Wednesday, 18 April 2012 00:00

The Game of Hockey - Goaltender Equipment

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The rink

The ice hockey rink consists of an ice surface surrounded by boards. Plexiglass sheets of varying height are used to extend the height of the boards while giving spectators visibility of the ice surface. In some rinks there is netting placed above the plexiglass to prevent pucks from hitting spectators.

Typical Hockey rink

The rink is divided into three distinct zone by two blue lines and a red centre line. There are two nets, one at each end of the rink. Standard dimensions in North America are 61 meters by 26 meters (200ft x 85 ft) and a corner radius of 8.5m (28ft). International dimensions have a wider rink (30 m or 98ft) and a smaller corner radius (4.2 m or 14ft). The location of the blue lines is also different in International and North American rinks.

Hockey Rink


Goaltender equipment


The equipment

Each player on the ice wears protective equipment. The goaltenders use bigger protective gear than players since they have to stop the puck from entering the net.


    1. Athletic support

Goaltender athletic support

    1. Socks (Optional)


    1. Pants

Goaltender pants

    1. Skates

Goaltender Skates

    1. Knee pads (Optional, highly recommended)

Goaltender knee pads

    1. Goalie pads

Goaltender pads

    1. Chest protector

Goaltender chest protector

    1. Neck guard (Optional for most men's leagues)


    1. Jersey

Goaltender Jersey -

    1. Goalie catcher 

Goaltender catcher

    1. Goalie blocker

Goaltender blocker

    1. Helmet

Goaltender Helmet

    1. Stick

Goaltender Stick

Player equipment



Usual order of putting the equipment on:

    1. Athletic support

Player athletic support

    1. Shin pads

Player shin pads

    1. Socks

Player socks

    1. Pants

Player pants

    1. Skates

Player skates

    1. Shoulder pads

Player shoulder pads

    1. Elbow pads

Player elbow pads

    1. Jersey

Player jersey

    1. Neck guard (Optional for most men's leagues)


    1. Helmet

Player helmet with full visor

    1. Gloves

Player gloves

  1. Stick

Player stick


Gemeral equipment and other facts




Hockey puck

Timing of a hockey game

A hockey game is usually consists of 3 periods of play. Although nowadays some men's amateur hockey league have reduced the play to 2 periods of play. This is done to increase the actual playing time since there is only 1 break between the first and second period instead of 2 breaks between the three periods. The length of the periods depend on the league you are playing in. In the National Hockey League (NHL) and in international hockey, the periods are 20 minutes each. For youth leagues the periods can vary from 10 to 20 minutes each.

There is also two types of timing in hockey: stop-time and straight-time (running time). In stop-time, the clock is stopped whenever there is a stoppage of play. This means that no time is lost when the referee blows the whistle. In straight-time, the clock continues to count down even when there is a stoppage of play. This means that if for a reason or another the play is stopped for a long time, there is less playing time for the game. This is similar to a soccer (or football for our European friends) where the entire period (or half in the case of soccer) is played within the specific amount of time displayed. But contrary to soccer, there is no extra time at the end of the game to compensate for the stoppage time that occurred during the game.

Line change

Hockey is a very demanding sport physically. Players usually do 45-90 seconds shifts on the ice. After their shift the players then do a line change. The line change works as follow: a player on the ice approaches his teams bench, the player that is going to replace him either jumps on over the board or goes on the ice through a door in the boards, the player that was on the ice exits the ice either by jumping over the boards on the bench or by going through the door in the boards. Hockey is one of the only sport where line changes can occur on the fly, i.e. during game play. A line change can also be done when the referee calls a stoppage of play.


During a hockey game, each team can take one "timeout". This timeout can be called at any point in the game and has a duration of 30 seconds. The timeout is usually used by a team to either give the players that are on the ice a rest or to explain a certain play/strategy that the coach want his players to execute when the game resumes.

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Read 23897 times Last modified on Sunday, 14 October 2012 19:30
Jean-Michel Roy

15+ Years experience as a goaltender

20+ Years experience playing hockey

Currently a goalie coach for Phil Martin's Goalie Academy.


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