What Is Your Favorite Sport?

For many of us it was our beloved ice hockey. It seems to be one of our favorite sports to play with one another today too, and we have a lot of fun playing with the kids. We might not get too many points, but the good times and friendships are still there.

In a new book called The Sports Gene (co-authored by Dr. Richard Lane), hockey pioneer Claude Raskin, one of the original “hockey parents,” reveals all the things he learned about his son, and other people’s kids, when he helped to organize the first ever hockey program at Harvard University in 1892. Nowadays it’s more expensive than it was, but those early efforts were worth it. Today, research shows we are all born with a greater physical capacity for cardiovascular endurance and stamina; many hockey stars are born with faster reaction times—and it may be that the mental game between players has a similar genetic basis. It seems a lot of us are pretty good to go with the physicality of our game, too. In fact, there’s enough research on the subject to conclude that “competition-expectancy theory” was right after all.

As we’ve just shown, that translates into all different types of hockey games. Some of the more common ones are:

HOCKEY BASKETBALL : Basketball is a two-point game where we score by shooting two free-throw attempts into any of the three-point zones. 

Hockey has always featured baskets—but today they are much larger, and the basketball rules are different.

HOCKEY GAMES : There are many types of games, which I’ve grouped by their rules. I’m going to call your attention today to hockey games, in which the goal is to score a goal.

HOCKEY RULES : There are many rules, but they basically depend on:  

1. How far the puck travels through the air (puck-speed),  

2. The rules on where the puck can go,  

3. How often each team can touch the puck,  and  

4. How many players can play on each team. 

I call them Hockey Rule Types.    The rules for baseball differ from those for football and basketball, but these rules are just to have some sort of standard in case players and fans get a bit confused.  The rules on where the puck can go are very simple; each team can only have 10 players on the ice at a time, and the distance between each player is the longest distance possible, no matter the location of the puck.

We can also talk about what a play is.  First, there’s offensive and defensive.   Offensive refers to where (the puck is put) and who can get the puck (goalie or a defenseman); defensive refers to where the puck is when played so that a player can control it (center ice, in front of the net).  A typical hockey play starts with an offensive play from the defense.

The offensive play may start with a pass (off-side) and follows the pass with a defensive play , as if you’re “chasing a puck around the ice” by moving along (the other player, or players, if there are only 2-3 players on one team).  There may also be an offensive play while moving forward, which is a special play which is the offense if no puck is moving, and it’s defense if the puck is moving.  There are many special plays such as a “two-man break”, a zone entry with 1-2 forwards, and a shot that is successful only if the shooter crosses the blue line, and it’s a successful shot if the puck touches at least 1 opponent’s goal line when it enters the net.  There’s an optional “hand pass” action as well.  If you’re doing a play while down on the ice, in the goalie’s crease, then you’re skating with the puck (moving with a player so they can play offense), while a defenseman is on the ice to play defense (moving with a player so he can play defense).