Hockey puck
A puck is a disk used in various games serving the same functions as a ball does in ball games. The best-known use of pucks is in ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

, a major international sport.


The origin of the word "puck" is obscure. The Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

suggests the name is related to the verb "to puck" (a cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 of "poke") used in the game of hurling
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national game of Ireland. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and...

 for striking or pushing the ball, from the Scottish Gaelic puc or the Irish poc, meaning to poke, punch or deliver a blow:
It is possible that Halifax natives, many of whom were Irish and played hurling
Hurling is an outdoor team game of ancient Gaelic origin, administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association, and played with sticks called hurleys and a ball called a sliotar. Hurling is the national game of Ireland. The game has prehistoric origins, has been played for at least 3,000 years, and...

, may have introduced the word to Canada. The first known printed reference was in Montreal, in 1867, just a year after the first indoor game was played there.

A hockey puck is also referred to colloquially as a "biscuit".

In ice hockey

Ice hockey requires a hard disk of vulcanized
Vulcanization or vulcanisation is a chemical process for converting rubber or related polymers into more durable materials via the addition of sulfur or other equivalent "curatives." These additives modify the polymer by forming crosslinks between individual polymer chains. Vulcanized material is...

Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

. A standard ice hockey puck is black, 1 inches (25.4 mm) thick, 3 inches (76.2 mm) in diameter, and weighs between 5.5 and 6 oz (155.9 and 170.1 g); some pucks are heavier or lighter than standard (see below). Pucks are often marked with silkscreened team or league logos on one or both faces. Pucks are frozen before the game to reduce bouncing during play.

Ice hockey and its various precursor games utilized balls until the late 1800s. By the 1870s, 'flat' pucks were made of wood as well as rubber. At first, pucks were square. The first recorded organized game
First indoor ice hockey game
On March 3, 1875, the first recorded indoor ice hockey game took place at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal, Canada. Organized by James Creighton, who also captained one of the teams, the game was between two nine-member teams, using a wooden 'puck'...

 of ice hockey used a wooden puck to prevent it from leaving the rink of play. The rubber pucks were first made by slicing a rubber ball, then trimming the disc square. The Victoria Hockey Club
Montreal Victorias
The Victoria Hockey Club of Montreal, Quebec, Canada was an early men's amateur ice hockey club. Its date of origin is ascribed to either 1874, 1877 or 1881, making it either the first or second organized ice hockey club after McGill University. The club played at its own rink, the Victoria Skating...

 of Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 is credited with making and using the first round pucks in the 1880s.


There are several variations on the standard black, 6 oz (170 g) hockey puck. One of the most common is a blue, 4 oz (113 g) puck that is used for training younger players who are not yet able to use a standard puck. Heavier 10 oz (283 g) training pucks, typically reddish pink or reddish orange in colour, are also available for players looking to develop the strength of their shots or improve their stick handling skills. Players looking to increase wrist strength often practice with steel pucks that weigh 2 lb (900 g); these pucks are not used for shooting, as they could seriously harm other players. A hollow, light-weight fluorescent orange puck is available for road or floor hockey. Other variants, some with plastic ball bearings or glides, are available for use for road or roller hockey.

The FoxTrax
FoxTrax was a specialized ice hockey puck with internal electronics that allowed its position to be tracked designed for NHL telecasts on the Fox television network...

 "smart puck" was developed by the Fox television network
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 when it held NHL broadcasting rights for the U.S. The puck had integrated electronics to track its position on screen; a blue streak traced the path of the puck across the ice. The streak would turn red if the puck was shot especially hard. This was an experiment in broadcasting intended to help viewers unfamiliar with hockey to better follow the game by making the puck more visible. It was ill-received by many traditional hockey fans, but appreciated by many of the more casual viewers. The system debuted with much publicity in the All Star game at the Boston Fleet Center on Jan 20, 1996, but the system was shelved when Fox Sports lost the NHL broadcast rights three years later.


The use of the Glowpuck in the early 1990s was the first attempt to improve the visibility of hockey pucks as seen on television. This invention incorporated coloured retro reflective materials of either embedded lens elements or prismatic reflectors laminated into recesses on the flat surfaces and the vertical edge of a standard hockey puck. Yellow was the preferred reflected colour. A spotlight was required to be positioned on the TV camera and focused at the centre of the viewing area.

