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21 Avr 2016 - 18:05:50

Basic Rules: NHL Hockey - Visual Guide

Benjamin Harris was a maverick in the early days of journalism. He was not alone but he definitely stood out from the crowd.

To start, penalties are stoppages where players do personal offenses against other teams and other players. In the event that a penalty is to be called and play is to be stopped, a referee will indicate that a penalty is to be called by raising his hand above his head. He will then wait to stop play until a player from the team of the offending player touches the puck. The referee waiting for this "touch up" is known as a "delayed penalty." During this time, teams often will have their goal tender rush to the bench to get an extra offensive skater on the ice to try to score during the delay.

Penalties will result in the offending player sitting in a "penalty box" isolated from other team players for the alloted time of the penalty. This period of time is know as a power play. The team of the offending player can not put a player on the ice to replace the penalized player. (Teams are allowed 6 players on the ice during regulation play. This is usually 5 players and a goal tender.) During the power play, the team of the penalized player will then be down a man resulting in a 5 on 4 in favor of the other team. There are often times that teams can be down two players resulting in a 5 on 3. Other combinations are 3 on 3, 3 on 4, and 4 on 4. No matter how many players are in the penalty box for a given team, the fewest number of players a team can be restricted to is 3 skaters and their goal tender.

Minor penalties that have caused one team to be shorthanded can end early if the team with more players (on the power play) scores a goal. Then the penalized player with the least amount of time can come out. Any remaining players with time remaining are to remain in the box. For example, if there is a 5 on 3, and player 1 has 20 seconds left, and player 2 has 50 seconds left, and the team with 5 players scores; then the face off comes to center ice, a 5 on 4 will result for the next 50 seconds and the player who had 20 seconds left on his penalty will be permitted to leave the box before the face off. Otherwise, if the time were to expire naturally, and no goal is scored in the period of time during the penalty, then play continues as the penalized player will come out of the box to continue play.

I will discuse Major Penalties later. Here are the minor penalties with their appropriate time penalties.

High Sticking (2 or 4 min): High Sticking is a minor penalty where at anytime a player's stick makes contact with any part of an opposing player above the shoulders. Intent has nothing to do with most minor penalties. In the case of a player's stick, they are to always be in control. Even if someone else causes a high sticking penalty, there is no argument and no grey area. High Sticking is a 2 minute minor offense. However, if blood is drawn by a high stick, the time will be counted as two minor penalties in a row. Because it is determined as two minor penalties, if a goal is scored in the first 2 minutes, then the rest of that 2 minute period is removed, and the second minor is started. If a goal is scored in the second 2 minute period, then the player can come out of the box and continue play.

Tripping (2 min): Tripping is the act of taking down an opposing player by taking his skates out from under him. This can be done with a stick, skate, arm, or other part of the player's body and / or equipment.

Boarding (2 min): There are two varieties of Boarding. The minor (2 min) version is a mild act of attacking a man from behind into the boards while in a defenseless position. This rule was created to protect the health and future career of NHL players. Players are allowed to run into (aka: check or checking) other players who have or are close to obtaining the puck. Players who are hit from behind into the boards around the rink are considered defenseless. The referee will judge weather the defenseless hit into the boards was malicious or not. If he feels it is an offense but not a Major Penalty, it will be a 2 minute minor. We will talk about the major penalty version later.

Goal Tender Interference (2 min): Players are allowed to check other players as long as the puck is close, and it is not an unnecessary hit. There is one exception. Players are never allowed to check the goal tender. In recent seasons, players have found ways to interfere with a goal tender without actually checking him. As a result, a new definition of goal tender interference was adopted. Players must make all efforts to avoid contact with the goal tender while he is in the crease (the blue paint in front of the goal). Players are also prohibited from facing the goal tender and waving in his face or other acts of distraction. It is permitted to stand in front of the goal tender and screen (block his vision) as long as he does not make contact or distracting motions. Like most rules, the referee can call things he sees as interference or have play continue based on his discretion. This is a very hard rule to always uphold. Many teams feel that their goal tender is interfered with more often then it is called by officials.

Interference (2 min): Unlike goal tender interference, contact with other players on the ice is as much a part of the game as ice skating. Hits, checks, and contact happens continuously throughout the course of the game. Although contact is legal, every player is supposed to have an equal chance to get to the puck. This being said, interference is:

"impeding an opponent who does not have the puck, or impeding any player from the bench." - wikipedia

Diving (2 min): People fall throughout the game, but diving is called when a player embelishes a fall to try to draw the attention of the officials. At times, a player gets tripped, and if official feels the nature of their fall was a deliberate attempt to get attention, he too will serve 2 minutes.

Delay of Game (2 min): Delay of Game is somewhat of a blanket penalty that can be called if a player tries to waste time or draw a stoppage of play by either laying on the puck or putting the puck off the ice and into the stands from the Defensive Zone.

Too Many Men on the Ice (2 min): Hockey is such a dynamic sport that players are coming off the bench and into play while the game is still playing. Since players are jumping off the ice and being replaced on the fly, there is bound to be some overlap and extra players are physically touching the ice while the game is going on. This penalty is called when too many players are on the ice "playing" and are not in the act of coming off the ice. Players can get caught on the ice if they are trying to jump onto the bench, and they inadvertently touch the puck with their feet, stick or some part of their equipment after their replacement has already entered the playing surface. No matter how inadvertent this last action is, they are still "in play", and effected play as an extra man, therefore, they are penalized for too many men.

Cross Checking (2 min): As was mentioned before, contact is part of the game. This does include pushing, rubbing, and such. There are certain types of contact that are potentially dangerous and therefore are penalties against players that use these forms of contact. Cross Checking is when a player uses his stick with two hands and forcefully pushes another player by extending his arms, resulting in his stick hitting the opposing player. In other words, the player punches another with his stick using two hands.

Slashing (2 min): Continuing the illegal stick usage penalties, we move on to slashing. This is the use of the stick in action similar to that of a baseball bat aimed towards the stick, legs, arms or body of an opposing player. Stick checking is legal, and is very similar but yet different than slashing. Slashing is usually intended to distract or injure, and at times does the latter.

Holding the Stick (2 min): Each player is to be responsible for his own stick, and at no time can hold anyone elses'. Preventing a player from gaining access to the puck by holding his stick will result in a visit to the penalty box for 2 minutes.

Hooking (2 min): Going back to what you are not allowed to do with your stick, we come to hooking. Hooking is defined as grabbing a part of an opposing player or part of his equipment with a stick parallel to the ice.

Holding (2 min): Holding is when a player grabs or hangs on another player. This is often called as interference, and is recorded as "interference, holding." Interference is often paired with other offenses such as hooking and tripping.

Roughing (2 min): This is usually when players push excesivly after plays are over, or if the referee feels a particular hit was unneccessarily rough.

There are other minor penalties that are not as common. I found a good list of all NHL penalties on

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