The Completely Useless Sports Guide #7
Ice Hockey is a form of multi-player combat sport taking place on ice involving sticks and blades. When not fighting participants try to put a small rubber disc into a net past another participant who is generally too fat and slow to reach any brawl further than five metres from his goal.
An ice hockey team consists of six players on the ice trying to fight and a further array of substitutes who are resting from previous fights but may take the position of any brawler on their team at any time of their choosing. At the end of the game, everyone shakes hands and share stories about the various hits they made during the game down the pub.
The overall bout takes place in three twenty-minute rounds. Whilst there is no restriction on what you use as your instrument of choice in fights, it is impractical to take your skate off and use it as you will end up being hit very hard. There are a few rules about putting the puck in the goal between fights but I’d hate to bog you down in detail.
Most competitions are predominantly in league form, with playoffs at the end of the season for the highest-ranking teams. While this is useful for the USA where teams are spread over timezones and thus leagues are done by region, it’s pretty pointless in the UK where most teams are a couple of motorways away. International tournaments are also decided in a similar fashion, although they try and make the fighting more glamorous at the Olympics.