Get Inspired: How to get into Ice Hockey

Fast Answers

Why get into ice hockey?

It's a full-contact sport which demands pace, agility, poise, vision and finesse.

Who is it for?

Anyone who wants to play a team sport and enjoys interval training.

Is there a cheap option?

Clubs can help you out with equipment when you get started.

What if I want a proper workout?

Even at lower levels of the sport, you can expect to burn around 500 calories an hour in a game!

Can I take it to another level?

The game has a strong British following and there are a number of leagues across the UK.

Is there a disability option?

Sledge hockey is a variation of ice hockey designed for people with lower body impairments.

Is there a family option?

You can find recreational teams at many ice rinks around the country, many of which hold family skating sessions.

Ice hockey is fast, furious and fun. If you want to start playing in England or Wales, the English Ice Hockey Association has a list  of clubs where you can start. If you live in Scotland,  your first port of call should be the Scottish Ice Hockey Association. In Northern Ireland, the Belfast Giants are an elite team, but they have a junior section  too. Ice Hockey UK  has comprehensive information about the elite side of the sport.

The game of Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey is played with six players (five skaters and one goalkeeper) from each team on the ice at any one time, with unlimited substitutions. The aim is to score more goals than your opponents, by firing a puck into the nets at each end of the ice. Players use specialist equipment including skates, helmet (with visor or cage), mouth guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, shin pads, hockey socks, a hockey jersey and of course, a hockey stick.

Sledge Hockey

sledge hockey

Sledge hockey is a variation of ice hockey in which players are seated in a metal sledge with blades on the base, propelling themselves using twin hockey sticks, shooting pucks as they go. It's aimed at players with lower body impairments who can't play standing ice hockey. The sport is fast, full-contact and extremely fun to play and watch. Contact the British Sledge Hockey Association  to find out how you can get involved.

A game for all

Women's ice hockey

Many clubs offer junior sections and women's teams. To become successful you'll learn to skate quickly, developing upper-body strength and balance. And while ice hockey can be dangerous, players are equipped with considerable levels of protective padding and helmets. Get in touch with your local club to find how how to get involved. If you are talented enough to take the sport to the highest level, you could go on to represent your country. 

Coaching and Volunteering

coaching helps to develop the sport

For information on becoming a coach, visit the Scottish  and England  websites. You can also try Sports Coach UK.  You could be trained up to manage a team or even start officiating.

Volunteers also have a key role to play in ensuring Ice Hockey teams and tournaments run smoothly. For volunteering opportunities, JoinInUK  , Volunteer Scotland  and Volunteer Now  in Northern Ireland can help you find a club that needs some help.

Aspire to be like: Wayne Gretzy

Wayne Gretzy

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into ice hockey near you.

2. Find your local ice hockey opportunities by using the English Ice Hockey Association  and the Scottish Ice Hockey Association  websites.

3. Share your story  and inspire others

Are you inspired to try ice hockey? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the sport by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired,  visiting us on Facebook  or email us on getinspired@bbc.co.uk.

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration