Three Main Rules

To the left, is an image of a hockey rink, with lines showing the distance a puck must travel to trigger an official to call a penalty for a violation of one of the 'three main rules' of hockey. Below you will find detailed descriptions of each of these rules.

Three Main Rules Image
[1 - Icing The Puck] [2 - Offside] [3 - Offside Pass]

1. Icing The Puck

    Icing the puck is not permitted hen the teams are at equal numerical strength. Thus, it is an infraction when a player on his team's side of the red center line shoots the puck all the way down the ice, it crosses the red goal line at any point other than the goal itself and is first touched by a defending player. When this occurs, play is stopped and the puck is returned to the other end of the ice for a face-off in the offending team's zone.

    Icing the puck is not called:
    • If a goalie plays the puck by leaving his net.
    • If the puck cuts across part of the goal crease.
    • When a defending opponent, in the judgement of the linesman, could have played the puck before it crossed the red goal line.
    • When an attacking player who was onside (in the same zone) when the puck was shot down the ice manages to touch it first.
    • When a team is playing short-handed because of a penalty or penalties.

2. Offside

    A team is offside when any member of the attacking team precedes the puck over the defending team's blue line. The position of the player's skates and not that of his stick is the determining factor. If both skates are over the blue line before the puck, the player is offside. If he has only one skate over the blue line and one on it, he is onside.

3. Offside pass

    When a player passes the puck from his defending zone to a teammate beyond the center red line (thus crossing both the blue line and the red line), it is an offside pass. The position of the puck (not the player's skates in this case) is the determining factor in deciding from which zone the pass was made.

1997 - 2000