Penalty (ice hockey)
Overview
 
A penalty in ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 is a punishment
Punishment
Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong by an individual or group....

 for inappropriate behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box
Penalty box
The penalty box is the area in ice hockey, rugby league, rugby union and some other sports where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest...

 for a set number of minutes, during which, the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice, leaving them short handed as opposed to full strength. The opposing team is said to be on a power play
Power play (sport)
"Power play" is a sporting term used in various games.*In ice hockey, a team is said to be on a power play when at least one opposing player is serving a penalty, and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice...

, having one player more on the ice than the short-handed team.
Encyclopedia
A penalty in ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 is a punishment
Punishment
Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong by an individual or group....

 for inappropriate behavior
Behavior
Behavior or behaviour refers to the actions and mannerisms made by organisms, systems, or artificial entities in conjunction with its environment, which includes the other systems or organisms around as well as the physical environment...

. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box
Penalty box
The penalty box is the area in ice hockey, rugby league, rugby union and some other sports where a player sits to serve the time of a given penalty, for an offense not severe enough to merit outright expulsion from the contest...

 for a set number of minutes, during which, the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice, leaving them short handed as opposed to full strength. The opposing team is said to be on a power play
Power play (sport)
"Power play" is a sporting term used in various games.*In ice hockey, a team is said to be on a power play when at least one opposing player is serving a penalty, and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice...

, having one player more on the ice than the short-handed team. The short handed team is said to be "penalty killing" until the penalty expires and the penalized player returns to play. While standards vary somewhat between leagues, most leagues recognize several common degrees of penalty, as well as common infractions. The statistic used to track penalties was traditionally called "Penalty Infraction Minutes" (PIM), although the alternate term "Penalties in Minutes" has become common in recent years.

Enforcement of penalties

The referee(s) make most penalty calls. Linesmen generally may call only certain obvious technical infractions such as "too many players on the ice". When a penalty is called, the official will put an arm in the air; the official will stop play only once the offending team has control of the puck, or play is stopped by normal means. A delayed penalty is one in which the penalty is called but play is not yet stopped because the non-offending team retains the puck. The goaltender of the non-offending team will often go to the players' bench upon seeing the arm signal to allow an extra attacker
Extra attacker
An extra attacker in ice hockey is a forward or, less commonly, a defenceman who has been substituted in place of the goaltender. The purpose of this substitution is to gain an offensive advantage to score a goal...

 on the ice until the play is stopped.

In the NHL, if the non-offending team scores a goal prior to play being stopped on a delayed minor penalty call, the penalty is waived. This used to be the case in college hockey as well, until the 2010-2011 season, when a rule change meant that the penalty would still be imposed even if a goal was scored. Major penalties and match penalties are enforced in the usual manner, in both college hockey and the NHL, whether or not a goal is scored.

The offending player(s) are sent to the penalty box where they must remain until the penalty has expired. Typically a team will not be allowed to replace the penalized player on the ice; the player will return directly to the ice once the penalty has expired. This creates a power play
Power play (sport)
"Power play" is a sporting term used in various games.*In ice hockey, a team is said to be on a power play when at least one opposing player is serving a penalty, and the team has a numerical advantage on the ice...

 during which the penalized team will have one player fewer than their opponent and is said to be "short-handed". If two players on a team are in the penalty box at the same time, their team will be in a "five on three" situation (as is customary, the goalies are not counted in this expression). Additional players may be penalized, but a team will never play with fewer than three skaters on the ice. Additional penalties will be delayed until one of the earlier penalties has expired.

In leagues which play with a four-on-four overtime
Overtime (ice hockey)
Overtime is a method of determining the winner and loser of an ice hockey match when the scores are tied after regulation. The two main methods are the overtime period and the shootout.-Overtime periods:...

, the first penalty leaves the teams at four-on-three, while a second penalty to the same team during the first results in the opposing team adding a player, making the penalty five-on-three. If the first penalty expires without a goal being scored, the teams normally play five-on-four until the next stoppage of play when the teams will revert back to four-on-three. Similarly, in the Southern Professional Hockey League
Southern Professional Hockey League
The Southern Professional Hockey League is a low-level professional ice hockey league based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with teams located in the southeastern United States.- History :...

