What Are The Rules In Hockey

The rules of hockey are essential to ensuring fair play and safety on the ice. Here are five key facts about the rules in hockey:
1. Offsides: One of the primary rules in hockey is offsides. This means that an attacking player cannot enter the offensive zone before the puck crosses the blue line. If a player violates this rule, it results in an offsides infraction, leading to a faceoff outside the offensive zone.

2. Icing: Another important rule is icing. If a team shoots the puck from behind the center red line and it crosses the opposing team’s goal line without being touched by any player, icing is called. This results in a faceoff in the defending team’s zone, discouraging teams from making long, uncontested passes.

3. Penalties: Hockey has a range of penalties that can be called for different infractions. Common penalties include slashing, tripping, hooking, and high-sticking. When a player commits a penalty, they must spend time in the penalty box, leaving their team short-handed until the penalty expires or until the opposing team scores a power-play goal.

4. Overtime: In regular-season NHL games, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, the game goes into overtime. During the regular season, teams play five minutes of sudden-death overtime with three skaters on each side. If no goals are scored during this period, the game proceeds to a shootout.

5. Goalie Interference: Goalies are often the last line of defense, and their safety is of utmost importance. Goalie interference occurs when an attacking player makes contact with the goalie, hindering their ability to make plays. If the goalie is interfered with during a scoring opportunity, a penalty may be called, and the goal may be disallowed.


1. Can a player score if they are inside the crease?
No, if a player is inside the goalie’s crease and interferes with the goalie’s ability to defend the net, the goal will be disallowed.

2. What happens if a player receives a major penalty?
If a player receives a major penalty, they must serve five minutes in the penalty box, and their team plays short-handed for the duration of the penalty.

3. Can a player use their hands to play the puck?
No, except for the goalie within their designated area, players are not allowed to use their hands to play the puck. This results in a penalty called “hand pass” or “closing hand on the puck.”

4. Is fighting allowed in hockey?
While fighting is not specifically encouraged, it is not outright banned in hockey. Players who engage in fights typically receive penalties for roughing or fighting.

5. What happens if a team scores during a power play?
If a team scores a goal while they have a power play due to their opponent’s penalty, the penalty is immediately terminated, and both teams go back to full strength.

6. Can a team pull their goalie for an extra attacker?
Yes, teams often pull their goalie when they are trailing by a goal late in the game. This gives them an extra skater on the ice, but it also exposes their net to the risk of an empty-net goal from the opposing team.

7. Can a player play the puck while their team is offside?
No, if a player plays the puck while their team is offside, it results in a delayed offside call. The linesman will wave off any further offsides if the attacking team clears the offensive zone, allowing the play to continue.

BOTTOM LINE: Understanding the rules of hockey is crucial for players, coaches, and fans alike. From knowing about offsides and icing to familiarizing oneself with penalties and overtime rules, having a good understanding of the game’s regulations can enhance the enjoyment and comprehension of hockey.