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Hockey Terminology

This section of Hockey Coaching Tips provides useful definitions to many of the coaching terms used in the drills on this site.

Hash Marks - usually consisting of two short lines on either side of the face off circles.  These provide reference points for where the wingers should line up for face offs.  The center ice circle does not have hash marks.

Neutral Zone - the area of ice between the two blue lines.

Offensive Zone - the other team's end of the ice, inside the blue line.

Defensive Zone - your team's end of the ice, inside the blue line.

Slot - the area of ice directly in front of the net, between the circles, extending to approximately the top of the circles.  This is the best area of ice to score from.

Tops Line - on some rinks, this line is a thin red line on the ice.  It is an imaginary line extending from side boards to side boards, just above the top of the circles.

Breakout - a pre-designed play to exit your defensive end with control of the puck.

Dump-in - when an offensive player shoots the puck into their opponents defensive end from between the center ice line and the opponents blue line.

Hockey Position - a strong stance where the player has feet positioned shoulder width apart, with knees slightly bent and bum lowered with the stick on the ice.  It is the basic position from which many drills are taught.

Fore Checking - when offensive players (usually forwards) attempt to check the puck away from the opponents defensemen deep in the opposition end.

Back Checking - when forwards skate back towards their own end to catch an opponent who is part of the offensive play.


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