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hockey, ice

ice hockey, team sport in which players use sticks to propel a hard, round disk into a net-backed goal.

Rules and Equipment

Ice hockey is played on a rectangular rink with curved corners whose length may vary from 184 to 200 ft (56–61 m), its width from 85 to 98 ft (26–30 m). Six players—a goalie, a center, two defensemen, and two forwards—all of whom are on ice skates, make up a team. The rink is surrounded on all sides by walls 31/2 to 4 ft (1.06–1.22 m) high. The goal mouths are 4 ft (1.22 m) high and 6 ft (1.83 m) wide and are set 10 ft (3.05 m) out from each end of the rink, which is divided by colored lines in the ice into three zones (attacking, neutral, and defending) that are each 60 ft (18.29 m) long. A puck, once made of rubber but now of composite material, 1 in. (2.54 cm) thick and 3 in. (7.62 cm) in diameter, and frozen to reduce resiliency, is the object used in play. The weight, size, and shape of the sticks used to hit the puck are standardized. After a face-off (the dropping of the puck between two opposing players by an official), the team in possession of the puck seeks to maneuver it past the other team and into its net. Each goal counts one point. The game is divided into three 20-min periods; overtime periods in case of ties are used in certain professional games. In this fast and body-bruising sport, players use heavy protective equipment, and there is unlimited substitution. A player detected by the referee in roughing, tripping, high-sticking, or other violations must spend two minutes (a minor penalty) or more (major penalties) off the ice in the penalty box, and his team must continue play shorthanded. Linesmen, goal judges, a timekeeper, and a scorer also officiate.

The National Hockey League

The modern game originated in Canada in the 1800s, and the first modern indoor hockey game was played in Montreal in 1875. By the 1890s it had become extremely popular and had spread to the United States. Since 1917 the National Hockey League (NHL), with teams in both countries, has been the primary professional association. The rival World Hockey Association (WHA), launched in 1972, ceased operation in 1979; several of its 12 teams gained entry to the NHL. The NHL's current 30 teams play in two conferences, the Eastern and Western, each with two divisions. Though most NHL players have always been Canadian, an increasing number of players from the United States and Europe have appeared since the 1980s. Teams vie for the Stanley Cup—originally donated to the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (1893) by Sir Frederick Arthur Stanley—the NHL's championship trophy and the symbol of world professional supremacy. In recent years the NHL has been marked by contentious labor relations, leading to a strike in 1992 and lockouts in 1994–95, 2004–5, and 2012–13; the 2004–5 lockout was so prolonged as to cancel the season.

International and Amateur Play

The NHL long regarded itself as the world's elite, but the overwhelming superiority of the Soviet Union in international amateur play in the 1960s led to a dramatic 1972 summit series between Team Canada (Canadian NHL players) and the Soviet national team. With their reputation on the line, the NHL stars narrowly won the series 4–3–1. Two years later the Soviets crushed a WHA All-Star team. In 1976–91 six of the world's major hockey powers competed in the periodic Canada Cup, a tournament the NHL and its player association organized. The Canadians won four times (1976, 1984, 1987, 1991) and the Soviets once (1981). The first World Cup, an eight-team expansion introduced in 1996, was won by the United States. The International Ice Hockey Federation (founded 1908) is the governing body for Olympic competition (begun in 1920) and world tournaments held annually since 1930 (but no longer contested in Olympic years). From the early 1960s through 1990 the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia dominated both. Although Canada has an elaborate system of amateur hockey leagues, the country has not excelled in international amateur hockey since the early 1950s, mainly because the best Canadian players quickly turn professional. The distinction between amateur and professional, however, is disappearing. In 1998 professionals played in the Olympics for the first time, as did women. Hockey at U.S. colleges has also been gaining in popularity; the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, held since 1948, are now widely followed.

Bibliography

See Stan and Shirley Fischler, Everybody's Hockey Book (1983).

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"hockey, ice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"hockey, ice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hockey-ice

"hockey, ice." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/hockey-ice

ice hockey

ice hockey Fast-action sport on an oval ice rink in which two teams of six players wearing ice skates (and protective clothing) use special hockey sticks to try to propel a vulcanized rubber disc (puck) into the opponents' goal. The rink is usually 61m × 26m (200ft × 85ft) and surrounded by walls c.1.2m (4ft) high. It is evenly divided into three zones – attacking, neutral and defending – each 18.3m (60ft) long. The goals are within the playing area, 3 to 4m (10–15ft) from each back line. Games consist of three 20-minute periods of actual timed play. Substitutions are allowed at any time, and the game is controlled by a referee and two linesmen. A penalized player may be banished to the ‘sin bin’ for two or more minutes, and his team meanwhile remains a player short on the ice unless their opponents score. The National Hockey League (NHL) of North America was instituted in 1917. The major trophy is the Stanley Cup. The sport has been included in the Winter Olympics since 1920.

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"ice hockey." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ice hockey." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ice-hockey

"ice hockey." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ice-hockey

ice hockey

ice hockey was pioneered by McGill University in 1880 and spread rapidly throughout Canada and the USA. A small English league was formed in 1903 and the first Scottish game was played in 1908. A British Ice Hockey Association was formed in 1914 and the sport was introduced into the Olympics in 1920.

J. A. Cannon

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"ice hockey." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ice hockey." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ice-hockey

"ice hockey." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ice-hockey

ice hockey

ice hock·ey • n. a fast contact sport played on an ice rink between two teams of six skaters, who attempt to drive a small rubber disk (the puck) into the opposing goal with hooked or angled sticks. It developed in Canada in the 19th century.

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"ice hockey." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"ice hockey." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ice-hockey

"ice hockey." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/ice-hockey

ice hockey

ice hockey: see hockey, ice.

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"ice hockey." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"ice hockey." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/ice-hockey