Penalty (ice hockey): Wikis

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A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment for inappropriate behaviour. Most penalties are enforced by detaining the offending player within a penalty box for a set number of minutes during which the player can not participate in play. The offending team usually may not replace the player on the ice, leaving them short handed (as opposed to full strength) or penalty killing until the penalty expires and the player returns to the ice. The opposing team is said to be on a power play, having one player more on the ice than the short-handed team. While standards vary somewhat between leagues, most leagues recognize several common degrees of penalty, as well as common infractions. The statistic used to track penalties was traditionally called "Penalty Infraction Minutes" (PIM), although the alternate term "Penalties in Minutes" has become common in recent years.[1]

The referee (top-left) signals a delayed penalty by raising an arm, and prepares to blow the whistle when a player from the team to be penalized (in white) touches the puck. Goaltender Jere Myllyniemi can be seen (right) rushing to the bench to send on an extra attacker.

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Enforcement of penalties

The referee(s) make most penalty calls. Linesmen generally may call only certain obvious technical infractions such as "too many players on the ice". When a penalty is called, the official will put an arm in the air; the official will stop play only once the offending team has control of the puck, or play is stopped by normal means. A delayed penalty is one in which a penalty is called but play is not yet stopped because the opposing team retains the puck. The goaltender of the non-offending team will often go to the players' bench upon seeing the arm signal to allow an extra attacker on the ice until the play is stopped.

In the NHL, if the non-offending team scores a goal prior to play being stopped on a delayed minor penalty call, the penalty is waived. For major penalties and match penalties, this is not the case, and the penalties are enforced in the usual manner, whether or not a goal is scored.[2]

The offending player(s) are sent to the penalty box where they must remain until the penalty has expired. Typically a team will not be allowed to replace the penalized player on the ice; the player will return directly to the ice once the penalty has expired. This creates a power play during which the penalized team will have one player fewer than their opponent and is said to be "short-handed". If two players on a team are in the penalty box at the same time, their team will be in a "five on three" situation (as is customary, the goalies are not counted in this expression). Additional players may be penalized, but a team will never play with fewer than three skaters on the ice. Additional penalties will be delayed until one of the earlier penalties has expired.

In leagues which play with a four-on-four overtime, the first penalty leaves the teams at four-on-three, while a second penalty to the same team during the first results in the opposing team adding a player, making the penalty five-on-three. If the first penalty expires without a goal being scored, the teams normally play five-on-four until the next stoppage of play when the teams will revert back to four-on-three. Similarly, in the Southern Professional Hockey League, where they play three-on-three overtime, each minor penalty results in the opposing team adding a skater to the ice. In the final two minutes of overtime, however, officials instead award a penalty shot to the team which would have received the powerplay, mainly to give the team a better chance at winning the game, since a powerplay would be cut short by the end of the game.

While goaltenders can be assessed penalties, the penalty must be served by another player from their team who was on the ice at the time of the infraction (the PIM will be charged to the goaltender). If the goaltender receives either (a) three major penalties (NHL Rule 28.2), (b) one game misconduct penalty (NHL Rule 28.4), or (c) one 'match penalty (NHL Rule 28.5) however, he or she is ejected for the remainder of the game and must be substituted.

While a team is short-handed, they are permitted to ice the puck as they wish. Being shorthanded during the final minutes of a game in which the opponents take their goaltender out for an extra attacker affords the short-handed team the ability to shoot at the empty net without the penalty of icing if they miss.

Types of penalties

The National Hockey League recognizes the common penalty degrees of minor and major penalties, as well as the more severe misconduct, game misconduct, and match penalties. There are complicated rules as to how the penalties are enforced, but the basic principles are as follows (listed in order from least to most serious penalties):

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Minor penalty

A minor penalty is the most common form of penalty, which is assessed for common infractions. Players who receive a minor penalty will remain off the ice for two minutes of play during which their team will be short-handed. If a goal is scored against a team short-handed by a minor penalty, the penalty ends immediately. Similarly, if a goal is scored against the offending team on a delayed penalty which would be a minor penalty, the penalty is negated. However, if a team has been assessed multiple minor penalties, a goal against them will end only the first assessed minor penalty.

In the NHL and U.S. college hockey, if minor penalties are assessed to one player on each team at the same time ("coincidental") while teams are at full strength, the teams will each play with four skaters in "four-on-four" play. Since neither team is short-handed, a goal in four-on-four play does not end either penalty. In USA Hockey and IIHF, however, coincidental minor penalties result in normal full strength hockey, and the players may not return to the ice until the first stoppage in play after the penalties expire.

