Hockey is a family of sports that is played with two teams attempt to get a ball or puck into the other team’s goal with a hockey stick. In most countries Ice Hockey and Field Hockey are the most popular and will probably just be referred to as Hockey.
In the years 1995-96 When Fox purchased the TV rights for the National Hockey League a new puck was introduced. The outside of the puck remained the same but the inside was completely different. This was because Fox believed to increase traffic and gain viewers the small looking puck needed an increase in visibility to make it easier to follow on a television. For this purpose they invented a new ball called the Fox Trax Puck that contained a computer board and battery at its centre and 20-pin holes all over the puck (12 on the edges, four on top, and four on the bottom) that guided infrared emitters, each beeping approximately 30 pulses per minute. These emitters would communicate with 16 sensors all around the rink to follow the movement of the puck. These pucks cost about $400 each to make and could only be used for 10 minutes before the battery ran out. Players also complained that they did not move in the same way and they were too bouncy so when Fox did not renew the NHL Broadcasting contract they stopped manufacturing them.
The materials required to manufacture a hockey puck include Vulcanized rubber and silk screened ink.
The Design of the puck came from Art Ross in 1940. Since then pucks have basically remained the same, Ross made them easier to manufacture and also display some consistency when used in play.
Hockey Pucks can be made in two different ways, one of them being for Regulation NHL play and the other being practice or souvenir.
- Granular rubber is hand mixed with a special bonding material.
- The mixture is placed into a two part mould. A moulding pallet of 200 mould cavities is filled by hand and then it is cold compressed. This is done at room temperature and about 5000 pucks can be made every week.
- The pucks are then silk screened with one of four different types of machines depending on the colour of the team or League’s logo. There is a machine that is used by hand and also a three colour, six colours and eight colour machine. The logo is placed onto the puck.
- The pucks are packed for shipping in 100’s.
- Rubber in cord form arrives at the factory and is packed into 40ft (361.9m) long tubes. The cord is fed by hand through a pultrusion machine.
- The process is monitored by a worker as the machine pulls and then slices the rubber into long pieces 4-5 in (10-13 cm) thick.
- The machine will then grab 4 inches of rubber and place it into the two part mould. The mould is then heated before the two parts of the mould are compressed together. 10000 pucks can be made in a day.
- After a puck is made they are silk screened with the same methods as the regulation ball.
- They are packed in 100’s and now ready for shipping.