When it comes to winter sports, there are plenty that take place on ice. From curling to figure skating, the ice offers a chance to engage in battles of skill and athletic beauty. But for some sports fans, there’s nothing quite like the bruising battle that is ice hockey.

As two teams skate rapidly around the rink, they fight with sticks — and sometimes fists! — to get a little black object past the goalie into the back of the net. At times they skate so fast and shoot the puck with such force that’s it’s almost impossible to keep track of.

For those who have never watched an ice hockey game before, one of the first things they usually notice is that, unlike many sports, there’s no ball. If you think about it, so many other sports, from soccer and baseball to basketball and football, feature a ball. In fact, “ball” is part of the sport’s name in many cases.

In ice hockey, though, it’s all about the puck: that little round black object that flies with lightning speed around the ice. If you’re curious to know more about the hockey puck, you’ve come to the right place.

Hockey pucks are flat and round. Made of solid, vulcanized black rubber, they are three inches across and one inch thick. Each puck weighs about six ounces.

If you’ve ever seen a hockey puck up close, you’ve probably noticed that the edge of the puck has a bunch of bumps or grooves. Sometimes these slightly raised patterns have a diamond shape. A completely smooth puck would be hard to shoot, so the raised patterns give the hockey stick something to grip when a player shoots a puck.

The hockey puck came into existence in 1875. It’s unclear who actually invented it, but experts believe the first hockey puck was likely just a rubber ball sliced in half. Early hockey players needed an object with a flat side that would slide on the ice rather than bounce around.

Today, hockey pucks are only made in four countries: Canada, Russia, China and the Czech Republic. At large factories, rubber is mixed with a special bonding material and a type of coal dust called carbon black. The mixture is then poured into a mold and compressed.

About 5,000 pucks can be made in a typical week. After they’re molded, special team logos can be added to each side through a process called silk screening.

So how cool are hockey pucks? As a matter of fact, they’re extremely cool. Pucks are kept frozen, so that they slide on the slippery ice and don’t bounce around.

After the Zamboni® smoothes out the ice and the players lace up their ice skates, it’s off to the races, chasing the puck around the rink! How fast can a hockey puck travel on the ice? Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for hockey pucks to reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour or more!

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    • HOORAY! We’re glad you enjoyed today’s Wonder, Skye! Hockey pucks are made of rubber, and they’re frozen– we LOVE learning cool new things with great Wonder Friends like you! Great guess for tomorrow… have a SUPER day! :)

  1. We think hockey looks fun, some of us wish we could play hockey some day. We also watched the wonder about curling. It looks fun too.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder will be about a circus with elephants.

    • We bet all our great Wonder Friends in Ms. Bayko’s class can use their SUPER imaginations– try to picture yourself playing hockey! You’ll have to lace up your skates and put on all your protective gear, too! Grab your hockey stick and get ready for that hockey puck to slide into the goal! :)

      We love that you also enjoyed WONDERing about another sport on ice– curling! Have a SUPER day full of fun– and thanks for sharing your guesses. We hope to see you tomorrow… it will be a great big WONDERful act! :)

  2. Gage says, “Thanks for sharing about hockey pucks. He learned that they are made of rubber.” Hunter S said, “We didn’t know that hockey pucks were frozen before a game!” Thank you, Wonderopolis!

    • Wohoo, our Wonder Friends Gage and Hunter S. have each learned something new about those slick hockey pucks! Isn’t it interesting that the pucks don’t bounce as much if they are frozen before the game! The entire hockey arena is chilly– even those hockey pucks! :)

      Thanks for sharing what you’ve learned today- we are very proud of all our great Wonder Friends! :)

    • SUPER guess, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Rise’s class! We can’t wait to see if tomorrow’s Wonder will be a performance like no other…! :)

  3. Hello Wonderers,

    We are wondering what is the fastest speed a puck has every gone in history and who shot it? Do you know?

    Mr. Colombo’s Class

    • Hello to our Wonder Friends in Mr. Colombo’s class! We are oh-so-glad you’re WONDERing with us today– and you’ve come up with some additional Wonders of your own! As we heard in the video, some hockey pucks can reach up to 100 mph (miles per hour)! WOWZA!

