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Now we are going to introduce what was once Canadian kids favorite table game. This game will help you understand all the features of an actual rink.

The “boards” surround the ice surface to define the space; add protection for the fans and keep the puck on the ice surface. The corners are rounded so play does not get stalled in 90 degree corners. There is a “kick” board along the bottom of the boards. Glass on top of the boards and netting above the glass at the end zones. Note the glass will change to powder if it’s broken.

 Blue lines, a rink wide goal line, and associated face off dots were added when rules were changed so that the puck had to cross the blue line before any player on the offensive team. Prior to this change players would be standing in the other teams end waiting for a long pass.

There is one other opening in the boards for the Zamboni machine which was shown in the photo of the arena.

Now let’s look at the nets. Red steel piping is used to shape the net. For purposes of safety, they now make the nets that move when players skate or slide into them, thereby minimizing the injuries associated with running into the steel piping. Earlier, also in the interest of safety, in the 1950’s goalies began wearing face masks and in the 1960’s all other players began wearing helmets.

Behind each of the nets is a red light. A goal “judge” sits behind the boards behind the net and when the puck goes over the goal line into the net he switches on the red light to indicate a goal has been scored. The Referee can overrule the goal judge. A siren comes on at the end of a period and at the end of a game.

For various reasons rinks are built out somewhat differently. Some differences are physical and unchangeable such as the size of the ice surface. Some rinks are wider and some longer so players find the ice surfaces smaller or bigger. The arcs of the corners vary from rink to rink and some kick boards are more “springy” than others. Meaning when the puck hits them the angle of the pucks return will be different than other rinks including a player’s home arena.

There is a concrete pad under the ice surface. On the pad deionized water is poured to get clear frozen ice. The lines and other markings are actually painted on the concrete pad, not the on the ice surface itself..

Two major aspects can be controlled to change the ice condition. Soft ice slows skating speed and team play while hard ice speeds them up. The freezing equipment can be altered to reduce or increase hardness of the ice or, alternatively, the air conditioning in the building can be left off to soften the ice.

Now some things about the players and teams;

Each minor hockey team has 14 players while each professional team has 20. During the game each team normally has six players on the ice at one time consisting of 3 forwards, 2 defence and a goalie. This number only changes if a team has a penalty which is covered in Chapter 2.

A “line” refers to 3 forwards being a center, a right winger and a left winger. Supporting the line are two defence; a left one and a right defence. Last but not least is a goalie “guarding” the net.

We’ve shown our team in their positions for the opening faceoff. Now let’s show the other team which has the same configuration 3 forwards, 2 defence and a goalie Then position their teams starting players. Note; in addition to the face-off circle at centre ice, there are 4 other face off circles on the ice along with 4 face off dots by the blue lines. [So,there are 9 locations where a faceoff could potentially occur.] Usually a minor team has 3 lines, 4 defence, and a goalie. In professional hockey a team has 4 lines ,6 defence, a goalie and a spare goalie typically on the bench if thought required. 

Now, using a coaches white board instead of the game, we have taken all the players off the game. We want you to see the lines that create a goalie zone in which the goalie cannot be body checked. Also note the red line, goal lines, and in particular the blue lines.

Coaches use the blue lines to create 3 areas or zones of play. For each team there is a defensive zone and an offensive zone. Between the blue lines is the neutral zone. In Chapter 3 these zones and how they impact the play will be detailed.

We cannot describe the features of pucks, skates, sticks and other equipment in a meaningful manner. You are best to go to a sports store where you can look at and feel these articles.