How do you play ice hockey? What are the rules?

In this free advanced English video, a Canadian woman briefly explains the rules of ice hockey.

Self Study


Listen to the dialogue in the episode again. Try to write down what they say and then check with the answers below.


There are a lot of rules to hockey.

Um, there are 20 people per team, and, but only 5 players (from each team) are on the ice at a time, plus an additional goalie.

And the point of the game is, if you don't know, it's played on ice, so they have skates on with a stick and a puck, and they try and get the puck in the opposing team's net, past the goalie.

And I think one of the unique characteristics of the sport is the fighting. Fighting is allowed, um, it is watched by a referee that will break it up if it gets too intense, but it's always exciting and there's a lot of hip-checking into the boards, and it's kind of a rough sport, so that's, I think, the most unique thing about the sport.

Self Study

Use a voice recorder to try to summarize what they said in the episode. You can use the questions and answers below to help.


  • How many players are on each team?
  • How many players from each team are on the ice when the game is playing?
  • How do you score a goal?
  • What equipment does she mention?
  • What is a unique characteristic of the sport?
  • Is it a soft sport?


There are 20 players on each team.

There are 5 players and a goalie from each team on the ice (12 players in total), when they're playing.

The aim of the game is to get the puck into the opposing team's net. This is how you score.

Each player has skates and a stick.

Fighting is legal in the game and is controlled by the referee.

No, it's a rough sport. It can sometimes be quite violent.