      We Wonder if you can do some research of your own and find out if there is a record for the fastest puck ever recorded? We’d love to hear what you find! :)

  4. Hi I’m back

    It’s BUM…BUM…BUM…the middle of the week!!

    I’m going to ask TWO questions.

    1 What is a hockey puck made of?
    It’s made of compressed rubber.

    2 What’s your favorite sport?
    Mine’s baseball.

    Thanks for being awesome Wonderopolis.

    • Welcome back, Laserdudle! We hope you’re having a WONDERful Wednesday! :)

      We are very excited to see that you’ve learned two new facts about hockey pucks! Thanks for being an awesome Wonder Friend! :)

  5. Mrs. Ski’s AM class thought that it was “COOL” to learn about hockey pucks! We were surprised that there aren’t any made in the U.S.A. We think that tomorrow’s wonder will be a circus or a TeePee. Some of us think it will be about camping or an elephant!

    • WOHOO, we like your style, Mrs. Ski’s AM Wonder students! :) We Wonder if U.S.A. doesn’t have as much rubber as the other countries that manufacture hockey pucks? We can’t wait to find out what tomorrow will be… but we sure hope to see you tomorrow! Thanks for sharing your comment and guesses with us today! :)

  6. Dear Wonderopolis,
    It’s amazing that a hockey puck can go 100 miles per hour! A lot of kids in our class are hockey fans. We liked learning about how hockey pucks are made and how big they are. None of us knew that they had to be frozen so that they didn’t bounce around. Do you know why they don’t make hockey pucks in the United States? Thanks for the Wonder!

    Mrs. Johnson’s 4th grade class in Ohio

    • We are so glad you’re WONDERing with us about those speedy hockey pucks today, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Johnson’s 4th grade class!! We Wonder how many hockey pucks are used in a year? They seem pretty durable! :)

      We Wonder if you can do some research of your own about hockey puck manufacturing… we Wonder if those other countries have more rubber available? We look forward to WONDERing with you soon! :)

  7. Dear Wonderopolis,

    Thank you for featuring hockey today. We are a class full of hockey players and fanatics from Canada.

    Some of us were able to tell the rest of the class about the pucks that have our team logos.

    Thanks again,
    Ms. Barnett’s class

    • WOHOO, we are excited to Wonder with our Friends and hockey players in Ms. Barnett’s 4/5 class today! We Wonder if anyone has scored a hat trick yet?! :)

      We bet your classroom was a very fun place to be– the team logos are cool to compare and contrast! Keep up the great work, Wonder Friends! :)

  8. We learned that hockey pucks were invented a long time ago and travel really fast on the ice. We were surprised to find out they were made from rubber and have raised designs on them.

    We think we might get to learn about the circus tomorrow.

    • WOHOO, our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Karr’s class have done a SUPER job of WONDERing today! We like that you learned about the history of the hockey puck and how fast it can go, too! We can’t wait to Wonder with you again tomorrow, but we think you’ve got a SUPER guess today! :)

    • Isn’t that a cool and fun fact to learn, Bryleigh? It’s fun to imagine how fast a hockey puck can move on ice– phew that’s quick! Thanks for sharing your SUPER comment with all of us at Wonderopolis! Have a Wonder-filled Wednesday! :)

    • What a WONDERful guess, Wonder Friend Turtle! We hope to see you tomorrow to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder will be…! :)

  9. Hi wonderopolis! :) I like hockey and I watch my friends play all the time!! I really hope tomorrow’s wonder won’t be about clowns, they’re freaky! I think it will be about lions (in the circus).

    • Hi there, Just Zoey! We bet it’s fun to watch your friends play hockey– we Wonder if you learned something new about the hockey puck today?! It’s very cool to imagine how fast a puck can fly!

      We think you’re very close to today’s Wonder– we hope you join us tomorrow to find out what it is! :)

  10. I thought that the video was REALLY cool. But, because I am a girl, I don’t really have an interest in hockey. But, I still thought that the video was cool. A guy eating a hockey puck?! Priceless! that was really funny!
    Signing off,

    • Hi there, Belhay, thanks for sharing your comment with us today! We’re glad you had a fun time WONDERing about hockey pucks– they’re pretty cool! We think that ANYONE (boys, girls, friends, family) can have fun playing hockey! It’s okay if you don’t have an interest, but you’ll never know if you don’t try first! :)

      We like your signature “signing off”, too! Nice work! :)

  11. Hi Wonderopolis! I really liked today’s video. It was cool to learn so much I hadn’t known. Also, I was wondering if you have a day for volleyball in the future because that is my favorite sport. I mean I haven’t known about wonderopolis for that long but it would really spark my interest.

