Hockey Checking From Behind Penalty: A Comprehensive Guide!

In ice hockey, the game is fast-paced and full of action. However, player safety is of utmost importance, and rules are in place to prevent dangerous plays and protect the well-being of all participants. One such rule is the checking from behind penalty, which aims to reduce the risk of serious injuries caused by hits delivered from behind.

This comprehensive guide will delve into the details of checking from behind penalties and examining the rules and consequences. , and strategies to avoid this infraction.

What is Hockey Checking From Behind Penalty?

Checking from behind is a rule violation in ice hockey. It happens when a player forcefully hits an opponent from the back. Checking from behind is very risky and can lead to severe injuries. As a result, it is usually punished with a major penalty, and the player is removed from the game.

NHL Rulebook Definition

The NHL rulebook defines checking from behind as follows:

Checking from Behind: A player shall not check an opponent in the back. A check from behind is a check delivered on an opponent who is not aware of the impending hit and who has his head down or is otherwise in a vulnerable position.

The Rules and Consequences

Ice hockey has established specific rules regarding checking from behind penalties to maintain a safe playing environment. The following guidelines are crucial for both players and referees to understand:

Rule Definition

Checking from behind is defined as any hit delivered from the back that causes an opponent to be thrown violently into the boards. It involves a lack of respect for the opposing player’s safety and can result in severe consequences.

Penalties and Referee Decisions

When a player commits a check from behind an infraction, the referee assesses the situation and determines the appropriate penalty. The severity of the hit and the resulting impact on the opposing player influence the referee’s decision.

Common penalties for checking from behind include:

  • Minor Penalty: A minor penalty is typically assessed when the hit results in the opposing player being thrown against the boards without significant injury.
  • Major Penalty: A major penalty may be assessed if the hit causes injury or the opposing player cannot continue participating in the game. This penalty leads to the player being ejected from the game and often carries additional consequences.
  • Game Misconduct: A game misconduct penalty may be issued in cases where the hit is particularly dangerous or results in a severe injury. This penalty involves the player’s removal from the game and can lead to further disciplinary actions from the league.

Safety and Education Initiatives

Recognizing the importance of player safety, ice hockey leagues worldwide have implemented various safety and education initiatives to minimize checking from behind penalties. These initiatives include:

  • Rule Emphasis: Referees receive instructions to monitor and penalize any checking from behind infractions closely, even if they do not result in immediate injuries. This proactive approach aims to deter players from engaging in such dangerous plays.
  • Player Education: Coaches, trainers, and league officials prioritize educating players about the dangers of checking from behind and the proper techniques for delivering legal hits. Players learn the importance of respecting their opponents’ safety through seminars, training sessions, and informational resources.

Examples of Checking from Behind Penalty

Here are some examples of checking from behind:

  • A player hits an opponent in the back with their shoulder or stick.
  • A player hits an opponent in the back while the opponent is not expecting it.
  • A player hits an opponent in the back and causes the opponent to fall to the ice.


Checking from behind penalties in ice hockey are serious infractions that prioritize player safety. Understanding the rules and consequences of this penalty is essential for both players and referees. By implementing responsible checking techniques and promoting a culture of safety and respect on the ice, we can reduce checking from behind penalties and ensure a safer playing environment for all.

Austin Taylor

Who is Austin Taylor?

Meet Austin Taylor, your go-to source for everything ice hockey! With a passion for the sport that’s as deep as the ice itself, Austin Taylor brings you concise, expert insights and nitty-gritty details on all things hockey. From gear reviews to strategy breakdowns, Austin Taylor is your trusted guide to navigating the exhilarating world of ice hockey. Get ready to lace up your skates and dive into the game with Austin Taylor as your ultimate companion.

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