, where they play three-on-three overtime, each minor penalty results in the opposing team adding a skater to the ice. In the final two minutes of overtime, however, officials instead award a penalty shot to the team which would have received the powerplay, mainly to give the team a better chance at winning the game, since a powerplay would be cut short by the end of the game.

While goaltenders
Goaltender
In ice hockey, the goaltender is the player who defends his team's goal net by stopping shots of the puck from entering his team's net, thus preventing the opposing team from scoring...

 can be assessed penalties, the penalty must be served by another player from their team who was on the ice at the time of the infraction (the PIM will be charged to the goaltender). If the goaltender receives either (a) three major penalties (NHL Rule 28.2), (b) one game misconduct penalty (NHL Rule 28.4), or (c) one match penalty (NHL Rule 28.5) however, he or she is ejected for the remainder of the game and must be substituted.

While a team is short-handed, they are permitted to ice the puck as they wish. Being shorthanded during the final minutes of a game in which the opponents take their goaltender out for an extra attacker affords the short-handed team the ability to shoot at the empty net without the penalty of icing if they miss.

Types of penalties

The National Hockey League
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 recognizes the common penalty degrees of minor and major penalties, as well as the more severe misconduct, game misconduct, and match penalties. There are complicated rules as to how the penalties are enforced, but the basic principles are as follows (listed in order from least to most serious penalties):

Minor penalty

A minor penalty is the most common form of penalty, which is assessed for common infractions. Players who receive a minor penalty will remain off the ice for two or four minutes of play during which their team will be short-handed. If a goal is scored against a team short-handed by a minor penalty, the penalty ends immediately. Similarly, if a goal is scored against the offending team on a delayed penalty which would be a minor penalty, the penalty is negated. However, if a team has been assessed multiple minor penalties, a goal against them will end only the earliest assessed minor penalty.

In the NHL
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 and U.S. college hockey
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

, if minor penalties are assessed to one player on each team at the same time ("coincidental") while teams are at full strength, the teams will each play with four skaters in "four-on-four" play. Since neither team is short-handed, a goal in four-on-four play does not end either penalty. In USA Hockey
USA Hockey
USA Hockey is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has...

 and IIHF, however, coincidental minor penalties result in normal full strength hockey, and the players may not return to the ice until the first stoppage in play after the penalties expire.

Bench minors (such as too many men on the ice) are minor penalties which are assessed against the team as a whole; any player other than the goaltender may be selected to serve a bench minor. For certain offences, a player may be assessed a double minor, which simply entails serving two consecutive minor penalties. They are typically issued for instances of high-sticking
High-Sticking
High-sticking is the name of two infractions in the sport of ice hockey that may occur when a player intentionally or inadvertently plays with his or her stick above the height of the shoulders or above the cross bar of a hockey goal. This can result in a stoppage of play or in a penalty...

 which result in a laceration. Though not part of official USA Hockey
USA Hockey
USA Hockey is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has...

 nor Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada
Hockey Canada, formally known as the Canadian Hockey Association, is the national governing body of ice hockey in Canada and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Hockey Canada controls a vast majority of ice hockey in Canada, with a few exceptions...

 rules , some "in-house" amateur or non-checking leagues instruct referees to call a double minor for stick penalties such as high-sticking, slashing, tripping with the stick, hooking or cross-checking, regardless of whether an injury was sustained as a result. If a goal is scored during the first penalty of a double minor, the first penalty expires and the second immediately begins. If a goal is scored against the offending team on a delayed penalty that is to be a double minor, the first penalty is negated and the second is enforced as a normal minor.

Common infractions which incur a minor penalty include cross-checking, high-sticking, holding, holding the stick, hooking
Hooking (hockey)
Hooking in ice hockey is the act of impeding or obstructing an opponent's progress by placing the shaft or blade of the stick on the midsection of the opposing player and pulling him or her back...

, interference, roughing, slashing, delaying the game
Delay of game
Delay of game is an action in a sports game in which a player or team deliberately stalls the game, usually with the intention of using the delay to its advantage. In some sports, the delay of game is considered an infraction if it is longer than that permitted according to the game's rules, in...

 and tripping.

