not make contact or distracting motions.

Like most rules, the referee can call things he sees as interference or has play continue based on his discretion. This is a very hard rule to always uphold.

Many teams feel that their goaltender is interfered with more often then it is called by officials. Unlike goaltender interference, contact with other players on the ice is as much a part of the game as ice skating.

Hits, checks, and contact happen continuously throughout the course of the game. Although contact is legal, every player is supposed to have an equal chance to get to the puck.

This being said, interference is described as impeding an opponent who does not have the puck or impeding any player from the bench. People fall throughout the game but diving is called when a player embellishes a fall to try to draw the attention of the officials.

If a player gets tripped and an official feels the nature of their fall was a deliberate attempt to get attention, then he will serve 2 minutes.

Delay of the game is somewhat of a blanket penalty that can be called if a player tries to waste time or draw a stoppage of play by either laying on the puck or putting the puck off the ice and into the stands from the defensive zone.

Hockey is such a dynamic sport that players are coming off the bench and into play while the game is still playing.

Since players are jumping off the ice and being replaced on the fly, there is bound to be some extra players physically touching the ice while the game is going on.

This penalty is called when too many players are on the ice playing and are not in the act of coming off the ice.

Players can get caught on the ice if they are trying to jump onto the bench and they inadvertently touch the puck with their feet, stick, or some part of their equipment after their replacement has already entered the playing surface.

No matter how inadvertent this last action is, they are still considered in play and affected play as an extra man, therefore, they are penalized for too many men.

As mentioned before, contact is part of the game. There are certain types of contact that are potentially dangerous and considered penalties against players that use these forms of contact.

Cross-checking is when a player uses his stick with two hands and forcefully pushes another player by extending his arms, resulting in his stick hitting the opposing player.

In other words, the player punches another with his stick. Continuing the illegal stick usage penalties, we move on to slashing.

This is the use of the stick in action similar to that of a baseball bat aimed towards the stick, legs, arms, or body of an opposing player.

Stick checking is legal and can be similar in motion to slashing. Slashing is usually intended to distract or injure, and at times does the latter.

Each player is responsible for his own stick, and at no time can they hold anyone else'. Preventing a player from gaining access to the puck by holding his stick will result in a visit to the penalty box for 2 minutes.

Going back to what you are not allowed to do with your stick, we come to hooking. Hooking is defined as grabbing a part of an opposing player or part of his equipment with a stick parallel to the ice.

Holding is when a player grabs or hangs on another player. This is often called as interference. Offenses such as hooking and tripping are also often labeled as types of interference.

This is usually when players push excessively after plays are over, or if the referee feels a particular hit was unnecessarily rough. There are other minor penalties that are not as common.

I found a good list of all NHL penalties on wikipedia. Major penalties are called in the exact same way as minor penalties.

The two differences between a minor and a major penalty are the time served by penalized players and what happens when the team with the ensuing power-play scores.

Minor penalties are 2 minutes each in the case of 4-minute high sticking, it is really 2 high sticking calls stacked on a player. A major penalty has a 5-minute timer.

Also, when a team with a penalized player in the box serving his minor penalty gets scored on, the penalty ends and the player comes out.

Not so with a major penalty. Regardless of how many goals are scored against the penalized player's team, he stays the box in until his time is up.

Very similar to the minor version above, a player who hits a defenseless player from behind into the boards has committed boarding.

If the referee determines that the hit was too much and excessive, he can upgrade the call to a major penalty.

I have seen some pretty malicious boarding calls, and like in the case of high sticking the player was charged with a double major.

This would best be described as two 5 minute major calls stacked, making it a minute penalty. That player also receives game misconduct. I will explain that below.

Again, like its 2-minute minor variety, roughing can have a dark side too. If a player gets out of control and starts hitting others high, such as around the head with the intent to injure that player, they will likely see a 5 minute major for roughing.

Players, hopefully, are aware of others around them and don't get hit unaware. A solidly placed check on a player not looking up is not considered too rough in most cases.

The referee will decide if a player is out of line and is just playing too rough for the safety of the other team. Players push each other and look like they are fighting all game.

