Hockey is one of the most action-paced of sports. The game developed in North America, and a hundred years ago became the national winter sport of Canada.
Hockey is a team game played on an ice surface, known as a rink. Six players — a goalkeeper, two defence-men, and three forwards — constitute a side.
The game is divided into three periods, each lasting twenty minutes of actual playing time with -10-minute intervals. There are five face-off spots whereby the puck is dropped by the referee between the sticks of two players. After a goal is scored, the puck is brought back to center ice for another face-off.
The rink is 188 to 200 feet long, and about 85 feet wide. The playing area is subdivided into three zones — defensive, neutral and attacking — by two blue lines (called off-side lines) teams defensive zone is that zone where the goal cage, which it is defending, is located. The zone at- the opposite end of the rink is known as the teams attacking zone.
The area between is known as the neutral zone and is divided at the centre by a red line. This line plays an important role in the game's body checking regulations. Players are subject to a variety of penalties leading to their dismissal from the ice for two minutes or more, thus giving the other team a one-man advantage for the duration of the penalty or until a goal is scored.