Major penalty

A major penalty is a stronger degree of penalty for a more severe infraction of the rules than a minor. Most penalties which incur a major are more severe instances of minor penalty infractions; the exception is fighting
Fighting in ice hockey
Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. Although a definite source of criticism, it is a considerable draw for the sport, and some fans...

 which always draws a major. A player who receives a major penalty will remain off the ice for five minutes of play during which his team will be short-handed. A major penalty will not end if a goal is scored against the short-handed team.

If major penalties are assessed to one player on each team at the same time, they may be substituted for and teams will not be reduced by one player on the ice. They will remain in the penalty box until the first stoppage of play following the expiration of the penalties. This commonly occurs with majors for fighting.

Under IIHF rules, every major penalty carries an automatic game misconduct penalty; in other competitions, earning three major penalties in a game results in a game misconduct penalty, though a number of infractions that result in a major penalty automatically impose a game misconduct as well.

Infractions that often call for a major penalty include spearing, fighting, butt-ending, charging
Charging (ice hockey)
Charging is a minor penalty in ice hockey. Rule 41 of the NHL rulebook dictates that charging "shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner...

, and boarding
Boarding (ice hockey)
Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player violently pushes or checks an opposing player into the boards of the hockey rink. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded, and officials have the...

.

Misconduct penalty

A player who receives a misconduct penalty will remain off the ice for ten minutes. The player may be substituted for on the ice and may return to the ice at the first stoppage in play following the expiration of the penalty (unless other penalties were assessed); however, in practice, misconduct penalties are normally assessed along with two minute minor penalties (resulting in a penalty combination colloquially called a "two-and-ten") and another player will serve this penalty first. In the instances where a Misconduct penalty is called, it is usually to allow tempers to cool and are sometimes also awarded in conjunction with fighting majors, giving the offending player(s) the opportunity to calm down as they sit out their 10 minutes. If an additional penalty is incurred with a Misconduct penalty, the times run concurrently (at the same time) rather than consecutively.

Game misconduct penalty

A player (whether a skater, goaltender or any member of any teams coaching staff) who receives a game misconduct penalty is ejected
Ejection (sports)
In sports, an ejection is one of several disqualifying actions assessed to a player or coach by a game official , usually for unsportsmanlike conduct....

, and is sent to the team's dressing room. The player may be immediately substituted for on the ice; however, in practice, game misconduct penalties are normally assessed along with five minute major penalties and another player will serve this penalty first. Regardless of the time of the penalty, the player is charged with ten penalty minutes (twenty in the IIHF rules) for statistical purposes. This rule also applies to match penalties (see below).

As enforced by Hockey Canada any player who commits three stick infractions (officially including high-sticking, cross-checking, slashing, butt-ending and spearing, although some leagues will include hooking and tripping) in one game will automatically receive a game misconduct and will be ejected for the remainder of the game.

Any player who is dismissed twice for stick-infractions, boarding or checking from behind, or dismissed three times for any reason, in a single NHL regular season incurs an automatic one-match ban, and further discipline is possible for subsequent ejections. For each subsequent game misconduct penalty, the automatic suspension shall be increased by one game. Salary lost as a result of a ban is usually donated to a league-supported charity or program to assist retired players.

An example of a game misconduct penalty is getting out of the penalty box before the penalty time is served.

Match penalty

A player who receives a match penalty is ejected. A match penalty is imposed for deliberately injuring another player, attempting to injure another player, head-butting opponents, or a goaltender going to the penalty box. Any player other than the goaltender must be chosen to go to the penalty box to serve a five minute major penalty during which he may not be substituted for on the ice. If the goaltender receives a match penalty, another player serves the time so that the team may immediately insert a backup. In practice, an NHL match penalty and game misconduct are virtually identical in application. Further, offending players are suspended from the next game their team plays, and often face hearings with the possibility of a lengthier ban.

In NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 hockey, a similar penalty called a game disqualification results in automatic suspension for the number of games equal to the number of game disqualification penalties the player has been assessed in that season.

For statistical purposes, match penalty is counted as ten minutes in NHL and as twenty-five minutes per the IIHF rules.

Penalty shot

A penalty shot is a special case of penalty for cases in which a scoring opportunity was lost as a result of an infraction (like being tripped or hooked while on a breakaway; or a player (other than the goaltender) covers the puck with their hand inside the crease). The player who was deprived of the opportunity, or one chosen by the team, is allowed an unchallenged opportunity to score on the opposing goaltender as compensation. If the infraction occurred when the penalized team has pulled their goalie, a goal is immediately awarded to the other team rather than a penalty shot. Apart from their use as a penalty, penalty shots also form the shootout that is used to resolve ties in many leagues and tournaments.

