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Sports Pet Peeve of the Day

Thursday, February 25, 2010, 21:26 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Sorry, it’s a crazy day at work and there is no time for me to sufficiently blog yesterday’s Olympics results. I promise a double tomorrow.

What I do have enough time (and, evidently, crankiness) for is to address something I have heard several times lately that drives me absolutely nuts: people talking about an “offsides” call in ice hockey.

Back in the day, when my five-year-old brother started playing youth hockey, I learned the rules of the game so I would know what I was watching. The term I learned for an infraction where an offensive player moves the puck into the other team’s defensive zone when one or more of his teammates is already in the zone was “offside.” What I never learned about was anything called “offsides.” Nonetheless, I hear the latter a lot, even from sports media people who presumably should know better, and it grates on me.

This afternoon, I had had enough. But before I launched into a self-righteous tirade, just in case I was (gasp!) wrong, I went onto the NHL web site, looked up the Official Rules, and found this:

Rule 83 – Off-side

83.1 Off-side – Players of the attacking team must not precede the puck into the attacking zone.

OK, so technically, I was wrong. Who knew there was a hyphen in the term? But if I wasn’t quite accurate on how the term is written, I was correct on how it’s spoken: without an “S” on the end. In fact, I even searched the entire rule book, and nowhere in it can the term “offsides” or “off-sides” be found.

The next person I hear it from is going to get an earful. At least until my crankiness subsides.

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