They tackle and rub their gloves in each others' faces all day, and this is usually not called. Emotions run hot in hockey.

Fighting is called only when gloves are removed or dropped. Once a player has dropped his gloves with the intent to fight, he will get a 5 minute major for fighting.

The instigator may get an extra 2 minute minor for trying to pick the fight. Most often, when there are offsetting major penalties in other words, two players tussle, they both go off Fighting is the most common major penalty in the NHL.

This is technically not a major penalty, but it only gets called with major penalties these days.

This just means the player is ejected from playing the remainder of the game. If he has penalty time to serve, a player on his team will sit in the box for him, since he has been removed from the game.

In the NHL, if a player gets three-game misconducts in a season, he will be banned from playing in one game, and other actions can possibly result fines, suspensions, etc.

Fast breaks are common in many sports and can best be described as the opportunity for an offensive player to rapidly approach the goal of an opponent where the closest defenders are behind him.

In hockey, if a player is tripped, held, or hooked from behind, and it is determined by the referee that the offensive player would have made it to the net to attempt a shot, he may waive the 2-minute penalty time and award the offensive player with a penalty shot.

The rules of a penalty shot are that the puck is placed at center ice and the offensive player has a given amount of time to move the puck into the offensive zone and shoot the puck.

The player is not allowed to shoot the rebound if it is available. Once the shot is taken, the game resumes and the game clock starts again at the next face-off.

Penalty shots are one of the more exciting and anxious moments of a game. Players try to score by attempting to fake out a goaltender by spinning or moving the puck erratically with his stick known as a deke.

Just like in baseball's home run derby, fans pay to watch the shoot out competition during the NHL's All-Star competitions. Basically, fans watch for about an hour or so as the NHL's best players try to score on the best goaltenders in shootout fashion.

In NHL hockey, if the starting goalie is replaced by a back-up can the starter return to the game? Hockey does not limit a player from returning to the game once a coach has chosen to replace that player.

Often when a goalie is not performing well, or if the team is not playing well around the goalie, the goalie will be replaced.

I have seen a coach put a "pulled" goalie back in after the replacement was injured. I have also seen a game where the goalie switch did not help, and after 3 or 4 more goals, the coach decided to put the first goalie back in since the game would be a loss anyway.

In hockey, can a player touch the puck if it is flying in his direction and he doesn't intentionally try to catch it? The fastest answer is "yes.

Players are not allowed to close their hands around the puck. Players frequently will pull the puck out of the air and have it drop to their feet so they can play it with their stick.

If a player closes their hand around the puck, or takes too long to drop the puck to the ice, the referee can call a delay of game - holding the puck.

NHL guidelines state that a team must have a bench with 20 to 23 players. The minimum team size includes 18 skaters and 2 goalies as a minimum. The most players dressed for a given game is I am not exactly sure what rules differ between the different leagues.

Each league has a main core set of rules that are shared across all of hockey. Rules like Icing, High Stick, Hooking, The wording in each league's handbook may be slightly different, but they are essentially the same.

The biggest differences from league to league will be on faceoff locations based on certain types of stoppages.

NHL changed a rule about eight years ago that if a shot coming off an offensive player's stick goes out of play after hitting the frame of the goal, AND no other defensive player including the goalie has deflected the shot in any way, the faceoff is to remain in that same zone.

USA Hockey along with other leagues' rulebooks indicate that the faceoff will be at the nearest faceoff location in the neutral zone.

Other major rule differences will include automatic icing versus hybrid icing that we see in the NHL today. International play, as well as USA Hockey, have rules where icing will be called automatically as soon as the puck passes the goal line.

In the NHL, the line's man will wait until a defensive player show advantage to get control of the puck before icing is called. This means that a player from the team that just iced the puck has a chance to negate the icing call if they can get to the puck first, even after it is behind the goal line.

Another thing to note is the playing surface size may be different between leagues. International ice is a little different then NHL. Most if not all North American rink dimensions are the same, but I don't know all the rinks and leagues.

There are many different examples of differences between league rulebooks. I just illustrated three.