Gross misconduct penalty

Similar to a game misconduct, gross misconduct penalties have been eliminated from the NHL rulebook. It was imposed for an action of extreme unsportsmanlike conduct, such as abuse of officials or spectators, and could be assessed to any team official in addition to a player. Infractions which garnered a gross misconduct now earn a game misconduct. The penalty had last been assessed in 2000.

Stacked penalties

When two players on one team are in the penalty box at the same time, it becomes a 5 on 3 situation. When a third player of the same team gets a penalty before either of the other two have expired, it remains 5 on 3 and it becomes a stacked penalties situation. This means that the third penalty will start when one of the others expire, whether the time expires or the opposing team scores on the powerplay. This is because there can be no fewer than three skaters for each team on the ice at one time. This also means that the player whose penalty expires first out of the three must wait for a stoppage in play before leaving the penalty box so that it remains 5 on 3. A team may never, under any circumstances, have less than four players (the goaltender and three other players) on the ice.

List of infractions

In the NHL, infractions that result in penalties include:

Abuse of officials : Arguing with, insulting, using obscene gestures or language directed at or in reference to, or deliberately making violent contact with any on or off-ice official. This generally is issued in addition to other penalties or as a bench penalty against a coach or off-ice player, and is grounds for ejection under a game misconduct or match penalty in most leagues including the NHL.
Aggressor penalty : Assessed to the player involved in a fight who was the more aggressive during the fight. This is independent of the instigator penalty, but both are usually not assessed to the same player (in that case the player's penalty for fighting is usually escalated to deliberate injury of opponents, which carries a match penalty).
Attempt to injure: Deliberately trying to harm an opponent (successfully or not). This type of infraction carries an automatic match penalty.
Boarding
Boarding (ice hockey)
Boarding in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player violently pushes or checks an opposing player into the boards of the hockey rink. The boarding call is quite often a major penalty due to the likelihood of injury sustained by the player who was boarded, and officials have the...

: Pushing an opponent violently into the boards while the player is facing the boards.
Butt-ending (or Stabbing): Jabbing an opponent with the end of the shaft of the stick. It carries an automatic major penalty and game misconduct.
Charging
Charging (ice hockey)
Charging is a minor penalty in ice hockey. Rule 41 of the NHL rulebook dictates that charging "shall mean the actions of a player or goalkeeper who, as a result of distance traveled, shall violently check an opponent in any manner...

: Taking more than three strides or jumping before hitting an opponent.
Checking from behind: Hitting an opponent from behind is a penalty. It carries an automatic minor penalty and misconduct, or a major penalty and game misconduct if it results in injury. See checking
Checking (ice hockey)
Checking in ice hockey is any one of a number of defensive techniques. It is usually not a penalty.- Types :There are various types of checking:...

. This is generally allowed in the NHL, as long as the player is not violently thrown into the boards, or if the player's head is not specifically targeted.
Illegal check to the head: As of the start of the 2010-11 NHL season, any form of "lateral or blind side hit to an opponent, where the player's head is targeted and/or the principal point of contact" is punishable with a combination five-minute major penalty and game misconduct, due to the increasing concern following concussion injuries to NHL players following incidents such as David Booth
David Booth
David Booth is an American professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League . Following his sophomore year with the Michigan State Spartans, he was selected 53rd overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft...

 and Marc Savard
Marc Savard
Marc Savard is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre currently under contract to the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League , but who has not played since late in the season because of post-concussion syndrome...

's concussions in the 2009-10 NHL season. A second incident of this type caused by the same player in a season (or post-season playoffs) results in an automatic suspension for the following game their team plays, with the potential for increasing durations of suspension from active play, for any subsequent checks to opposing players' head areas.
Clipping
Clipping (hockey)
Clipping is a penalty in the sport of ice hockey. It is generally recognized as hitting an opposing player at or below the other player's knees. Clipping should not be confused with hip checking, where one player hits an opponent with his hips, although occasionally a hip check will result in a...

