The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Romans, and Arabs, perhaps among the earliest of stick-and-ball games, played forms of hockey. A sport similar to hockey, called Hurling, is known to have been played during the 1st millennium in Ireland, and other Europeans in the Middle Ages adopted similar sports. The historians don’t know for certain where the name Hockey came from. But most of them thought the name hockey have been adapted by the English from the French word hoquet (shepherd’s crook). How ever was the name first given to the sport in the 18th century, but was not in common usage until the 19th century. Hockey then started in Canada in the mid-1800’s. By the 1900’s it had become Canada’s national sport. Since then, hockey has become popular in many other countries including Russia, Sweden and the United States. For violations of this rule, an official signals the offending team offside and conducts a face-off in the neutral zone.
A player may pass to a teammate anywhere in the same zone. The player may also pass from the defending zone to a teammate in their team’s half of the neutral zone. If the pass is received past the centerline an official signals the pass offside and conducts a face-off where the play began. Hockey requires a variety of skills. They include checking, skating, passing, stick handling and shooting. Checking is the way a player takes the puck away from the opponent. There are two main types of checks: stick checks and body checks. For a stick check the player uses his stick to hook or poke the puck away from the opponent. In a body check the player bumps against the opponent with a hip or a shoulder to try any block the opponent’s progress or throw the opponent off balance. Both stick checking and body checking are allowed only against a player in control of the puck or the last player to control it.
Skating is the most important hockey skill. Players must be able to turn sharply, skate backwards and perform many other maneuvers while skating at top speed. They must be able to do this with their head up and while stick handling the puck. Passing occurs when a player who has the puck passes it to another player. In most cases the players use their sticks to propel the puck toward the receiver. These passes are either flat passes or flip passes. To make a flat pass the player sends the puck traveling along the surface of the ice. To make a flip pass the player causes it to rise off the ice to avoid interception by an opponent. Sometimes the passer simply leaves the puck behind, so that a teammate can get it, this is called a drop pass. Stick handling is the use of the stick to control the puck. The player first moves the puck with one side of the blade and then with the other side while skating. The player makes some sweeps of the stick some wide and some narrow.
In this way the player keeps the opponent guessing as to the next move and also makes it difficult to steal the puck. Shooting is the skill needed to drive the puck into the net and score goals. Most shots are either wrist shots or slap shots. In a wrist shot the blade does not leave the ice. The player uses strong wrist action to propel the puck. For a slap shot the player raises the stick for a back swing and brings it down against the puck with great force. Slap shots are more powerful but less accurate than wrist shots. Offside plays and icing account for most violations of the rules. For these violations, the offending team risks losing control of the puck in the resulting face-off. For more serious violations, players receive penalties ranging from two minutes in the penalty box to removal from the game, but each team must always have at least four players on the ice.
If a third player is penalized while two teammates are in the penalty box, a substitute may replace the player on the ice. A teammate may serve the goaltender’s penalty. Hockey has five main kinds of penalties: minor penalties, major penalties, misconduct penalties, match penalties and penalty shots. Minor penalties are given for violations like holding, tripping or hooking resulting in two minutes in the penalty box. The team must play short-handed until the time is up or the other team scores. But if the same minor penalty is awarded against players on both teams they sit for the full to minutes and two different players may replace them on the ice. Major penalties are given mainly for fighting or cutting or drawing blood with a stick, they result in five minutes in the penalty box. The penalized team must play short-handed for the full five minutes, but if a player on each team receives a major penalty at the same time, substitutes may replace both players on the ice.