Playing the Game

Never seen a hockey game? This will get you started.

The basics of Hockey are simple—you skate, you pass, you shoot and you score. Players move around the ice on skates—boots with a double-edged blade on the bottom—that allow for sharp turns and quick acceleration.

Bodychecking is used to separate opponents from the puck. Legal bodychecks use shoulders or hips, not elbows or sticks, and cannot be from behind. 

Hockey uses a hard, rubber puck, one inch thick with a diameter of three inches. It’s flat on the top and bottom, with rounded sides. Sticks made with materials like aluminum or carbon fibre are used to shoot goals and to pass the puck across the ice between players. The more precise the pass, the better the chance of turning it into a goal. While there are a variety of ways to shoot the puck, the purpose of the shot always remains the same: to score a goal. There’s no quicker way to score than the slapshot, where speeds routinely reach 150 km/h or more. 

The wrist shot is the most accurate. Players drag the puck along the ice before snapping the wrists to fire the puck. The snap shot is like a wrist shot but shorter. The release is very fast, just a simple flick of the wrists to catch the goalie off guard.