Top 10+ Hockey Facts, Rules, And Safety Tips For Kids

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Hockey is a team game played with a stick and ball. The word ‘hockey’ was derived from the Middle French word ‘hoquet,’ meaning a shepherd’s staff. Share some interesting hockey facts for kids if they get excited whenever hockey is played on the TV and are passionate about learning more about it.

Hockey is the second most played sport in the world after football. It is also one of the oldest team sports, dating back to over 4000 years. This post brings you some fascinating facts about hockey for your kid.

In This Article

Facts And Information About Hockey For Kids

1. What is hockey?

Hockey is a two-team game played with sticks

Image: Shutterstock

Hockey is a team sport in which two teams play against each other, maneuvering a ball i.e., the hockey puck into the opponent’s goalpost by using a J-shaped hockey stick.

  • Each hockey team consists of 11 players that comprise attackers, defenders, and a goalkeeper.
  • Attackers try to hit, dribble, push, and pass the hockey puck in the opposite team’s goal to score a goal.
  • Defenders make an effort to stop the opposing team from scoring a goal, by counter-hitting the ball with their sticks.
  • The goalkeeper is the only one who can use his feet to stop or redirect the ball, besides using his stick.
  • The team making the maximum goals, in the allotted time, wins the game.

2. When did people start playing hockey?

Records reveal that the sport has been around since 1363, particularly when England’s Edward III put a ban on the sport and many other games in his royal declaration as he thought it was a waste of time. However, historical records reveal that several cultures that date far back about 4,000 years ago during the ancient Egyptian times, include records of playing games by using curved sticks. The first played indoor hockey game was in 1875 in Montreal in Canada. Although it is a popular sport that originated in Canada, it is now played all over the world, including the USA where it has gained a significant following in recent years, and the country has produced some of the best players in the world.

There are different kinds of hockey like field hockey, roller hockey, ice hockey, sledge hockey, and street hockey.

3. What are the different types of hockey?

There are several types of hockey, each with unique rules and characteristics.

  • Field hockey: Field hockey is played on a grass or artificial turf field. Two teams consisting of 11 players (including a goalkeeper) use curved sticks to hit the small ball into the opposing team’s goal. Field hockey is particularly popular in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
  • Ice hockey: Ice hockey is played on an ice rink. Two teams of skaters try to score goals by shooting a puck into the opponent’s net. Players use ice skates, hockey sticks, and protective gear to play the game. Ice hockey is especially popular in North America, Europe, and Russia.
  • Bandy hockey: Bandy is a form of hockey that shares some similarities with ice hockey and field hockey. Bandy is typically played on a large ice surface similar to an ice hockey rink but larger in dimensions. Players use a bandy stick to play this game. Bandy hockey is popular in Russia, Sweden, Finland, and Norway.
protip_icon Trivia
Women’s hockey was first introduced in the 1980 Olympics, with Zimbabwe taking home the first gold medal.

4. What is a hockey puck?

A hockey puck is a vulcanized rubber disc which serves the same purpose as a ball does in ball-related games. Here are some interesting facts about it.

  • A hockey puck has a three-inch diameter, and people freeze it before playing so that it doesn’t bounce while playing.
  • The first hockey puck was used in the 1800s and was made of frozen cow dung.
  • Bobby Hull is famous in the history of hockey for shooting the fastest hockey puck at 118 miles per hour.

5. What was the shape of hockey sticks earlier?

Hockey sticks would be straight before the 1960s. The credit of introducing curved hockey sticks goes to Stan Mikita, a Chicago Blackhawks Hall of Famer.

They are made of dense mulberry wood and fiberglass or aluminum.

6. What is special about the Stanley Cup?

The Stanley Cup is widely famous for its commencement in 1893. Here are some facts about the tournament.

  • Stanley Cup is named after the former Canadian Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston, who earns the reputation of donating the trophy in 1893.
  • The Stanley Cup was originally seven inches tall. However, today it is greater than 35 inches tall.
  • Hockey fans in Detroit throw octopi on the ice when the Red Wings score during the playoffs. This tradition is since the Original Six era when the players took eight wins to win the Stanley Cup. So, fans consider one win for every octopus tentacle.
  • The team that won the maximum Stanley Cups is the Montreal Canadiens.
  • The Stanley Cup is played every year. The tournament was not held in 1919, due to Spanish flu epidemic, and 2005, due to a strike,
  • The Stanley Cup has its share of craziness where it has been used as a cereal bowl, accidently left by a roadside, tossed in a swimming pool, and it also went missing on a 2010 flight from New Jersey to Vancouver. An Air Canada employee, later, recovered it.
  • There are 12 names of women inscribed on the Stanley Cup. These 12 women were team executives. The first name is Marguerite Norris, the president of the Detroit Red Wings for its 1954-55 season victory.

