The main objective of any hockey game is generally to score goals and win for a particular team. However, a legal goal can only be considered to be scored if a puck goes between the goalposts and off the stick from an attacking player by completely crossing over the red goal line. The puck should not be kicked, thrown or generally directed to the net through any means, other than through the stick of an attacking player. If a puck deflects an attacking player into a goal, then the player is also credited with a goal. However, a referee can choose to disallow a goal if he depicts that the attacker had obstructed the vision of the goalkeeper, impeded his movement or even had physical contact.
In any hockey game, there are usually two kinds of penalties that are called by the officials when a player breaks the rules namely; the team penalty and individual penalty. A team penalty generally results in a face-off. Individual penalties are divided into six categories, as follows; minor, major, bench minor, match (within the game), misconduct, as well as, the penalty shot, with each treated differently. If a player commits an individual penalty, he/she is forced to spend time off the ice with his/her jersey number displayed on the scoreboard adjacent to the time remaining for their penalty.
A penalty can also be attained if a player tries to discuss anything concerning rules with the referee. Only the captain or the alternate captain is able to discuss the rules with the referee if he invites them to do so. The players are also not permitted to protest a call, and doing so may also make them risk getting a minor penalty or even a misconduct penalty if they insist on doing so even after being warned. The rules have therefore been designed in such a way that the players cannot protest about the penalties or other rules. Misconduct penalties may cause the player to be placed out of the game for a period of up to 10 minutes.
There are a number of player positions involved in the traditional hockey game where each team has a maximum of six players playing at any given time. The first six players to start a game each have a certain task and also play a distinct position. The positions generally played can be listed as follows;
This is the person who stays near his/her goal position for the five players who skate around the rink, (skaters) who will be located or situated in the attacking zone (More details below)
People in this position are divided into two, namely; left defenseman and right defenseman. They generally play in the rear positions of the team, such that they can be able to defend their own goal. The left defenseman covers the left half of the rink and the right defenseman covers the right side of the rink respectively.
These individuals generally have two categories of tasks, such as checking and blocking. In a defending situation, once the puck has crossed the blue line, a defenseman then stations himself near a goalkeeper so he then can assist the goalkeeper in defending the puck and preventing a goal. The defensemen also need to be skilled at skating backward so they’ll be able to keep pace with the attacker handling the puck, in a way that they can make the attacker lose control of the puck or fail to score.
This player is in charge of defending any kind of attacks that come from the left side during the hockey game, but can however also move to the right wing as the attacker comes to score.
This is a player who plays defense during the game towards the right side, but can also change positions and defend on the left whenever needed. He/she needs to be the strongest member of the team.
This is a player who has the mandate to lead his/her teammates to attack the opponent’s side in such a way that they’ll be able to score a goal. The player in this position needs to have the ability to easily think and act quickly, so they can overpower or defeat their opponent with moves that they may not have thought of.
Since he/she has possession of the puck, he/she will need to know how to control it together with the teammates, where he/she will be able to pass to a player in a position to score a goal and win for their team. To become a great center, you will need to know how to score several goals for your team.
Left and Right Wing
Wing players will either skate along the right or the left side of the center, where they will be able to approach the goal from an angle that can give more openings or chances for the player to shoot at the goal. Wings will be able to pass pucks to each other as well as to the center, finding the best opportunity for the team to score.
Although the left and right wings cover their respective sides, they may be found anywhere else during the hockey pitch. For the superior wing player, you will need to have the ability to score more goals and even have fewer assists on the center.
This is the most important player in the game, as he/she determines whether the game will lead to a win or loss. They are known to be in charge of the whole game as he/she mainly protects any potential goals from taking place. He/she will not mainly be involved in skating around the ice similar to the other players, as he/she is mandated with the duty of guarding or protecting the goalpost from any goal being scored.
During the course of a game, the feet of the goalkeeper need to be wide enough with leg pads close together and knees slightly bent, such that he/she can easily be able to move swiftly in either direction of the goal post. His/her body will need to be bent forward at the waist, where he/she will easily be able to watch the puck with the stick flat on the ice, and in front of the skates, such that he/she would be able to get the puck more easily.
According to the rules of hockey, the goalkeeper gets a number of privileges that other players may not be able to get. Privileges such as;
The ability to pick up the puck and freeze it with his hands or body: The goalkeeper may opt to hold the puck or even stop it with his body. He/she can basically use almost any means to stop the puck where he can either use his gloves, arms, legs, or the hockey stick in such a way that he can block the puck or even scoop or pick with his/her hands to prevent a possible goal.
It is however usually very advisable for the goalkeeper to ensure that he/she catches the puck or holds on to it after they stop it, so attackers don’t get any chance to attack or score. Some of the most popular styles of goaltending include the butterfly style, stand up, as well as, hybrid style.
The goalkeeper also needs to have fast reflexes to catch any puck, and he also needs to ensure that he can see the puck at any time, ensuring that there is an almost impossible chance of the puck being shot and sneaking past him and into the net.
This task is usually considered to be one of the hardest jobs of them all in the game as it requires a lot of effort and swift thinking. However, if the goalkeeper is sharp and used to it, it tends be very simple even in the catching of the puck that is shot at high speeds.
The opposing players in the game are not usually supposed to make deliberate contact with the goalkeeper either inside or outside, let alone even obstruct his movement or sight of the puck. Any goal that is scored in this case is usually dismissed or disqualified.
Hockey is a common game, especially in North America, where the game is mainly played on ice. Toughness is a must when it comes to this sport, considering how physical it is. There are a number of skills and abilities that are required for a great hockey performance. For a great game, it is very important to have a desire, a focus on playing, control over your emotions, as well as, the timing that can enable you to get the best spot possible. To begin playing hockey as a newbie, you first need to get effective hockey equipment which ranges from skates, elbow pads, helmet, stick for hitting the hockey puck, as well as, shin pads that will fit you well and ensure that you have effective gear for play and protection during the game ahead.
The game of Hockey generally refers to an interesting sport that involves skill, contact, as well as, mental capacities as an athlete. It was started back in the mid-1800s in the eastern part of Canada by James. G. Creighton from Nova Scotia, where he was able to come up with all that comprises the now popular modern-day hockey. The first known game to be announced was played back in March 1875 in a confined ice area. However, rather than the puck ball that is commonly used, they started by using a circular wooden puck.
The game was played at Victoria Skating rink in Montreal where all the players were noted with their names, as well as their scores. Two years later, the game was organized in McGill university on January 31st, 1877, and was later published in the Montreal Gazette. Over the years, as the game advanced till the modern day hockey, a lot of rules have been introduced and the game has greatly advanced, as well as the venues of play.
In hockey, there is much strength and resilience required to ensure that you are able to play the game effectively. In this article, we will discuss some of the valuable lessons that you need for an effective hockey game, as most people tend to fail in hockey as a result of them not knowing the appropriate means of playing.