Whether you want to learn about the history and rules of this beloved sport, read news and blogs, buy equipment or game tickets, or simply become a better player, the Internet can meet your needs.
From the first time field hockey players in Northern Europe played on frozen lakes more than 500 years ago, to the day in 1892 that the English Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston, began to offer a silver bowl to the best amateur team, to today, the rules of the game have been evolving, and they are not necessarily the same every place you go. How do we know this? We visited the sites below, which teach you everything you’d like to know about hockey’s history and rules.
- The Canadians seem to do the best job of documenting the sport’s history, perhaps because they cherish it so much. The “.ca” you’ll see in the URL of several of the sites in this section tell you the site is from the hockey capital of the world.
- Take a look at this article on the U.S. College Hockey Online Web site about college rules; it explains how the NCAA Men's and Women's Ice Hockey Rules Committee is looking to change the rules in the near future.
For a brief history …
provides this concise history of hockey. The site also has a timeline with pictures, which makes the learning experience a little smoother.
is a unique Web site that charts the history of uniforms in the NHL. Although the Web site appears a bit unprofessional in design, it is definitely worth a look. You can click on any decade from the 1910s to the 2000s, and there are sub-years within each category. There is a brief history for each decade and pictures of those vintage uniforms.
For a more detailed history …
is probably the best source of information on the history of the sport. There are a number of historical segments written by different authors. Section titles include “Players you should know,” “Best … players … ever,” “The Evolution of Hockey,” and more.
The Library and Archives of Canada
compiled this collection of essays, historical documents, and artifacts that teach about the origins of hockey in Canada. The site sees hockey through a Canadian lens and without question connects hockey and Canada in a sentimental way. However, it is still a good source of information for anyone looking for a historical perspective. There’s also a version of the site geared toward kids
Hockey Hall of Fame
summarizes the history of the Hockey Hall of Fame beginning with its creation in 1943 and takes you to the present. You’ll also find a complete list of Hall of Fame founders and leaders with photos and brief bios.
Legends of Hockey.net
allows you to look up any player who has ever played the game to find biographical information, statistics, what teams he played for and for how long, and sometimes videos, pictures, and more. There are a number of different search options, making it easy to find what you want.
For rules …
offers the official NHL Rulebook. The sections consist of the rink, teams, equipment, penalties, officials, and playing rules. The page also contains a diagram of the rink, the goal crease, and goal frame with the official dimensions of each. There is also a face-off configuration and jersey measurements.
provides a great Web site called “NHL Rules!” that explains the more basic rules of the NHL game. The site doesn’t focus on dimensions and measurements like the previous site, but it boasts a short video rulebook that contains clips from the NHL of “boarding,” “high sticking,” and other infractions. There is a glossary of general terms such as “butterfly” and “sin bin,” and a glossary of penalties.
the Web site for the AHL’s Philadelphia Phantoms, contains all the rules for AHL hockey in the “Kids Page” of the site. The rules are fairly similar to those in the NHL, making this a very good place to learn about hockey rules in general. Also on the “Kids Page,” the “Common Penalties” link includes images of a referee making the appropriate gestures to indicate the penalty.
First Base Sports
brings you a lengthy glossary of hockey terms taken from the book “Ice Hockey Made Simple: A Spectator's Guide.” Here you can learn the meanings of such terms as “Norris Division” and “head deke.”
The International Unicycling Federation
presents this site. First of all, yes, there is an International Unicycling Federation. Second, there is a sport called Unicycle Hockey, and these are the rules. Our favorite: teams must agree beforehand on the “specific amount of elbow-room.”
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