There are several reasons why play could be stopped in a hockey game and then restarted. These stoppages are not always obvious to the new or casual hockey fan. Sometimes, they aren’t even obvious to the players on the floor. Sometimes, players will question the officials about the reason of a stoppage. It should be noted that even in top level inline hockey in Australia, the use of video replays at the arena is extremely limited and that there is no review process from off the floor unlike other competitions overseas.




Common stoppages include:


  • Goalkeeper stops the puck – Goalkeeper catches the puck in their glove or covers the puck if it is on the floor. Game restarts with a face-off at the face-off circle closest to the goalkeeper, usually on the side that the shot came from.


  • Puck leaves the playing area – Sometimes the puck escapes from the playing area. After obtaining a new puck, the game restarts with a face-off close to where the puck left the playing area. This depends on how/why the puck left the playing area.


  • Penalty – Play usually resumes with a face-off near the goalkeeper of the penalised team. This can vary with complex/multiple penalties. [More Info]


  • Illegal Clearning – Player hits the puck from their end of the floor (defensive zone before the centre red line – see diagram below) and over the goal line at the attacking zone without being touched by the other team. Play restarts with a face-off in front of the goalkeeper of the team who icleared the puck. Known as icing in ice hockey.


  • Offside – Player the centre red line to enter the attacking zone (see diagram below) before the puck. Face-off location depends on location of skaters and intent (deliberate/accidental). Unlike ice hockey, attacking players are allowed in the attacking zone before the puck but can not touch the puck until someone else from the attacking team brings the puck into the attacking zone.


  • Goal – Play resumes with a face-off at centre ice. [More Info]


  • Goals dislodged – The net is moved. A face-off will restart play with the face-off location depending on who was judged to have moved the net. For safety, the goal nets move when a person makes enough contact with the goal posts or net. Many years ago hockey goals were concreted into the ground which led to serious injuries when players collided with the posts.


  • End of period – Play stops. Players return to their benches (and dressing room if time allows). Play restarts at the centre of the red centre line after teams switch directions. The locations of the dressing rooms, penalty boxes and benches do not change direction with the team.





Graphic – Zones on the rink assuming team running from left to right (defensive zone then attacking zone). Zones reversed for opposing team.


Page last updated 11 August 2017