Rules of the ice hockey have changed over the time and still the rules that are valid nowadays (2010-2014 period) will be probably slightly changed for the next period. Moreover, there is not only one version of the rules, e.g., icing in the NHL and in the International games.
The true origin of Ice hockey is unknown, it is said to have been documented as far as 4000 years ago. However, a more definitive history of Ice Hockey seems to start from the mid 1800s. The sport itself has grown in popularity and with the National Hockey League now in place it has become a well-known sport worldwide. The game is fast-paced and very competitive and today Ice hockey is held at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Canada is thought to be the father of Ice Hockey as the first documented games were played there in the 1850s and the rules of Ice hockey are said to have been devised by Canadian J G A Creighton.
Halifax Rules and Montreal Rules
The first rules of the ice hockey (we mean the ice hockey in the form similar to the current ice hockey) were published by James George Aylwin Creighton (see the photo on the left side) on the February 27, 1877 in The (Montreal) Gazette. These rules are called Montreal rules (or McGill rules) and they developed from so-called Halifax rules which were in use around mid-1800s. As you can expect, these rules differ a lot from the current rules.
Actual IIHF Rule Book
For the years 2010-2014 the IIHF Rule Book is valid. The IIHF Rule Book has more than 100 pages and it describes all details of the ice hockey (see the IIHF Rule Book in the PDF format).
Ice Hockey Rules
Nowadays, you can find in this section