Quick Guide to Ice Hockey

The Ice Pad

The ice is marked out with three distinct area’s known as the defensive zone, the neutral zone and the offensive zone, with face off circles and dots at various locations.

Below is what the ice looks like at the start of a Devils game and where each zone is and the main playing rules.













Hockey is divided into 3 periods, each 20 minutes long, with a 15 minute interval after period 1 and a 20 minute interval after period 2, during the intervals the ice is re-surfaced.

If the game is tied at the end of full time, then a sudden death, golden goal 5 minutes of over-time is played. If it is still tied after over-time, then a penalty shootout will happen as a best of 3 shots, if the game is still tied after that then the shootout will continue until a winner is declared! 


There can only be a maximum of 6 Players on Ice for each team at a time, 1 Goalie and 5 Skaters, the 5 Skaters are made up of 2 defence, 2 Forwards and 1 Centre. The Centre person takes the face-offs and has the job of supporting the other 4 players and the goalie.

There is an unlimited number of substitutions, which means the team usually comprises of 2 or 3 Lines of 5 Players and a spare Goalie. Each Line will be on the ice for no less than 45 secs and no more than 90 secs, such is the pace of the game and the effort exerted by the players.  


Offside occurs when an offensive player crosses the offensive blue line before the puck crosses the blue line.







Icing is when the defending team shoots the puck down the ice across 2 red lines (the red centre line and the goal line), without it touching another player. When this occurs the game is stopped and a face-off takes place in the defending teams zone.






A face-off occurs at the start of each period, and every time there is a stoppage in play.

Power Play

When a team is penalized and a player is sent to the penalty box, the result is a power play for the opposing team. If the team on the power plays scores the power play is over and the penalized player may be allowed back on to the ice; if the short-handed team scores the power play isn’t over. 


2 Minute Minor Penalties

The most common penalty awarded, for incidents such as: hooking, slashing, delay of game, interference, tripping, roughing, boarding, cross checking, charging, holding, high sticking, check from behind, spearing, unsportsmanlike conduct or to many men on the ice.

4 Minute Double Minor Penalties

Any minor penalty that draws blood from the cause of the penalty.

5 minute Major Penalties

Such as fighting, charging, hit from behind, and hit to the head. The player must stay in the penalty box for the entire 5 minutes, even if their short-handed team is scored upon.

10 Minute Misconduct Penalties

Issued for fighting, charging, hit from behind, unsportsmanlike conduct, and hit to the head.

The player must stay in the penalty box for the entire 10 minutes, even if their short-handed team is scored upon.

Game Misconduct Penalties

Includes charging, hit from behind, spearing, unsportsmanlike conduct, hit to the head.

The player is suspended for the remainder of the game and depending on the severity of the penalty, will receive additional suspension by the EIHA.

Penalty Shot 

A penalty shot is rewarded to the offensive player when a breakaway and the defending obstructs the player enough so they do not get a shot off. On a penalty shot, the shooter starts from centre ice and is only allowed one shot, even if there is a rebound.