For any hockey player or fan, understanding the game’s rules is crucial to enjoy it fully. One of the most common penalties in hockey is high sticking, which can lead to significant consequences if not handled correctly.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just a beginner, learning about high sticking and what it entails is essential. So, let’s dive right in and explore all there is to know about this aspect of the game.
“High-sticking refers to when a player carries their stick too high in a way that makes contact with another player.”
In this post, we’ll cover everything from the definition of high sticking to the various types of calls and penalties associated with it. We’ll also discuss how referees interpret and enforce these rules and offer tips on how players can avoid committing high-sticking fouls altogether.
So whether you are an avid watcher of the game, a newcomer keen on learning or a player looking to hone your skills, read on to learn more about the ins and outs of high sticking in hockey!
Defining High Sticking In Hockey
Hockey is an intense sport that requires skill, speed, and precision from its players. One of the rules of hockey is high sticking, which refers to raising the stick above the shoulders during play or striking another player with the stick. The penalty for high sticking can vary depending on the severity of the infraction, but it often results in a minor penalty or a penalty shot.
Understanding The Basics of High Sticking
The basic concept of high sticking is simple: players are not allowed to raise their sticks above the shoulder level while playing unless they intend to pass or shoot the puck. When a player violates this rule, referees often blow their whistles to stop play and assess penalties against the offending team. This rule exists primarily to protect other players from serious injury by reducing the risk of accidental contact with each other’s faces or heads.
High sticking can also occur when the blade of the stick makes contact with the opposing player’s body or skates, rather than with the stick itself. In such cases, the referee may still call a penalty if he deems that the offense was intentional or reckless enough to warrant punishment.
Identifying High Sticking Infractions
The first thing to know about identifying high sticking infractions is when the violation happens. Players might accidentally lift their sticks too high in certain situations, such as trying to knock down a high-flying puck. However, if a player maintains control of his stick throughout his action, he has not committed a high sticking offense. If a player loses control of his stick and it contacts the opposing player above the shoulders, then the referee will likely call a high-sticking penalty.
If the referee suspects an intention behind the high stick – whether it be to make physical contact or to interfere with the opposition player’s stick – then he can call a penalty. Moreover, if a player continues to play after such an offense and avoids getting caught by the referee, the opposing team has the right to ask for a review of the video footage after the game concludes.
The Importance of High Sticking Rules in Hockey
The importance of high sticking rules cannot be underestimated in hockey. This rule exists primarily due to the risk of injury involved when sticks make contact with other players’ faces or heads. Players discovered guilty under this charge have to sit in the penalty box which temporarily removes their ability to influence the outcome of the game. Such an incident could change the match’s course dramatically.
Unintentional violations are often seen during hockey matches; therefore, it becomes important to pay attention to how the violation happened to identify accidental infractions. As random as these occurrences might seem, they pose serious risks to the safety of all players on the ice surface. The enforcement of this rule is critical to keeping the sport clean and safe for everyone involved.
Common Misconceptions About High Sticking in Hockey
“A common misconception about high sticking in hockey is that the rule only applies to instances in which one player contacts another player intentionally. In reality, referees will call penalties against players who accidentally lift their sticks too high or lose control of them.”
-Mark Johnson, Olympic gold medalist and former NHL player
Another common misconception about high sticking in hockey is that players must not raise their sticks above their waist except to shoot or pass the puck. However, this is not always the case. Players may sometimes need to use quick reflexes to make a defensive play, and lifting their stick above their shoulders might become necessary for stars who don’t want to let up any scores. In such situations, referees use their discretion to decide whether or not an infraction occurred.
It is important for players and fans alike to understand these rules, as they keep games safe, exciting, and fair. Any player who violates this rule will need to rethink how they approach playing hockey to avoid injuring other players through high sticking.
What Happens When A Player Commits High Sticking?
In hockey, high sticking is when a player’s stick comes in contact with an opposing player above the shoulders. This results in penalties or consequences on the ice, as well as potential long-term effects for both the player and team involved.
Immediate Consequences on the Ice
When a player commits high sticking, they must immediately serve a two-minute penalty in the penalty box. During this time, their team will play short-handed until the penalty expires or until the opposing team scores a goal. This can be detrimental to their team’s performance as it often leaves them at a disadvantage against the opponent.
If the high stick was intentional or caused injury to the opposing player, the offending player may also receive a five-minute major penalty and potentially face further disciplinary action from the league. These types of penalties are enforced to discourage dangerous play and keep all players safe on the ice.
Long-Term Consequences for the Player and Team
While serving a penalty for high sticking, the offending player isn’t allowed to participate in regular gameplay until the penalty period has ended. This can impact their ability to contribute to their team’s success during the game. Additionally, if the incident occurred in a key moment of the game, such as close to the end of the third period, it could severely hurt their team’s chances of winning.
Recurring incidents of high sticking by a player may result in suspension or other disciplinary actions taken against them. This not only affects the player but also their team, as losing a key member of the roster can significantly decrease their chances of winning games.
Referee and League Responses to High Sticking Incidents
Refs have the responsibility of avoiding high sticking calls, but when they inevitably occur, they must enforce the penalty. The rules for what constitutes a high stick are clear, and penalties are usually assessed whenever one occurs.
The league takes high sticking incidents very seriously, especially those that result in injury. Players may be suspended or fined if their actions cross the line into dangerous or reckless play. These consequences aim to protect all players from harm and promote a safe environment on the ice.
“Widespread education about the dangers of high sticking has gone a long way to reducing these types of injuries. Coaches have become vigilant about teaching proper techniques for carrying and using hockey sticks.” -David Bednar
High sticking is a serious offense in hockey that can lead to immediate and long-term consequences for both the player committing the infraction and their team. Referees and the league work hard to ensure that players understand the risks of dangerous plays and maintain a safe playing environment for all competitors involved.
How Is High Sticking Different From Other Penalties?
In hockey, high sticking is a penalty that occurs when a player strikes an opposing player or official with their stick above the shoulders.
The Physical Nature of High Sticking Infractions
High sticking infractions are unique among penalties because they involve physical contact between players and their sticks. The use of the stick in this way can cause serious injury to players if not called properly by referees. Head injuries such as concussions are common risks associated with high sticking incidents. In order to prevent these types of dangerous injuries, strict rules are put in place by the NHL regarding high sticking infractions.
If a player makes contact with another player’s head using their stick, regardless of intent, they will be penalized. Referees have also been instructed to watch for “follow-throughs” where a player swings their stick wildly after taking a shot, which could potentially injure other players nearby. Additionally, it is the responsibility of team coaches and players to educate themselves about proper stick usage and avoid actions that might lead to high sticking penalties.
The Role of Intent in High Sticking Penalties
One important factor in deciding whether to award a high sticking penalty is the intention of the offending player. If the offending player accidentally hits another player during play without explicit intent to cause harm, then the referee may decide to waive the penalty. However, if a player shows reckless disregard towards the safety of others by intentionally swinging their stick at other players, then they will almost certainly face disciplinary action from the league.
According to the NHL’s rule book, a high sticking incident “must be judged under the provisions of Rule 21 – Match Penalties.” This means that if a player has shown repeated intentional disregard for the safety of others, they may be given a match penalty leading to possible suspension and/or fines. Additionally, officials have the right to send offending players off the ice immediately if they believe that their actions warrant such action regardless of previous disciplinary records.
“There is no question that high sticking penalties are one of the most dangerous infractions in hockey”, says former NHL player Patrick Sharp. “If a player shows reckless disregard towards others while using their stick in this way, then they should face stiff penalties from the league to prevent future accidents.”
High sticking penalties differ significantly from other types of penalties in hockey due to the physical nature of the infraction and the potential for serious injury to players. The role of intent also plays a significant role in how these penalties are awarded and what type of disciplinary action will be taken against offending players. While it is impossible to completely eliminate high sticking incidents from the game of hockey, referees, coaches, and players must work together to educate themselves about proper stick use and prevent dangerous actions on the ice.
What Is The Penalty For High Sticking?
Understanding Minor, Major, and Match Penalties
In ice hockey, high sticking is a serious infraction that can result in various types of penalties. When a player hits an opponent’s head, neck or face with their stick, it is deemed as high sticking.
A minor penalty is given when the victim receives a cut on their face that requires medical attention. A major penalty is issued if the injury sustained requires more than five stitches to close up. In some cases, especially if there was intention in the actions of the offending player, they may also receive a match penalty which leads to their immediate ejection from the game together with a mandatory suspension for at least one game.
Additional Penalties for High Sticking Injuries
The severity of the penalties will depend on whether the hit by the stick was accidental or intentional. Even if the playing personnel wasn’t aiming to cause harm but still committed an ignorant mistake with their stick resulting in another getting injured, he may be penalized with a minor or even major penalty. How severe the punishment depends upon the referee’s discretion.
