Ice hockey is a fast-paced game in which two teams of six players compete to push a hard rubber puck into the opposing team’s goal for a score. Players use sticks or their feet, but not their hands, to move the puck across the ice. A goalie protects his team’s goal. Teams can be men’s, women’s, or co-ed. Youth hockey games have three periods of 12 minutes each (adults play for three 20-minute periods).
Yes. Players who can’t stand erect can play sled hockey, using a specially designed sled to move across the ice. “Special hockey” is for players with developmental disabilities or other special needs. There are also teams for amputees, the blind, and the hearing-impaired
This is a fast-paced, contact sport, so it can be risky. Most common injuries include sprains (of the thigh, knee, and ankle), concussions, and facial lacerations. Safety equipment and rules help keep kids in youth leagues safer.
Since May 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that body checking is limited to elite, older players only (those age 15 and up). Get a tip sheet on preventing hockey injuries from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine