More Sports

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey


5 Best NHL Jerseys Ever5 Most Common Ice Hockey InjuriesAlex Ovechkin Bio And FactsBobby Orr Bio And FactsBrent Burns Bio And FactsHockey BlockerHockey Body CheckHockey FlexHockey GiveawayHockey InfractionHockey ManagerHockey Power ForwardHockey PressHockey TrapsHockey Two Line PassHockey Wrap AroundHow Does Hockey Betting Work?Mark Messier Bio And FactsNHL Playoff FormatNHL Skills Competition FormatNikita Kucherov BiographyPatrick Kane Bio And FactsSidney Crosby Bio And FactsTop 10 College Hockey JerseysTop 10 Hockey MoviesTop 10 Hockey RulesTop 10 Hockey Shots All TimeTop 10 Hockey Video GamesTop 10 Ice Hockey BrandsTop 10 Minor League Hockey JerseysTop 10 NHL FightsTop 10 NHL Hockey RinksTop 10 NHL Throwback JerseysTop 10 Richest Hockey PlayersTop 5 Hockey All-Star GamesTop 5 Hockey AnnouncersTop 5 Hockey World Juniors RivalriesTop 5 NHL Goal SavesTop 5 NHL GoalsTop 5 NHL Playoff BeardsTop 5 NHL Playoff GamesWayne Gretzky Bio And FactsWhat Is The NHL All Star Game?


Hockey BasicsHockey Game ClockHockey Game StructureHockey HistoryHockey IntermissionHockey PassingHockey Penalty ClockHockey Penalty KillingHockey Penalty ShotsHockey Power PlaysHockey Shot TypesHockey Takeaways vs GiveawaysHockey Team RosterHockey Turnovers


Hockey CoachingWhat Are The Kinds Of Injuries In Hockey?


Hockey EquipmentHockey HelmetsIce Hockey Equipment ListWhat Is A Zamboni In Hockey?


Hockey LeaguesWhat Is Minor League Hockey?What Is The Swedish Hockey League?

Lingo And Terminology

Hockey Defensive ZoneHockey Lingo And TerminologyHockey Neutral ZoneHockey Offensive ZoneHockey PeriodsHockey Short HandedWhat Is A Breakout In Hockey?What Is A Hat Trick In Hockey?What Is A Line In Hockey?What Is A Shot On Goal In Hockey?What Is A Shutout In Hockey?What Is An Assist In Hockey?What Is An Instigator In Hockey?What Is Breakaway In Hockey?What Is Center Ice In Hockey?What Is Deke In Hockey?What Is Five Hole In Hockey?What Is Left Wing Lock In Hockey?What Is Plus-Minus In Hockey?What Is The Challenge Cup In Hockey?What Is The Frozen Four In Hockey?What Is The Memorial Cup In Hockey?What Is The Stanley Cup In Hockey?


Hockey OfficialsHockey OfficiatingHockey Referee CertificationWhat Does A Linesman Do In Hockey?What Does An Official Do In Hockey?


Hockey Bench Minor PenaltiesHockey BoardingHockey Double Minor PenaltiesHockey Game Misconduct PenaltiesHockey Major PenaltiesHockey Match PenaltiesHockey Minor PenaltiesHockey Misconduct PenaltiesHockey PenaltiesWhat Is A Major Penalty In Hockey?What Is A Match Penalty In Hockey?What Is An Illegal Stick Penalty In Hockey?What Is Biting In Hockey?What Is Butt Ending In Hockey?What Is Charging In Hockey?What Is Clipping In Hockey?What Is Delay Of Game In Hockey?What Is Elbowing In Hockey?What Is Embellishment In Hockey?What Is High Sticking In Hockey?What Is Hooking In Hockey?What Is Interference In Hockey?What Is Kneeing In Hockey?What Is Roughing In Hockey?What Is Slashing In Hockey?What Is Spearing In Hockey?What Is Tripping In Hockey?What Is Unsportsmanlike Conduct In Hockey?


Hockey PlayersTop 5 Ranked Mens Ice Hockey Players Of All TimeTop 6 Best Womens Ice Hockey Players Of All TimeTop 7 NHL MVPsWho Is Gordie Howe In Hockey?Who Is Wayne Gretzky In Hockey?