If a high sticking results in severe injuries, such as concussions or fractures, the offender could face further disciplinary action including fines and even a ban from future games. Sometimes, jurisdictions may investigate the incident and make arrests depending on how bad the offense is.
“The use of unnecessary roughness in time of peace carries no weight whatsoever.” -John F. Kennedy
High sticking is not just about causing physical harm; it can also disrupt the flow of play. If an opponenent made contact with the puck using their stick above the waist, it’s called “high-sticking” against self and if possession does change hands or play is called because of it, a minor penalty will be assessed.
Players should always keep their sticks at waist level when attempting to make contact with the puck. Furthermore, players must exercise control over their stick at all times while they are on the ice. Ignorance isn’t an excuse for reckless behavior where high sticking is concerned in hockey.
The Bottom Line
While there aren’t any firm statistics available which show how often high sticking penalties really occur as compared to other infractions on the ice, it’s important that players start taking responsibility and owning up to their mistakes in order to protect themselves and others around them on the ice.
How Can Players Avoid High Sticking Penalties?
Proper Stick Handling Techniques
High sticking is a major penalty in hockey. It occurs when a player hits an opponent with their stick and it makes contact above the shoulders. To avoid high sticking penalties, players must learn proper stick handling techniques.
One way to prevent high sticking is by keeping your hands low on the stick. This will help you maintain better control during game play. Additionally, you should use soft-forehand grips that allow for greater flexibility while playing.
Another important technique to learn is how to properly hold the stick with both hands. Your top hand should provide the strength needed to shoot or pass while the bottom hand controls direction and balance of the stick.
Body and Positioning Control
Aside from proper stick handling techniques, players can also avoid high sticking penalties through body and positioning control.
When skating, players must pay careful attention to where they are holding their stick and avoid lifting it too much off the ice. Additionally, players need to be aware of other players around them and move their bodies accordingly to limit any possible contact to the head area.
Positioning yourself correctly on the rink while defending or attacking is also crucial for avoiding high sticking penalties. Keeping a safe distance between your opponents will decrease the chance of making unintentional contact.
Importance of Practice and Training
Practicing proper stick handling techniques and developing body and positioning control are essential for preventing high sticking penalties in games. Consistent practice and training can improve your skills and reduce the likelihood of accidental collisions.
Players should focus on enhancing muscle memory to ensure a natural response in situations where quick thinking is necessary. You can accomplish this through consistent drills and repetitive motions.
Training with coaches, teammates or experienced players can also be helpful in identifying areas that require improvement. They can give valuable feedback on proper form and technique, helping you avoid costly mistakes during games.
Paying Attention to Referee Calls and Warnings
Finally, always pay attention to the calls and warnings made by referees regarding high sticking penalties. These officials are there to ensure fair play and safety for all players, and ignoring their judgments may result in serious consequences.
If a referee warns against high sticks, adjust your game accordingly and focus more on body and position control. If you do receive a penalty, take it as an opportunity to reevaluate and improve your skills.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” -Jim Rohn
Avoiding high sticking penalties requires effective stick handling techniques, proper body positioning, consistent practice and training and paying close attention to referee calls. Implementing these changes will make you a stronger player and keep you safe on the rink.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the definition of high sticking in hockey?
High sticking in hockey is when a player strikes an opponent with their stick above the shoulders. This can be accidental or intentional, but the rule applies regardless. The rule is in place to protect players from serious head and neck injuries that could occur from high sticks.
What is the penalty for high sticking in hockey?
The penalty for high sticking in hockey is a two-minute minor penalty. If the high stick results in injury to the opposing player, the penalty can be increased to a double minor or a major penalty. The severity of the penalty depends on the severity of the high stick and the resulting injury.
Can high sticking result in a player being ejected from the game?
Yes, high sticking can result in a player being ejected from the game if the high stick is deemed intentional and results in a major penalty. A player can also be ejected if they accumulate three high sticking penalties in a single game.
Are there any exceptions to the high sticking penalty?
There are no exceptions to the high sticking penalty. Even if a player is not intending to strike an opponent with their stick, if it makes contact with the opponent above the shoulders, it is considered high sticking and a penalty will be assessed.
What is the difference between high sticking and cross-checking in hockey?
High sticking is when a player strikes an opponent with their stick above the shoulders, while cross-checking is when a player uses their stick to forcefully push an opponent away. Both are penalties, but they are different and apply in different situations.
What can players do to avoid high sticking penalties?
Players can avoid high sticking penalties by keeping their stick below their opponent’s shoulders at all times and being aware of their surroundings. It’s also important for players to have good stick control and be careful when making stick movements near other players.