Hockey Checking


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.

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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