: Delivering a check below the knees of an opponent. If injury results, a major penalty and a game misconduct will result.
Cross-checking
Cross-checking
Cross-checking is an infraction in the sport of ice hockey where a player checks an opponent by using the shaft of his or her stick with both hands. In the rules of the National Hockey League, cross-checking is defined in Rule 59....

: Hitting an opponent with the stick when it is held with two hands and no part of the stick is on the ice.
Delay of game
Delay of game
Delay of game is an action in a sports game in which a player or team deliberately stalls the game, usually with the intention of using the delay to its advantage. In some sports, the delay of game is considered an infraction if it is longer than that permitted according to the game's rules, in...

: Stalling the game (for example, shooting the puck out of play, holding the puck in the hand, refusing to send players out for a faceoff, or even repeated deliberate offsides). As part of the rule changes following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, NHL officials also call an automatic delay of game penalty to goaltenders that go into the corners behind the goal line (outside a trapezoid
Trapezoid
In Euclidean geometry, a convex quadrilateral with one pair of parallel sides is referred to as a trapezoid in American English and as a trapezium in English outside North America. A trapezoid with vertices ABCD is denoted...

-shaped area just behind the net) to play the puck. Some delay of game offenses, such as taking too long to send players to take a faceoff, are not punished with a penalty: instead, the official may choose to eject the center of the offending team from the face-off circle and order him replaced with another player already on the ice.
Diving (or "embellishment") : Falling to the ice in an attempt to draw a penalty.
Elbowing: Hitting an opponent with the elbow.
Fighting
Fighting in ice hockey
Fighting in ice hockey is an established tradition of the sport in North America, with a long history involving many levels of amateur and professional play and including some notable individual fights. Although a definite source of criticism, it is a considerable draw for the sport, and some fans...

 (Fisticuffs): Engaging in a physical altercation with an opposing player, usually involving the throwing of punches with gloves removed or worse. Minor altercations such as simple pushing and shoving, and punching with gloves still in place, are generally called as Roughing.
Goaltender Interference: Physically impeding or checking the goalie. Visually impeding the goalie's view of the play with your body, called "screening", is legal.
Goaltender Leaving Crease: A goaltender may not leave the vicinity of his crease during an altercation. Once he has left the crease, during an altercation maybe given a penalty. At NO time may a Goaltender be hit or checked.
Head-butting: Hitting an opponent with the head. A match penalty is called for doing so.
High-sticking
High-Sticking
High-sticking is the name of two infractions in the sport of ice hockey that may occur when a player intentionally or inadvertently plays with his or her stick above the height of the shoulders or above the cross bar of a hockey goal. This can result in a stoppage of play or in a penalty...

: Touching an opponent with the stick above shoulder level. A minor penalty is assessed to the player. If blood is drawn, a double-minor (4 minutes) is usually called. A common (yet false) belief is that blood drawn automatically warrants a double-minor. There is no such rule; this is, however, the precedent that has been in place for years. Referees may use their discretion to assess only a minor penalty even though blood was drawn. They may also assess a double-minor when blood is not drawn, but he believes that the player was sufficiently injured or that the offending player used excessively reckless action with his stick. If a player, while in the action of "following through" on a shot, strikes an opposing player in the head or face area with his stick, high sticking is not called unless the referee can determine that the player taking the shot was deliberately aiming to strike the opposing player. A penalty is also not called when the puck is hit by a high stick, but play will be stopped and the ensuing faceoff will take place at a spot which gives the non-offending team an advantage. Also, a goal that is scored by means of hitting the puck with a stick above the height of the crossbar will not be counted, except if the goaltender is credited with his own goal, but an opponent scored against his own team.
Holding: Grabbing an opponent's body, equipment or clothing with the hands or stick. Generally a minor; USA Hockey
USA Hockey
USA Hockey is recognized by the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for amateur ice hockey in the United States and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. The organization is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and has...

 rules call for a major and a game misconduct for grabbing and holding a facemask or visor.
Holding the stick: Grabbing and holding an opponent's stick, also called when a player deliberately wrenches a stick from the hands of an opposing player or forces the opponent to drop it by any means that is not any other penalty such as Slashing.
Hooking: Using a stick as a hook to slow an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Illegal Equipment: Using equipment that does not meet regulations, either by size (length, width) or number (two sticks) or other guidelines (e.g. a goalie's facemask can no longer be the "Jason
Jason Voorhees
Jason Voorhees is a fictional character from the Friday the 13th series of slasher films. He first appeared in Friday the 13th , as the son of camp cook-turned-murderer, Mrs. Voorhees, in which he was portrayed by Ari Lehman. Created by Victor Miller, with contributions by Ron Kurz, Sean S...