As for WHL, I am not sure what their rulebook includes. I am not in the habit of watching nor am I certified as a referee for WHL.

If I am understanding your question correctly, you are asking about line changes and the number of players in the game. Teams can not put extra players into the game, but if a player comes to the bench for a line change, and their replacement does not jump on to the ice right away, there is no penalty.

This happens from time to time, and there are a few different reasons why a player does not jump on right away. The only downside to this happening is that the other team will have the advantage of more players during this time.

Teams should try to have all their players out and playing. But no, there is no penalty for not having enough players out on the ice.

Yes but this action is not called "dribbling. In hockey, this action is referred to as "stick handling" or "handling" the puck.

Most ice hockey league games have three periods. I have heard of exceptions for charity events and what not.

In the NHL, each period is 20 minutes long. Each league handles tie games based on their own set of rules. The NHL allows for a single, five minute overtime period during the regular season which will be followed by a shootout if necessary.

During the NHL playoffs, there will be as many 20 minute overtime periods as needed until one team scores. Yes, this penalty is called slashing.

However, with several other rules in hockey, the severity of the offense is taken into account. If a player taps or very lightly hits the leg pads of another player in an attempt to distract the other player, officials most often will ignore the offense.

Slashing calls are generally only made when a player hits another player in a way that has an increased chance of causing an injury, or if it is done in anger.

All rules in sports are made to keep the game safe and fair. Hitting with a stick, when done unsafely, can cause long term injury.

No, the goalie can play the puck behind the net in the trapezoid region. The corners are restricted areas where only players can play the puck. If a goalie plays the puck in these corner areas, they would be penalized with a minor penalty for delay of game.

Penalty shots are pretty rare in general. A penalty shot can be awarded by a referee if they feel that a clear breakaway with no defensemen between the attacking player and the goal is illegally disrupted by the defense by means of a trip, slash, or any other illegal and penalizable action.

Instead of putting the offending player in the penalty box for their infraction, a penalty shot is awarded. Checking is the act of taking an opposing player away from the puck by means of body contact.

A check is legal as long as the player being checked has the puck or is close enough to immediately play the puck. It is illegal to hit or check a player that does not have the puck or is not close enough to play the puck.

Checking is only allowed on the trunk of the body such as the torso, chest, or shoulder. Checking below the waist or above the shoulders is illegal.

Common penalties for these illegal hits include kneeing, head contact, and roughing. Some of these are automatic major penalties and could result in fines and suspensions.

In recent years, checking from behind has also been redefined. It has been decided that blind side checks that could injure players are not beneficial to the future of the sport.

Although some referees do not call all checks from behind, they do make an effort to penalize players who check from behind in a reckless manner.

In the NHL as well as other hockey leagues, checking is tough to call consistently as every situation is different.

One legal hit may be called illegal by a different referee, in a different game. Some hits that are ruled as a clean and legal check can still cause injury.

The sport is rough and players are taught to always know who is around them at all times. If a player is close enough to the puck, they need to be aware of possible situations where they can be hit.

To answer this question, we need to understand the intent or perceived intent of the player involved. Rules in all sports are to keep each game fair and safe.

If ever a player initiates contact intentionally to intimidate or harm an official, they will be ejected from the game.

In most hockey leagues, this ejection is also followed by suspension from future games. League commissioners assess the severity of the offense and determine how long the suspension will last.

In the NHL, there are also fines given to players that are aggressive towards on-ice officials. If contact with an official is accidental, there is no action taken against the team or player involved.

If there is an injury to an official, play is stopped and medical attention is given where needed. Contact with a referee happens in most games as players are always trying to find open ice to move and play.

To keep play in front of them, officials are always moving. Players are constantly keeping track of open ice, puck location, and their offensive or defensive positioning.

Officials movements are often forgotten or not noticed by players as the puck moves around the boards. Officials are allowed to verbally remind players where they are on the ice.

This helps players try to move the puck or direct play away from the referees. Strategically, players often try to use linesmen and referees as barriers to lose defenders chasing them.

This is still not going to cause disciplinary action against players. Officials are trained to place themselves in areas of the ice that will keep them out of the flow of the game more effectively.

