CHAPTER ONE

I started out writing a book entitled Coaching Hockey for Kids. The first few chapters combined with some information from each of the following chapters lends itself to explaining what is actually happening on the ice when the game of hockey is being played.

A combination of pictures, videos, a kid’s hockey board game and use of hockey coaches lined white boards will be used to clarify the written word.

If you are new to the game or watching without an understanding of what is “going on” this presentation will definitely give you a good understanding. You can then enjoy the excitement.

Hockey is a fast and exciting contact sport; even with little understanding the fast skating (sharp blades), the sound of the puck hitting the boards or glass, the body checks as players collide, the heavily padded goalie being hit by the speeding puck, and best of all the long pass creating a breakaway. Player versus goalie; who will succeed? All these elements of the game make it exciting for all ages.

When the score is tied coming into the last minute of play and the home team scores to win the game; the arena erupts with cheering. It is thrilling to share this moment.

All this excitement hides what the teams are doing to succeed. We want to show you what is going on. All the players have responsibilities all the time when on the ice. Once you become aware of the teamwork going on you will appreciate the game and share in the excitement.

Some history first. Hockey was first played outdoors on an ice surface set out on a frozen pond, lake or river. A couple of rocks would be used to mark out a goal at each end of the ice surface. The object was to score a point by getting the puck between the rocks at your opponent’s end of the “rink”. Later boards were added around the perimeter of the ice surface. Then goal nets were introduced. These improvements were mainly to contain the puck from sliding great distances along the ice. Over the years as the payers debated what would improve the game a red and two blue lines were added. Then five face off circles plus four face off dots were added to the surface. The rules were modified from time to time and penalties for prohibited actions were introduced. Meanwhile a referee was introduced to control the game and call penalties. Benches were added, a penalty box, wire mesh above the boards behind the nets etc; etc.