A short demonstration tape of the Minnesota North Stars skating with the Firepuck was shown during the period break at the 1993 National Hockey League All Star game in Montreal, Canada. The International Hockey League (IHL) pursued testing the Firepuck with its inventor, Donald Klassen. The next television viewing was the IHL All star game in Fort Wayne IN, Jan 1994, where the Firepuck was used the entire game. The IHL tested the Firepuck in two more games, and finally the East Coast Hockey League used it Jan 17, 1997 for their All Star game.

The use of the Firepuck was discontinued because:
  • The slight structural change increased the tendency for the puck to bounce on the ice. This made it more difficult for the goaltender and resulted in increased scoring.
  • The skaters objected to the use of camera spotlights which reflected off the ice.
  • The television viewing contrast of the Firepuck was not noticeably enhanced when the camera view was of the entire rink, this being the most common camera shot.

The Firepuck name was branded during the 90s but has since been discontinued.

In game play

During a game, pucks can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour (160.9 km/h) or more when struck. The current NHL record belongs to Zdeno Chára
Zdeno Chára
Zdeno Chára is a Slovak professional ice hockey defenseman. He is the captain of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League and won the Norris Trophy while playing for them in 2008–09. At 6 ft 9 , he is the tallest player ever to play in the NHL...

, whose slapshot
A slapshot in ice hockey is the hardest shot. It has four stages which are executed in one fluid motion:# The player winds up his hockey stick by raising it behind his body, sometimes raising the blade to shoulder height or higher.# Next the player violently "slaps" the ice slightly behind the...

 clocked 105.9 miles per hour in the 2011 NHL All Star Game SuperSkills competition, breaking his own earlier record. The current world record is held by Denis Kulyash
Denis Kulyash
Denis Kulyash is a professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for Ak Bars Kazan of the Kontinental Hockey League . Kulyash has been a long-time member of Russia's national ice hockey team known for his extremely hard slap shot, which gained him a nickname "Tsar Cannon"...

 of KHL's Avangard Omsk, who slapped a puck at the 2011 KHL All Star Game skills competition in Russia with a speed of 177.58 km/h (110.3 MPH).

Fast-flying pucks are potentially dangerous to players and spectators. Puck-related injuries at hockey games are not uncommon. This led to the evolution of various types of protective gear for players, most notably the goaltender mask. The most serious incident involving a spectator took place on March 18, 2002, when a thirteen year old girl, Brittanie Cecil, died two days after being struck on the head by a hockey puck deflected into the crowd at a National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 game between the Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the...

 and Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio, United States. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League...

 in Columbus. This is the only known incident of this type to have occurred in the history of the league. Partly as a result of this event, the glass or plexiglass
Acrylic glass
Poly is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a light or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is sometimes called acrylic glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate...

 panels that sit atop the boards of hockey rinks to protect spectators have been supplemented with mesh nets that extend above the upper edge of the glass.

Icing (ice hockey)
Icing in ice hockey occurs when a player shoots the puck across at least two red lines, the opposing team's goal line being the last, and the puck remains untouched. It is, however, not icing if the puck is shot from behind the halfway line into the goal, or when the shot must be played by the...

 the puck" is shooting the puck from the defending players' half of the playing surface (their side of the centre red line) across the opposing team's goal line on either side of the goal, as a delaying tactic or a (sometimes desperate) defensive play intended to shift the momentum of play away from the offensive team. Except when the defending team is short-handed because of a penalty, it is a rule infraction that generally results in a stoppage of play to return the puck to the offending team's end of the ice for a faceoff
A face-off is the method used to begin play in ice hockey and some other sports. The two teams line up in opposition to each other, and the opposing centres attempt to gain control of the puck after it is dropped between their sticks by an official. One of the referees drops the puck at centre ice...

. Since the resumption of play in the National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 after the 2004–05 lockout, a team that has a player ice the puck also must keep the same players on the ice, for the ensuing faceoff, as were on the ice when the icing infraction happened.

During the 2005–06 season, a rule was implemented which penalizes any player intentionally or accidentally shooting the puck out of the rink from their team's defensive zone. The rule was intended to eliminate the contradictory nature of the previous version of the rule, which only applied to goaltenders.


National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 regulation pucks were not required for professional play until the 1990–91 season, but were standardized for consistent play and ease of manufacture half a century earlier, by Art Ross
Art Ross
Arthur Howey "Art" Ross was a Canadian ice hockey defenceman and executive from 1905 until 1954. Regarded as one of the best defenders of his era by his peers, he was one of the first to skate with the puck up the ice rather than pass it to a forward...

