Hockey is the favourite sport of Canadians. Ice hockey is a speed sport that is widely played around the world. This team sport is the official national sport of Canada, where it originated. For information, the second official Canadian national sport is lacrosse. The first is played in winter and the second in summer.
Hockey is a very physical contact game, so it is highly regulated. It is played on an adapted ice rink that must be regulated. The length of the rink must be between 56 and 61 metres. Its width must be between 26 and 30 m. However, a minimum size of 60 x 29 m is required for international competitions. It must be surrounded by protective glass.
The playing area is divided into several zones and must have rounded corners. The defence zone is followed by a neutral zone and then an attack zone. Several red or blue lines mark the different zones.
Each team consists of up to twenty players and two goalkeepers. The captain and his two assistants are the only ones allowed to talk to the referees.
During the game, only six teammates are on the field of play at any one time. There is of course the goalkeeper and two defenders. Then there is a centre and two allies, all three of whom are strikers.
On the bench are the players and the managers. There can be a maximum of eight managers. One or two referees work with two linesmen to officiate the game.
The aim of the game is to score as many goals as possible. To do this, you have to send a puck, also called a puck, into the opponent’s goal.
A game in this sport is played in 3 periods of 20 minutes. A resurfacer resurfaces the ice between each period.
There are many national and international competitions. Canadian teams are very well known and have won many awards.
In popular culture
Hockey is very popular and is part of Canadian culture. It is featured in many movies, television series, and video games. It is also the subject of many songs.
In Canada, it is a real institution. It is part of the life of the country and fans actively support their favourite teams. If you are visiting Canada, you should definitely go to the stadium to see a game.
In Montreal, go to the Bell Centre to see the “Montreal Canadiens” team. This team, founded in 1909, is the most successful in the National Hockey League. You will appreciate the atmosphere and the reaction of the fans. A goal or a victory and an entire nation lights up with joy.
In Quebec, hockey is the rhythm of life for the inhabitants. Most of them regularly wear clothes in the colours of their team. You will find many types of merchandise related to hockey. The games are broadcast in restaurants. Everywhere you look, you will find a reference to hockey. The names of the great stars adorn street names, statues, and monuments.
The sport is an outstanding part of the Canadian identity!
Players need specific equipment: skates, sticks, uniforms, and pads. Ice skates must be sharp and suitable for hockey. The stick, or hockey stick, is made of wood and will have a curved end. It may be made of another material if approved. The uniform shall consist of a jersey, shorts, and socks. It must be in the team colours.
There are several types of protection, above and below the uniform.
Among the protections above, the helmet must be worn during the warm-up and the match. The chinstrap is compulsory but the full grille or visor depends on the position. Gloves should provide good coverage and protect the hands and wrists.
There is more protection under the jersey. There are shoulder pads, elbow pads, chest protectors, leg protectors, and shells.
The goalkeepers will have additional protection. The chest protector is reinforced and has more coverage, and the breeches are thicker. In addition, the helmet is lined with a mask. Also, they have different gloves. One is more of a mitt for catching the puck. The other has a shield and is used to hold the stick and push the puck away.