"-style form-fit mask, a skater may not have a stick with a curve exceeding 3/4" (19 mm), nor may they play with a goalie's stick. A goalie may play with a regular player's stick.). If a player (non-goalie) broke a stick, it is mandatory to drop the stick immediately and play without it until getting a replacement from the bench. Otherwise this penalty will be assessed to the offending player (some game summaries call this "playing with a broken stick"). In addition, in the NHL a player may not pick a broken stick up off the ground after it has been dropped (they can only receive a stick from another player or from the bench; goalkeepers may not go to the bench but must have a stick carried out to them). This rule is generally not enforced in amateur leagues except for broken sticks or egregiously out-of-spec equipment as the cost of acquiring gear that meets NHL specifications "post-lockout" is prohibitive, especially for goalies. However, from 2009 onwards USA Hockey will enforce the NHL goal equipment specs, as will IIHF. While allowing "big pads" until then, USA Hockey stated in their 2007 Official Rules and Casebook of Ice Hockey that they "strongly encourage" goaltenders to follow the new regulations before they take effect.
Instigator penalty: Being the obvious instigator in a fight. Called in addition to the five minute major for fighting.
Interference: Impeding an opponent who does not have the puck, or impeding any player from the bench.
Joining a fight: Also called the "3rd man in" rule, the first person who was not part of a fight when it broke out but participates in said fight once it has started for any reason (even to pull the players apart) is charged with an automatic game misconduct in addition to any other penalties they receive for fighting.
Kicking: Kicking an opponent with the skate or skate blade. Kicking carries a match penalty if done with intent to injure, but otherwise carries a major penalty and a game misconduct. (Under Hockey Canada rules, kicking or attempting to kick an opponent always carries a Match Penalty regardless of intent.)
Kneeing : Hitting an opponent with the knee.
Playing with Too Many Sticks: When a player plays with more than one stick. For example, if a goalie were to lose his stick and a player from his team skates over to pick up the goalie stick and then, while skating back to the goalie with both sticks, attempts to touch a live puck with either stick, will be called for Playing with Too Many Sticks.
Roughing
Roughing
Roughing is an offense and penalty in ice hockey when two players are in a minor altercation. The incident would have to be minor for either player to be categorized as such an offense such as:* A player striking another opponent...

: Pushing and shoving after the whistle has been blown or checking an opponent with the hands in his face. Also called in non-checking leagues when an illegal body check is made.
Secondary Altercation : This infraction is not listed in the NHL Rulebook, but it is prevalent in the Central Hockey League (USA) and other minor leagues. It is most commonly issued when players engage in or attempt to engage in fight after the original fight (between two separate players). This infraction carries an automatic game misconduct penalty.
Slashing
Slashing (ice hockey)
Slashing in ice hockey is a penalty called when an offending player swings their hockey stick at an opposing player, regardless of contact. Such a penalty may range from a minor penalty to a match penalty, depending on the seriousness of the injury to the opposing player.-External links:*...

 : Swinging a stick at an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Slew Footing : Rarely called, as it is easily concealed. Tripping an opponent by using your feet. Most of the time simply called as "Tripping"; Slew footing as a penalty in fact does not exist in the USA Hockey rulebook . In the final minute of a 2009 game between the Washington Capitals and the Atlanta Thrashers, Alexander Ovechkin committed a slew foot against Atlanta's Rich Peverley. The slew foot was called as a tripping penalty. Ovechkin was fined, but not suspended for his actions.
Spearing : Stabbing an opponent with the stick blade. It carries an automatic major penalty and game misconduct.
Starting the wrong lineup: This very rare bench minor penalty is called when the offending team fails to put the starting lineup on the ice at the beginning of each period, the exception being injuries. For this penalty to be called, the captain of the non-offending team must bring this breach of the rules to the referee's attention immediately at the first stoppage of play. Also the penalty may be given if a player is not put on the scoresheet at the beginning of the game and plays. The only way for this to be called is if the official scorer notifies the referee of this oversight.
Substitution infraction (Illegal Substitution) : This rare bench minor penalty is called when a substitution or addition is attempted during a stoppage of play after the linesmen have signalled no more substitutions (once the face-off is set) or if a team pulls its goalie and then attempts to have the goalie re-enter play at any time other than during a stoppage of play. Too many men on the ice and/or starting the wrong lineup can also simply be called a substitution infraction.
Too many men on the ice
Too Many Men
Too many men is a penalty that may be called in various team sports when the team has more players on the field or other playing area than are allowed by the rules...