NHL games are three 20 minute periods with two intermissions. Each NHL game will have media coverage and therefore media stoppages will occur.

A typical game will take just under 3 hours from start to finish. Games that run longer include at least one of the following: overtime, injuries, broken glass, problems with the ice, or other public safety issues that delay the game.

During the regular season, if there is a tie after the three periods are over, there is a 5 minute overtime period, followed by a shootout.

If a regular season game goes to a shootout, the total time for the game could be about 3 hours 30 minutes. Playoff games that end in a tie will keep playing 20 minute overtime periods until one team scores.

This will end the game immediately. There will be no media timeouts during playoff overtime periods. Clearing a defensive zone is often done by anyone in the zone to a player outside the zone.

This is typically done by the defense to a forward out in the neutral zone. There are times, however, where a defensive player is out of position and would be the target of a clearing pass.

Most rules in all ice hockey leagues will be the same. There will be a few differences based on the bylaws and goals of each league.

In the NHL, icing can be waived off if it seems clear that the offending team would recover the puck before the defensive team. Most leagues I have played in, or officiated in have "automatic icing" which does not allow the offending team any allowance to prevent the icing.

Also, offsides in the NHL is delayed until a player who is offsides directly influences play or touches the puck before the offsides have been cleared by the linesmen.

In other leagues, there is no delay to offsides. Once a play is considered offsides, play ends until the puck is dropped to resume play.

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Khris - Teams are allowed 6 skaters on the ice at a time as long as they are not fighting off a penalty, or not in over time during the regular season.

These 6 players can either be 5 skaters and a goalie, or 6 skaters. Every team relies heavily on the skills of their goalie. It is only towards the end of the game when a team wants to gamble to try to tie a game.

If a team is losing and they want to try to get a little more offense on the ice, they can pull their goalie and put a forward on the ice.

There is one other time that a team will pull the goalie during the game If a team has committed a penalty, play will continue until that offending team gets control of the puck.

Since getting control of the puck would stop play, the offending team can not shoot towards the goal. So, since there is no threat to getting scored on, the team that is still allowed to play the puck can pull their goalie and put an extra skater on the ice.

As play continues until the offending team touches the puck, the other team will typically play with 6 players and no goalie.

How ever, this does not mean that the offending team can not get a goal at this time. If a wing passing back to an inattentive defenseman accidentally scores on them selves while their goalie is out of the net, that goal will count even if the team getting the point was about to go into the penalty box.

Does that answer your question? I really hope it helps. Feel free to ask questions. Tripping is indeed in the list.

Laz, I am assuming that you mean standings point system and not goal scoring. I am going to explain standing points if that is ok.

NHL standings based on points earned by wins, ties, and losses. The winning team gets 2 points in the standings.

The team that losses gets 0 points. However, it the loss comes only after the end of regulations, such as overtime or a shoot-out, then the team that lost would get 1 point in the standings.

So if I look at the standings and see a team's record , I would know that this team has 15 wins, 3 losses where no overtime was needed, and 8 losses after the end of the 3rd period.

Now comes the fun part. If I am looking at the standings and I see more then one team with 38 points in the standings, how do I know which team should be ranked higher?

There are a series of tie brakes rules to sort teams in the correct order. Every so often, the NHL publishes new rules. There are occasionally changes to how teams break ties in the standings.

The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout. This figure is reflected in the ROW column.

The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included.

If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.

The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season. NOTE: In standings a victory in a shootout counts as one goal for, while a shootout loss counts as one goal against.

I would like to note that for Adult leagues and other non-NHL leagues have different standings points procedures. Such as 3 points for wins, 1 point for ties, and 0 points for regulation losses.

Did this answer your question? Play will not continue until both teams are ready. There are a few "delays" which have been employed by coaches in the past.

But, if a delay is seen as a stall tactic to just allow tired players to catch their breath, the referee may award the delaying player a 2 minute minor for "delay of game.

Some things I have seen include a weak or fragile stick, goalie pads loosening or buckles need to be refastened.

I have even seen a play request that a visor be replaced that has been cracked or need drying with a towel. I even saw one that got called, and I still disagree with the official who awarded a delay of game for this next example.

A player lined up to take the face-off. Tapping the ice with his stick, he felt that the stick was not strong.

The referee insisted that there be no further delay. So the player tried proving that his stick needed to be replaced by breaking off the head of his stick in his bare hands.

This really is not easy to do with an undamaged stick. Not impressed, the referee gave him 2 minutes in the penalty box for delaying the face-off longer.

I imagine more was said before the penalty, which drove the referee to an emotional choice to penalize the player.

So in short, players are usually given time to replace gear during the stoppage. But they are not supposed to enter the bench to rest while waiting for the face-off to line up.

Player loses his hockey stick and an icing is called is he allowed to go to the bench to get another stick. You should also try playing it :.

It is so much more fun to be on the ice playing then watching. And I really do love watching. I am not exactly sure I understand the scenario.

So, let me rephrase using Player A, and Player B. So, you want to know that if Player A has the puck, and Player B strips the puck away from Player A, is it tripping if:.

If I missed a case that you wish to have answered, please reply. In cases 1 and 2, I don't think a referee would call a penalty for tripping since there was a play made on the puck.

If anything, I could imagine a referee calling some sort of interference or holding penalty, but Player A being the player who just lost the puck would likely receive no penalties.

Having said that, if in case 3, Player A had the puck, and not only did Player B knock away the puck, but also caused Player A to lose his stick because Player B held it and pulled it from Player A, and then dropped it, causing Player A to trip, In summary, I would be surprised to see a tripping call in any scenario.

I could see other penalties called in general. But there are many plays that are pretty close, and players drop sticks all the time, even if they are forced to by means of slashing, holding, and other means.

Most of the time, as spectators, we see what we believe should have been a penalty, where referees seem to miss, or just plain ignore.

And this brings me to a statement I have said in several other posts; a referee is human and will miss calls, or just want to let players play.

If it would effect the game adversely, then hopefully, they will make the right call. If a player hits the ball away from the other player and then he pulls his stick away from the player and the player trips on his stick after is it a penalty?

Thanks Mr decfcffcefk and Edafddbebdeg. People who wish to write comments to me directly are encouraged post mail to me directly. It will make it easier for people looking for answers to questions if this ever growing comment section remains reserved for the purpose of questions and answers.

But still, I do appreciate the kind words of those that enjoy this Hub article. I think this is one of the most significant information for me.

And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really excellent D.

Good job, cheers decfcffcefgk. The shots on goal stat is based around a defensive minded hockey team. The SOG stat is intended for goalies,and to determine a goalies performance.

As it is the opposite in outer sports, where a similar stat would showcase an offensive pressure. Its Stats like shots On goal and goals against average, help the NHL on making their decision on who wins with the vezina Trophy.

Thank you guys for your excellent feed back, as together we can help educate the masses about this awesome sport..

That is a great question. A passed puck that bounces wrong or icing that takes a bad bounce and gets directed towards the net does not always count as a shot on goal.

Now, NHL players are skilled enough to aim shots off defenders and teammates' skates, backs, legs, pads If a clear shot is not there, I have seen players try a pinball approach.

It is up to the official at the scores' table to count actions like these as a shot or not. Accidental redirections may not be seen as a shot.

But one that gets me are the intentional "shots on goal" from a defender's own blue line as a clearing attempt.

It goes the whole length of the ice to be easily blocked by the goalie on the other half of the ice. This is not a shot on goal, and is not counted as one.

I believe it is not counted because it is technically a clearing attempt put on frame just to prevent icing. So the goalie must stop the puck.

Sure, the shot would have gone in, and I have seen goalies mishandle such easy pucks in the past. As you said, intent does have some say when counting SOG as a stat.

Having said all this, I have not read anywhere that explains any of this. So it could be all opinion and contain no valid weight at all.

But from I have heard and discussed with officials, and other analysts, SOG is a stat for goalie coaches and defense coaches. It is meant to give a team an idea how often they are back on their heals and allowing access to their goalies.

