The Rink

A regulation NHL ice surface is 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. The entire playing surface is surrounded with walls referred to as "boards." Atop the boards is a row of glass allowing spectators to see the action while being protected from flying pucks. There are no square corners on an ice hockey rink. Instead, the corners are curved to allow for faster game play.

Select from terms and phrase below to learn more.


Hockey 101 LogoThe playing surface includes different colored lines, dots and areas to designate different aspects of the game of hockey.

DOTS (9)

Hockey 101 LogoEach dot on the ice represents a face-off location.


Hockey 101 LogoThe blue lines designate the 3 distinct zones on the ice; offensive, neutral and defensive.

Offensive Zone: Reaches from the blue line to the end boards and is the area where a team is attacking and trying to score goals.

Neutral Zone: The area between the blue lines.

Defensive Zone: Reaches from the blue line to the end boards and is where a team is protecting their net and trying to prevent the other team from scoring.


Hockey 101 LogoThis line is located across the center of the playing surface, divides the rink in half.


Hockey 101 LogoThese lines are located at each end of the ice. They are referred to as the "goal line" as the net sits on this line and the puck must completely cross this line as it enters the net to be counted as a goal.


Hockey 101 LogoThe goal crease is designated by the blue paint in front of each net. This area is to allow for the goalie to have space to make a save without interference.


There are two ways a player can register points; score a goal or register an assist.


Hockey 101 LogoA player will receive credit for a goal when he or she is the last offensive player to touch the puck before it enters the net.


Hockey 101 LogoAn assist is just as important as getting a goal. However, without a goal, there are no assists to hand out. For each goal scored, as many as 2 assists can be awarded. These assists are awarded to the players that pass the puck to the eventual goal scorer.

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