How Long Is A Hockey Pitch? [Fact Checked!]

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Hockey is a fast-paced game that involves a lot of physical contact between players. It’s no wonder why so many of these games end up in fistfights. The most violent of which have even been known to go into the fiercest of battles over a spilled drink or a bad bounce off the boards. Naturally, this is unacceptable, and the NHL has taken steps to ensure all hockey games are protected and officiated fairly. This page will discuss the length of a hockey pitch, as well as the minimum and maximum dimensions that a hockey rink should adhere to.

The Size Of A Hockey Pitch

According to the NHL, the size of a hockey pitch is 9.84 meters by 7.68 meters (that’s 31.64 feet by 23.06 feet). If you’re unfamiliar, a hockey rink is a rectangular, open-air ice surface that’s anchored to the ground with metal posts and surrounded by a metal fence. The pitch is where the action takes place, and since it’s the largest of the three areas in a hockey rink, it’s the busiest as well. It’s also the part that the refs patrol the most, making sure that the fighters stay at least 3.63 meters from the boards, which are the white lines that divide the area in half. Another major point of emphasis is keeping the fight area clear of any obstruction that could be used as a weapon or as a means of escape. While hockey is a fairly easy game to officiate, it can still be a lot of fun, especially when there are just a few guys on one team and one goalie on the other.

Maximum And Minimum Dimensions For A Rink

There are a few restrictions that NHL rinks must adhere to. Below are the minimum dimensions for a playable hockey rink.

  • The distance from the top of the glass area to the top of the playing surface must be at least 4.43 meters
  • No chair or table can be placed in the rink
  • No wall or fence can be built that intrudes beyond the rink’s boundaries
  • The playing surface must be flat and free of any depressions or obstructions
  • There must be a clear path from one end of the rink to the other
  • The capacity of the rink must be no greater than 500 people (375 seated)

Beyond these dimensions, there are also a few suggestions that the NHL makes regarding how the game should be played, such as keeping the puck on the ice for as long as possible, and icing the puck immediately after a faceoff.

How Many Seconds To A Goal?

Aside from the size of the pitch, the other major concern that the NHL has when it comes to the rules of hockey is how long the players have to shoot the puck before it counts as a goal. If you’re wondering, there is no specific time limit, but over the years, the officials have tried to keep things interesting by reducing the amount of time that the teams have to wait for a break in the action, and this makes it more difficult for the opposition to comeback.

According to one source, the wait time for a goal to be converted from a shot on goal has dropped from 105.7 seconds to just 100 seconds since the start of the 2014-2015 season. In the past few years, the average wait time for a goal has been 102 seconds, and the NHL wants this number to stay as low as possible. Keeping the puck on the ice for as long as possible is a common strategy in hockey, and keeping the opposition waiting for a break in the action is one way of enticing the other team to make a mistake, or at least lose their concentration.

However, there are instances where less time is better. If a player scores a hat trick in one period, that goal will stand and the rest of the period will be without a goal. On the flip side, if a team scores a lot of goals early in the game and doesn’t look back, the other team will have a hard time trying to come back. This is where the 100-second limit on goals comes in, as any longer than that and the other team will have enough time to get comfortable again and make the game more difficult to watch.

The Size Of Drinks And Food Stands

Since drinking is allowed during a game, it’s a given that fans will come ready to drink. This means that there has to be a place where they can consume beverages, and the best location for this is right at the center of the ice. Drinks and food stands aren’t allowed to be outside the playing area, nor are they allowed to be near the netting that surrounds the rink. This is to keep the players free from distraction, as well as to keep any potential weapons away from the action.

Another major point of emphasis is that the size of the food and drink stands must be proportional to the size of the rink. If you’ve ever been to an outdoor hockey game, you’ll know that the concessions are pretty popular, and this is mainly because there are so many seats near the boards that it’s easy for everyone in the audience to get their hands on some snacks and drinks. The problem is that this makes it really difficult to move around, especially when there are a lot of people, and this is why the NHL wants the food and drink stands to be built so they can move around easily. There will also be a separate entryway for people with disabilities, should they choose to attend a game.

Where To Sit

While the center ice location is ideal for drinks and food, it doesn’t provide much in the way of comfort for the audience. If you’ve ever been to an outdoor hockey game, you’ll know that there isn’t any place nearby where you can sit and enjoy the game. It’s either a standing or a lying position, and for the latter, you have to make sure that your nose doesn’t obstruct the view of the ice. Another major conundrum is trying to eat a hot dog when your hands are free to fight during a game. Naturally, this would make the game more interesting, but it’s also sure to cause you some trouble. The best solution is to take a bite of the frankfurter while the game is paused, or to nip the end off during a stoppage in play. This way, you’ll be able to keep your hands free to do as you please while still enjoying the game.

How To Get There

Getting to a hockey game is simple enough. Just take the Metro to Nationals Stadium or any of its nearby stations, and you’re good to go. It’s a 30-minute drive to the United Centre (formerly the Pengrowth Centre), and this is about as far as you need to go. The NHL doesn’t recommend taking a car, as traffic is always a problem, especially during the playoffs. There is no public transportation to the Bell MTS Place, and with the amount of people that will be tailgating and trying to find a parking spot, it could take hours to get to your seat. This is another major point in favor of taking the Metro, as it will get you there quicker than most other options. There is also the option of taking a cab, but you’ll end up paying a lot for the ride, especially during the week. Tired of wasting time looking for a parking spot? One option is to park in one of the city-owned lots or garages. Many of these spots are near the stadium, and this is probably the easiest way to get there. Remember: alcohol isn’t allowed inside the stadium, so you can’t drink and drive, and you’ll also need a wristband to enter. For those of you who are worried about violence, or those who want to keep their drink inside the stadium, take a look at the safety measures that are in place.

As you can see, there are a lot of safety precautions that officials take when it comes to hockey, and these are in place for a reason. Keeping things clean and organized is the key to ensuring that everyone has a good time, and the officials work hard at this. Just remember to abide by the rules and have fun.

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