Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Look Out World, Here I Come

The game: Men's hockey is underway at the Olympics. First up: Russia vs. Latvia.

Why I chose it: It's the only game that I'm able to watch live. Plus, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin on the same line? How insane is that going to be?

Oohh, did I say that out loud?: I kind of wanted Switzerland to win, because they are a bit of an underdog and Portland Winterhawk Luca Sbisa and my favorite cutie pie goalie Jonas Hiller are playing for the Swiss team. There. I said it. Now I feel better.

I'm already confused:

The rules in the International Ice Hockey Federation Rulebook are outlined much as they are in the NHL Rulebook: Rink, Uniforms, Players, Pucks, Playing Rules and so forth.

But here's the thing: The first section, which defines the layout of the Rink, states that a regulation rink is 61 meters long. That's just over 200 feet, which is the length of an NHL Rink. But everything I've read says an international rink is 210 feet. Proof that either a) The rulebook hasn't been updated in a while. b) I need to learn the metric system and not rely on answers.com to do the math for me.

The rules: Section One, Ice Rink. Rules 100, Definition of the Rink - 119, Goal Crease.

Biggest difference from the NHL Rulebook: Everything is in the metric system. Duh. The length (supposedly) is longer. The red and blue that define the center line and bluelines are not required to be a certain PMS Pantone color. There is also a rule for open air rinks, which is not defined in the NHL Rulebook at all. The rules start at 100 and go up from there. Like when you order checks from the bank and they tell you to start a higher number, so businesses will think you've had an account for a while and it therefore looks like you are a trustworthy citizen whose check won't bounce. The rules are much shorter and do not involve nearly as much detail. Instead, they include a lot more visual aids like photos and drawings.

Take this for example: 100, Definition of the Rink. The game of ice hockey shall be played on a white surface known as a "Rink."

Biggest similarities: There is still an attacking zone, a neutral zone, a defending zone, yellow on the bottom of the kickplate, five dividing lines on the ice (center, bluelines and goal lines), and protective glass and netting, goal crease, referee's crease and clearly defined lengths for the benches.

Favorite highlight: 119.d, Goal Crease. The goal crease shall be laid out as follows: A semi-circle 180 cm in radius and 5 cm in width shall be drawn using the center of the goal as the center point. In addition an "L" shaped marking of 15 cm in length and 5 cm in width (both lines) at each front corner shall be painted on the ice. The location of the "L" marking is measured by drawing an imaginary line 122 cm from the goal line to the edge of the semi-circle. At that point, the "L" marking shall be drawn.

Morals of the story:

The game: What is with hockey and the imaginary lines? Dude, if you're gonna draw an L, why not go the distance and draw an actual line. It looks different on paper, and the rules may indeed be different, but I love what Jonas Hiller once said about the differences between playing for the Swiss national team and the NHL. He said it wasn't really that different, because his job was the same: to stop the puck. That's true of the rest of the game as well: if you're the goalie, it's to stop the puck. If you're a forward, it's to score goals and set up plays. If you're a defenseman, it's to knock some other guy right down to the ice or the boards whenever possible. Ten extra feet or not, the game's the same.

Life: I want an imaginary line drawn between my current, successful life in which I have a master's degree, a steady job, an apartment with a view and I hang out on Monday nights with future NHL stars, and the one I lived in New York where, in the last year I lived there, I rented an apartment with a view of a brick wall, sporadic hot water, no couch and inside of three months, I lost one boyfriend to his ex-girlfriend, two jobs and my $1800 deposit on my apartment when I left before the lease was up. The imaginary line will be there to remind me never to step back over it into New York City for anything other than a vacation, and that one try for 10 years was enough. I tried, I failed, I came back. The good news is that you can go home again and sometimes it turns out better than you think it will.

Next up on 2/18: The Canada vs. Switzerland game and Rule 130, Goal Frame, Posts and Netting and Rules 140 - 143, which govern the size and location of benches.

No comments:

Post a Comment