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Hockey Checking

Checking is how ice hockey players regain possession of the puck. Get ready to learn the types of checking in ice hockey and the rules of checking in ice hockey.


We've already learned what it means to have possession of the puck in an ice hockey game. Throughout the course of a game, teams are constantly changing ownership of the puck through turnovers. A turnover is a change of possession without a goal in ice hockey.

In this tutorial, we will learn about checking and how defensive players can force turnovers during a game.


A check in ice hockey is the act of a defensive player skating into an offensive player who has possession of the puck.

Body Checking

A body check is when a defensive player uses his shoulder and full-body to push an offensive player with possession of the puck into the boards.

Hockey Body Check

Poke Checking

A poke check is when a defensive player uses the blade of his hockey stick to hit the puck out of an offensive player's possession.


A cross-check is when a defensive player uses the full length of his hockey stick to shove into an opposing player while he makes contact.

PRO TIP: A minor penalty, major penalty, match penalty, or game misconduct penalty may be given to a player who cross-checks depending on the severity of the hit.

Checking From Behind

A major penalty will be given to any defensive player who cross-checks into a player from behind or while that player is unable to defend himself.

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