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Hockey Term Glossary


Any physical interaction between two or more opposing players resulting in a penalty or penalties being assessed.

Body Checking:

A legal body check is one in which a player checks an opponent who is in possession of the puck, by using his hip or body from the front, diagonally from the front or straight from the side, and does not take more than two fast steps in executing the check. Legitimate body checking must be done only with the trunk of the body (hips and shoulders) and must be above the opponent's knees and below the neck. If body checking is unnecessarily rough, it must be penalized.

Body Contact:

Contact that occurs between opponents during the normal process of playing the puck, provided there has been no overt hip, shoulder or arm contact to physically force the opponent off of the puck.


A condition whereby a player is in control of the puck with no opposition between the player and the opposing goal, with a reasonable scoring opportunity.


The condition whereby a player uses the shaft of the stick above the upper hand to jab or attempt to jab an opposing player.


A Coach is a person primarily responsible for directing and guiding the play of his team. Along with the Manager, he is responsible for the conduct of his team's players before, during and after a game.

Coincident Penalty:

A penalty of equal type (e.g., minor or major) assessed during the same stoppage of play, and for which neither team is reduced in on-ice numerical strength. A coincident penalty never causes either team to be ``shorthanded'' for purposes of penalty termination if a goal is scored.


Goalkeeper's: Areas marked on the ice in front of each goal designed to protect the goalkeepers from interference by attacking players.


Area marked on the ice in front of the Penalty Timekeeper's seat for the use of the Referee.


When a player, holding his stick with both hands, checks an opponent by using the shaft of the stick with no part of the stick on the ice.

Delayed Off-Side:

A situation where an attacking player has preceded the puck across the attacking blue line, but the defending team has gained possession of the puck and is in a position to bring the puck out of their Defending Zone without any delay or contact with an attacking player.

Deflecting the Puck:

The action of the puck contacting any person or object, causing it to change direction.

Directing the Puck:

The act of intentionally moving or positioning the body, skate or stick so as to change the course of the puck in a desired direction.


The action of an official dropping the puck between the sticks of two opposing players to start play. A face-off beings when the Referee indicates its location and the officials take their appropriate positions and ends when the puck has been legally dropped.


The actual throwing of a punch (closed fist) by a player which makes contact with an opponent.

Game Suspension(s):

When a player, Coach or Manager receives a game suspension(s), he shall not be eligible to participate in the next game(s) that were already on the schedule of that team before the incident occurs.


A goalkeeper is a person designated as such by a team who is permitted special equipment and privileges to prevent the puck from entering the goal.


The physical use of one's head in the course of delivering a body-check (head first) in the chest, head, neck or back area or the physical use of the head to strike an opponent.

Head Checking:

The action of a player intentionally or recklessly contacting a player in the head, including with the stick or by an illegal body check (as defined in the Glossary).


The Hockey Equipment Certification Council is an independent organization responsible for the development, evaluation and testing of performance standards for protective ice hockey equipment. To date, there are standards for face masks, helmets and skate blades.

Heel of the Stick:

The point where the shaft of the stick and the bottom of the blade meet.


The action of applying the blade of the stick to any part of an opponent's body or stick and impeding his progress by a pulling or tugging motion with the stick.

Injury Potential Penalties:

Injury Potential Penalties include Butt-Ending, Checking from Behind, Head-Butting, Spearing, Board Checking, Charging, Cross-Checking, Elbowing/Kneeing, High Sticking, Holding the Facemask, Slashing and Roughing. The Linesman may report such infractions to the Referee, following the next stoppage of play, that have occurred behind the play, and were unobserved by the Referee.

Last Play Face-Off:

The location at which the puck was last legally played by a player or goalkeeper immediately prior to a stoppage of play.

Off-Ice (Minor) Official:

Officials appointed to assist in the conduct of the game including the Official Scorer, Game Timekeeper, Penalty Timekeeper and the two Goal Judges. The Referee has general supervision of the game and full control of all game officials, and in case of any dispute the Referee's decision shall be final.


A penalty is the result of an infraction of the rules by a player or team official. It usually involves the removal from the game of the offending player or team official for a specified period of time. In some cases the penalty may be the awarding of a penalty shot on goal or the actual awarding of a goal.


Member of a team physically participating in a game. The goalkeeper is considered a player except where special rules specify otherwise.

Possession of the Puck:

The last player or goalkeeper to make contact with the puck. This includes a puck that is deflected off a player or any part of his equipment.

Possession and Control of the Puck:

The last player or goalkeeper to make contact with the puck and who also propels the puck in a desired direction.

Proper Authorities (Proper Disciplinary Authority):

The governing body of the team or teams involved, as determined by the Affiliate, except:
1. In USA Hockey Tournaments and Play-Offs, the body shall be the Discipline Committee of the Tournament or Play-Off.
2. In matters relating to assault of official, the body shall be the Affiliate Association of that team.
3. For Junior League play, this shall be the Junior Council sanctioned league.

Protective Equipment:

Equipment worn by players for the sole purpose of protection from injury. Recommended equipment should be commercially manufactured.


Shorthanded means that a team is below the numerical strength of its opponents on the ice. When a goal is scored against a shorthanded team, the minor or bench minor penalty which terminates automatically is the first such non-coincident penalty (the minor or bench minor penalty then being served with the least amount of time remaining). Thus, if an equal number of players from each team is each serving a penalty(s) (minor, bench minor, major or match only), neither team is ``shorthanded''.


The action of striking or attempting to strike an opponent with a stick or of swinging a stick at an opponent with no contact being made. Tapping an opponent's stick is not considered slashing.


The action of poking or attempting to poke an opponent with the tip of the blade of the stick while holding the stick with one or both hands.

Substitute Goalkeeper:

A designated goalkeeper on the Official Scoresheet who is not then participating in the game.

Team Official:

A person responsible in any degree for the operation of a team, such as a Team Executive, Coach, Manager or Trainer.

Temporary Goalkeeper:

A player not designated as a goalkeeper on the Official Scoresheet who assumes that position when no designated goalkeeper is able to participate in the game. He is governed by goalkeeper privileges and limitations, and must return as a ``player'' when a designated goalkeeper becomes available to participate in the game.

Time-Out (Curfew definition):

A curfew game is one in which the game must end by a certain time of day. Conversely, a non-curfew game is one which will be played to clock time conclusion, regardless of how long the game lasts.


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