In this chapter, we will learn the rules of face-offs and how they work in an ice hockey game.
There are lots of rules that determine the face-off location, but you don't need to memorize them all. As a fan, you should know that the face-off spot is determined by the following:
- What happened on the previous play? (e.g. a goal was scored, there was a penalty, or the puck went out-of-bounds)
- Which team committed the act that stopped play?
- Where did the act occur? (e.g. play stopped in the attacking zone)
We'll learn more about the face-off spots and how to determine the location of the face-off in the next chapter.
Players Get Into Position
One (1) player from each team will elect to take the face-off. This is usually the player who is the center forward. This player will move to the face-off spot and position his feet on the hash marks. These players square off with their sticks touching the ice.
Sticks On The Ice
Dropping The Puck
The referee or linesman will drop the puck in between the sticks of the two opposing players at the face-off spot when all players are ready and in position to start or resume play. The face-off ends once the puck is dropped. If a player moves early, the face-off will be repeated. If it happens twice, a bench minor penalty will be given.
When a face-off is about to occur, the referee will lower his hands, blow his whistle. Both teams will have no more than five (5) seconds to line up for face-off. In last two minutes of regulation, this five (5) second rule is not enforced.
There are few rules that you should know about face-offs: