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Hockey Rules !!!

First thing first, if you’re planning on being a hockey goddess, you need to be a know-it-all.  If you don’t…

By Hilary Atkinson , in Icing: A women's guide to hockey culture , on March 22, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

First thing first, if you’re planning on being a hockey goddess, you need to be a know-it-all.  If you don’t know the rules you can’t rule .

These are the basics you must know to win your title as game night queen of the couch.

The female hockey fan can rule the remote when she knows the rules of the game.


No, icing is not the sweet, sugary, gooey bliss that you spoon out of a Betty Crocker container on Thursday nights.

Icing occurs when a player shoots the puck all the way down the ice from the defencive end of the blue line, or his/her half of the ice, without the puck being intercepted by another player.


When this happens, if the league is playing with “no-touch” icing, the linesman will automatically blow the whistle once the puck crosses the goal line.


Remember those crazy Saturday nights when you’ve had a martini, a tequila popper, a few daiquiris and laugh so hard you fall off the side of your chair.

That’s not the same as offside in hockey.

Offside in hockey happens when an offensive player crosses the defencive team’s blue line before the puck does. The puck must enter the offensive zone before the offensive players do.


Too Many Men on the Ice

It’s Saturday night again and you and your girlfriends are venting about the fantastically stupid things your boyfriends or potential boyfriends do. This is called too many men on thin ice, not too many on the ice.

Too many men on the ice occurs when either team, somehow, has more than five players on the ice (not including the goalie) at one time.


Delay of Game

This is not when a guy lays down a horrid pick-up line, like “I lost my phone number, can I have yours?”

In this instance, the guy has no game at all and the only thing that is delayed is his thought process.

Delay of Game in hockey is when a player intentionally shoots the puck over the glass to stop the play.

It also is when a goalie holds onto the puck to stop the play when there is no offensive threat around him/her, or when a defencive player intentionally knocks the net off its moorings to stop the play.


The Rules that, if Broken, Equal Real Trouble


You know when you and girlfriend are out clubbing and she decides to make a guy jealous. She may decide the best way to do this is to dance up a storm with anything male that moves in her immediate vicinity.

Well, she’s tripping, but it’s not quite the same as what happens in hockey, though both are equally idiotic.

Tripping in hockey is when any player intentionally or unintentionally causes another player to fall to the ice.



When it’s cold outside and you are sitting on the couch with your best guy-friend, you may want to snuggle up to him to syphon body heat.

While this is holding, and in some cases may even look similar to holding in hockey, it’s a little different.

Holding in hockey is when a player latches on to an opposing player, holding him, or stopping him from making progress on the play.



You’re at the mall and the most fabulous Kate Spade purse catches your eye from a shop window. You beeline it to the store, charging through the mass of reaching hands for the purse and then immediately proceed to charge your credit card.

Although this is a justified reason to be charging things, again, it’s not what happens in hockey.

Charging is when a player takes several strides, usually more than three, or leaves his/her feet when hitting another player.


Checking from Behind

You’re jogging in the park when an amazingly gorgeous, shirtless man runs past. You do the full up-down-once-over, but then stop, turn around, and do a check-from-behind. It’s a valuable tool to have at your disposal, but not really applicable in hockey.

Checking from behind is when a player body-checks another player from the back, without the hit player being able to defend himself. It’s one of the most severe penalties in the game and results in suspensions.



This is not when someone wears neon colours or animal print clothing in public. Although a person committing such an offence may be stopped by the fashion police, he/she will not be handed a penalty by a hockey ref.

Misconduct penalties in hockey occur when a angry player uses his mouth to tell other players or the ref what he/she things of them.

If coaches want to argue with the ref, they too can be assessed a misconduct penalty.


These rules are just the basics. There are many more rules in the the lovely game we call hockey.

My recommendation: watch as much hockey whenever you can, where ever you can, morning, noon, and night.