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Ice Hockey Rink Boundary Lines

Are there rules to where ice hockey players can be on a rink? What does inbounds and out-of-bounds mean? Get ready to learn about the boundary lines of an ice hockey rink.


Ice hockey is different from other sports in that it does not have boundary lines specifically on the ice that denote inbounds and out-of-bounds. Instead, the rink has boards and safety glass which surround the ice separating inbounds from out-of-bounds.

Hockey The Boards

Puck Out-Of-Bounds

The puck can go out-of-bounds by flying over the safety glass, causing a brief stoppage of play. When this happens a face-off is used to put the puck back into play. We'll learn more about face-offs in future chapters.

PRO TIP: If the puck gets stuck on the top of the boards, it is still considered in play.

Delay Of Game Penalty

A delay of game penalty is called on players who purposely hit the puck out-of-bounds. Delay of game is a minor penalty in ice hockey.

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