There are nine (9) face-off spots on the ice including the one located on center ice.
There are lots of factors that determine the location of the face-off.
REMEMBER: The direction of play is determined by which team has possession of the puck. The attacking zone, defending zone, and neutral zone are all relative to the direction of play.
Determining The Face-off Spot
How can you determine the location of the face-off spot on the ice before players get into position? You should ask yourself the following questions:
- 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)
When in doubt of the face-off spot, you should remember two things:
- Face-offs are designed to put the puck back into play
- Face-off spots reward teams that were affected by penalties caused by the opposing team
- The nearest face-off spot is used the majority of the time
After Goals Are Scored
Anytime after a goal is scored in ice hockey, the face-off will take place at the face-off spot located at center ice.
Offensive Players in the Attacking Zone
If the puck is hit out-of-bounds on the face-off, it will be repeated at the same face-off spot.
If the puck goes out-of-bounds during play and not directly from the face-off, the face-off will take place at the closest face-off spot where play ended.
If a player is injured on the ice during play, the face-off will take place at the face-off spot in the zone nearest to where play stopped.
We'll learn more about icing in future chapters.