    Signing off,

    • Hi there, AnonyMous, we REALLY like your clever name! Thanks for sharing your comment about today’s hockey puck Wonder– it’s fun to think about something that you might see on a regular basis! We are big fans of all sports, including volleyball! We Wonder if you had a chance to see any of the sand volleyball teams compete in this year’s Olympic Games? We think it would be fun to do a Wonder about volleyball in the future– thanks for your suggestion!

      We hope you have a SUPER day! :)

    • Thanks, Emster, we think it’s very cool to learn something new! Thanks for sharing your comment, we sure are glad that you enjoyed the video and article about hockey pucks today! We hope you have a WONDER-filled day, thanks for sharing the fun! :)

    • Very cool, Mary! We bet it’s a lot of fun to watch AND play hockey! Thanks for sharing your comment today– we hope you enjoyed today’s Wonder! :)

    • Hi there, Wonder Friend Blobb! We’re sorry to hear that today’s Wonder wasn’t #1 in your book, but we hope you learned something new! Each day there is a new Wonder on our site– you can guess what tomorrow’s Wonder will be, check out our cool video of the day, or read along and learn some very cool things… you might even want to submit a Wonder of your own! :)

    • Very cool, Abbey! We are happy to hear that you enjoyed today’s Wonder even though you aren’t a hockey player yourself! It’s so much fun to Wonder about new things, old things, and in-between things! Thanks for being a great Wonder Friend! :)

    • Hi there Billy, thanks for sharing your enthusiasm about hockey! We LOVE to find out what our Wonder Friends are passionate about– it sounds like hockey is a passion of yours! We hope you have a SUPER day, Wonder Friend! :)

    • Hello there, Frank! Thanks for stopping by to say hello! We’d love to hear what you learned today about those super fast hockey pucks! :)

  12. Mrs. Ski’s PM class liked today’s wonder but also thought it was odd not to have any made in the USA. We observed that a lot of things aren’t made in the USA, but are made in China. We checked our shoes and found that they were made in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China. One pair was made in El Salvador. We think tomorrow’s wonder will be a real circus act. Maybe a teepee? We are hoping it’s about yurts or some other interesting piece of architecture!

    • Great point, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Ski’s class! We think it’s very cool that you took a poll of your shoes in the classroom– we bet they had rubber on all of them, too!

      We can’t wait to find out what tomorrow’s Wonder will be… but we think you’re on the right track! WAY TO GO! :)

    • That’s great news, Erin, we’re glad you liked today’s Wonder! We think that some people who over-bake desserts or pastries, like biscuits, often compare them to a hockey puck because they are so hard or stale! Thanks for sharing your comment today! :)

    • Very cool, Gina M! We are glad that you enjoyed learning about a very important part of your favorite sport! Thanks for visiting Wonderopolis today! :)

  13. Wow, we had a lot of guesses about what the puck is made of…one student really did say coal, so we were amazed that coal dust was part of the process!

    Tomorrow’s wondering we think is going to be about a tee pee (tipi, tepee) or a circus tent!! We look forward to reading tomorrow’s wonder of the day! (We were wrong last time, we’ll keep trying!)

    • Hi there, Wonder Friends in Mrs. Fish’s class! We like that you made the connection between the hockey puck and the coal finish– nice work!

      We’re looking forward to WONDERing with you again tomorrow, we think you’re on the right track, Wonder Friends! :)

    • We’re glad you liked today’s Wonder, Elisa! Sometimes people will do things, like pretend to eat a hockey puck (!), just to make us smile or laugh. We bet it didn’t taste too good! :)

  14. We loved the wonder today! We live in Hawaii so there isn’t much hockey but there is a lot of soccer playing, basketball, surfing, swimming and some ice skating.
    Is tomorrow’s wonder about camping or the circus? In Hawaii we see houses with huge tents so that they can be sprayed for bugs! We have a lot of cockroaches here!

