Offsides in hockey refers to a specific rule that determines the positioning of players on the ice. When a team is in the offensive zone and trying to score a goal, it is important for them to understand how offsides work to avoid penalties. Here are five key facts about offsides in hockey:
1. Definition of Offsides: In hockey, offsides occurs when a player from the attacking team enters the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line completely.
2. Blue Line Divides Zones: The blue line marks the division between the neutral zone and the offensive zone. To stay onside, players must ensure that their skates and stick are completely behind the blue line at the moment the puck crosses it.
3. Breaking the Plane: Offsides is determined by an imaginary plane that extends vertically from the blue line. This means that as long as any part of the player’s body, including skates or stick, is touching or behind the blue line, they are considered onside.
4. Delayed Offsides: If an attacking player is caught in the offensive zone before the puck, a linesman may allow play to continue as long as that player actively tries to get back to the neutral zone before rejoining the play. This helps to avoid unnecessary stoppages in the game.
5. Offsides Enforcement: When an offsides violation occurs, play is stopped, and a faceoff takes place at the nearest faceoff spot outside the offensive zone. The attacking team is not allowed to make a play on the puck until one of their teammates touches the puck.
Now let’s move on to some frequently asked questions about offsides in hockey:
Q1. What happens if a player is offside?
A1. If a player is deemed offside, play is stopped, and a faceoff is conducted outside the offensive zone. The attacking team loses the opportunity to make a play until the puck is touched by another teammate.
Q2. Can a player re-enter the offensive zone after being offside?
A2. Yes, a player can re-enter the offensive zone after being offside, but only if they completely exit the zone and re-establish themselves as an onside player by touching the blue line again.
Q3. Can offsides be challenged using video review?
A3. Yes, offsides calls can be challenged by the coaching staff using a coach’s challenge. However, they can only be reviewed if the challenging team has not committed a penalty prior to the offside violation.
Q4. What happens if an offsides call is determined to be incorrect after a coach’s challenge?
A4. If an offsides call is reversed after a coach’s challenge, play resumes with a faceoff at the spot where the puck was when the offside occurred.
Q5. Are there any exceptions to the offsides rule?
A5. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the offsides rule, such as when a team is on a power play or when the goalie is pulled for an extra attacker. In these situations, the attacking team is allowed to enter the offensive zone before the puck.
Q6. How can players avoid being offsides?
A6. Players can avoid being offsides by having good communication with their teammates and timing their entry into the offensive zone correctly. It is essential for players to ensure their skates or stick do not cross the blue line until the puck has completely crossed it.
Q7. Can offsides result in a penalty?
A7. Offsides itself does not result in a penalty. However, deliberately violating the rule or interfering with an opponent while offside can lead to a minor penalty for “delay of game.”
Understanding the offsides rule is vital for both players and fans of hockey. It ensures fair gameplay and allows for exciting offensive plays without any unfair advantage.