 : Having more than six players (including the goalie) on the ice involved in the play at any given time. "Involved in the play" is key; players that are entering the ice as substitutes for players coming off (line changing
Line (ice hockey)
A line in ice hockey is a term used to describe a group of forwards that play in a group, or shift, during a game.A complete forward line consists of a left wing, a center, and a right wing, while a pair of defensemen who play together are called a "defensive pairing." Typically, a team dresses...

) may enter the ice once the player returning to the bench is less than five (5) feet from his team's bench (Rule 74.1); at that point the returning player is considered out of the play, even if the play passes in front of the bench, unless he actively makes a move for the puck. Players entering the ice are part of the play as soon as their skates touch the ice.
Tripping: Using a stick or one's body to trip an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct
Unsportsmanlike conduct is a foul or offense in many sports that is not necessarily a violation of the respective sport's rules of play, but violates the sport's generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and/or participant conduct...

 : Arguing with a referee; using slurs against an opponent or teammate; playing with illegal equipment; making obscene gestures or abusing an official. Can carry either a minor, misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty, depending on the gravity of the infraction (for instance, using obscene language to a referee initially results in a minor, but making an obscene gesture to an opponent, fan or official carries a game misconduct.) Also, in some leagues the penalty progression is different for players and team officials (for example, in the USA Hockey rulebook players get a minor for their first infraction, a misconduct for their second and a game misconduct for their third, whereas the option of a misconduct is removed for coaches; in addition, after each penalty for a team official, the penalty count resets itself). Unsportsmanlike conduct may also be called if a player drops gloves and stick in preparation for a fight, but the non-offending player does not drop the corresponding equipment and has committed no action (verbal or physical harassment) to attempt to instigate a fight. As of April 14, 2008, following a Devils-Rangers playoff game, the NHL ruled that standing in front of an opposing goalie and engaging "in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender's face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender" will draw a minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a rule interpretation inspired by the play of Sean Avery
Sean Avery
Sean Christopher Avery is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League . He formerly played for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. Prior to the NHL, Avery played for the Owen Sound Platers and the...

 against Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
Martin Pierre Brodeur is a French-Canadian ice hockey goaltender who has played his entire National Hockey League career with the New Jersey Devils. In his 19-year tenure with the Devils, he has won three Stanley Cup championships and has been in the playoffs every year but two...

.

Other leagues typically assess penalties for additional infractions. For example, most adult social leagues and women's hockey leagues ban all body checking (a penalty for roughing or illegal check is called), and in most amateur leagues, any head contact whatsoever results in a penalty. If a player pulls down another female's ponytail, they will be charged with a game misconduct penalty.

Penalty as strategy

Coaches or players may occasionally opt to commit an infraction on purpose. In some cases, it is hoped that the infraction can be concealed from the officials, avoiding a penalty. Gordie Howe
Gordie Howe
Gordon "Gordie" Howe, OC is a Canadian retired professional ice hockey player who played for the Detroit Red Wings and Hartford Whalers of the National Hockey League , and the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers in the World Hockey Association . Howe is often referred to as Mr...

 was one player renowned for his ability to commit infractions without being called.

Hockey players that opt to commit an infraction despite the punishment do so in order to degrade the opposing team's morale or momentum, or boost their own. This is most common with fighting, because the likely coincidental penalties do not result in a hindrance for their team. Hockey players also sometimes commit infractions with the hope of drawing the other player into committing a retaliatory infraction, and being penalized, while not being caught themselves. Hockey players known as "pests
Pest (hockey)
In ice hockey, a pest is a characterization of player who attempts to antagonize opponent players either by physical play or verbally.Pests employ legal, illegal, or borderline tactics to accomplish their goals. Some common tactics include trash talk or slashing and hooking while referees are not...

