Learn the basics
The first step towards falling in love with hockey is learning the basics. This teaches you what to expect from the game and how to react.
There are minor leagues in NHL that play competitively. A single game lasts for 60 minutes and is broken down into 20 minutes timeframes.
In case teams are tied by the end of 60 minutes, an extra five minutes is added as overtime. Most teams break out of ties during overtime. However, teams that do not break out go into shootouts. Don’t worry because it does not involve guns. Each team attempts to score a certain number of goals. Players wear uniforms during matches. More NHL merchandise can be bought from local stores to wear during the game. Learning the basics changes you from a newbie to a pro.
Know the purpose of hockey
Hockey is not a game that is played because people have nothing to do. There is an objective behind the sport that fans ought to know. The two main objectives are to score and prevent the other team from scoring. Players try to pass the opposing team’s goal to score. Hockey is an easy game that can be played by anyone.
Learn the rules
Every game has rules, and hockey is no different. Don’t be fooled by old hockey movies, which make it seem like there are no rules. On the contrary, there are various rules that players are expected to follow. Any player who breaks them does not play and risk facing disciplinary actions. It has strict timing and several penalties. The penalties are put in place for players’ safety. Hockey involves the use of sticks, which can be dangerous if poorly used. There are penalties on tripping, delaying a game, moving the stick above the waist, and hitting a player with the bat. Some players have been barred from playing because of disregarding these rules. They are not supposed to lift the stick above the waist to avoid injuries. Others use the hook of the stick to hook on other players, and this doesn’t seem right. Learning these rules puts you in the right place to watch the game. You can tell when the game is progressing as expected.
Moreover, there are major penalties that can prevent one from playing the game forever. Players are not supposed to look from behind once the game starts. Fighting is not allowed, and anyone caught risks being given a penalty.
Look at the penalty box
Players that get penalties sit in the outer part of the game. They would sit for two minutes if they were given minor penalties and five minutes for major penalties. The penalty box was developed to sort the issue of penalties once and for all. The penalty box is a cubicle where penalized players sit until their timeframe expires. There is a timekeeper who checks the time and only lets the disgruntled player out when time is over. While this might seem like a minor penalty, it is not. Players who leave the cubicle before the penalty time expires risk more penalties. Hence, it is essential to stay calm until the time expires.
Moreover, teammates rely on each other, and they suffer a great deal when one of them is in the penalty box. Players remain the penalty box the entire game for major penalties. Players try as much as possible to avoid penalties, but it is not always possible.
Watch more matches
You will learn the game fast by watching more hockey tournaments. It will be easier to understand the game because you know the basics. Start by watching matches on TV before you go to stadiums. Some commentators know more about the game and will teach you a lot about the game. Moreover, you can pause or rewind if something is not clear. Watch several matches alone or with friends, and you will love hockey.
Have a favorite team or player
People will want to know your favorite team and player once they know you are a fan. Avoid the embarrassment of talking about the game without following a particular team. You have many options to choose from. Have clear reasons why you are supporting the team or player.
NHL hockey is fascinating to watch. Become a fan by learning the basics by knowing the objective of the game, having a favorite player, knowing the rules, and watching matches. This is one of the sports that your kids can play with ease. Take them to watch matches if they are interested.