Hockey 101: Exploring the Fundamental Rules

The Fundamental Rules of Hockey

Ice hockey is a popular game in North America that has a relatively simple set of rules. Here are some of the basic rules associated with the game and a few of the repercussions for breaking them.

Offsides and Offside Pass

Offsides is when a member of the offensive team goes beyond the puck past the opposite team’s blue line while an offside pass is when a member of one of the teams passes the puck from the defending zone to another member of his team that is beyond the red line located in the center of the rink.


Icing is when a team member shoots the puck beyond the center red line and also past the opposing team’s red goal line. This is not called if the player who made the shot’s team is in the process of killing a penalty, another teammate of the player who made the original shot touches the puck before the opposing team can, the team defending’s goalie makes contact with the puck first, or if the puck goes through the semicircle of blue paint surrounding the opening of the goal on its way to the red goal line.

Rules Involving Penalties

A player that is charged with a penalty must sit out of the game while the rest of the team plays shorthanded. At most, a team can play with two players sitting out of the game. If a third player ends up with another penalty, they wait to serve their penalty time when one of the other players returns to the game. If a penalty is called on one of the goalies, one of their teammates will serve his time.

A minor penalty will leave a player in the penalty box for two minutes. Boarding, cross-checking, charging, holding, elbowing, hooking, interference, high-sticking, slashing, tripping, spearing, and unsportsmanlike conduct are all different types of minor penalties.

A major penalty leaves a player out of the game for five minutes. If a minor penalty is committed with the intent to injure, it will be upgraded to a major penalty.

Misconducts carry a ten-minute penalty box stay. If a player ends up with two major penalties, it is then a misconduct.

These are just a few of the rules and consequences in hockey. Here is a more detailed list of all of the basic rules of hockey if you are interested in looking deeper into the subject.