TIME TO PLAY HEADS UP HOCKEY: There will be players out to hurt, so it is important to pay attention to what is in front of you and not be looking at the puck you are handling.
- The purpose of a body check is to separate the opponent from the puck.
- Only the trunk (hips to shoulders) of the body shall be used to deliver a body check.
- The check must be delivered to the trunk (hips to shoulders) and directly from in front or the side of the opponent.
- Players who use their physical skills and/or anticipation and have a positional advantage shall not lose that advantage provided they use their body to check the opponent within the rules.
- Players will be held accountable for acts of an intimidating or dangerous nature.
A player cannot commit any infraction, including body checking, for the purpose of intimidation or punishment that causes their opponent to go dangerously or excessively into the boards. Examples include:
- Accelerating through the check to a player who is in a vulnerable position off of the boards that causes them to go dangerously into the boards.
- Driving an opponent excessively into the boards with no focus on or intent to play the puck.
- Any other infraction (tripping, cross-checking, charging etc.) that causes the opponent to go dangerously and excessively into the boards.
A player cannot take more than two fast strides or travel an excessive distance to accelerate through a body check for the purpose of punishing the opponent. Examples include:
- Running or jumping into the opponent to deliver a check.
- Accelerating through a check for the purpose of punishing the opponent.
- Skating a great distance for the purpose of delivering a check with excessive force.
Checking from Behind
A player cannot deliver a body check to an opponent directly from behind, or diagonally from behind. The onus is on the player delivering the check to not hit from behind. Examples include:
- Body checking or pushing an opponent from behind directly into the boards or goal frame or in open ice.
A player cannot contact an opponent in the head, face or neck, including with the stick or any part of the players body or equipment. The onus is on the player delivering the check, regardless as to size differential, to not make contact in the head/neck area of the opponent. Examples include:
- A body check delivered with any part of the body that makes direct contact with the head or neck area.
- The use of the forearm or hands to deliver a check to the
- head or neck area of the opponent.
A player cannot use the hands, stick or extension of the arms to body check an opponent or deliver an avoidable body check to a player who is not in possession and control of the puck. Examples include:
- Intentionally playing the body of an opponent who does not have possession and control of the puck.
- Delivering an avoidable check to a player who has already relinquished control of the puck by a pass or shot. This is oftentimes referred to as “finishing” the check.
- Any avoidable contact after the whistle shall be penalized strictly, including scrum situations around the goal or along the boards. Officials are instructed to assess an additional penalty to those players acting as the aggressor or who instigates any contact after the whistle.
- In Body Checking categories, the focus of the body check must be to separate the opponent from the puck.