Ice Hockey For Dummies

Reckon you can get behind your team without knowing your ‘face-off circle’ from your ‘crease’? Think again.


Varsity Ice Hockey is one of the biggest events of the year. With a sell-out crowd at the Capital FM Arena, extensive coverage and a variety of inspired chants from both Notts and Trent, it’s going to be even better this year.

But there’s one problem. The vast majority of students in Nottingham haven’t got a clue about how Ice Hockey works.

Fortunately, our team of experts have produced a handy guide for you…

The Rules

Obviously, the team who scores the most goals win. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

  • The game is played in three 20 minute sections and the clock is paused during all stoppages
  • Each team consists of six players (one goalkeeper and five ‘skaters’)
  • All ‘skaters’ can go wherever they want on the ice but the goalkeeper must stay within his own half
  • Teams can make substitutions whenever they want and don’t need to inform the official
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Stay where you are, kiddo

Things you can’t do

If you concede a ‘minor’ penalty, you are sent off the ice for two minutes or until the opposition score. Things which count as ‘minor’ penalties are…

  • Slashing
  • Spearing
  • Elbowing
  • Kneeing
  • Clocking your opponent round the head with your stick
  • ‘Roughing’ – usually a good ol’ fashioned manly wrestle
Don't do this

Don’t do this

If you concede the dreaded ‘major’ penalty, you are sent off the ice for a whole five minutes. Things which count as ‘major’ penalties are…

  • If the referee (who will obviously be hugely biased) reckons there was a deliberate attempt to injure an opponent
  • Punch-ups
  • If the referee deems a ‘minor’ penalty to be so brutally nasty that it’s worthy of a ‘major’

Things you can do

  • Body charge an opponent below the head, if he has the puck and isn’t facing the boards from closer than five metres
  • Kick the puck
Do do this

Do do this

It’s going to be fast, it’s probably going to be furious and it’s definitely going to be great. If you weren’t lucky enough to get a ticket you can follow The Tab’s LiveBlog over in the Sport Section. Keep an eye out, we’re going to be surrounded by a team of actual experts in the best seats in the house.