Lucky bounces and clearing attempts are not real pressure on a defense or goalie, so it should not be weighed in on the stat. I hope this helped.

There is no official nhl definition of a shot on goal and other youth hockey parents and I always have the discussion about what constitutes a SOG.

Most often I hear "if the goalie didn't stop the puck then it would have gone in so therefore it counts as a save". I say no all the time.

There is some intent to be determined as well, right? If a short handed team ices the puck off the boards and it ends up being stopped by the goalie of the team on the power play, that's not a SOG.

Can you comment please.. Cross Checking is as you described. However, some penalties are subjective to the judgement of the referee.

Pushing and body checking is legal. A cross check is dangerous, especially when the stick is near the neck or face of a player. Most cross checks get called when a player is being particularly dangerous towards another.

Also, referees may let players get away with one or two, but too many in a row, and they will call it.

I understand cross checking as a player hitting another player with the shaft of the stick while holding it with two hands. Why is it that I see players doing this all the time with no penalty being called?

I usually see it around the goal when one player is trying to push the other out of the way. RJN - I agree that many of the safety inclusions into the rules such as blind side hits, hits to the head, removing helmets during a fight, and stricter boarding fines Fans of the game love seeing good hits, unless it is at the expense of their favorite team's all star players.

All too often, good players are targeted and are injured due to hits that really have no place in the game. Teams have invested financially in these players.

Fans rally behind them too. It only hurts the game to see a temporarily "thrilling" hit which has the potential to end a player's ice hockey career.

About fighting; it is not likely to go away. The CBA and GM meetings have looked into removing fighting, raising fines, or imposing other penalties to on-ice fighting.

It was decided that fighting was part of the traditional hockey foundations and would somehow negatively impact the game if it were to be removed completely.

Seeing this, I don't believe fighting will ever go away On a side note, of all the fights I have seen, most have only issued superficial face bleeding and bruises.

There was one exception this year where two players fell to the ice, and one who removed his helmet had to be rolled off the ice due to hitting his head on the ice when he fell.

The league realignment is still something I have mixed feelings towards. I want to see how the playoffs are influenced by the change.

In the past, only 3 spots were reserved and the rest of the conference would fill in the remaining 5 spots. Now, with only 2 wild card spots, it seems like there will be a qualified team or two that are left out of the playoffs.

I predict there will be eventual changes to the wildcard conditions. I just removed about 2 paragraphs trying to defend teams that are centered around a single or multiple stars.

Your logic is understandable. Balanced teams acting as a single entity should expect better results then teams focused on an individual.

Such player centric teams should expect failure when their focus player is struggling. Teams like Washington should find ways to get other players and other lines to step up and help the team succeed.

I don't think Washington is hopelessly lost and won't do well. They did just take 5 points from a 3 game California road trip against 3 of the highest scoring home teams in the NHL this year.

And OV scored 1 goal in all of that. But I do get your logic, and I agree that balance is better.

I love the new alignment. It seems to have evened the playing field or should I say un-tilted the ice. I especially love how the west is showing the old school what they are made of.

Perhaps the press will adjust their bias somewhat but I am dreaming now. I am not sure why, but I think the officiating is getting better, more consistent.

Perhaps my understanding of the game has grown. Hockey is a team sport, and when you have a star player who is given free reign to play his game, you end up with a player who has star billings and a non-winning team.

Hockey is improving in spite of the "traditions" of the game. Fighting will lose it's place in the game. Even checking is being tailored to reduce brutality in the game.

I recognize now that a lot of old schoolers' will miss this in the game that they love but injury will eventually force brutality out.

No questions here but feel free to opine on any and all perspectives. I love this column and the game even though I live in an out of market area.

Laura - Yes, you have it exactly right. All teams are ordered in the standings based on a quick math formula based off of these three numbers.

There are ever changing tie breaker rules to determine placement in the standings where teams have the same number of points. But the basics of the points are above.

Hi i have a question, they show the results for the games like what does that mean. Is it like wins, loses and overtime loses or is it something else?

At the start of a season, each team can have between 20 and 23 players which include 2 goalies. Players get injured or perform below the needs of the team or coaching standards.

