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Hockey 101: A primer on the rules of the game

Adam Hendren has some simple advice for hockey newbies. “I think the biggest problem in hockey is people try to watch the puck, and it’s not about that,” he says. “It’s about watching the play develop and watching the players away from the puck.” Hendred would know. For nearly 20 years, he’s officiated hundreds of games at the youth, adult and minor-league levels. Today, the native Las Vegan serves as president of the Las Vegas Hockey Officials Association, which means if you’ve watched or played in an ice hockey game here, his group has been there to blow the whistle. Hendren schooled us on some basics—USA hockey rule back in hand—to prepare us for Vegas’ entry into the NHL.

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      ICING “Sending the puck down the ice untouched before you cross the center line.” (Note: Doing so while shorthanded is not an infraction.)

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      INTERFERENCE “Checking a player before he receives the puck, setting a screen or pick or impeding the movements of a goaltender in his goal crease.”

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      OFFSIDE “The puck must enter the zone before any other players do. You must either carry it in or shoot it in before any other player crosses the blue line.”

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      CROSS-CHECKING “Using the stick in a violent manner—with both hands on the stick—on an opponent’s body.”

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      HOOKING “Using the stick to impede the progress of another player.”

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      CHARGING “Running or jumping into an opponent, or taking more than two fast strides before checking an opponent.”

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      TRIPPING “Intentionally tripping your opponent with your stick or any part of your body.”

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      HIGH-STICKING “Carrying your stick above your shoulders and making contact above your opponents’ shoulders.”

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      HOLDING “Using your free hand to impede the progress of another player.”

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    Spencer Patterson

    Spencer Patterson is the Editor of Las Vegas Weekly, having previously served as Managing Editor, Arts & Entertainment Editor and ...

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