SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2004

Task Analysis (Hitting, Shooting, Passing, and Skating) of Professional Hockey Players


Task analysis data were summarized for ten NHL hockey teams based on nine home games played against the Montreal Canadiens. Approval for filming was obtained from the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club. Three camera views were obtained. One camera followed the puck, while cameras two and three were fixed on opposite halves of the ice surface. The sample included 62 defensemen (D), 74 wingers (W), 44 centers (C) and 10 goalies (G). Frequencies of starts, stops, crossovers, sharp turns, and direction changes were recorded as well as total forward and backwards skating. Defensemen and forwards were analyzed for the following skills: hitting (on boards and open-ice), shooting (slap, wrist, backhand, snap), passing (forehand, backhand, sweep and snap), and pass reception (forehand, backhand, other). For the goaltenders, only passing and pass reception were investigated. Task analysis data were summarized by position. Average shift times were 44.7 s, 43.1 s, and 47.6 s for the C, W, and D, respectively. The percentage of time spent in backward skating was 4.8% for the C, 5.7% for the W, and 19.2% for the D. Skating movements were totaled for the following movements: starts, stops, crossovers, sharp turns, and front-to-back or back-to-front. The total forward skating activities were 258, 227, and 270 for the C, W, and D, respectively. The total backward skating activities were 43, 44, and 146 for the C, W, and D, respectively. Skating patterns of the forwards and defense are significantly different and probably warrant the design of different skates for these positions. The frequency of hitting, battles for the puck, and battles for position were not high when average values were recorded; however, the most active players totaled 25–28 contacts per game.

Author Information

Montgomery, DL
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Nobes, K
Royal Military College, Kingston, ON
Pearsall, DJ
McGill University, Montreal, QC
Turcotte, RA
McGill University, Montreal, QC
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 288–295
DOI: 10.1520/STP11626S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5493-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3473-7