All of the rules of hockey are important and exist for a reason. However, there are definitely some that are more important than others, often because they ensure safety on the ice. While young players cannot be expected to memorize every single rule, they should, at the very least, memorize some of the “big ones.” Make sure that your young players know the following very important rules by heart!
Rule #1: Handle Your Stick Properly
First things first, make sure that your players know how they are supposed to handle their hockey sticks and that they know it is against the rules of the game to use their sticks to gain an unfair advantage over other players and their bodies. Sticks, in other words, cannot ever be used to stop someone’s progress or to purposefully cause injury; this rule is very important and should be taught to players right away, preferably before they even step out on the ice!
Rule #2: Know the Punishments for Penalties
Another thing that your young players need to know are the different punishments for various penalties. By knowing these punishments, your players are a lot more likely to think before they act and before they do something they may regret. “Penalty punishments” to teach your players include:
l Minor/bench penalties result in a two minute “sit out”
l Major penalties result in a five minute “sit out”
l Misconduct penalties result in a ten minute “sit out” with another player immediately placed on the ice
l Match penalties result in removal from the game and suspension
Rule #3: No Checking or Charging in the Goal Crease
Something else you should teach your players is to know and respect the rules of the goal crease. These rules include NOT charging or checking goaltenders for any reason. Of course, goaltenders have rules of their own they should know, including not tripping, spearing, or slashing other players.
While these certainly are not the only rules of hockey, they are a good start in terms of the ones that young players should know by heart.