When any player of the attacking team crosses the blue line before the puck, the ref raises her arm.
If an offending player does not touch the puck and her goes back into the neutral zone (one skate touching the line) and all of her teammates are also in the neutral zone with at least one skate touching the blue line or in the neutral zone then the delayed off-side is waved off (the ref’s arm will drop to his side) and the attacking players can now go after the puck that is in the attacking zone.
Each player must wait until all of her other teammates also have at least one skate on the blue line or in the neutral zone before being allowed to chase after the puck.
So when you hear everyone yelling “OFF OFF OFF“, check your position to see if you are off sides!
The only way to gain confidence and skill in this area is to do it. Your teammates worked hard to pass you the puck so don’t throw it away. Keep your head up, puck in front of you and skate!
In the Defensive Zone resist the temptation to chase the puck too deep, stay above the top of the circles. Always be ready to receive a pass from either your defenseman or the center. Keep your feet moving and cover the opposing defenseman. When in possession of puck, bank it off the boards to break it out of the zone, look up and pass it to one of your other forwards rushing out of the zone, or carry it and get a breakaway.
You should only change on the fly when your team is on the attack. Don’t skate to the bench for a line change if the puck is in your defensive zone. “On the attack” means that your team is safely in possession of the puck, or that your team just dumped the puck into the offensive zone. Regardless, never change when the opposing team has the puck. This is the most important part of any line change.
Get off the ice if you get an opportunity to make a safe change, and you don’t think you have the energy to continue back-checking for 15 seconds. When in doubt, step off the ice.
Hockey is not about endurance but about being able to go at full force on each shift. As you spend time on the ice, lactic acid builds up in your legs, making you physically tired and unable to perform at your best. When you overextend on one shift, it will be more difficult to recover for the next shift and the shift after that. To keep your energy up, limit your shifts to 45 seconds or less.