, in 1940. Major manufacturers of pucks exist only in Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, and Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...


The black rubber of the puck is made up of a mix of natural rubber, antioxidants, bonding materials and other chemicals to achieve a balance of hardness and resilience
Tensile strength
Ultimate tensile strength , often shortened to tensile strength or ultimate strength, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before necking, which is when the specimen's cross-section starts to significantly contract...

. This mixture is then turned in a machine with metal rollers, where workers add extra natural rubber, and ensure that the mixing is even. Samples are then put into a machine that analyzes if the rubber will harden at the right temperature. An automated apparatus, called a pultrusion
Pultrusion is a continuous process for manufacture of composite materials with constant cross-section. Reinforced fibers are pulled through a resin, possibly followed by a separate preforming system, and into a heated die, where the resin undergoes polymerization...

 machine, extrudes the rubber into long circular logs that are 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter and then cut into 1 inches (2.5 cm) thick pieces while still soft. These pre-forms are then manually put into moulds that are the exact size of a finished puck. There are up to 200 mould cavities per moulding palette, capable of producing up to 5,000 pucks per week. The moulds are then compressed. This compression may be done cold or with the moulds heated to 300 °F (150 °C) for 18 minutes, depending on the proprietary methods of the manufacturer. They come out hard and then are allowed to sit for 24 hours. Each puck is manually cleaned with a trimmer machine to remove excess rubber. The molding process adds a diamond cross-hatch texture around the edge of the puck for more friction between the stick and puck for better control and puck handling.

The practice pucks are made by a similar but faster process that uses larger pre-forms, 4–5 in (10–13 cm) thick, puts them into molds automatically, and applies more pressure and heat over a shorter period of time to compress the puck into the standard size. This allows approximately twice as many pucks to be manufactured in the same time period as the more exacting production of NHL regulation pucks.

In roller hockey

Roller hockey
Roller hockey
Roller Hockey is a form of hockey played on a dry surface using skates with wheels. The term "Roller Hockey" is often used interchangeably to refer to two variant forms chiefly differentiated by the type of skate used. There is traditional "Roller Hockey," played with quad roller skates, and...

 pucks are similar to ice hockey pucks, but made from plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

 and thus lighter. They have small ribs protruding from their tops and bottoms which limit contact with the surface, allowing better sliding motion and less friction
Friction is the force resisting the relative motion of solid surfaces, fluid layers, and/or material elements sliding against each other. There are several types of friction:...


Most commonly red, roller hockey pucks can be found in almost any colour, although light, visible colours such as red, orange, yellow, pink, and green are typical.

Roller hockey pucks were created so inline hockey
Inline hockey
Inline hockey, often referred to as roller hockey in the United States, is a sport similar to ice hockey but played with inline skates. Like its parent sport, skaters on two teams use hockey sticks to direct a disk-shaped puck into the opponent's goal; however, various details of the game, such as...

 and street hockey
Street hockey
Street hockey is a variation of the sport of ice hockey where the game is played on foot or with inline skates or roller skates. The object of the game is to score more goals than the opposing team by shooting a ball or puck into the opposing team's net...

 players could play with a puck instead of a ball on surfaces such as hardwood
Hardwood is wood from angiosperm trees . It may also be used for those trees themselves: these are usually broad-leaved; in temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen.Hardwood contrasts with softwood...

, concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

, and asphalt
Asphalt or , also known as bitumen, is a sticky, black and highly viscous liquid or semi-solid that is present in most crude petroleums and in some natural deposits, it is a substance classed as a pitch...


In underwater hockey

An underwater hockey
Underwater hockey
Underwater hockey is a global non-contact sport in which two teams compete to maneuver a puck across the bottom of a swimming pool into goals.-Play:...

 puck (originally but now rarely referred to as a "squid" in the United Kingdom), while similar in appearance to an ice hockey puck, differs in that it has a lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 core weighing approximately 3 pounds (1.4 kg) within a teflon
Polytetrafluoroethylene is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene that finds numerous applications. PTFE is most well known by the DuPont brand name Teflon....

, plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

 or rubber
An elastomer is a polymer with the property of viscoelasticity , generally having notably low Young's modulus and high yield strain compared with other materials. The term, which is derived from elastic polymer, is often used interchangeably with the term rubber, although the latter is preferred...

 coating. This makes the puck dense
The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

 enough to sink in a swimming pool, though it can be lofted during passes, while affording some protection to the pool tiles.

A smaller and lighter version of the standard puck exists for junior competition and is approximately 1 lb 12 oz (0.80–0.85 kg) and of similar construction to the standard puck.

While there are numerous regional variations in colour, construction and materials all must conform to international regulations stipulating overall dimensions and weight. The regulations state that pucks should be a bright distinctive colour, for example high-visibility pink or orange, and that for World Championships these are the only acceptable colours. The relevant regulations can be found within the Official Rules at

In other sports and games

The term "puck" is sometimes also applied to similar (though often smaller) gaming discs in other sports and games, including novuss
Novuss is a game of physical skill which is closely related to pocket billiards, but on a smaller scale. It is essentially a larger, cued derivative of the boardgame carrom. Novuss is a national sport in Latvia. The board is approximately 40 in. square, made out of wood, has in each corner, and...

, shuffleboard
Shuffleboard, more precisely deck shuffleboard, and also known as shuffle-board, shovelboard, shovel-board and shove-board [archaic], is a game in which players use broom-shaped paddles to push weighted pucks, sending them gliding down a narrow and elongated court, with the purpose of...

, table shuffleboard
Table Shuffleboard
Table shuffleboard is a game in which players push metal-and-plastic weighted pucks down a long and smooth wooden table into a scoring area at the opposite end of the table...

, box hockey
Box Hockey
Box hockey is an active hand game played between two people with sticks, a puck and a five-sided box, and typically played outdoors. The object of the game is to move a hockey puck from the center of the box out through a hole placed at the each end of the box, also known as the goal...

 and air hockey
Air hockey
Air hockey is a game for two competing players trying to score points in the opposing player's goal.-Equipment:Air hockey requires an air-hockey table, two player-held mallets, and a puck....


In popular culture

  • Ice hockey sticks and pucks have been used as a symbol and main motif in different commemorative coins. A recent sample was the Finnish Ice Hockey World Championships 2003 commemorative coin, minted in 2003, celebrating the event. On the reverse, three ice hockey sticks with a puck can be seen.

  • The phrase "dumb as a hockey puck" is a common idiom
    Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...


  • "What are you lookin' at, you hockey puck?!", became one of the stock insult phrases of comedian Don "Mr. Warmth" Rickles
    Don Rickles
    Donald Jay "Don" Rickles is an American stand-up comedian and actor. A frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Rickles has acted in comedic and dramatic roles, but is best known as an insult comic....

    . Rickles voiced Mr. Potato Head
    Mr. Potato Head
    Mr. Potato Head! is an American toy consisting of a plastic model of a potato which can be decorated with a variety of plastic parts that can attach to the main body. These parts usually include ears, eyes, shoes, a hat, a nose, and a mouth. The toy was invented and developed by George Lerner in...

     in the movie Toy Story
    Toy Story
    Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated film released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is Pixar's first feature film as well as the first ever feature film to be made entirely with CGI. The film was directed by John Lasseter and featuring the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen...

    , uses the phrase when speaking to a hockey puck character.

  • The mouse-like pointing device
    Pointing device
    A pointing device is an input interface that allows a user to input spatial data to a computer...

     used with some graphics tablet
    Graphics tablet
    A graphics tablet is a computer input device that enables a user to hand-draw images and graphics, similar to the way a person draws images with a pencil and paper. These tablets may also be used to capture data or handwritten signatures...

    s and with digitizer hardware for CAD
    Computer-aided design
    Computer-aided design , also known as computer-aided design and drafting , is the use of computer technology for the process of design and design-documentation. Computer Aided Drafting describes the process of drafting with a computer...

     or desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing
    Desktop publishing is the creation of documents using page layout software on a personal computer.The term has been used for publishing at all levels, from small-circulation documents such as local newsletters to books, magazines and newspapers...

     software is also called a puck, and "hockey puck" is a nickname for the small, round mouse included with the original Apple
    Apple Computer
    Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad...

    IMac G3
    The iMac G3 was the first model of the iMac line of personal computers made by Apple Inc. , and the originator of the Legacy-free PC market category. Like the first Macs, the iMac G3 is an all-in-one personal computer, encompassing both the monitor and the system unit in a single enclosure...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.