Hockey basics for newer hockey fans can be confusing as most people are not raised with the game, nor is there an ice sports culture in Australia. While there may be some parallels that the hockey civilian can draw between hockey and other sports, there are differences and unique nuisances and traditions that a new fan may not be aware of. Indeed the name hockey itself in Australia could mean either ice, inline or field/grass hockey depending on the context. Most ice hockey civilians in Australia would probably be more familiar with grass/field hockey, especially in Olympic years.
There are several sections to this Hockey Basics guide which will assist you in furthering your knowledge and enjoyment of the sport.
- Basics (see below)
- Team Basics
- Game Basics
- Stoppages Basics
- Scoring Basics
- Penalties Basics
- Traditions & Oddities
What Is The Goal Of Hockey?
The basic idea of ice hockey is for 2 teams to play on an ice surface and attempt to score goals by hitting the rubber puck into the goal using hockey sticks. At the end of the game, the team with the more goals scored is declared the winner. Hockey’s origins can be traced back to Canada in the 1800’s. In many competitions, the home team wears a dark themed jersey and the away team wears a white (or light) themed jersey. This dates back to the early days of televised hockey on black & white TV to easily tell the teams apart.
How Long Is A Game?
Regardless of the level played, a game of hockey has 3 periods of play. The length of the period depends on the competition rules but is generally no longer than 20 minutes of playing time. There are 3 types of game time used in hockey games in Sydney. [Read More]
Who Is On The Team?
At any one time, there are 6 players from each team on the ice. From the goal end of the rink, they are known as Goal Tender, Left Defence, Right Defence, Left Wing, Centre & Right Wing. It is the goal tender’s primary job to keep the opposition from scoring. To help them stop the puck and to prevent injury, they are given additional specialised equipment to wear. The two defensive players in front of the goal tender have the job of stopping the opposition forwards from reaching the goal tender. The three forwards (Left Wing, Centre & Right Wing) work together to attempt to score goals. At times, defensive players may assist on with attack and vice versa. In default situations, there must be 5 skaters & one goal tender on the ice for each team. [Read More]
How Do You Score?
In the simplest form, a skater hits the puck into the goal. However, there are many statistics in hockey which analyses how a goal is scored in certain situations. The team with the most goals at the end of the game wins. If the game is tied at the end of the game, there are several ways to decide who the winner is. [Read More]
Why Did The Game Stop?
Unlike many ball sports, play continues for longer periods between stoppages. But why has the play stopped and why is the person in the stripey shirt playing a game of charades while skating? There’s many reasons for a stoppage in play – some of them are not understood by even long term hockey fans. [Read More]
Hockey is a tough game and sometimes a player needs to sit in a small confined space and feel shame. With fast moving bodies skating hard on thin blades on cold ice, rarely a game goes by without a visit to the Penalty Box for at least one player. [Read More]
Hockey can be a very traditional sport with several traditions and oddities that may not occur in other sports that the new hockey fan has seen. Some people take a hat to the game just to throw it on the ice, for instance. Why? And yes, fighting is a part of the game but there’s a lot more to it than that! There are also differences in traditions & oddities between hockey in Australia and those in North America & Europe. [Read More]
Page last updated 14 August 2017