Basic Ice Hockey Rules

Ice hockey is one of the fastest games in the world. It incorporates agility, speed, and skill, and has upheld its reputation as one of the most exciting games. Following and enjoying the game is quite easy but that is if you understand its basic rules, practices, and terminology of the game. The ice hockey rules are not so complicated, and anyone can learn them and enjoy watching the sport or even start playing it. Some of the basic rules are highlighted below.

Played by Six Inflied Players

Each team has to field only six players at a time, with one player being the goaltender. There are various positions assigned for the five skaters, which are two defensemen and three forwards. The goaltender is not allowed to cross the red center line, but that rule may differ for some tournaments. The goaltender also cannot play the puck in the right or left defensive zones behind the goal line.

Substitutions Are Unlimited

Substitutions are usually many in a game of ice hockey. That is because the rules allow for an unlimited number of substitutions in any game. There is no play stoppage or official permission required for a substitution to be made. If a substitute jumps in and the team ends up with more than six players, a bench-minor penalty is given. It is important to note that some leagues modify the rules to limit the number of substitutions.

Penalties Are Charged for Infractions

A player who commits an infraction is charged with either a minor penalty or a major penalty. For the minor penalty, the player is sent off for two minutes of play without any substitution. The player is allowed back to the rink or bench after two minutes, or after the opponents have scored. For the major penalties, the player is sent off for five minutes. Substitutions can be made if both players involved in an infraction receive the major penalty.