(Ice) hockey: The method of starting play at the start of a period or resuming play following a stoppage for a goal, penalty, or any other reason.
An on-ice official (a referee to start the period or after a goal, otherwise a linesman) drops the puck between the sticks of two opposing players. The players must wait at least one stick length apart with their stick blades flat on the ice.
Each player tries to control the puck and pass it to a teammate. It is permitted to check the opposing player and let another player take the puck. It is no longer permitted to tie up the opponent and kick the puck with your feet ... this was a favo(u)rite tactic of face-off specialist Peter Zezel.
The face-off is often called "the draw" by sportscasters.