What Does A Linesman Do In Hockey?

Ice Hockey Linesman

A hockey linesman is responsible for icing and calling out violations of off-side play. There are two linesmen during each hockey game. Linesmen conduct the face-off every time except for the start of the game, after a goal is scored, and start of each period. They have the authority to stop plays for different reasons.

During a game, the linesman can stop the play and give their interpretations of incidents to the referee. This includes:

  • Too many men on the ice rink.
  • If a player broke or lost his stick, and received a stick illegally.
  • Items are thrown on the ice from the penalty or players bench.

A linesman shall stop the play if any of the following occurs:

  • An ineligible person interferes with the puck.
  • Interference with spectators.
  • Puck is passed on illegally by the hands.
  • Early substitution of the goalkeeper.
  • Puck is out of bounds of the playing area.
  • Illegal passing of the puck.
  • Players are injured.
  • An off-side occurs at the face-off circle.

Lastly, if a linesman is unable to perform or act their duties, a referee has the power to appoint a substitute.


What situations will cause linesmen to stop the play?

Under certain circumstances, a linesman should stop the play. First is if there is any interference with spectators. Next, if the puck is out of the playing area. It also includes if the puck is passed on illegally with a player's hands. Linesmen should also report if any players are injured or there's been an early substitution of the goalkeeper. Lastly, if there is any illegal passing of the puck or any off-side occurs at the face-off circle, the play must be stopped.

What should linesmen report to referees?

A linesman shall stop the play and report certain incidents and their interpretations of them to the referees. They should report if there are too many players on the ice rink. Next, if a player breaks their stick or loses their stick and receives one illegally, they should report it. Lastly, they should report to the referees if articles/items are thrown from the penalty/player's benches onto the ice.

How much does a linesman in the NHL make?

Linesmen are estimated to make around $110,000-$235,000. Although this is relatively lower compared to referees who make $165,000-$360,000. Although a lineman's salary is lower than referees, it has overall increased since 1993 when they went on a strike. A linesman can make a higher salary, depending on their level of experience. Becoming a linesman is a tedious job that requires working under high pressure in a fast-paced environment.

Can a linesman call a penalty in hockey?

In most cases, a linesman cannot call a penalty in hockey. Usually, it's the referee's job to call a penalty. Linesmen are used to calling out off-sides violations or icing. Linesmen can usually report major penalties, abuse of officials, or misconduct. Although the linesmen can report these major penalties and circumstances to the referee, they usually do not make the decision. It is mainly the referee's job to make decisions when it comes to penalties.