Hockey is one of the quickest and most physical sports in the world. Therefore, it is important to have a structure that separates the players and the puck from the fans and spectators. That is where hockey boards come in. Hockey boards are the structure that surrounds and encloses the ice rink. Boards serve a few functions. The first and most important function of the boards is that they protect the fans and the players. Hockey is played at a very high speed and is very physical, so the boards are vital in separating the fans from the players and they pucks, and for helping the players brace themselves when they are hit. Another function of the boards is to maintain the speed of play. Hockey prides itself on being a fast paced sport and the boards help keep the puck in play and thus the speed of play high.
Hockey boards are typically 42 inches above the ice and are made of high-density polyethylene. Attached above the polyethylene boards is a protective glass that is made of either acrylic or tempered glass. The attached safety glass is 8 feet high behind the net on the ends of the rink and 5 feet high on the sides of the rink. In addition to the protective glass and dasher boards, there is a mesh net that is hung up behind each net to add an extra layer of protection for the fans.
Hockey boards have a few unique features. There are cutouts in the boards and gates that house a bench for each team and a penalty box for each team. In addition, boards can be a money maker no matter what level of hockey they are housing. Boards are a great advertising opportunity and most rinks, whether they are a small local rink, or a stadium that houses an NHL franchise, will sell space on their boards for advertising.
Hockey boards are a frame that is meant to enclose the rink to protect the players and the fans and keep the puck in the rink. Hockey is a high contact sport that is played at a very high speed so it is vital that there is a structure in place that separates the players and the fans to ensure the safety of both groups. Hockey boards also keep the puck from flying at high speeds into the crowd.
The hockey dasher boards that make up the bottom part of the rink enclosure are made of high-density polyethylene, which is a very strong plastic that is one of the most commonly used in the world. The safety glass that extends above the dasher boards to protect the fans is made of either acrylic or tempered glass and the net that extends above the glass for extra protection is made of mesh netting.
The ideal height for the boards in Hockey is 42 inches above the surface of the ice. NHL approved safety glass is attached to the boards and extends eight feet behind the net on each side of the rink, and five feet on the slides of the rink. In addition, in the area behind the net there is a safety net that extends above the safety glass to provide extra coverage for the fans.