The game of ice hockey is generally played over a white ice surface which is also known as the rink. There are generally no markings made on the ice, or the board and the protective glass. There are no markings made on the nets and goals either or on any other surface that surrounds the penalty benches, players’ benches, or even the off-ice official areas. The maximum dimensions of the rink are 61m long by 30 m wide and the minimum dimensions of the rinks are, 56m long by 26 m wide.
The corners of the ice rink have circles that have a radius of about 7 to 8.5. The rinks shall be surrounded by either a plastic or wood wall, which is also termed as boards. These boards are white. The boards should not be less than 1.2 m and not more than 1.22 m in height, above the surface level of the ice.
The boards of the rink lie such that the surface that faces the ice will be smooth and be free of any obstruction. This is to ensure that those players do not get injured. Also, protective gear and screens should be used to hold the board in position, and are mounted sideways. At the lower part of the board, there will be a fixed kick plate that is yellow and is about 15 to 25 cm in height. The doors that render access to the ice surface should necessarily swing away from the ice surface.
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Table of Contents
Parts of the Ice Hockey Rink
Lines on the Rink
Goal Lines: The goal lines are marked at least 4m from each end of the rink. These lines are 5cm wide and are marked red.
Divisions: The ice surface is divided along its length by five lines, that extend completely across the rink and continue vertically upwards on the side of the boards.
End zone nets: These are protective nets that are suspended above the end zone glass and boards to prevent injury for the spectators.
Protective glass: These are located above the boards and their length can be about 160 cm to 200 cm at the ends. The length shall extend up to 4m from the goal line towards the neutral zone and up to 80-120 cm in height along the sides.
Blue lines: The ice area that lies between the two-goal lines are divided into three zones by the blue lines. These three major zones namely the defending zone, neutral zone, and also the attacking zone.
Centerline: There is also a centerline that is located in the middle of the rink. This is about 30 cm wide and is marked red.
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Spots and Circles on the Rink
Face off spots and circles: All the spots and the circles on the ice hockey rinks are marked on the surface of the ice, to position the players for a face-off, and this will be ordered by the officials at the start of the game and during the beginning of each period
Center face-off spot and circle: This is a circular blue spot of about 30 cm in diameter, marked exactly at the center of the rink. Keeping this circle as the center, another circle of radius 4.5m is marked with the help of a blue line of width 5 cm.
Neutral zone – face-off spots: Two red spots about 60 cm in diameter are marked on the neutral zone, about 1.5m from the blue line.
Creases on the Rink
Referee crease: The referee crease zone is marked on the ice rink as a semi-circle in red color lone. This crease is about 5 cm wide and has a radius of 3m. This lies just in front of the score-keepers bench.
Goal crease: There is a goal crease that lies in front of each goal and is marked with a red line. This line is 5 cm wide and it is painted light blue.
Other Aspects of the Ice Hockey Rink
The nets and the goalposts of the ice hockey game are constructed in such a way that they remain stationary throughout the progress of the game. Flexible goal pegs are recommended for competitions.
Each of the players’ bench should have two doors, and one of them should be a neutral zone. The player’s bench has protection from access by other people, apart from the players and team officials.
The goalposts are located at the center of the goal line and its dimensions are about 1.22 m in height by 1.83 m in width. There is also a crossbar that bunds the posts and it should have a diameter of 5 cm. Both the crossbar and the goals are painted in red color. The goalposts have a frame that supports the nets. Its deepest post should be between 0.60 and 1.12. the net is attached to the back of the goal frame.
Are All Hockey Rinks the Same?
Definitely No. There is a sure difference between rinks that happen in different countries. There is a difference in the area of about 4 yards between the American and European rinks. There are also clear differences in the ice hockey rinks between professional arenas, recreational clubs, and Olympic sized rinks. The National Hockey League conducts its matches on a standard-sized ice surface of 200 x 85 feet. The radius of its corners is about 28 feet. Also, some rinks have boards and lighting systems that get the game more interesting on them.
- Olympic ice rinks are 15 feet wider than NHL rinks, giving more space for the players.
- The European rinks are projected to get the game faster.
- The North American ice hockey game emphasis on a physical game with heavy hits.
- And the recreational hockey rinks are smaller and thinner, as kids could be using them often.
Ice hockey is an interesting game that impresses people of all ages and countries. There is also a sure difference between the rinks that are available in different countries of the world.