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Body Checking

Body Checking In Minor Hockey

Questions asked

  • Just when should body-checking be introduced to minor hockey?
  • How do you properly deliver a body-check?
  • What exactly is a body-check?


It is one of the most debated areas of minor hockey, something talked about at every level of the amateur game – body-checking.  The game of hockey is a fast paced game where body contact occurs throughout the game.  Body contact is not necessarily body checking


Introduction of Body Checking

The decision has been made to remove body checking from all recreation or "C" hockey levels.  The Bantam Rep level and above only will still have body checking in the game.


As this is new to Minor Hockey, the players who have been involved with hitting, second year Peewee players and above may take a few games to adjust.  The young people generally take less time to adjust that those who have been hitting for a while or the parents of the players!  The referees will be taught what to call but as always, it is at the discretion of the Referees on the ice at the time of the incident whether to make the call or not.


Delivering a Body Check

  • The purpose of a body check is to separate the opponent from the puck
  • A player should use the trunk (hips to shoulders) of the body to deliver the body check
  • The check must be delivered from the front or side of the opponent (angling)
  • Hands should not come up
  • Skates should stay on the ice
  • Being able to receive a hit and not get hurt, be prepared, knees bent, head up, stay on the boards.

Danger zone is 3-4 feet off the boards. Player has their head down, off the boards and chances of getting hurt goes up.



Rule 6.2 - Boarding and Body Checking

  • A Minor penalty or, at the discretion of the Referee, a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty, based upon the degree of violence of the impact with the boards, shall be assessed any player who body check, cross-checks, elbows, charges or trips an opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to be thrown violently into the boards.  If a player is injured a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty must be assessed.
  • In divisions of Atom and below and Female Hockey, a Minor penalty or, at the discretion of the Referee, a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty shall be assessed any player who, in the opinion of the Referee, intentionally body checks, bumps, shoves or pushes any opposing player. If a player is injured a Major penalty and a Game Misconduct penalty must be assessed.
  • When the offensive player is skating towards  the defensive player, the defending player may not hit the offensive player by going in the opposite direction to that player.  The body contact must be as a result of the movement of the offensive player.  There must be no action where the offensive player is pushed, checked or shoved towards the boards.  Where, in the opinion of the Referee, accidental contact has taken place, no penalty shall be assessed.



Rub out or Sequeezed out

The most common no call is where the defender directs the offensive player away from the net.  Sometimes the attacking player is "rubbed-out" along the boards, where the player is squeezed out along the boards when the defender is in front of the attacker.  If the defending player hits the attacker into the boards during the play, a body checking or boarding penalty should be called.


Bodychecking Summary

The focus of the body check should be to separate the opponent from the puck. 

Not permitted in any Atom or Recreational "C" level.

Is permitted at the Peewee rep level and above.


Hockey is a physical sport, sometime collisions will happen that are accidental and sometimes it is intentional.  We want our referees to understand the difference and learn to make the proper call.


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