The Sport of Hockey
OBJECT OF THE GAME:
Above all, the object is to put the puck in
the other team’s goal and keep it out of your goal. It can be
out in with a stick, bounded in off a player on either team, or
knocked in by the goaltender. It cannot be kicked in, or batted
with a high stick.
SCORING: Scoring a goal is the so-called name of the game. It is
not necessary to shoot the puck into the netting behind the goalie
to score. If the entire puck crosses the goal line inside the
posts it’s a goal:
A. Unless an attacking player kicks the puck, or throws the
puck, or otherwise deliberately directs the puck into the goal by
any means other than the stick.
B. Unless an attacking player is in the goal crease, and is in
no way held by a defender, while a teammate “scores.”
While a goal does not count if it is kicked in by an attacker,
if that same attacker kicks it in off a defender other than the
goalie, it does count. In this case, the kicker is credited with
the goal. On the other hand, if a shot is deflected in off a
teammate, the teammate gets credit for the goal and the shooter
gets an assist.
No more than two assists shall be credited on any goal, and
those assists go to the two players who handled the puck
immediately preceding the goal.
CENTER: The center operates mostly up and down
the middle of the ice and usually leads his team’s attack by
carrying the puck. He sets up plays by exchanging passes with his
two wingmen and tries to steer the play towards the opponent’s
goal. Defensively he tries to keep the play in the attacking zone
by harassing the opponents puck carrier (Forechecking). After the
opposition works the puck out of their end of the rink, he tries
to interrupt their playmaking as it moves through the neutral zone
and into his defending zone (Backchecking).
WINGS: The two move up and down the sides of the
rink with the direction of play. Offensively they skate abreast of
the center exchanging passes with him while positioning themselves
for a shot on goal. Defensively they watch the opponent’s wings
and try to disrupt their playmaking and shooting as the action
moves back toward the defending zone (Backchecking).
DEFENSEMEN: Basically the two defensemen try to
stop the incoming play at their open blue line. They also block
shots, clear the puck from in front of their goal and watch the
opposing forwards. Offensively they carry the puck up the ice or
pass the puck up to the forwards, then follow the play into the
attacking zone and help keep it there.
GOALKEEPER: The goalkeeper’s main
responsibility is to keep the puck from entering the goal and
there are no restrictions placed on the methods he can employ. His
offensive contributions are limited and consist of occasionally
passing the puck up to his defensemen or forwards to start a rush.
A goalkeeper never scores a goal and only rare occasions does he
receive credit for an assist.
EQUIPMENT: Hockey sticks, like baseball bats, are lighter than
they used to be. Also more flexible, with more whip action. They’re
made of northern white ash or rock elm. Sticks may not exceed 53
inches from the heel to the end of the shaft. A goalie’s pads
can’t be as wide as he might like them to be, not more than ten
inches wide, and the blade of a goalie’s stick shall not exceed
three and a half inches, except at the heel, where it can be an
extra inch wide. All protective equipment except gloves, headgear,
and goalkeeper’s leg guards must be worn under the uniform. Much
of this is cushioned with foam rubber.
GAME OFFICIAL: The referee controls the game. He calls all
penalties and must decide the legality of goals, though sometimes
he will call time and ask his linesmen for an opinion before he
makes a final decision. The duty of the linesmen is to determine
offsides and icings. They drop the puck for faceoffs. They chase
the pucks after stoppage of play. And it is their unenviable job
to break up fights while the referee assesses the penalties
Information on the page was derived from the Saturday,
February 24, 1990 edition of the "Whale Watch", 10th
Anniversary Edition. Whale Watch was the official magazine of the
Binghamton Whalers back in the 1980's. Thanks to Karl Howard for the
edition of Whale Watch.