Position Roles And Responsibilities

Hockey CenterHockey DefensemanHockey GoalieHockey Position Roles and ResponsibilitiesHockey WingerWhat Are Enforcers In Hockey?What Does A Captain Do In Hockey?What Does A Forward Do In Hockey?What Does A Goalie Do In Hockey?What Does A Hockey Center Do?What Does A Hockey Goalie Do?What Does A Left Wing Do In Hockey?What Does A Right Wing Do In Hockey?What Does A Wing Do In Hockey?What Is A Grinder In Hockey?What Is The Defense In Hockey?


Hockey ChallengesHockey Disallowed GoalsHockey Face Off RulesHockey Fighting RulesHockey Icing Rule ExplainedHockey Icing Rule For KidsHockey Icing Rule QuizHockey OffsideHockey Offsides Rule For KidsHockey Offsides Rule QuizHockey OvertimeHockey Rules ReferenceHockey Shootout RulesHockey SubstitutionsHockey TimeoutsHow Does Scoring Work In Hockey?Ice Hockey Basic Rules For KidsWhat Are The Rules Of Ice Hockey?What Is A Face-Off In Hockey?What Is A Hand Pass In Hockey?What Is A Penalty Shot In Hockey?What Is A Power Play In Hockey?What Is Sudden-Death Format In Hockey?

Skills And Techniques

Hockey BackcheckingHockey ForecheckingHockey Skills And TechniquesWhat Is A One-Timer In Hockey?What Is A Slap Shot In Hockey?What Is A Snap Shot In Hockey?What Is A Wrist Shot In Hockey?


Hockey CheckingHockey CyclingHockey Puck BattlesHockey StrategyList Of Hockey StrategiesWhat Is A Line Change In Hockey?What Is An Empty Net Strategy In Hockey?


Hockey TeamsNHL Hockey Teams ListTop 10 NHL Teams

The Rink

Hockey BoardsHockey Goal CreaseHockey Goalie TrapezoidHockey Hash MarksHockey Referee CreaseHockey Restraining LineHockey The RinkWhat Is Blue Line In Hockey?What Is Goal Line In Hockey?What Is Penalty Box In Hockey?What Is Red Line In Hockey?What Is Slot In Hockey?What Is The Size Of A Hockey Net?

Hockey Checking

ice hockey checking

Checking refers to any defensive techniques aimed at separating the puck from an offensive player who is currently in possession. There are several different types of checks in hockey. The two main categories of checking are body and stick checks.


Table of Contents


Body Checking

Body checking refers to any type of check that is initiated through contact with the body. Body checking is highly regulated at all levels of hockey because body checking is the root cause of most hockey related injuries. Most youth hockey leagues do not allow body checking. However, body checking is allowed in leagues from high school to the professional level, and is a vital part of the game.

Hockey players cannot be afraid to be physical. Physicality can be the reason teams win games. At experienced levels of hockey, every good defense will have players that are exceptional at body checking. Body checks can change the momentum of the game. First, fans love a great hit and they will upload loudly, raising team morale and energy. Moreover, an exceptional body check will cause a turnover. A quick change in possession can lead to tremendous scoring chances. Below is a list of legal body checks:

  • Shoulder Checking
  • Hip Checking

Shoulder Checking

Shoulder checking is the most common form of a body check. Shoulder checking is when a player leads with their shoulder when initiating contact with the offensive player. These types of hits can be quite vicious when they occur on open ice. Shoulder checks tend to happen when two opposing players are skating side by side. The defensive player will lean in with their shoulder to try and knock the offensive player off balance.

Shoulder checks can also be used as a recovery tactic to stop an offensive player from skating past a defender. The defensive player can nudge a player with their shoulder while the offensive player is skating by them. Although, players must tuck their elbows in when shoulder checking or the check will be ruled a penalty.

Hip Checking

Hip checking occurs when a defensive player is skating backwards and forcefully thrusts their hip into an oncoming offensive player. Hip checks are harder to achieve because it is difficult for a defender to remain balanced. Hip checks usually occur along the boards when offensive players are pinched between the defender and the wall. Hip checks are considered a penalty when a defender aims to low. This will be called a clipping penalty by the referee.


