Hockey 101

Combative and fierce, hockey is not for the faint of heart. Injuries sustained from this particular sport are particularly tough. Die-hard fans will weather any winter chill to see this fast-and-furious game unfold just feet away. Here are some rules of the ice: 

  • At the highest level of competition, the Stanley Cup playoffs is an elimination tournament in the National Hockey League consisting of four rounds of best-of-seven series. Eight teams from each of the league's two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records. The final round is dubbed the Stanley Cup Finals, which matches the two conference champions.
  • The ice sheet is commonly known as the rink, which is divided into zones by a red line at center ice.  A standard North American rink measures 200 feet by 85 feet; European ice surfaces are slightly larger.
  • The puck is made of black, vulcanized rubber. The puck can be moved with the hockey stick or the feet. Any hand-puck contact is illegal.
  • Goals are scored by using the stick to shoot the puck into the opponent's net.  A shot that inadvertently deflects into the net off another player's body is allowed to stand as a goal.

See the 2010 Olympic Hockey final, Canada vs. USA:

more hockey

Basketball 101

Lots of fast-paced action, lots of high-stakes drama, and some of the tallest guys you've ever seen! This is a sport where even sometimes-fans would pay a small fortune for courtside seats, so here are a few rules of the game:

• The object of the game is to outscore one's opponents by throwing the ball through the opponents' basket from above while preventing the opponents from doing so on their own.

• An attempt to score is called a shot. A successful shot is worth two points, or three points if it is taken from very far away.

• NBA games are played in four quarters of 10 or 12 minutes. Teams exchange baskets for the second half.

• Overtime periods are five minutes in length.

• The time allowed is actual playing time; the clock is stopped while the play is not active. So like football, games generally take much longer to complete than the allotted game time, typically about two hours.

• NBA games are controlled by the officials consisting of the crew chief, one or two referees and the table officials.

See LeBron James in action:

more basketball 101


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Sports 101: Hockey 101 - Basketball 101
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