Players that move down to the minor leagues or are injured can be replaced by other players pulled up from minor league farm teams or trades. However, players especially young or new players are given a 9 game evaluation period early in the season.

If these players dress for a 10th game, their first year contract starts which allows them to reach free agency sooner.

Teams would then lose their farm players sooner if they are not careful. The rules in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is how trades are governed, player contract allowances and restrictions are defined, and team salary caps among many other things, has many moving parts that change during each lockout.

To be honest, I have not read up enough on all the stipulations from this last CBA negotiations about team trades to and from their farm teams. All of this said, teams have the flexibility to pull up players in an "emergency situation" such as player injuries at any time.

And a team can only dress 20 to 23 players. How does all that swapping back and forth work? Thanks for explanation on the offsides rule Adhilde.

Well, as simply put as possible. The puck has to be over the blue line offensive zone before any offensive player.

That really is the most simple explanation I can come up with. If the puck comes out of the zone, every one of the offensive players must clear the zone before the puck comes back in.

Now, I don't want to complicate the understanding of the rule, but there are a few acceptations. Such as a defending player bringing the puck in when offensive players are in the zone no offsides.

Also, if a player tries to keep the play onsides, but picks up his foot on the outside of the blue line offsides. I am pretty happy hockey is starting up again here in 2 days.

It is good to have a full season again. Dont know if you still see this thread, but it is awesome! I feel really dumb I kniw the pucj has to get ib there first, but a pkayer will be skaing in awith thrbpuck and grt called offsides The rule is that a goalie is to be protected as much as possible.

I know the helmet is required If a ref does not call play dead, he is putting the goalie at risk. The glove is not as critical. I don't think I have seen play stopped for a glove.

I would imagine the glove may be up to a ref if they feel like stopping play. But the helmet is a rule, and should have been stopped. If a goaltender loses a glove or helmet during play, is it required for the referee to stop play?

I thought this was a safety issue and was a requirement. Yes, if your stick breaks, you must drop it or be given a 2 minute minor penalty.

If your stick is not broken, you can pick it back up. If a player knocks it out of your hands, if you drop it You are never allowed to throw your stick as a means to interfere with a play where you are too far away, or to try to prevent a scoring opportunity.

I heard if your stick breaks you must drop it. If you drop a good stick you can't pick it up unless you were in the process of shooting or passing.

Is all that true? It sounds like bad luck on your part. That would have been an ESPN worthy highlight. The one ref likely believed you had thrown your stick, which would have resulted in a minor penalty.

I don't see why that would have been a penalty shot. But, that may just be the rules of your league. The hard part about being a ref is that you have to make the "best" call you can at real speed and in the moment.

Instant replay would probably have shown your stick being knocked out of your hand inadvertently by the goal post. But the ref had to decide what he thought was right at that moment.

The bigger question is; so you stopped the initial goal. Did your goalie make the second save on the penalty shot? I was playing center and the other team had a breakaway.

As I was back checking the other team with the puck the player faked the goalie and send a soft shot around straight toward the net. I dove forward to reach my stick forward and accross the net to block the shot.

As I slid past the goal line along side of the net my stick was parallel with the goal line half in front of the net. In the same moment the puck bounced off the blade of my stick and out of the goal and the stick came out of my hand as it struck the post.

One ref called "no goal "and the other ref called for a penalty shot. They decided on a penalty shot. What are the rules in this situation?

I clearly did not throw my stick at the puck but it did come out of my hand at the moment of blocking an inevitable goal. And your ironic prediction of getting beat first round of the post season is quite common for Presidents Trophy winners.

There seems to be a curse with owning the best record. Player 1 gets out at His team is still short 2 skaters. So does he have to wait for a stopage in play to return?

Otherwise it would be too many men on the ice. I know that you cant have less than 3 skaters on the ice.

I was just curious how the timing worked. Thank you. Season is half over and no loss. They'll get bounced in the first round.

A team will always have the ability to put 3 players and a goalie on the ice, no matter how many players are sitting in the box. Every player from a given team can sit in the box at the same time and it would not change how many players can skate free.

