Ice Hockey Rink Components

Chapter 1.3

What are the face-off circles and face-off spots? What is the goalie crease? What is goalie trapezoid? Get ready to learn about the major components that make up an ice hockey rink.

Rink Components

There are several major components to an ice hockey rink that every fan must know:

Goal Cage

Each team gets a goal cage to defend located on each end of the rink on the goal lines. A goal cage is made up of many pieces (goal posts, cross bar, and net) that are affixed to the ice to hold it in place. All scoring happens here in the goal cages.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Goal Cage Image

Goalie Crease

At the front of the goal cage is the goalie crease. The goalie crease is where goaltenders position themselves during play.

PRO TIP: If a player interferes with the goaltender in this area, that player can be called for goaltender interference. We'll learn more about goaltender interference in future chapters on penalties.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Goal Crease Image

Goalie Trapezoid

Behind the goal cages is an area called the goalie trapezoid, sometimes referred to as the restricted area. The goalie trapezoid indicates where it is legal for a goalie to play an active puck. If the goalie handles the puck outside of the trapezoid, a minor penalty will be given for delay of game.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Goalie Trapezoid Image

Face-off Spots

Face-off spots are dots on the ice where face-offs take place. There are nine (9) face-off spots where face-offs can occur. The spot is chosen based on the location of the last stoppage of play.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Face-off Spot Image

We'll learn more about face-offs and rules around them in future chapters.

Face-off Circles

There are five (5) big circles on the rink called face-off circles. They are used during face-offs to position players on the ice who are not taking the face-off.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Face-off Circle Image

We'll learn more about the significance of face-off circles when we learn more about the rules of face-offs in future chapters.

Hash Marks

Hash marks are located around the face-off spots and around the face-off circles. They are used to align players during face-offs.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Hash Marks Image

Referee's Crease

The referee's crease is where game officials gather to discuss penalties and challenges. During play, referees skate with the flow of the game, but this is where they typically gather after a stoppage in play that needs a review.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Referee Crease Image

Boards

Surrounding the rink are the boards. The boards are what keep the players inbounds on the ice. Teams can only leave the ice through openings in the boards. The boards also protect and separate fans from action on the ice.

During play, teams use the boards as a tool to maintain and gain possession of the puck.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey The Boards Image

Safety Glass

Just above the boards is a sheet of thick plexiglass known as safety glass surrounding the rink. It was put in place to protect fans from getting hit by pucks, but still allows them to see all the action on the ice.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Safety Glass Image

Penalty Box

A door from the boards leads to the penalty boxes, one for each team. The penalty box is used to house players who commit penalties during the game. Players will sit for a certain duration of time after committing a penalty. We will learn more about the various types of penalties in ice hockey in future chapters.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Penalty Box Image

Player Benches

Another door from the boards leads to the player benches. This is where the players sit and rest between shifts on the ice. Coaches, trainers, and management, are also present on the player benches.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Player Benches Ice Location Image

Players can skip the door and choose to hop over the boards to enter into the player benches.

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Player Benches Image

Scoreboard

The scoreboard rests suspended in the air above the ice. It presents information about the game in real-time like:

Rookie Road Ice Hockey Score Board Image

We'll learn more about what each of these mean in future chapters.

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