Introduction: Tabletop Hockey Rink

NHL hockey rinks are 200 feet long, 85 feet wide, and have 11 feet between the end boards and the goal line, but that is WAY too big for a classroom. We need something a bit smaller, so we are going to build a rink that fits on a tabletop.

Let's create a Tabletop Hockey Rink.

To complete this project you will need the following materials:


  • 1 - 20" x 30" foam core board
  • 1 - Ruler/straight edge
  • 1 - Pencil
  • 1 - X-Acto knife (equivalent tool for cutting foam core)
  • 1 - Roll of duct tape (white)

Additional Material for Rink Markings:

  • Colored duct tape (I used red and blue tape for lines)
  • Colored markers (I used red sharpie marker for the face off circles)

Let's get making!

Step 1: Measure the Foam Core Rink Pieces

From the corner of the foam core board, measure and mark a 300mm x 600mm rectangle.

Step 2: Cut the Rink Shape

Using a ruler or straight edge and an X-acto knife, cut out the rink shape. When complete, you should end up with 3 separate pieces of foam core.

  1. The large rectangle (600mm x 300mm) will become the rink surface.
  2. The long scrap (600mm x 200mm) will become the side boards
  3. The small scrap (800mm x 160mm) will become the end boards of the rink.

Tip: If you have multiple rolls of duct tape, they make excellent saw horses to lift the foam core off the cutting surface.

Step 3: Make the End Boards

With the rink shape cut out, we can use the remaining scraps to create the boards for the rink. We will start by creating the end boards where the goals will be located.

Find the small end board scrap (it should be about 300mm x 160mm) and cut it in half along the length to create two 80mm strips of foam core.

These will become the end boards later in the project.

Step 4: Make the Side Boards

Using the side board scrap (600mm x 200mm), measure and cut two 80mm strips of foam core.

Step 5: Mock Up the Rink

Now that all the shapes are cut it's time to ensure everything fits properly.

You can see from the image that the end boards are too wide for the rink. Use the rink and side boards to mark the length of end boards and trim to fit.

Tip: The end boards should measure 310mm if everything is cut perfectly, but any length between 300mm and 310mm should work just fine.

Step 6: Add Rink Markings

Before we begin putting the rink together you will need to decide if you want to add rink marking and if so, what markings you want to add.

I have selected to create the center line (red) and blue lines with duct tape and the face off circles with a red Sharpie marker. All markings could easily be done completely in marker, paint, crayon, or whatever you have laying around.

Step 7: Create the Center Line (red)

A standard NHL rink has red lines marking the center of the rink and the goal lines and blue lines that define the zones for the offense and defense. In this project I will only add the center and blue lines to simplify the project, but you can decorate the rink as you wish.

Measure and mark the half way point (about 300mm) of the rink surface.

Tear a 10mm wide strip of red duct tape that extends a little past the width of the rink (rink width 300mm) and place it on the rink at center. Simply wrap any excess tape around to the bottom of the rink.

Step 8: Create the Blue Lines

Starting from the center of the rink, measure 100mm in each direction to locate the blue lines.

Tear two 10mm wide strips of blue tape and place them on the rink at your 100mm marks.

Step 9: Create the Face Off Circles

The face off circles near the corners of the rink were created by measuring 75mm from the side of the rink and 100mm from the end of the rink.

The center face off circle is located directly in the center of the rink surface on the center line.

After measuring to locate the centers of the face off circles, use a roll of duct tape to create the inner and outer lines of each circle. Then color them in with a red Sharpie marker.

Step 10: Cut Goal Openings

Cutting the goal opening at each of the end boards is the final step before assembling the rink.

The size of the goal will help determine the level of difficulty for the game. The larger the goal the easier it will be to score, while a smaller opening will make the game more challenging.

You also need to consider the size of the puck you will be playing with. For example, I plan to make a puck (a duct tape ball) that is between 20mm and 25mm in diameter, so my goal opening will be 50mm wide and 30mm tall. After final assembly the height of the goal opening will be roughly 25mm based on the thickness of the foam core.

I plan to make a puck that is between 25mm and 30mm in diameter, so I decided to start with a goal opening 50mm wide and 30mm tall. After final assembly the height of the goal opening will be roughly 25mm based on the thickness of the foam core.

After cutting the first goal opening, use it to trace the opening to the opposite end board so they are exactly the same size. Once you've traced it, go ahead and cut out the second opening.

Additional challenge: Can you design a way to adjust the size of the goal opening to change the level of difficulty during a game?

Step 11: Assemble the Rink

We are now ready to assemble our rink.

Tear two matching pieces of duct tape to attach to each side of the goal on the end boards. Make sure to allow half the strip of tape to hang off the bottom, this extra tape will be wrapped to the bottom of the rink to secure the end board and the rink surface to one another.

Align the end board to the rink surface and pull the duct tape snug to the bottom of the rink surface. The goal is to have the end board snug to the rink and perpendicular (90 degrees) to the rink surface.

Repeat these steps on the opposite end of the rink as well.

Step 12: Attach the Side Boards

Align the side boards to the end boards and even with the bottom of the rink surface, then use a small piece of tape to attach the side board to each of the end boards.

Repeat this process on the other side of the rink. You only need to use enough tape to hold the side boards in place long enough to flip the rink and reinforce the side boards by taping them to the bottom of the rink. This can be done in the same way as the end boards.

Once the side boards are fully attached to the bottom of the rink, you can reinforce each of the outside corners more securely if needed.

Flip the rink over and your rink is complete!