Quick Learn

What Is A Hockey Puck Made Out Of?

By / 9 May 2023 04:33 AM

Several hundred years ago, Lacrosse balls were cut in a third to make a round disc to play ice hockey (Photo Credit: Dennis Flood)
Source : facebook

Answer: The first hockey puck was made of rubber pieces glued together to construct a disc. Before that, people used to play outdoors with frozen cow dung and liver leather pads.

The pucks made of frozen dung and leather were impractical as they lasted for only one game. In 1875 the first indoor ice hockey was played with a wooden square puck. Meanwhile, the round pucks were also made by trimming the corners of the square.

But before using the wooden puck in the 1875 game, another type was used. What were hockey pucks originally made of? The pucks were made of the center part of lacrosse balls cut in one-third. 

The use of the puck built with lacrosse balls or recycled tires glued together to form a playable disc was also seen during this period. It was hard to play with because of its bounciness. Sometimes these pucks would split on hit. 

During the 1931-32 season, a newly designed puck with sloped edges was introduced, which was discontinued very soon by the midseason. Players and teams objected to using the new puck and agreed to return the original one.

In the 1990-91 season, the NHL's official pucks made of synthetic rubber were introduced. The puck was designed and regulated by Art Ross in 1940. The basic construction of the puck was the same but easy to manufacture. And the puck had some consistency relative to its predecessors.

How Much Does A NHL Hockey Puck Weigh?

NHL hockey puck weighs between 156 grams (5.5 oz.) and 170 grams (6 oz.).

The weight of a puck varies with its type and usage in training and game standards.  

There are different types of hockey pucks, including red, white, blue, and standard black. 

Black pucks weighing about 170 grams are standard pucks used in professional games.
Source : influitive

White pucks have the same weight as black ones. These pucks are colored differently for training purposes. Using this puck harder to see will considerably enhance the stickhandling ability as the players have to feel it on the ice.

Unlike Black and White, red pucks are heavier. It weighs around 280 grams. These pucks are used to increase players' shot speed and strength. 

There are other types of pucks colored blue which is lighter than the standard puck. It is played by entry-level hockey players to be more comfortable while playing. The blue puck weighs around 113 grams.

Who Invented The Hockey Puck?

James Creighton invented the hockey puck. He organized the first recorded indoor ice hockey match in Montreal, Canada, in 1875. 

Ice hockey sprang during the 1820s from field hockey and was played several hundred years ago in Europe. It became popular in Canada because of the long and cold winters. During the same period, ice hockey gained a reputation in the Northern parts of the United States.

At first, they used to play with frozen cow dung and leather pads on ice like field hockey. As the game became popular, they switched it to rubber.

James George Aylwin Creighton pushed to organize the first indoor ice hockey match at Montreal in 1875, where the puck was made first by slicing the rubber ball in third and playing with the center part of the ball. Creighton is also known as the father of ice hockey, who set the rules of the first recorded hockey game.

Creighton also known as the father of Ice hockey is credited to organize first indoor ice hockey.
Source : theglobeandmail

Because the rubber was bouncy and too flighty, they used a puck made of wood. Some claim that in 1875, students at Boston University sliced a rubber ball in half to make a puck. 

Modern pucks used in NHL originated from the design by Art Ross in 1940. Now the pucks come in different sizes and weights made with vulcanized rubber. Some of them are made of steel, which is used to increase the wrist strength of the player.

In the 1995-96 season, a different puck was developed to broaden the experience of watching it on Television. It was called FoxTrax puck, made by Fox Television. The puck is the same on the outside, but there was a transmitter and a battery in the core. These emitters could communicate with sensors all over the rink and transmit the data to computers.

When watched on TV, the puck was followed by a trail of translucent blue light, making the puck more visible. In addition, the technology made it possible to determine the speed of the puck.

It would show a red tail when the puck was struck over 50mph, green if it reached 75mph. These pucks could be used for only 10 minutes and cost about $400. Later, the Fox Network refused to renew the contract to host NHL games, and Foxtrax was no longer used.

Pucks used in NHL are now made in St. Jerome, Quebec, in Canada.

Dimensions Of A Hockey Puck: How Thick It Is?

The dimensions of a hockey puck are 1 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. They are flat and round shaped and made of vulcanized rubber.

Players fighting for the puck in Palmetto Puck drop hockey tournament in Carolina Ice Palace
Source : facebook

The size of the puck is almost the same as the ball used in field hockey. Even the weight of the hockey ball and hockey puck are similar. According to the FHA, the field hockey ball weighs from 5.5 to 5.75 ounces, which is between 156 grams to 163 grams.

The edge of the puck is carved with diamond-shaped grooves that give a hockey stick to hold a grip on.

How Fast Does A Hockey Puck Travel?

Hockey pucks can travel around 170 Km/hour (100 miles per hour). When struck with a slapshot, a hard shot made with a slapping swing of the stick raised about waist-high.

In National Hockey League, Captain of the Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara, holds the record for the fastest shot at 108.8 mph, about 175 Km/h, since 2012. Before Chara, the strike was recorded at 105.2  mph struck by Al Iafrate in 1993.

Chara still holds the record of fastest shot in NHL history, who slapped the puck away with speed of 175 Km/h.
Source : facebook

Similarly, in AHL, the faster slapshot was recorded by Martin Frk. The puck reached 109.2 mph (175.7 Km/h). 

Alexander Riazantsev threw the puck with an enormous speed of 114.17 mph (183.67 Km/h) at the KHL All-Star Game skill competition in 2012.

The regulation for the hardest shot in NHL, AHL, and KHL differs significantly, so the records can't be compared. Also, these records are exceptional and do not determine the maximum velocity of the puck. Generally, the puck can attain 170 Km/h to 180 Km/h.

Why Are Hockey Pucks Frozen?

Hockey Pucks are kept frozen to reduce their tendency to become airborne while playing and slide on the slippery ice instead.

The pucks are frozen in an ice-packed cooler on the official's bench before a game.

The NHL rulebook states that the home team is responsible for keeping the pucks frozen and kept attended during the game.

A puck is a rubber and has the property of elasticity. It becomes more bouncy at room temperature or more. A warm puck can bounce and fly into the stands. Also, freezing the puck between 14 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit can make the puck slide on the ice better.

The attendant keeps a certain number of pucks ready, as it is replaced within two minutes during the game to ensure the puck's consistency. An average of 25 pucks are used in a typical NHL game. 

Related post of Quick Learn