    • WOW, we are excited that our Wonder Friends, Mrs. Thomas’ Tigers, are WONDERing with us today! We think it’s cool to imagine ourselves in Hawaii, surfing with all our Wonder Friends. We’re also excited that you can Wonder with us about hockey and hockey pucks today!

      We think you’re right on track when it comes to tomorrow’s Wonder… and we hope you’ll join us tomorrow to Wonder again!

      Hope those huge tents keep out creepy crawlers, and cockroaches, too! :)

  15. This is our second day wondering with your site. We have enjoyed having something to think about throughout the day. We look forward to many more enjoyable wonderings :-)

    • WOOHOO, day two is great with Wonder Friends from Ms. Malcolm’s third grade class!! We think it’s fun to Wonder and use our imagination all day long– we’re glad you’re participating! Thanks for joining the fun, Wonder Friends! We’ll see you soon! :)

    • WOHOO, we are glad when we can communicate with SUPER Wonder Friends like all of you! We will certainly see you tomorrow… until then, have a great time using your BRILLIANT imaginations! :)

  16. So cool, funny how the man thought the puck was a biscuit! We didn’t know hockey pucks were made of vulcanized rubber. Wonderopolis is so cool and teaches us so many things. We would never want to be hit by a 100 mile per hour puck.

    • Hello to all our Wonder Friends at Resurrection School! We’re so glad you’re here today! :)

      We are glad you enjoyed WONDERing about those speedy, rubbery hockey pucks today! We bet it would hurt a great deal if we were hit with a hockey puck. We bet that hockey players wear all that protective clothing and gear to prevent injuries from hockey sticks and pucks! We’re so happy that you shared your SUPER comment with us today! :)

  17. Hi Wonderopilis
    The fastest slapshot in the NHL All-Star game was 107.2 mph by Chara. The hardest slapshot on record is by Bobby Hull at 118.3 mph.

    Here is the answer of the question for Mr. Colombo’s class.

    • All of us at Wonderopolis are sending virtual high fives to Ian and our Wonder Friends in Mr. Colombo’s class today! WAY TO GO– we are so excited that you shared your research with us!

      Zdeno Chara, who plays for the Boston Bruins, must be a very powerful hockey player! We learned that Bobby Hull, who is now retired, played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Hartford Whalers in the United States, as well as the Winnipeg Jets in Canada.

      We can’t believe a hockey puck can go so fast! Thanks again for sharing all this great information with all of us at Wonderopolis! You ROCK! :)

    • Thanks for mentioning another version of hockey, Beckham C! We bet rolling around and using a different types of “puck” is a lot of fun, too! Have a SUPER day! :)

  18. Some slapshooters propell the puck between 90 – 100 mph. Speeds up to 120 mph have been recorded by some of the hardest shooters.

    • WOW, check out all the awesome research coming from our Wonder Friends in Mr. Colombo’s class! Nice work, Ben! We think it’s pretty impressive to skate, shoot and score in hockey. Could you imagine being the goalie who is up against a powerful slapshooter? Yikes! We are so excited that all our Wonder Friends are back to join the fun today– great job! :)

    • YAY, we LOVE when our Wonder Friends learn something new with us! Thanks for WONDERing about hockey pucks with us, Olivia D.! We think it’s cool that even though hockey pucks are made of rubber, the way they are created prevents them from bouncing high, like a ball! We think the interviewer in the video was making a joke by biting the hockey puck! If you’ve ever tried to eat a stale or over-cooked biscuit, if might have felt like you were biting into a hockey puck! :)

    • We’re oh-so-happy that you learned something cool and new, Emme! We Wonder if you have ever seen a hockey game before? We hope you brought your sweater with you– brrrr! :)

  19. I just started playing Hockey, and I never new they froze the pucks before games so they wouldn’t bounce. Wow!! Who knew!!!

    • How cool, Matt, we bet you’re having fun on the ice! We’re glad you have been WONDERing with us about hockey pucks today! Keep up the great work and keep practicing! :)

    • We’re so happy that you liked our hockey puck Wonder, spongebob! We were excited to learn that hockey pucks are frozen before a game– it prevents them from bouncing on the ice! How cool! Have a SUPER day! :)

    • How cool, Gabe! Now you’ve learned something new about your favorite sport’s main piece of equipment– the hockey puck! We hope your day is SUPER, Gabe! :)

    • We bet you enjoyed learning about hockey pucks! Isn’t it cool that hockey pucks are frozen to prevent bouncing on the ice? :)

  20. FINALLY. I love to play hockey. I finally got what I wanted. THANK YOU!!!!! I think hockey pucks are made of rubber. I’m 10000% sure.

