Ice hockey is a sport that mainly focuses on skills, speed, discipline and teamwork. The fast pace of an ice hockey game puts the coordination, agility and speed of the players to the test.
Although ice hockey is played with a flat puck, it is technically a ball sport. A teams consists of 15 to 20 players. There are always 5 field players and 1 goalie on the ice who are constantly changing. A match consists of 3 periods of 20 minutes with 2 interruptions of 15 minutes. But for children, the size of the playing field and the length of the playing time is adapted to the age of the players.
A traditional ice hockey match consists of 3 periods of 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, the game will pause, and the time will stop.
The playing rules of ice hockey can differ per federation. The playing rules are usually quite similar, but the difference is in the details. The rules we describe here always apply, to everyone.
Ice hockey is played on an ice rink, whereby the players move around on skates. It is therefore evident that this is one of the first skills that the players fully master.
The object of the game is to get the puck into the opposing team's goal. Therefore, the players practice a lot on moving the puck on the stick, as well as sharpening their eye-hand coordination.
Once the players are comfortable using the stick to control the puck, they learn how to pass the puck to another player. Also receiving a puck that is played to you is one of the exercises.
Now that the players know how to move, receive and pass the puck, it's time to finish the teamwork. They do this by learning to shoot on goal.
Skates are the most important part of an ice hockey player’s equipment.
Buy properly fitted skates. Poorly-sized skates can potentially lead to injuries and negatively affect skating skills.
A young ice hockey player's skates must be the same size as his or her shoes.
You can opt for a neoprene player glove with protection for the hand only. These gloves leave the fingers free and only protect the palm and the outside of the hand. The palm protection comes in handy when you play on artificial turf. When you make a slide and catch yourself on the hands, this can lead to burn marks on the palms. You can prevent this by wearing gloves. These are then worn on both hands. Often these gloves have a patch on top of the hand to protect against contact with the ball or stick of the opponent.
First of all: a helmet is like a pair of shoes; you have to be able to test it ‘physically’. It is therefore not advisable to buy your helmet on the internet, even though the prices might be attractive. Ideally, you should visit a specialized hockey store, where a salesperson will be able to advise and assist you. If you nevertheless buy via the internet, try the model you chose in a store first and then order the identical model in the correct size via the internet. Also pay attention to the websites you visit. Make sure that the seller is legitimate and that helmets are of official brands and properly homologated (European label sticker).
How to find the right size of stick is the same for ice hockey, street and inline hockey. However, you cannot use the same stick for ice, inline or street hockey. Some sticks are best suited for ice hockey, while others are designed for street or inline hockey. Traditionally, a wooden stick is more suitable for inline hockey because it is more durable and heavier, but you can also easily use a stick with a combination of wood and composite materials. Please note, when using an ice hockey stick for street or inline hockey, the blade of the stick has a significantly shorter life due to the rapid wear of the wooden blade.
The shoulder pads protect your chest and back against blows and if you fall.
The elbow pads protect your elbows if you fall.
The shinpads protect your legs and knees.
The pants protect your buttocks and kidneys.
Jersey and socks cover the equipment and show team colors.
Ice hockey is a team sport. Your child will therefore come into contact with a whole group of peers. The long time they spend together inevitably creates friendships that last a lifetime.
In a team sport such as ice hockey, players work hard together during the weekly training sessions towards a common goal. Achieving these goals and seeing progress through hard work can greatly boost your child's confidence.
Your child is challenged both physically and mentally during an ice hockey game. Due to the fast pace of the sport, a player has to keep his/her attention at all times and be able to make quick decisions.
Ice hockey teaches your child to help others, to share and to get the most out of themselves. The training and exercises ensure that discipline and a sense of responsibility are created. Each player is responsible for the team's success.
What could be more fun than having a great time on the ice with your friends, being able to release energy and feed your creativity?
Many people think that ice hockey is a dangerous sport because it might often seem a rather rough game. However, that is certainly not the case. All players are wearing protective equipment which protects the whole body in the event of a fall or collision. In addition, respect and fair play are paramount throughout the entire ice hockey federation.
You need to wear a lot of protective equipment for ice hockey, but it does not have to be expensive. Parents are often inclined to buy more expensive equipment than necessary because they prefer the top model in the series. But equipment is first and foremost about safety and provides the children with the necessary protection to enjoy themselves without getting hurt on the ice. In addition, cheap equipment for children can already be found or children can start with a set that is made available by the club so that one does not immediately have to invest in a full equipment.
Ice hockey is a fast game. It is necessary for both the players and the spectators to be attentive. An ice hockey game is therefore by no means boring.
Ice hockey is suitable for everyone, for both boys and girls. There is not just one type of person who meets the requirements to become a good hockey player. Everyone starts on an equal footing.