A team must not have more than six players on the ice while play is in progress. Typically, these players are one goalkeeper, two defenders, two wings and one centre. However, fewer players can be on the ice as a result of penalties, and a goalkeeper can be replaced for another skater at any time, at the team’s own risk.
Women currently compete in a 10-team tournament, whereas men compete in a 12-team tournament. The chief difference between women's and men's ice hockey is that body checking is not allowed in women's ice hockey.
A regular game consists of three 20-minute periods, with a 15-minute intermission after the first and second periods. Teams change ends for each period. If a tie occurs in a medal-round game, a five-minute sudden-victory overtime period is played. In the gold-medal game, a 20-minute sudden-victory period is played subsequent to another 15-minute intermission.
In the event of a tie after any sudden-victory period, a penalty shoot-out competition takes place to determine the winner.