The Shocking Truth About Checking From Behind in Hockey

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Checking from behind in hockey is a controversial and dangerous maneuver that can have severe consequences. It occurs when a player hits an opposing player who is not aware of the incoming hit, causing them to crash into the boards headfirst. This kind of check is highly dangerous and can result in serious injuries or even death. In this blog post, we will explore the shocking truth behind checking from behind in hockey.

The rules and regulations surrounding checking from behind in hockey can be complicated and confusing, leading to players unintentionally committing this penalty. It is essential to understand what constitutes a legal hit and what does not to avoid causing serious harm to others on the ice. Additionally, we will examine safe and effective ways to prevent checking from behind from occurring and how to mitigate the potential for injury.

Coaches, players, and fans alike need to understand the dangers of checking from behind in hockey. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the sport, it is crucial to stay informed about the risks involved in this dangerous maneuver. Join us as we delve into the world of hockey and uncover the truth about checking from behind.

Are you ready to learn more about the risks associated with checking from behind in hockey? Keep reading to discover everything you need to know to stay safe and avoid causing harm to yourself and others on the ice.

Why Understanding Hockey Penalties Is Crucial for Players

Penalties are a vital part of any hockey game, and understanding them is crucial for players who want to succeed on the ice. While penalties can seem frustrating, they serve an important purpose in keeping the game safe and fair for all players.

Players who don’t understand penalties are at a disadvantage. They may not realize when they’ve committed a penalty or how to avoid committing penalties in the future. Worse yet, they may unintentionally put themselves or others in danger by playing recklessly.

Types of Penalties

  • Minor penalties: These are the most common penalties and typically last for two minutes. Examples include tripping, slashing, and hooking.
  • Major penalties: These are more serious than minor penalties and last for five minutes. Examples include fighting and boarding.
  • Misconduct penalties: These are given for unsportsmanlike conduct and can result in a player being removed from the game. Examples include abusing an official or taunting another player.

The Impact of Penalties on the Game

Penalties can have a significant impact on the outcome of a hockey game. When a team is penalized, they are forced to play shorthanded for the duration of the penalty. This gives the opposing team a significant advantage and can lead to goals being scored against the penalized team.

However, penalties can also be an opportunity for teams to gain momentum. When a player commits a penalty, their team must work hard to defend against the opposing team’s power play. If they’re successful, they can gain momentum and potentially score a shorthanded goal, which can turn the game around in their favor.

Tips for Avoiding Penalties

  • Keep your stick down: High-sticking is a common penalty that can be avoided by keeping your stick down below your shoulders.
  • Play the puck, not the player: Many penalties are the result of players trying to take out an opponent instead of playing the puck. Stay focused on the puck and avoid unnecessary contact with other players.
  • Stay disciplined: Emotions can run high during a hockey game, but it’s important to stay disciplined and avoid retaliating against other players. Referees are always watching, and retaliation can result in penalties and potentially suspension.

By understanding the different types of penalties and how they can impact the game, players can avoid committing penalties and gain an advantage on the ice. Keep these tips in mind during your next game, and you’ll be well on your way to success!

The Devastating Consequences of a Checking-From-Behind Penalty

Hockey is a fast-paced sport that requires quick thinking and split-second decisions. One of the most dangerous moves in hockey is the checking-from-behind penalty. This is when a player hits an opponent from behind into the boards, causing them to collide with the hard surface at high speed. The consequences of this penalty can be catastrophic, resulting in serious injuries, and even death.

The checking-from-behind penalty is a major penalty, which means that the player is sent off the ice for five minutes, and their team is forced to play shorthanded. However, the consequences go beyond the immediate impact on the game. Players who receive this penalty can face suspension, fines, and legal action. They may also suffer long-term damage to their reputation and career prospects.

The Physical Consequences

The physical consequences of a checking-from-behind penalty can be severe. The player who is hit may suffer a concussion, spinal cord injury, broken bones, or other serious injuries. These injuries can have long-term effects on their health and quality of life, and may even be fatal. In some cases, players have been paralyzed or killed as a result of this type of penalty.

The Legal Consequences

Checking from behind is not only dangerous, but it is also illegal. Players who are found guilty of this penalty may face legal action, including criminal charges. This can result in fines, community service, and even jail time. In addition, they may be sued by the injured party or their family for damages, which can result in financial ruin.

The Reputation Consequences

Players who receive a checking-from-behind penalty may suffer long-term damage to their reputation. They may be viewed as reckless or dangerous, which can make it difficult to find employment or sponsorships. In addition, they may face social ostracism and criticism from their peers, fans, and the media.

It is crucial for players to understand the devastating consequences of a checking-from-behind penalty. Not only can it cause serious harm to the opposing player, but it can also have legal and reputational consequences for the player who commits the penalty. Players must play responsibly and avoid this dangerous move at all costs.