The trick to these situations is to understand how the clock works during such an occurrence. It once was and there have been some rule changes to this in recent years causing confusion that if more then 2 players from the same team were in the box serving penalties, only 2 of the penalty timers would reduce as the game was being played.

This would result in the third player sitting in the box to have a longer penalty wait time, as he would not see any time reduce from his timer until the first penalty expired.

Player 3 would have sat for instead of only because 2 penalty timers can run at the same time. I will have to confirm this, but that is what I remember.

Just know, you can put more in the box then just 2. What happens when a team has two players in the penalty box and a player on the short handed team commits another penalty?

Let's assume all of these are minor penalties. Go Hawks! Absolutely enjoy the writing you've given the internet. I have added your site to my bookmarks.

Looking forward to your next blog. WebWatcher Now if u want to guest write my site. I typically see a coach move players from one side to another, or one position to another to help that player or line get a spark.

When that fails, often the player gets put back to the minors to build skills again. OV switched from left to right as Oates has been moving lines around.

OV and Backstrom were the dynamic duo for years. Now they are on different lines. Coaches make moves to see how team chemistry can be improved.

I played a game last night where the officials did not know some of the rules. It was ok though since they put their whistles away, and just let us play.

But still, there are enough grey areas in hockey at every level. It is funny to see how many people who know a lot but still do not know everything.

I am included in that statement. Thanks for reading Steve. Thanks this was a good read, I can think of a few people at our local arena who sit near me that could learn from reading this.

Maybe one or two of the officials too :. Opinion is hard to prove, disprove, believe, or disbelieve. You will either agree with me, or want to argue with me.

The beautiful thing about opinions is that I can believe anything, and it should not matter to anyone else, and the inverse is true.

To be fair, and to answer your questions about my opinion, I think Bettman has a hard job. He has to tell hundreds of players and owners combined what the league is going to do, how it is going to protect agreements, contracts, safety, and other concerns that individuals and groups are going to have each year.

If he makes one decision, one portion of the group will approve, and the other will disapprove. The opposite would be true if he decided in favor the other way.

That example pretty much is only in binary yes and no type answers or problems. Now compound that with more "answers" then just Yes or No Bettman has his belief of how the NHL would best prosper, earn money, draw in new fans, and develop future players.

One choice could ruin countless hours of effort whereas sticking to a difficult decision now could create a positive culture in 5 years.

I often compare management to parenting. Decisions are not always popular. And they are not always seen as "the right way" for something to be done.

But someone must make that decision. Not all kids respect their parents. Not every player, coach, owner, and fan respect Bettman. But he is making harder then I have to make.

I am glad it is not me. I can guarantee that I would have countless people mad at me if I were the commissioner of anything. I think hockey is still fun to watch.

He is not doing bad. All sides wanted to be paid fair according to what they believed would be fair. They also wanted to make sure a great many other things as well.

The objective in a game of ice hockey is to score more goals than your opponent. That simple aim is similar to that in field hockey games.

You score goals by placing the puck in your opponents' goal area using sticks. You cannot touch the puck with your hands in ice hockey. Ice hockey requires the wearing of protective safety equipment by the players.

The ice rink divides into three zones marked off with blue lines:. Basic ice hockey rules allow six players in each team.

The players, one goalie and 5 outfield players, have a specific position and role within the game. The left and right side offensive ice hockey player positions try to score goals.

The squad's defenders protect their team's goal area from the opponent's attackers. A ' face-off ' starts the game as well as any following periods of play e.

The referee drops the puck inside the center circle of the neutral zone. One player from each team will position themselves inside the circle.

Players tussle for control of the puck. They do this without touching each other with their sticks or any body parts.

Unlike most sports, general play often occurs behind the goal in ice hockey. That's because the playing area extends up to the perimeter boarding.

Attacking players are not allowed to enter their opponents' defending zone until the puck gets played past the defending line.

No player can enter the goalkeeper's crease unless the puck has already passed the line. The standard goalie position is inside their team's crease.

Basic ice hockey rules allow them to use their hands or any other part of their body to keep the puck from entering the goal. Substitutions take place regularly in ice hockey.

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