  21. Cool I didn’t know hockey pucks were made of vulcanized black rubber. It’s also sad that we don’t know who invented the hockey puck though. Oh and great post!

    • We are glad that you enjoyed our hockey puck Wonder, Michael! It’s cool to know that hockey pucks are frozen before games, too! We are glad that you’re WONDERing with us today! :)

    • Hi there, Ahmed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on our hockey Wonder. We’re sorry to hear it’s not one of your favorites, but we appreciate your comment! :)

    • Hi there, Sean! We learned about what a hockey puck is made of, but we Wonder if you can find out how to make one of your own! Keep up the WONDERing! Check out the “Try It Out” section for more fun! :)

    • How right you are, Wonder Friend Robert! We are glad you’re thinking and WONDERing with us today! Have a triple deke kind of day! :)

    • Hey Jacob, how cool! Thanks for sharing your connection to our hockey puck Wonder! We Wonder what position you play? :)

    • Hey Ella! We LOVE that you LOVE ice hockey! What new facts did you learn about it? If you play it already, we bet you know a lot! Have a WONDERful day! :)

  22. I learned how hockey pucks are made. I was surprised what they are made of. I want to know more about hockey. Hockey is cool

    • Hi Zachary! Thanks for WONDERing with us! It is neat how they’re made and how they move! Do you play hockey? We bet you’d be WONDERful at it! :)

    • Hi Tyler and Jeff! Thanks for WONDERing with us!Isn’t it neat that they’re frozen? They’re definitely cool creations! Keep WONDERing! :)

  23. I learned that hockey pucks are compressed vulcanized rubber.
    I was surprised how fast they can move.
    I want to know more about how they are made.
    I can’t believe that they are compressed in the making.

  24. I learned that they freeze the hockey pucks before the games.
    I was suprised that hockey pucks move so fast. They are hard to keep track of.
    I want to know more about how they shape the pucks and if there are different sized hockey pucks.
    I think it’s cool that they freeze the pucks and that they’re entirely made of rubber!

  25. I learned what a hockey puck is made of frozen rubber. I was surprised that it was made of that. I want to know more about hockey. Why did the guy try eating a hockey puck?

  26. I learned that they freeze the hockey puck before they play with it so that it doesn’t bounce around.I was surprised on how the puck can go as fast as 100 mph. I want to know more about where they are made.This was good information.

    • Hi Emily! We’re so glad that you enjoyed learning about hockey pucks with us! We can’t wait to WONDER with you more! :)

  27. I was surprised by what hockey pucks where made of. I thought they were made out of plastic, not what they’re really made out of.

    • Hi Ryan! Thanks for WONDERing with us! It is interesting what hockey pucks are made of! Those are just materials we would never think about! Keep WONDERing with us! :)

  28. Hockey pucks were invented by James Creighton in 1875 when he made a flat, circular piece of wood. Not a rubber ball cut in half.

  29. We are wondering why they don’t make hockey pucks in the USA. We are also wondering how you vulcanize rubber.

    We found it interesting that hockey pucks are frozen before each game, and that they can reach up to 100 mph or more.

    We predict that maybe the big tent in the wonder tomorrow will be about a circus or a big wedding in a tent.

    • Howdy, Mrs. Stemmet’s 3rd grade! We’re super glad you stopped by Wonderopolis to WONDER with us for a while! Thanks for sharing your own Wonders and what you found interesting about this Wonder of the Day! We can’t wait to see if you’re right about tomorrow’s Wonder! :) :)

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Have you ever wondered…

  • What are hockey pucks made of?
  • How cool are hockey pucks?
  • Can you make your own homemade hockey puck?

Wonder Gallery

hocky puck shutterstock_98857229Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Hockey is a lot of fun to play, but not all pucks are meant to be used on the ice. Check out the links below to find out how you can make model hockey pucks for fun, and even some to eat!

Still Wondering

Check out Smithsonian’s History Explorer to see the Hockey Skates worn by Phil Verchota, a member of the underdog 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that astounded the world by capturing the Gold Medal.

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