Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Hockey Definition:

A game played on ice in which opposing teams of six players each, try to drive a small black hard rubber disk called a puck into the oppising goal by hitting it with a curved stick.

It was in a tort case where a female spectator was hit by a puck that the Court had the opportunity to legally define hockey.

In the 1947 case of Modec, Justice Olson of the Supreme Court of Minnesota wrote:

"Hockey is played on the ice by two opposing teams of six persons each. The playing space, which is oblong in shape, is usually limited by marks on the ice or by barriers, such as the wooden walls in this case.

"At each end of the playing area, a short distance removed from the barrier, there are goals. These are fashioned of netting over a frame in the shape of a lean-to, with the open side away from the barrier.

Hockey"The players use skates and are equipped with long-handled sticks or clubs. The striking end of the hockey stick forms about a 100-degree angle with the handle, is about 16 inches long, three to four inches high, a fraction of an inch wide at the top, and slightly wider at the bottom.

"The puck is the bone of contention in the game. The object ... is to place the puck in the goal of the opposing team either by pushing it or by striking it with such force from the playing area as to cause it to fly past the opposing player guarding the goal.

"Bodily contact is not barred, but is an accepted way for a player to stop his opponent. It is a man's game."


  • Modec v City of Eveleth 29 NW 2d 453

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