Is There Offside In Hockey

Yes, there is offside in hockey. Offside is one of the important rules in the game that helps maintain fairness and prevent certain advantages for the offensive team. Here are five supporting facts about offside in hockey:
1. Basic Definition: Offside in hockey occurs when an attacking player precedes the puck into the offensive zone before it crosses the blue line. This means that all players on the attacking team must be behind the blue line when the puck fully crosses it.

2. Blue Line: The blue line is a thick line that spans the entire width of the ice surface, dividing it into offensive and defensive zones. In order for a player to be considered offside, any part of their body or equipment must be crossing the blue line before the puck.

3. Delayed Offside: If an attacking player does enter the offensive zone ahead of the puck, but immediately retreats back into the neutral zone, then the linesman signals a “delayed offside.” This allows the offending player to re-enter the offensive zone once all teammates exit and touch the neutral zone.

4. Faceoffs: When an offside violation occurs, the play is stopped by the referees and a faceoff takes place at the nearest neutral zone faceoff spot to where the offside violation occurred. This gives the defending team an advantage by gaining control of the puck.

5. Exceptions: There are a few exceptions to the offside rule. If a defensive player intentionally brings the puck back into their own zone, then an attacking player can enter the offensive zone ahead of it. Additionally, when a team is on a power play and has a man advantage, they can have a player in the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line.


1. How does the offside rule affect gameplay?
Answer: The offside rule prevents cherry-picking and promotes fair play by maintaining a balance between offense and defense. It helps ensure that players aren’t able to gain an unfair advantage by positioning themselves too far ahead of play.

2. Do all players need to be completely behind the blue line?
Answer: Yes, according to the offside rule, all players of the attacking team must have both of their skates completely behind the blue line when the puck fully crosses it.

3. Does the offside rule apply if the puck leaves the offensive zone and comes back?
Answer: No, if the puck fully crosses the blue line into the offensive zone and then leaves, the offside rule does not apply when it re-enters.

4. Can the linesman use video review to make offside calls?
Answer: Yes, in some professional leagues, the linesman can review video footage to determine if an offside violation occurred. However, in most cases, offside calls are made in real-time by the linesman.

5. Can a player intentionally put themselves offside to draw an opponent into the zone?
Answer: No, intentionally going offside is against the rules and can result in a penalty for delay of game. Players must make a clear effort to stay onside and not deceive opponents.

6. Does offside apply during a faceoff?
Answer: No, once a faceoff takes place, the offside rule is no longer in effect until the puck fully crosses the blue line or a new offside violation occurs.

7. Can offside be challenged by coaches using video replay?
Answer: The use of video replay to challenge offside calls varies across different hockey leagues and competitions. In some leagues, coaches are allowed to challenge offside calls, while in others, it is not permitted.


Offside is an important rule in hockey that ensures fair play by preventing attacking players from entering the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line. Understanding the offside rule is essential for players, coaches, and fans to fully grasp the dynamics of the game and appreciate the balance between offense and defense.