As spectators, we have always watched ice hockey with excitement and fun. We have seen men running for goals. But have you wanted to play it? Have you ever held yourself back thinking how difficult it would be? There is an easy way to learn and play.
Like many other games, ice hockey is also a team sport. It has two teams with six players each, a goalkeeper and five defenders. The five players can move around the rink (the ice field). The objective of the game is to have the maximum number of goals to be the winner. You have to make sure you don’t let your opponent score, which is called playing defense. The game has a time structure. It is divided into periods of twenty minutes. There are three such segments in the game. In case the score is the same or neither team has scored, extra time is allotted which is quite similar to the soccer game.
To regulate and maintain the decorum of the sport, there are some rules and restrictions. There are two types of penalties in the game, one recognized as major and the other as minor. As you play, you will often find players jostling each other to possess the puck. There are some ways that are considered offensive. Cut, snag, interfere, look from behind, etc. all are considered minor penalties. Avoid committing them. For example, while you are in control of the puck, if a player comes in and tries to take possession of your back, it is considered a minor penalty and you can take a player off the ice for two minutes. Substitution of this player is not allowed. That leaves the team with only five players on the court. If the team scores a goal after the minor penalty, the player may re-enter. There are also cases where rival teams fight on the track. This leads to a significant penalty. The player is kicked off the ice for a full five minutes. Higher penalties may also involve issuing a player who caused physical injury to another.
When you start out as a beginner, the biggest challenge is knowing how to hold the hockey stick correctly. The idea is to be comfortable so that you can maneuver the disc accordingly. You should also practice dribbling, slapping, hitting, and poking with the stick regularly. Each game also has a set of protectors and safety equipment. Make sure you have the important few before you begin. The helmet, mouth guard, puck, stick, skates, shin guards, jockstrap and socks are essential for the safety of the players.
Once you take note of all the above, little by little you will realize the simplicity of the game and you will begin to enjoy it. The game tests your strategies, team spirit and individual skill at all times. Ice hockey is played nationally and internationally in many countries. It’s an extremely fast game and it can be difficult at times, so if you have a weak heart, don’t try it.