7. What is ice hockey and how it started?

Each team has six players in ice hockey

Image: Shutterstock

Players play ice hockey on the ice wearing ice skates. Ice Hockey skates are different from figure skates. Ice skates have a long blade which extends through the end of the boot, and the player does not suffer from a toe pick.

protip_icon Did you know?
A goalie’s skate blades in ice hockey are shorter than the other players to improve balance and make skating from side to side easy.
  • The origin of the game is unknown. However, it is believed that this was played by the people in the Northern European nations for centuries. Here are some amazing facts about ice hockey.
  • Each team has six players at a time. The penalty can make an exception.
  • The aim of an ice hockey game is to knock the hockey puck into the opponent’s net. The Goalie, goalkeeper, guards the net.
  • Ice rinks in the North America are 200 feet long and 85 feet wide.
  • The first Amateur Hockey Association came into being in 1888.
  • Ice hockey bagged a place in the Winter Olympics in 1924.
  • The first ever women’s hockey game took place in Ottawa, Canada in 1892.
  • Zamboni is a machine used to keep the ice in the ice rink intact. Frank Zamboni invented this machine in 1949.
  • J.G.A. Creighton from Canada wrote the rules of modern ice hockey.
  • Players played the first game of ice hockey following the Creighton’s rules in Montreal, Canada in 1875.
  • The Montreal Gazette published the first known rules of ice hockey in 1877.

8. When did the NHL come into existence?

  • The National Hockey League i.e., NHL has been active since 1917.
  • NHL comprises five teams, namely Montreal Canadians, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Arenas, Montreal Wanderers, and Quebec Bulldogs. Only Toronto Arenas has artificial ice to play.
  • Bobby Orr bagged the first NHL million dollar contract in 1971. The five-year term contract was of $ 200,000.

9. What Is ‘The Original Six’?

A group of six hockey teams is famous as ‘The Original Six’, which includes Chicago Blackhawks, Montreal Canadians, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and New York Rangers. Today, 30 hockey teams are known for being a part of NHL.

10. What are the unique records in the NHL?

  • Darryl Sittler is famous for the record of the most points in a single game. He got 10 points in a hockey game, between his team Toronto Maple Leafs and the opponent Boston Bruins, on February 6, 1976, and the Leafs won. Initially, Maurice Rocket Richard had set the record with 8 points.
  • Phil Esposito of Boston Bruins is the first NHL hockey player who has a record of 100 points in a season in 1969.
  • Wayne Gretzky is famous for holding 61 NHL records, the maximum records by any hockey player to date.
  • Craig MacTavish is the last player in NHL to play the game without a helmet. He retired in 1997.
  • Joe Malone holds the NHL record for most goals in a match on January 31, 1920. He scored seven times for Bulldogs while playing against the Toronto St. Pats.
  • Edmonton Oilers’ Paul Coffey made an NHL record as the defensemen with 37 points in 1985 playoffs.

11. Who was the first woman to play in the NHL?

Manon Rheaume was the first woman player who played in the NHL. She is famous for being the goalie for Tampa Bay Lightning in 1992.

Top 5 Hockey Safety Tips For Kids

1. Adult Supervision:

Supervision by adults helps minimize injuries in the game

Image: Shutterstock

Even though your little players sincerely follow all safety tips and rules of the match, accidents can happen. Your supervision and alertness can prove beneficial in an event of injury or any emergency.

2. Provide Your Kid All Essential Safety Equipment:

Make sure your kids play the game of hockey by using all necessary equipment to ensure their safety. Offer your child a full mask, foam-lined helmet, secure mouth guard, and chin strap, pads for shoulders, knees, elbows, shins, and hips, padded hockey pants, gloves, safety glasses, and an athletic supporter. Neck guards help safeguard your kid’s spine. Ensure your child wears a safety gear before the game starts. The safety equipment that you use should come from a certified institute (1).

3. Make Sure All Equipment Fit Well:

Wearing a helmet helps avoid serious injuries to head

Image: Shutterstock

Loose helmet or poorly fitted knee pads will fail to safeguard your kid’s body during the game. The helmet must fit snugly and accommodate your chin gently to protect it. So, check whether all equipment fit well before the match begins.

4. Enroll In A League Having Good Reputation:

Body checks and collisions account for high percentage of accidents and serious injuries. So, make sure you kid joins a reputed hockey league which doesn’t allow body checks and collisions.

5. Ensure Your Kids Train Under Supervision Of Expert Coach:

Make sure your kid’s coaches:

  • Insist players do warm-up and stretch before playing.
  • Enforce all appropriate rules of the game.
  • Encourage fair and safe play practices
  • Don’t allow body checking and teach proper position to anticipate body checks.
  • Teach your kid to avoid head contact with other players and boards since severe neck and head injuries may occur.
  • A coach should never allow checking from behind the player.

