Hockey Slew Foot Penalty

Ice Hockey Slew Foot

In ice hockey, slew-footing is the act of a player using their leg or foot to knock or kick an opponent’s feet out from under them, or to push an opponent’s upper body backward with one arm or elbow while at the same time knocking or kicking the opponent’s feet out from under them with a forward motion of his leg. This will cause the opponent to fall violently to the ice. Slew-footing is a major penalty in hockey, often incurring immediate and severe consequences.


Definition

Slew-footing is a major penalty in ice hockey, as it is an extremely dangerous action. Though hockey is a very physical game, certain actions on the ice go above and beyond acceptable levels of aggression, risking severe injury and often earning immediate penalties. Slew-footing is one of these major penalties. Slew-footing occurs whenever a player attempts to use their leg or foot to kick an opponent’s legs out from under him, sending them falling either forwards or backward onto the ice. In some cases, slew-footing involves both the arms and the legs. In these cases, the offending player will push an opponent’s upper body backward with their arm or elbow while at the same time sweeping the opponent’s legs out from under them. This will cause the player to slip backward and land hard on their back on the ice.

Slew-footing is forbidden in all hockey leagues. Due to the hard surface of the ice, slew-footing can cause severe injuries to a player’s body, especially if they land on their head or neck. Slew-footing can also cause leg injuries, such as twisted or broken ankles, torn muscles, and other devastating injuries. Additionally, because of the sharp ice skates used by other players, slew-footing runs the risk of cutting a person on the sharp blades. Even an accidental slew-foot can cause serious injuries, such as when Carolina Hurricanes player James Wisniewski was injured during an accidental slew-foot during a game against the Nashville Predators in 2015. Wisniewski’s accidental slew-footing by another player caused him to require aid in leaving the ice. 

Result

Slew-footing is a serious penalty in all hockey leagues. In the NHL, slew-footing incurs an automatic match penalty, which entails ejection from the game, and can result in additional fines or suspensions as determined by the Commissioner. In the NCAA, slew-footing earns a major penalty of five minutes and a game misconduct penalty of ten minutes or even disqualification, at the discretion of the referee. In the NFHS, slew-footing results in a minor penalty of two minutes, a major penalty of five, or disqualification. In USA Hockey, the minimum penalty for slew-footing is a major plus game misconduct penalty, with a possible match penalty added at the referee’s discretion.

Referee Signal

Ice Hockey Slew Foot Penalty Signal

The signal used for slew-footing in hockey is the same as the signal used for tripping. In both the NHL and the NCAA, tripping is signaled by the referee bending his knees and moving his right arm in an arcing motion across the right leg. 

Examples

  • While chasing the puck, Player 1, who is behind Player 2, reaches around Player 2’s body and pushes him backward with one hand while at the same time bringing his leg forward to kick Player 2’s legs into the air. Player 2 falls violently to the ice and is injured. Player 1 receives an automatic match penalty for slew-footing and is later suspended for two games.
  • As Player 1 is going for the goal, Player 2 deliberately skates into him, sticking out his legs and allowing Player 1 to run into them, knocking him off his feet. Player 2 is ejected for slew-footing.

Similar Penalties to a Slew Foot

  • Tripping
  • Kneeing
  • Kicking
  • Hooking

FAQ

What is a slew foot in hockey?

Slew-footing in hockey is the act of attempting to knock an opponent’s legs out from under them using one’s own legs or by using one’s hands or elbows to push them backward while sweeping their legs out from under them. Slew-footing is a dangerous action in hockey and is an automatic penalty that usually results in ejection from a match. Many players have been injured as a result of slew-footing, which is dangerous for the head, neck, and legs of the slew-footed player.

What are the consequences of being called for a slew foot in hockey?

Slew-footing is a serious penalty in hockey, with automatic consequences. In the NHL, slew-footing is an automatic match penalty and can incur additional fines or suspensions. In the NCAA, slew-footing is a major penalty plus a game misconduct penalty and often leads to disqualification. In the NFHS, slew-footing results in a minor penalty, a major penalty, or disqualification. In USA Hockey, the minimum penalty for slew-footing is a major plus game misconduct penalty, with a possible match penalty added at the referee’s discretion.

Can a slew foot result in suspension?

Slew-footing can result in suspensions from many hockey leagues, including the NHL. Since slew-footing is a blatant and dangerous penalty, it often incurs fines and punishments outside of in-game penalties. In one notable example, Boston Bruins player Brad Marchand was suspended for two games in 2015 as punishment for slew-footing New York Rangers player Derick Brassard. Since that incident, there have not been any suspensions for slew-footing in the NHL. However, in 2021, New Jersey Devils player P.K. Subban was nearly suspended for slew-footing Trevor Zegras of the Anaheim Ducks, his third possible slew-foot of the 2021 season. Subban was fined $15,000 for tripping Zegras.