What Does Icing In Hockey Mean

Icing in hockey refers to a rule violation that occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opponent’s goal line without the puck being touched by any player, including the goaltender. Here are five facts to help you understand icing in hockey:
Fact 1: Icing is a common strategy used by teams to relieve pressure when they are being heavily attacked by the opposing team. By shooting the puck down the ice into the opponent’s zone, the icing violation allows the defending team to get a breather and reset their defensive formation.

Fact 2: When icing is called, play is stopped and the faceoff takes place in the defending team’s zone. This gives the attacking team a prime opportunity to regain possession and potentially create a scoring chance.

Fact 3: Icing is waived off if the defending team is shorthanded due to a penalty at the time of the infraction. This encourages teams to attack aggressively while on a penalty kill, as they can freely shoot the puck without repercussions.

Fact 4: In professional hockey leagues, icing leads to a faceoff in the defending team’s zone. However, in some recreational leagues, a rule variation known as “no-touch icing” is implemented, where the linesman automatically blows the play dead when the puck crosses the goal line.

Fact 5: Icing can be negated if the attacking team’s player is able to reach the puck before any defending player does, even if they have already crossed both the red line and the blue line. This is known as the “race to the hash marks” and adds an element of excitement to the game.

Now, let’s dive into some frequently asked questions about icing in hockey:

FAQ 1: Why was icing implemented as a rule in hockey?
Answer: Icing was introduced to prevent teams from simply shooting the puck down the ice without any skillful play, to maintain a more competitive and strategic aspect to the game.

FAQ 2: Can teams use icing as a tactical move to control the flow of the game?
Answer: Yes, teams often use icing strategically to disrupt the momentum of the opposing team, get a line change, or relieve pressure on their goaltender.

FAQ 3: Can players intentionally ice the puck to kill time or preserve a lead?
Answer: Intentionally icing the puck to kill time or preserve a lead can result in a delay of game penalty, as the player is deliberately avoiding play to gain an unfair advantage.

FAQ 4: Can icing lead to injuries for players?
Answer: Icing poses a risk of injury, especially during the race to the hash marks. Players can collide with each other or the boards while attempting to reach the puck.

FAQ 5: Are there any exceptions to the icing rule?
Answer: Yes, there are certain situations where icing is waived off, such as when a team is shorthanded or if a player from the defending team could have touched the puck but chose not to.

FAQ 6: How do officials determine if icing has occurred?
Answer: Linesmen typically make the judgment call on icing violations based on their visual assessment of the game. However, some leagues have started using video replay to verify icing calls.

FAQ 7: Can teams use icing to intentionally delay the game in crucial moments?
Answer: In professional hockey leagues, deliberate icings to delay the game can result in penalties, such as a delay of game penalty or a misconduct penalty, depending on the severity and context of the situation.

BOTTOM LINE: Icing in hockey is a rule violation that occurs when a player shoots the puck across both the center red line and the opponent’s goal line without being touched by any player. It is a strategic move used by teams to relieve pressure, but intentional icing to kill time or disrupt the flow of the game can result in penalties. It’s important to understand the rules and exceptions surrounding icing to fully grasp its impact on gameplay.