Top 11 Hockey Rules For Kids

Knowing hockey facts for kids helps them enjoy the game

Image: Shutterstock

Here, we list some prominent hockey rules for kids:

  1. Each hockey team comprises 11 players and six substitutes.
  2. Each player possesses a hockey stick, and should use only one side i.e. flat side of the stick to hit the puck.
  3. The left hand should be on the right hand while dribbling or pushing the puck. Avoid holding the stick cross-handed.
  4. You need to flick or press the ball with hands apart and bent knees. Place both hands together on the upper end of the stick to hit the puck. Emphasis is on pushing not hitting.
  5. You cannot push the puck with your feet or hands.
  6. You can dribble the ball with the end of the stick or by rotating the stick on the ball, but your body should come in contact with the ball intentionally.
  7. You should keep the hockey stick below the shoulder height at all times, or you will bear a penalty.
  8. You should never use the sticks to hit others. Never swing it at them dangerously.
  9. Body checking and stick-checking are strictly prohibited.
  10. You can score a goal when you hit the ball into your opponent’s goal successfully within the 16-yard area.
  11. It leads to a foul or infringement when a player.
  • Attempts to throw the hockey puck off another player intentionally.
  • Hits the ball by using the rounded side of the stick.
  • Intentionally uses a body part to stop or move the puck.
  • Raises their stick above the waist height (2).

Upper-level open hockey is only for 12-year and above kids, only if they can play safely with better skaters.

We hope your kid is all geared up to play? Tell us how his experience as a player was in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. At what age do most kids start playing hockey?

Children may start playing hockey between five and nine years. However, some may also start at an older age (3).

2. How do I get my child interested in hockey?

Hockey is a fantastic sport, and if you are a hockey fan and want your child to play the sport, you can try:

  • Taking them to hockey games from a young age
  • Showing them hockey shows
  • Discussing the famous hockey players
  • Using fascinating facts to pique their interest

3. What are the benefits of playing hockey for kids?

Playing hockey benefits children by promoting physical fitness, teaching teamwork and fair play, improving coordination, fostering perseverance, facilitating social interaction, boosting self-confidence, and providing an enjoyable experience.

4. What are the levels of competitive hockey for kids?

In the USA and Canada, minor hockey levels usually start with beginner programs, Learn to Play or Timbits. As children improve, they can join house or community leagues, then move on to select or travel teams for competition. The highest levels are AAA or AA leagues, which offer intense competition and opportunities for advancement. The names and structure of these levels might vary by region and hockey association.

5. What are the different positions in hockey?

In ice hockey, there are forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. Forwards try to score goals, defensemen protect their team’s goal, and goaltenders guard the net. In field hockey, there is a goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders, and attackers. Attackers are responsible for creating goal-scoring opportunities, midfielders play offense and defense, defensive players protect the goal and goalkeepers guard the net.

6. What are the basic tactics used in hockey?

Basic tactics in hockey include passing, speed and agility, positioning, teamwork, and offensive and defensive strategies. These tactics help create scoring chances, defend the goal, and control the game. Adaptability and communication are essential for success.

Sharing some hockey facts for kids with your child can increase their interest in the game. You may explain the basic rules of hockey to them, such as how many players are on each team and how to score. Explain to them about attackers, defenders, and goalkeeper roles in the team and various other techniques. It can be more interesting for children to know these facts while watching hockey on TV or in the stadium. You may tell them about hockey sticks, the Stanley cup, and ice hockey to make it more interesting.

Infographic: Rules For Hockey Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers are as crucial as on-field players in a hockey game, if not more. They shoulder the responsibility of stopping the final attack from opponents. Therefore, they need to follow some special rules, different from that of other players. The infographic below summarizes the special rules for hockey goalkeepers that will expand children’s knowledge of this exciting game.

special rules related to hockey goalkeepers (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Hockey is a team sport played with 11 players on each team, including attackers, defenders, and goalkeepers.
  • Attackers aim to score goals, defenders try to prevent the opposing team from scoring, and goalkeepers defend the goal.
  • The Stanley Cup, a popular tournament that began in 1893, is still ongoing today.
  • Ice hockey is another type of hockey played on ice with sticks and a puck.
  • It’s crucial for children to wear appropriate safety gear and for the game to be supervised by an adult.
Hockey Facts For Kids_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

This fascinating video uncovers 50 incredible hockey facts. Learn all about the exciting world of this popular sport.


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  1. Team Sports Safety, Children Ages Six to 19 Years.
  2. Hockey.
  3. Late Starters Late Bloomers & Long Term Success.
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