Playing ice hockey on a rink or pond. Official ice hockey is played on a rink by two teams of six skaters wielding hockey sticks. The object is to shoot the puck (a vulcanized rubber disc) into the opponents’ goal cage where a goalie tries to block it.
Rink hockey rules
Two blue lines divide the rink into defensive, neutral, and offensive zones. A red line halves the middle (neutral) zone and the rink.
A puck is iced (unless it scores a goal) when a player shoots it from his team’s side of the red line across the opponents’ goal line without any other player touching it. The referee stops the play and signals for a faceoff in the defensive zone of the shooting player’s team. The referee drops the puck between two facing players. When it hits the ice, they grapple for it with their sticks.
When an offensive-team player precedes the puck in the offensive zone or receives a pass that has crossed two lines, offsides is called. The referee stops the play; a face-off is held where the pass was made or at a face-off spot near the attacking blue line.
Penalties for tripping, holding an opponent, or hitting him with a stick send the offender to the penalty box for 2 minutes, forcing his team to play shorthanded for that duration or until the opposing team scores a goal. There are also penalties for misconduct, fighting, clipping (falling in the puck’s path), and slashing (intimidating an opponent). These may suspend a player for longer periods.
In pond (shinny) hockey, any number can play, and the playing area maybe as large or as small as the pond allows. The only rule observed is that there be no body checking-one player pushing an opponent onto the barrier boards, or in this case, onto the thin ice near the pond’s bank.
Caution: Red Cross recommends 4 inches of clear blue ice; check with local authorities for other safety factors. Don’t skate on a pond fed by a swift river or one where a river enters and exits. Bring a ladder and rope in case someone falls through.