" specialize their game in the strategy of trying to draw opponents into taking a penalty. An example is Sean Avery
Sean Avery
Sean Christopher Avery is a Canadian professional ice hockey player for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League . He formerly played for the Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and New York Rangers. Prior to the NHL, Avery played for the Owen Sound Platers and the...

, who is renowned in his ability to goad opponents into taking penalties as well as making other fundamental mistakes. Some players, coaches, and fans find this technique unsportsmanlike.

Another common reason to commit an infraction is as last resort when an opposing player has a scoring opportunity, when a penalty kill is the preferable alternative to the scoring opportunity. These are referred to on most broadcasts as "Good Penalties".

NHL penalty records

The NHL keeps individual statistics on the penalties each player accrues through the penalties in minutes statistic (abbreviated "PIM"). Players renowned for their fighting or for being dirty players will usually lead their team in PIM and have such statistics highlighted by the media.

The record for the most penalty minutes in one season is held by Dave Schultz of the Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 with 472 in the 1974–75 NHL season. The record for most penalty minutes in a career is held by Tiger Williams
Tiger Williams
David James "Tiger" Williams is a former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League from 1974–75 to 1987–88. He is the NHL's career leader in penalty minutes.-NHL career:...

 who had 3,966 over 14 years. The active penalty minute leader is Sean O'Donnell
Sean O'Donnell
Sean "O.D." O'Donnell is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who currently plays for the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League...

 from the Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are a professional ice hockey team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . They have won four Stanley Cup championships since their founding in 1926, most recently coming in 2009-10...

, who has accumulated 1,727 PIM. O'Donnell is now playing in his 16th NHL season. Ian Laperriere
Ian Laperriere
Ian Laperrière is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently under contract to the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League , but who has not played since the season because of post-concussion syndrome....

 has more penalty minutes (1,956 PIM), but Laperriere has been placed on long-term injured reserve and therefore is not active.

The most penalties in a single game occurred in a fight-filled match between the Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. They are members of the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 and Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers are a professional ice hockey team based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League...

 on March 5, 2004 when 419 penalty minutes were handed out. Statistically, a game misconduct counts as 10 penalty minutes, in addition to other penalties handed out. In rare cases (as a result of multiple infractions, for instance the player participating in multiple fights), multiple game misconducts may be handed to a player — that is merely statistical, not (automatically) a multi-game suspension, although the league will often suspend the player in a subsequent decision.

KHL penalty records

On 9 January 2010, a massive brawl broke out in an Avangard Omsk
Avangard Omsk
Avangard Omsk are a professional ice hockey team from Siberia based in the city of Omsk, Russia. They are members of the Chernyshev Division of the Kontinental Hockey League.-Overview:...

 game against Vityaz Chekhov
Vityaz Chekhov
Hockey Club Vityaz is a professional ice hockey team based in Chekhov, Moscow, Russia. They are members of the Tarasov Division of the Kontinental Hockey League and are currently coached by former National Hockey League enforcer Andrei Nazarov...

. The conflict started during pre-game warm-ups when Darcy Verot
Darcy Verot
Darcy Verot is a Canadian ice hockey forward currently playing for HC CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League....

 intentionally shot a puck at Lasse Kukkonen
Lasse Kukkonen
Lasse Kukkonen is a Finnish professional ice hockey defenceman who plays for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League...

 forcing Alexander Svitov to stand up for his team-mate. Soon after the game started Brandon Sugden
Brandon Sugden
Brandon Sugden is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger who plays for Vityaz Chekhov of the Kontinental Hockey League. He was selected by Toronto Maple Leafs in the 5th round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft....

 challenged Svitov to another fight, which then involved all other 8 skaters on the ice. A number of other fights ensued resulting in a bench- and penalty-box clearing. The officials had to suspend the game just after 3 minutes 39 seconds in the first period as there were only four players left to play the game. A world record total of 707 penalty minutes were incurred during the game. The KHL imposed heavy fines on both teams, some players and the head coaches as well as disqualifying 6 Vityaz's players and Avangard's Dmitry Vlasenkov, who was first to leave the bench during a fight. The game was counted as a 5-0 defeat for both teams with no points being awarded.

External links

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