At first hockey games were played with regular balls. Later, hockey pucks were created that were square. The first types of pucks were crafted from a ball top cut out from a hurly ball. By 1860, hockey pucks were created out of wood materials. In the late 1880s, vulcanized rubber was created and hockey pucks were made from this tougher material. The National Hockey League implemented regulations regarding the weight and size of pucks; today the puck has to be made of vulcanized rubber and it has to weigh 5.5 to 6 ounces. It cannot exceed an inch in thickness and it cannot be more than three inches wide.
There are special hockey pucks that are weighted for the purposes of training as heavier pucks help the player to gain wrist strength. There are also special pucks devised so that they can be used to improve upon the way a player handles the hockey stick during play. Road hockey and floor hockey games involve the use of an orange puck. Yellow pucks with fluorescent properties are used during street hockey games. On nonice surface areas, pucks containing ball bearings are used. Pucks can travel at speeds up to 120 miles per hour and there have been some deaths caused by hockey pucks in the past. There have been three deaths related to hockey pucks since the late 1970s.