Stick Checking

Stick checking refers to any attempt by a defender to separate the puck from an offensive player using a stick. Stick checks may not have the intimidation factor that body checks have, but stick checks can be more effective in a defense of strategy. Stick checks allow a defender to keep space between themselves and the offensive player. Defenders have to be quick and nibble in order to create a successful stick check. Types of stick checking include:

  • Poke Checking
  • Sweep Checking
  • Lift Checking
  • Press Checking

Poke Checking

Poke checking is when a defenseman uses their stick to jab at the puck controlled by the offensive player. Poke checks mostly occur when the defensive player is skating backwards and the offense is attacking. It is key for the defensive player to keep their stick tucked on their hip when attempting a poke check. This position generates the most force and control.

Sweep Checking

A sweep check is when a defender sweeps their stick across the ice in a broad motion to try and swipe the puck away from a defender. Sweep checks are impossible to execute in a head on battle because the defender will most likely trip the offensive player, resulting in a penalty. That is why sweep checks are often used by forwards who are approaching an offensive player at an angle. Sweep checks are also utilized to force a defender out of position. The sweeping motion of this type of stick check blocks passing lanes, hindering an offense's chances of scoring.

Lift Checking

A lift check is when the defender purposefully lifts the stick of an offensive player off the ice in a quick motion to steal the puck from underneath. This technique is hard to pull off so it is usually conducted by a defender as a surprise. Lift checks mostly occur when the defender is trailing behind the offensive player. Lift checks can also be effective when two opposing players are chasing after a puck. The player who arrives a tad later may lift their opponent's stick and steal the puck away.

Press Checking

The press check is when a defenseman presses their stick down upon an offensive player's stick to disrupt their range of motion and steal the puck away. This technique is exactly opposite a lift check and occurs mostly in front of the net. When a player is approaching the goal, it is vitally important for the defense to limit their range of movement. Press checks enable the defense to slow down the offensive player and hinder their chance of scoring.


Illegal Checking

Illegal checks are types of hits that are banned from hockey leagues and result in serious penalties for the offender. Any form of body checking is illegal if a player does not have possession of the puck. Also, any hit above the shoulders or to the head will automatically be considered a penalty. Types of illegal checking include:


Cross-checking is when a defender holds their stick with both hands and uses the stick to hit the offensive player. Cross-checks are extremely illegal and can cause serious injury. A player can in no way use their stick to hit another player.


Boarding occurs when a defender excessively shoves a defenseless player into the boards. This type of hit usually results in a player's head being slammed into the boards. Since a defenseless player cannot prepare for impact, boarding can lead to major penalties.


Charging is when a defender gears up for a hit by taking three or more strides, or when a defender leaves their feet when hitting another player. Charging will be called when a player's intent to hit is to purposefully cause harm.



What is tripping in hockey?

Tripping is when a defender uses their stick or any part of their body to purposeful cause an offensive player to lose balance. Tripping results in an automatic penalty, since serious injuries can occur when players are tripped skating at full speed. Most often, tripping penalties occur during break-aways when a defenseman is trailing behind a player with the puck. A defender will purposefully trip the offensive player to limit a one-on-one scoring opportunity with the goalie.

What is hooking in hockey?

Hooking is when a defensive player uses their stick to tug at the offensive player and gain a positional advantage. Hooking is considered illegal and may result in varying levels of penalties. A penalty for hooking may also be called if a defender uses their hand to pull on the body or jersey of an offensive player. Hooking destroys the flow of a hockey game because a player's movement becomes severely limited.

How do I teach the proper form of body checking?

Coaches must always stress the importance of safety when it comes to body checking. Body checking requires proper balance and stick placement. Players must learn how to skate backwards before they are ready to learn body checking techniques. However, it is vitally important to teach hockey players at a young age to keep their head on a swivel to be prepared for oncoming defenders.

When can you body check in hockey?

Body checking is only allowed when an offensive player is in possession of the puck. Hitting a player who does not have the puck will result in a penalty. Defenders can still annoy offensive players without the puck by rubbing them or brushing against them. Also, a defender is allowed to hold their position or 'box out' an offensive player. This will hinder the ability of the offensive player to move around.