Our Sports Feel Good Stories In-depth Hockey Dictionary explains and takes a deep dive into common hockey terms. Sure, you might have a general understanding of the hockey term “icing,” but do you really know what it means? We can help.
This menu page provides a short description of each term. Importantly, each term has a link out to a page that elaborates on the topic to a much greater extent. We’ve also added videos and diagrams to help your understanding. We’ll continue to add to the hockey dictionary as we go.
Dictionary of Hockey Terms
Cross-checking – Officially, cross-checking in hockey is the act of using the shaft of a stick between two hands to forcefully check an opponent where no portion of the stick is on the ice. But it is a fine line between what is considered an infraction compared to what is legal checking. A legal hit can be considered illegal if the instigator’s skates come off the ice.
Face-off – A face-off occurs when two players from each team stand at the face-off spot and an official drops the puck. Each player battles with their stick to determine who wins possession of the puck and the play. A face-off starts at the beginning of each period but also after a penalty, game stoppage, such as if the puck leaves the ice, and after a goal is scored.
Fighting in Hockey – Gloves off, punches thrown, wresting to the ice; this is fighting in hockey. What may not be clear to the less experienced viewer, however, is that some players specifically take on the role of fighting. That, and there is also a code to how it’s done.
High Sticking – High sticking, not to be confused with a high stick call, is when a player makes contact with their stick on another player above his shoulders. This can be both intentional or accidental. This often happens when players are battling over the puck and a player lifts their stick for the puck, but in doing so, hits the other player. A high sticking infraction involving an opposing player results in a penalty.
Icing – Simply put, icing occurs when a team shoots the puck from their side of the ice across the center red line and it crosses the goal line of the opposing team (as seen in the image below). It is the bold, red line that divides the rink in half. Icing is an infraction in the game of hockey.
Offside – The definition of offside in hockey: This occurs when the attacking player proceeds the puck into the attacking zone, past the blue line. There are three variations: offside, delayed offside, and intentional offside. Let’s focus on the first one for now by checking out this cute youth hockey tutorial of what are simple offside plays.
Situation Room in the NHL – The Situation Room (not to be confused with the one in the White House) is the league’s headquarters where the final decision on a questionable call takes place. While the referees on the ice make most of the calls, sometimes reviews of the play are needed. In other words, it is the quality control room.
Stanley Cup – The National Hockey League Championship Trophy is called the Stanley Cup. The trophy is named after Lord Stanley who was Governor Central of Canada and is credited with donating the cup as a prize for Canada’s top-ranking amateur hockey team.
Hockey is one of the most exciting sports to watch and play. A great place to start is with the NHL playoffs. If you’ve never watched a game, tune in for some fun tv viewing.
By Danielle L’Ami with Mike O’Halloran
Danielle is a Canadian sportswriter who lives in the Toronto area. Mike is the founder and editor of Sports Feel Good Stories.
You’re on our Hockey Terms and Definitions Dictionary page.
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