How to Recognize and Avoid Illegal Checks in Hockey

Hockey is an intense and exciting sport, but it’s important for players to be aware of the rules and regulations that govern the game to ensure everyone’s safety on the ice. One of the most dangerous penalties in hockey is the illegal check. An illegal check is when a player hits another player with excessive force or in a dangerous manner, which can result in serious injuries. To avoid these types of penalties and keep yourself and your teammates safe, it’s important to know how to recognize and avoid illegal checks.

Here are some tips to help you avoid illegal checks and keep the game safe:

Keep Your Head Up and Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Head up is a common phrase used in hockey to remind players to keep their heads up and stay aware of their surroundings. This is important to avoid collisions and to recognize when an opposing player is attempting an illegal check. By keeping your head up and scanning the ice, you can avoid dangerous situations and protect yourself from injury.

Stay Within the Rules and Regulations

Stick to the rules and regulations of the game to avoid any potential penalties or injuries. Illegal checks can be avoided by playing clean and keeping your actions within the boundaries set by the sport’s governing bodies. Understand what is allowed and what is not, and follow those guidelines closely to protect yourself and others on the ice.

Communicate with Your Teammates

  • Communication is key on the ice. By communicating with your teammates, you can avoid dangerous situations and prevent illegal checks from occurring. If you see an opposing player attempting an illegal check, alert your teammates and avoid the situation. Working together and staying aware of each other’s actions can help prevent injuries and penalties.
  • Support each other on the ice. By supporting your teammates and working together, you can create a safer and more enjoyable environment for everyone. Avoiding illegal checks is just one way to keep the game safe and ensure that everyone has a great time playing the sport they love.

The Importance of Proper Body Positioning in Preventing Checking From Behind

Checking from behind is a serious penalty in ice hockey that can lead to injuries and even end careers. One way to prevent this dangerous play is by maintaining proper body positioning on the ice. This involves staying aware of your surroundings, anticipating the movements of other players, and keeping your body in a position that allows you to make quick and safe plays.

Good body positioning starts with having a strong base and center of gravity. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your knees bent, which will help you maintain balance and control. You should also keep your head up and your eyes on the play, so you can see other players approaching and avoid getting caught off guard.

Stay Alert and Anticipate

Being aware of your surroundings is key to avoiding checking from behind. You should always be looking around the ice and anticipating the movements of other players. This means keeping an eye on the puck and on other players, so you can react quickly and avoid collisions.

When you’re in the offensive zone, for example, you should be aware of where your teammates are and where the opposing defenders are. This will help you avoid making dangerous plays that could result in penalties or injuries.

Communicate with Your Teammates

Good communication is essential in hockey, especially when it comes to preventing checking from behind. You should always be talking to your teammates on the ice, letting them know where you are and where other players are. This will help you avoid collisions and make safe plays.

  • Call for the puck when you’re open
  • Let your teammates know when you’re about to make a play
  • Warn your teammates of approaching opponents

Practice Good Defensive Technique

Finally, practicing good defensive technique is essential for preventing checking from behind. This involves keeping your stick in a safe position, avoiding slashing or hooking, and staying between the opposing player and the puck.

You should also practice proper body checking technique, which involves using your body to angle the opponent away from the puck, rather than slamming them into the boards. This will help you make safe and legal plays on the ice, while also protecting yourself and other players from injury.

What to Do When You or Your Teammate is a Victim of Checking From Behind

Checking from behind is a dangerous play that can lead to serious injuries. If you or your teammate is a victim of this type of illegal hit, it is important to take immediate action. The first step is to assess the situation and make sure the player is not seriously injured. If they are, seek medical attention right away. If not, there are several steps you can take to report the incident and prevent it from happening again.

One of the most important things you can do is report the incident to the referee or coach. They can take appropriate action, such as ejecting the player who committed the infraction or issuing a penalty. You should also encourage your teammates to speak up if they witness any dangerous plays on the ice.

Steps to Take When a Player is Injured:

  • Assess the situation: Determine if the player needs medical attention or can continue playing.
  • Seek medical attention: If the player is seriously injured, seek medical attention right away.

Steps to Take to Report the Incident:

  • Inform the referee or coach: Report the incident to the referee or coach and provide any details you have.
  • Encourage teammates to speak up: Encourage your teammates to speak up if they witness any dangerous plays on the ice.

Steps to Take to Prevent Future Incidents:

  • Practice proper body positioning: Maintain proper body positioning to avoid hitting opponents from behind.
  • Learn the rules: Understand the rules of the game and the consequences of dangerous plays.
  • Hold players accountable: Hold yourself and your teammates accountable for playing the game safely and responsibly.

Remember, checking from behind is a serious offense that can have long-term consequences for both the player who commits the infraction and the victim. By taking immediate action and following the appropriate steps, you can help prevent future incidents and ensure the safety of everyone on the ice.

