For people that come from outside the United States and Canada, ice hockey and the National Hockey League (NHL) might appear foreign. Most people around the world are a bit more familiar with field hockey and indoor hockey. Ice hockey is not that much different from the hockey that is played on turf. One of the major differences is the surface. Since the surface for ice hockey is different, skates must be worn so that players can move freely on ice. The ice is a bit different from the grass where a ball can roll smoothly. A puck is used instead of a ball as it glides better on ice.
How Ice Hockey is Played
Since the ice rink is small, the number of players is less than field hockey. A total of six players are present on ice for each team. Five of the players from each side are skaters, and the sixth man/woman is the goaltender. Just like any other sport, ice hockey also has some extras or reserves in case of injury or penalties. The usual roaster consists of twenty players per side. Twelve of the players are forwards who are in charge of attacking and scoring, and six are in charge of defense and two goaltenders. There is usually a first-choice goaltender and a reserve goaltender in the case of injury.
An average NHL game takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes. This time frame takes into account all the stoppages, which could get up to 81, as well as the regulation time. Despite all the stoppages, ice hockey games are very fast-paced. It is for this reason that players have to be fit for them to handle all the strain that comes with the intensity and length of the game. Things such as concussions are regularly checked as they affect the players present and future performance.