Skip to content

How to Play Hockey

How to Play Hockey

Hockey is an exciting sport that can be an incredible amount of fun to play, but before you can hit the ice, it’s important to understand how to play this fast-paced game. From how to pass the puck to how to defend against an attacking forward, learning the basics of playing hockey correctly is essential in order to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game.

Equipment Required

The first step in playing hockey is ensuring that you have all the necessary equipment. Although there are multiple types of hockey, the basic equipment needed to play any kind of game is the same. All players should equip themselves with a stick, a helmet, a hockey jersey, shorts, shin-guards, skates, and a puck. Be sure to find the proper size hockey sticks, helmets and skates for everyone playing so all players are safe on the ice.

Area of Play

Hockey is played on a large sheet of ice, called a hockey rink. Rinks can have different sizes and measurements, but are almost always set up the same. There are five basic components of a rink: boards, plexiglass, ice, goals, and benches. The boards form the boundaries of the rink, while the plexiglass acts as support as well as keeping errant pucks and sticks confined. The end of each rink will contain a goal, which is where players will be shooting towards throughout the course of the game. Lastly, the two benches beside each goal are where the teams will sit during stoppages in play.

Basic Rules

The rules of hockey can often vary depending on the age group, but the fundamentals usually stay the same. Generally, hockey games follow many of the same rules as other team sports, such as basketball and soccer. This means each team will still be trying to put the puck into the net of the opposing team, and there will still be penalties and fouls. However, hockey has its own specific rules as well, such as icing and no offside, which will be discussed in more detail below.

Tips for Success

Having an understanding of the rules is only part of playing hockey. It is also important to understand some of the tips that might help you succeed in a game. Developing good hockey habits is important for any player’s development, regardless of their skill level. Sticking to certain practices can help potential players be successful on the ice.


Being in good physical condition is essential for success when playing hockey. Being in shape will help with skating, shooting, and general performance on the ice. Activities such as running, weight lifting, and stretching should be a regular part of any hockey player’s routine before they lace up their skates.


Passing is a fundamental skill in hockey and is a key way to move the puck up the ice. Passing accurately is key in order to make sure the puck is moving in the right direction towards the intended receiver. Easily transferred between teammates, passing can open up the ice for scoring chances. When making a pass, the passer must take into consideration the velocity and accuracy of the pass. Passing abilities can be improved through practice and repetition.

How to Play Hockey two


Shooting is the most important part of hockey. Though it is sometimes overlooked in overtime or other scenarios, shooting is the gap between victory and defeat in hockey. While there are multiple types of shots, the most common shots used in hockey are wrist shots, snap shots, and slap shots. Regardless of the type of shot, all players should have a general understanding of the fundamentals for shooting properly.

Positional Play

Playing the proper positions is an integral portion of hockey. Unlike most other sports, hockey requires players to fill five positions on the ice. It is important for players to understand the difference between each position and to know the role they should play within the team.


Forwards and defensemen have different responsibilities on the ice. Defensemen are expected to stay back, support their teammates, and play a mainly defensive role. They are expected to keep the puck within their own zone, keep their opponents away from the net, and stop the other team from scoring.

Playing in Traffic

Playing in traffic is an integral element of the game of hockey. This involves protecting the puck in an area with multiple players present and finding a way to pass or shoot, despite having little space available. This can be difficult and daunting, but with experience and practice, it can be done with relative ease.

Special Teams

Hockey has two types of special teams: the power play and the penalty kill. The power play occurs when one team has more skaters on the ice than the other, usually due to a penalty. The penalty kill occurs when a team takes a penalty and has less skaters on the ice. Both of these special teams can be used to either score more goals or to prevent the other team from scoring.


Having a sound strategy for approaching a hockey game is something all players should strive for. Unlike other sports, hockey is largely dependent on reacting to the situational play on the ice. Being able to detect these changes quickly, and having a set strategy to adjust accordingly, can be the difference between a win and a loss.

Hockey is an exciting and lively sport that can be incredibly exhilarating to play. By understanding and following the rules, having the proper equipment, and having good hockey habits and strategy, players can maximize their enjoyment and success on the ice. Learning how to play hockey doesn’t need to be a daunting task; by following the advice outlined in this article, you can be playing this thrilling sport in no time at all.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *