Hockey Throwing A Stick At The Puck Penalty

Ice Hockey Throwing A Stick At The Puck

Throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone is an infraction in hockey that occurs when a stick is thrown at a puck carrier as they near the opposing goal. A penalty shot is typically awarded as a result of this infraction in an attempt to restore a lost goal-scoring opportunity.


Definition

Throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone is a special type of throwing equipment infraction that is typically punished with a penalty shot. Hockey players are never allowed to throw their sticks anywhere in or out of the rink, or at any person. This usually results in a minor penalty or bench penalty being assessed on the team responsible for the throwing. Throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone is punished more severely than other throwing stick infractions because it deprives a team of a potential scoring opportunity. 

The defensive zone is the area behind the defensive blue line of the offending player (or the offending player’s home ice minus the neutral zone). This area contains the offender’s goal, and the action of throwing the stick at the puck within this area can be a way to unfairly deprive an opponent of a goal they otherwise may have scored. When referees call a player for this infraction, they are attempting to restore the lost scoring opportunity to the affected team by awarding a penalty shot. If a thrown stick hits the puck or puck carrier within that player’s offensive zone (the offender’s defensive zone), but the puck carrier is able to recover control of the puck, they will be allowed to complete the play and make a shot. If the shot results in a goal, no penalty will be assessed. Anyone can be called for this infraction, including goalkeepers, coaches, staff, and players not on the ice.

Result

The result of throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone is a penalty shot being awarded to the non-offending team. If the puck carrier at the time of the penalty can be determined, that player will shoot the penalty shot. Otherwise, the captain will select a player to take the penalty shot. The player shooting the penalty shot will be given the puck at center ice and allowed to shoot one uncontested goal attempt against the opposing goalkeeper. If the penalty happens while a player is attempting to score on an open net, a goal will be awarded instead of a penalty shot. This result is the same in both amateur and professional leagues.

Referee Signal

Ice Hockey Throwing A Stick At The Puck Referee Signal

There is no signal specific to throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone. If the non-offending team keeps control of the puck after the penalty has occurred, the referee will raise his non-whistle arm to signal a delayed penalty until the offending team regains possession. Once the offending team regains possession, the whistle will be blown to stop play. If a goal is scored before the offending team regains possession, the penalty will be annulled. If no goal is scored as a result of the play, the referee will point to the center ice face-off spot with their extended non-whistle hand to signal a penalty shot.

Examples

  • A skater has control of the puck in their offensive zone. An opponent throws their stick at the puck, and the skater is prevented from scoring.
  • As a player approaches the opposing goal with the puck, the goalkeeper throws their stick at the puck and prevents the player from scoring.
  • While a player is on a breakaway in their offensive zone, a coach throws a stick from the opposing players’ bench. The stick hits the puck and prevents the player from scoring.

Similar Infractions to Throwing a Stick at the Puck in Defensive Zone

  • Interference
  • Throwing Equipment
  • Slashing

FAQ

What is a throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone infraction in hockey?

A throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone infraction in hockey is a type of throwing equipment violation that results in a penalty shot being awarded. Players are not allowed to throw sticks, but usually, only a minor penalty is assessed if they do so. However, if a player throws a stick at the puck or the puck carrier while in their defensive zone (the puck carrier’s offensive zone), a penalty shot will be awarded to compensate for the loss of a scoring opportunity.

What are the consequences of being called for throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone?

The consequences of being called for throwing a stick at the puck in the defensive zone are a stoppage of play and an awarded penalty shot. The penalty shot allows the opponent to take an unopposed shot against the goalkeeper, making scoring easier than during normal gameplay; about one-third of all penalty shots result in a score. An awarded goal will be assessed instead If this penalty is called while attempting to score on an open net.

Can the goalie throw his stick while in the crease?

The goalkeeper cannot throw their stick while in the crease. Although a goalkeeper may use their stick to knock the puck away from an opponent’s control, they may not do so by throwing their stick. A goalkeeper is subject to the same penalties as other skaters if they throw their stick. Throwing the stick at the puck or puck carrier will result in a penalty shot being assessed while throwing their stick elsewhere, or at a skater not in control of the puck, will result in a minor penalty.