Breaking Down the Rules and Regulations Surrounding Checking From Behind

Checking from behind is a serious offense in ice hockey and can result in severe injuries. As such, there are strict rules and regulations in place to prevent this dangerous play.

The National Hockey League (NHL) and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) both have their own set of rules regarding checking from behind. In the NHL, a player who checks an opponent from behind and causes them to crash into the boards will receive a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. The IIHF’s rules are similar, with a player who checks from behind receiving a two-minute minor penalty and a ten-minute misconduct penalty.

NHL Rules and Regulations

  • The NHL’s rulebook defines checking from behind as “a check delivered on a player who is not aware of the impending hit, therefore unable to protect or defend themselves, and contact is made on the back part of the body”
  • The league also prohibits checking from behind in any area of the rink and in any situation, including during play, stoppages, or after the whistle.
  • The NHL also emphasizes the importance of proper body positioning and awareness in preventing checking from behind.

IIHF Rules and Regulations

  • The IIHF’s rulebook defines checking from behind as “any check where the player making the check approaches his opponent from behind or the side.”
  • The IIHF also emphasizes the importance of player safety and has implemented stricter penalties for dangerous plays, including checking from behind.
  • The IIHF also requires officials to enforce the rules consistently and fairly to ensure a safe and fair game for all players.


Checking from behind is a dangerous play that can result in serious injuries, which is why strict rules and regulations are in place to prevent it. Proper body positioning and awareness are crucial in preventing this dangerous play, and both the NHL and IIHF emphasize the importance of player safety. By following these rules and regulations, players can enjoy a safe and fair game of ice hockey.

Expert Tips for Coaches to Teach Safe Checking Techniques to Their Players

Checking is an essential component of ice hockey, and coaches play a crucial role in teaching their players how to execute safe and effective checks. Here are some expert tips for coaches to teach safe checking techniques to their players:

Emphasize Body Positioning

  • Teach players to stay low and keep their knees bent to maintain balance and stability during checks.
  • Encourage players to lead with their shoulder, keeping their elbows tucked in and hands down.
  • Teach players to aim for the opposing player’s chest or shoulder, avoiding hits to the head or neck.

Focus on Timing and Angle of Approach

  • Teach players to time their checks carefully, waiting for the right moment to make a safe and effective hit.
  • Encourage players to approach from the side, rather than directly from behind.
  • Emphasize the importance of avoiding checks that could cause a player to be driven into the boards.

Incorporate Checking Drills into Practice

  • Integrate checking drills into regular practices to help players develop their skills in a controlled environment.
  • Use proper equipment, such as body pads and helmets, to ensure players are protected during practice drills.
  • Provide feedback to players, highlighting areas where they need improvement and reinforcing good habits.

By emphasizing body positioning, timing and angle of approach, and incorporating checking drills into practice, coaches can help their players learn safe and effective checking techniques, reducing the risk of injuries on the ice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Checking From Behind In Hockey?

Checking from behind is when a player hits an opponent from behind, causing them to crash into the boards or hit the ice with excessive force. It is a dangerous play that can result in serious injuries, including concussions and spinal cord injuries.

What Is The Penalty For Checking From Behind?

The penalty for checking from behind varies depending on the severity of the hit. In most cases, a player will receive a minor penalty for the first offense. However, if the hit is particularly violent, the player may be given a major penalty or even a game misconduct. In some cases, the player may also face suspension or fines.

How Can Coaches Teach Players To Avoid Checking From Behind?

Coaches can teach players to avoid checking from behind by emphasizing safe checking techniques during practice. This includes teaching players to keep their hands and elbows down, to check with their shoulders, and to aim for the opponent’s chest or shoulders rather than their back. It’s also important to teach players to be aware of their surroundings and to avoid hitting players who are in vulnerable positions near the boards.

What Are The Consequences Of Checking From Behind?

The consequences of checking from behind can be severe. In addition to penalties, fines, and suspensions, players can be seriously injured as a result of this dangerous play. Common injuries include concussions, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones. In some cases, players may never fully recover from these injuries and may be forced to retire from the sport.

How Can Referees Identify Checking From Behind?

Referees can identify checking from behind by looking for players who hit opponents from behind, causing them to lose their balance or hit the boards with excessive force. Referees should also watch for players who use their sticks, elbows, or other parts of their body to hit opponents in a dangerous or illegal manner. It’s important for referees to enforce the rules and penalize players who engage in this type of play.

What Are The Rules For Checking From Behind?

The rules for checking from behind vary depending on the level of play. In general, players are not allowed to hit opponents from behind or use excessive force when checking. Players are also required to give opponents enough space to avoid a collision and to avoid hitting opponents who are in vulnerable positions near the boards. Coaches and players should review the specific rules for their league or organization to ensure they are following the proper guidelines.

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