Hockey Rink Design – Official Dimensions to Enjoy the Match

Hockey rink design is about setting up the ice surface for ice hockey games. International ice hockey rinks are where the fantastic action happens in ice hockey. These rinks are like the big stage for games like the Winter Olympics and European matches.

International rinks are different from North American rinks. International rinks are wider than their North American counterparts. The size of the NHL rink usually measures 13.1 feet (or 4 meters) broader. The rink is split up with lines. You’ve got the center line, blue lines, and goal lines. 

The international rink measures 200.13 feet (61 meters) long and 98.42 feet (30 meters) wide. If you look at the corners, they’re curved with radii of about 27.88 feet (or 8.5 meters). The whole rink covers an area of 19,000 square feet (or 1,765 square meters).

Let’s discuss more!

Hockey Rink Dimensions

Hockey rinks come in two different sizes. North America uses NHL standards, while the rest of the world follows IIHF guidelines.

National Hockey League Rink Dimensions—North American rinks

Hockey rink design shapes the game to a large extent. 32 teams use the standardized NHL ice rink, 25 from the United States and 7 from Canada. They all use the same type of rinks, and the NHL has some specific rules about their size. How long is a hockey rink? An ice hockey rink usually measures 200 feet by 85 feet (about 60.96 meters by 24.38 meters). But wait, they’re not perfect rectangles because the corners kind of curve inward. 

Inside the area measures 17,000-square-foot (or 1,486.2-square-meter) playing area, you’ll see different markings that show where different things happen on the rink.

Hockey Rink Design
National Hockey League Rink Dimensions – Hockey Rink Design

NHL Hockey Court Markings

Center Circle

How wide is the blue line in hockey? At the center of the rink, a large blue circle is placed, measuring 30 feet (9.14 meters) in width.

And right through the center of it, there’s a red line that stretches across the rink’s full width, which is 85 feet (24.38 meters).

Neutral zone

The neutral zone measures 25 feet (7.62 meters) wide on both sides of the center, making it a 50 x 85-foot (7.62 x 24.38-meter) area. You’ll notice blue lines that run across the width of the rink to mark this zone.

Attacking and defending zones

Moving into the attacking and defending zones, they’re each 64 feet (19.51 meters) wide on either side of the blue lines in the neutral zone before reaching the red goal line.

How big are the faceoff circles in the hockey rink?

There are two faceoff circles in the attacking zone and two in the defending zone, all with a 30-foot (9.14 meters) diameter.

Goals placement

The goals on each end of the rink are set up with 6 feet (1.83 meters) of space from the rink’s edge, and their backs are right on the red goal line.

Hockey Rink Design – Complete Measurements of a Hockey Rink

MeasurementsIn FeetIn Meters
Height (Overall Safety Wall)11.5′3.5 m
Width98.42′30 m
Length200.13′61 m
Area19,000 ft²1,765 m²
Corner Radius27.88′8.5 m
Blue Lines (from center)29′8.83 m
Goal Line (from boards)13.1′4 m
Goal Crease (Diameter)12′3.66 m
Faceoff Spots (Center)1′0.3 m
Faceoff Spots2′0.6 m
Faceoff Circles29.5′9 m
Faceoff (Neutral Zone from blue line)5′1.5 m
Faceoff (End Zone from goal line)22′6.7 m
Referee’s Crease (Diameter)19.75′6 m

International Ice Hockey Federation Rink Dimensions

The IIHF’s standard rink can be much bigger. For top-level rink competitions, they suggest rink dimensions of about 60 meters long and 25-30 meters wide  (196.85 to 98.43 feet wide). That creates a playing area of around 1,500 to 1,800 square meters (or 16,145.64 to 19,375.95 square feet).

Hockey Rink Design
Hockey Rink Design – International Ice Hockey Federation Rink Dimensions

International Hockey Rink Markings

In international ice hockey rinks, you’ll find markings that share some similarities with the NHL. 

Let’s break down the essential measurements:

Center Circle

In the rink’s center, you’ll find a blue circle with a diameter of 9 meters (29.53 feet). A red line intersects this center point, spanning the width of the rink, which can be between 25 to 30 meters wide ( 82.02 to 98.4 feet).

Neutral Zone

The distance from the NHL blue line to the red line is also known as the neutral zone. The neutral zone measures 7.14 meters (23.42 feet) on either side from the center. This creates a zone approximately 14.28 meters wide and 25 to 30 meters long (46.85 to 98.4 feet). Blue lines run across the width of the rink to mark this area.

Attacking and Defending Zones

The attacking and defending zones are each about 17.67 meters wide (57.96 feet) on either side of the blue lines in the neutral zone before reaching the red goal line.

Faceoff Circles

There are four faceoff circles in total—two in the attacking zone and two in the defending zone. Each faceoff circle has a diameter of 9 meters (29.53 feet).

Goal Placement

The goals on each side of the rink are positioned with their backs on the red goal line. Approximately 400 centimeters of clearance (13.12 feet) are from the rink’s perimeter around the goals.

NHL Blue Line to Goal Line Distance

The distance from the NHL Blue Line to the goal line is approximately 64 feet (19.51 meters) on a standard NHL-sized hockey rink.

Hockey Rink Design
Hockey Rink Design

Hockey Rink vs. Soccer Field Size

The dimensions of a hockey rink and a soccer-playing area differ significantly. A standard hockey rink is more minor, measuring 200 feet (61 meters) in length and 85 feet (26 meters) in width. Its rectangular shape has rounded corners, and the playing surface is ice. Hockey goals are positioned at each end, and the objective is to score by shooting a puck into the opposing team’s goal. 

Soccer fields are rectangular with square corners, and the playing surface is typically natural grass or artificial turf.  The fields of soccer are much larger, with dimensions varying but often around 100 meters (330 feet) in length and 64 meters (210 feet) in width for international matches.

 In hockey and soccer, the objective is to score by putting the puck or ball into the opposing team’s goal, located at each end of the respective playing surface.

Mini Rink vs. Full-size Rink

Mini rinks are more minor than full-size rinks, typically designed for recreational use and catering to beginners and young players. Mini rinks typically measure from 50 to 80 feet (15 to 24 meters).

The width of mini rinks is also reduced in size compared to full-size rinks, typically ranging from 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters).

Mini rinks have a much smaller overall playing area compared to full-size rinks, resulting in a reduced surface for activities like ice skating or beginner hockey.

Olympic-size rink vs. NHL

Olympic-size rinks are larger than NHL-size rinks.  The Olympic rink dimensions measure 200 feet in length and 100 feet in width, compared to the NHL’s 85-foot width.

Hockey Rink Design
Hockey Rink Design


Hockey rink sizes can vary, with the standard NHL rink measuring about 200 feet in length and 85 feet in width, but other leagues and recreational rinks may have different dimensions.

An ice hockey rink is divided into five main sections. These sections are the offensive zone, defensive zone, neutral zone, and two end zones.

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) hockey rink dimensions adhere to a standard size, with a length of 200 feet and a width of 85 feet, similar to the dimensions of an NHL rink. 

Hockey ice is typically about 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) thick.


Hockey rink design varies between international and North American standards, with international rinks being larger means that the way ice hockey rinks are set up can differ depending on whether it’s an international game or one played in North America. Specifically, international rinks are generally bigger than those used in North America. 

As discussed in this post, these two types of rinks are designed differently for different games, with specific measurements and markings.

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