Ice hockey is among the popular winter sports that many people enjoy during the winter months. Ice skating on ice naturally becomes very cold. However, it can be fun to do with your friends.
If you are planning to play ice hockey outside, several tips will help you have a good time and stay safe while doing so.
1. Learn the Basic Rules of Ice Hockey & How to Play
Before you go out and play ice hockey, you must learn the basic rules. Below are the official rules from the IIHF Rulebook:
A team must include a minimum of 4 players (including the goalie) line up for face-off; other players may be changed freely before face-off but not during it. One player may serve two penalties simultaneously, provided his substitute serves only one of them.
However, each time a goal is scored by either team, all players (except goalkeepers) must take their places on the penalty bench before another face-off occurs. A team must have a minimum of one substitute on the bench when the game starts and in case of injury before play.
Only goalkeepers can replace players during a game, and no more than three may be in use at any time. Substitutes waiting to enter the ice must wear their full equipment, including a facemask.
b) Teams cont’d
A match consists of three 20-minute periods with an intermission between each period not exceeding 15 minutes (actual playing time) unless otherwise decided by the organizing body responsible for the competition or series of competitions. The team’s change ends after each period.
A whistle blast starts each period from the referee, followed by a face-off at centre ice. The team which scores the most goals takes the win. If a winner has not been determined when the third period ends, play is continued until a winner is determined.
Suppose three periods do not determine a winner, then after an intermission of 15 minutes (actual playing time) plus any time remaining in the last period. In that case, sudden victory overtime will take place. Each team nominates five players at one end on the ice with their goalie.
Play will be commenced by the referee dropping the puck between any two nominated players who stand facing each other at centre ice without any physical contact. A goal cannot be scored unless one player from each side has touched the puck since it was dropped.
The team scoring a goal during the sudden-victory period will be declared the winner. The players who were on the ice at the end of regular time for that team shall proceed directly to their dressing room.
Play will continue from centre ice in this same manner until a winner is determined. No other players are allowed onto the ice except in case of penalties, injuries, and when play is stopped for other reasons.
If anyone enters the ice during play, they must join their side immediately and without any physical contact.
2. Don’t Always Play Hockey With People You Don’t Know
Another tip in playing ice hockey is not always to play with people you don’t know. This includes people you meet at the pond or other people you have connected with through social media.
While it is okay to want to play ice hockey with your friends, the more experience they have in the game, the better off everyone will be when playing these games outside.
There are so many hockey injuries that can arise when playing, especially with strangers. Never position yourself in a potentially dangerous situation by choosing to play with strangers because nothing is stopping them from injuring themselves or others around them without proper supervision.
3. Always Wear the Right Hockey Attire
Nothing can be more devastating than someone dying or even just getting injured because they fell while playing ice hockey. One of the best tips in playing ice hockey is always wearing attire like a helmet and wide feet hockey skates.
While this may seem like common sense, it’s not always easy to know if everyone outside plays hockey also wears helmets.
There are many cases where people fall on their heads and suffer injury but were all so used to always wearing helmets themselves that they forgot to make sure others do as well, especially those who are newbies at playing hockey outdoors.
4. Always Make Sure You Have A Buddy With You
Another tip for playing ice hockey outside is always to make sure that you have a buddy with you whenever you decide to play this game because if someone falls, they will not be alone when needing immediate help.
While you may be skilled at playing ice hockey, often, bad habits can still form over time which includes trying to get up yourself while ignoring other players who are in immediate need of help or assistance due to an injury.
This should be kept in mind while everybody is out playing ice hockey and having someone around who can provide proper medical treatment right on the spot should be taken into account.
5. Have A Goal And A Referee
When playing ice hockey outside, having a goal set up with a referee is always good for ensuring that everyone involved in this game is safe.
A goal gives each player something they are aiming for while playing ice hockey, and it also allows people who may have accidentally fallen on their or tripped over someone else to keep playing the game.
There is always potential for injuries and falls even when everyone has their safety precautions in place. Still, if you cannot freeze the puck or it gets away from you while playing ice hockey, these tips will allow you to play your best game possible.
If you plan on playing ice hockey outside, make sure that several people are involved other than yourself because it becomes very difficult to prevent injuries or any accidents.
Also, be sure that everyone who plays this sport wears helmets each time they step out onto the ice rink. Having a referee present with proper legal backing will ensure that no one tries anything funny during the game either.
While having both of these aspects in place seems like a lot, keeping everyone safe during these games is necessary.