Hockey 101

Main Rules

When the whistle blows, more often than not it is for violation of these two main rules in NHL hockey: Off-side and Icing. Violations of these rules do not mean time in the penalty box. The puck is simply dropped for a face-off.

OFF-SIDE

Simply put:
If you are skating towards the goal at which you are shooting and cross the blue line closest to that goal before the puck crosses that line, you will be called for off-side once you touch the puck.

Why this is a rule:
The off-sides rule encourages more action by preventing a player from “camping” in front of the net.

What is called:
The play stops immediately upon the linesman’s whistle and the teams have a face-off in the neutral zone (at the face-off dot closest to the offending team’s attacking zone).


ICING

Simply put:
If you shoot or pass the puck from behind the center line, and the puck passes untouched over the goal line and is then touched by a member of the other team, icing is called (unless your team is shorthanded).

Why this is a rule:
This rule prevents a team from stalling by constantly shooting the puck the length of the ice.

What is called:
Play is stopped and the puck is returned to the other end of the ice for a face-off in the offending team’s zone.

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