Bench minors (such as too many men on the ice) are minor penalties which are assessed against the team as a whole; any player (except the goaltender) may be selected to serve a bench minor.

Common infractions which incur a minor penalty include: cross-checking, high-sticking, holding, holding the stick, elbowing, hooking, interference, roughing, slashing, delaying the game and tripping.

Double minor penalty

For certain offences, a player may be assessed a double minor, which simply entails serving two consecutive minor penalties, or four minutes of play. They are typically issued for instances of high-sticking which result in a laceration, or more severe instances of minor penalty infractions.

Though not part of official USA Hockey rules as of 2005-2006, some "in-house" amateur or non-checking leagues instruct referees to call a double minor for stick penalties such as high-sticking, slashing, tripping with the stick, hooking or cross-checking, regardless of whether an injury was sustained as a result. If a goal is scored during the first penalty of a double minor, the first penalty expires and the second immediately begins. If a goal is scored against the offending team on a delayed penalty that is to be a double minor, the first penalty is negated and the second is enforced as a normal minor.

Major penalty

A major penalty is a stronger degree of penalty for a more severe infraction of the rules than a minor. Most penalties which incur a major are even more severe instances of minor penalty infractions; the exception is fighting which always draws a major. A player who receives a major penalty will remain off the ice for five minutes of play during which his team will be short-handed. A major penalty will not end if a goal is scored against the short-handed team. If major penalties are assessed to one player on each team at the same time, they may be substituted for and teams will not be reduced by one player on the ice. They will remain in the penalty box until the first stoppage of play following the expiration of the penalties.

This commonly occurs with majors for fighting. Earning three major penalties in a game results in an automatic game misconduct penalty, though a number of infractions that result in a major penalty automatically impose a game misconduct as well. Infractions that often call for a major penalty include spearing, fighting, butt-ending, charging, and boarding.

Misconduct penalty

A player who receives a misconduct penalty will remain off the ice for ten minutes. The player may be substituted for on the ice and may return to the ice at the first stoppage in play following the expiration of the penalty (unless other penalties were assessed).

In a game on 12 October 2008 between the Anaheim Ducks and Phoenix Coyotes, a penalty for "inciting" was assessed to the Anaheim Ducks after a fight. This penalty was for 10 minutes, and so can be seen as a misconduct, though at the time only 0.3 seconds remained in the game. No mention of this being a major penalty/misconduct was made.

Game misconduct penalty

A player (whether a skater or goaltender) who receives a game misconduct penalty is ejected, and is sent to the team's dressing room. The player may be immediately substituted for on the ice; however, in practice, game misconduct penalties are normally assessed along with five minute major penalties and another player will serve this penalty first. Regardless of the time of the penalty, the player is charged with ten penalty minutes for statistical purposes, and this rule also applies to match penalties (see below).

Any player who is assessed three game misconduct penalties in an NHL season incurs a one-match suspension, and further discipline is possible for subsequent ejections. Salary lost as a result of a suspension is usually donated to a league-supported charity or program to assist retired players. A game misconduct penalty is imposed for more severe instances of major penalty infractions, earning three major penalties in a game, or getting out of the penalty box before the penalty time is served.

Match penalty

A player who receives a match penalty is ejected. A match penalty is imposed for deliberately injuring or attempting to injure another player or spectator, verbal and/or physical abuse of officials or spectators, or for a goaltender going to the penalty box. Any player other than the goaltender must be chosen to go to the penalty box to serve a five minute major penalty in addition to any other penalties imposed, during which they may not be substituted for on the ice. If the goaltender receives a match penalty, another player serves the time so that the team may immediately insert a backup. In practice, an NHL match penalty and game misconduct are virtually identical in application. If a match penalty is imposed, however, the offending player is automatically suspended from the next game their team plays, and often face a hearing with the possibility of a lengthier ban.

In NCAA hockey, a similar penalty called a game disqualification results in an automatic suspension for the number of games equal to the number of game disqualification penalties the player has been assessed in that season.

Penalty shot

A penalty shot is a special case of penalty for cases in which a scoring opportunity was lost as a result of an infraction (like being tripped or hooked while on a breakaway, or a player (other than the goaltender) covers the puck with his hand inside the crease). The player who was deprived of the opportunity, or one chosen by the team, is allowed an unchallenged opportunity to score on the opposing goaltender as compensation. Apart from their use as a penalty, penalty shots also form the shootout that is used to resolve ties in many leagues and tournaments.

Stacked penalties

When two players on one team are in the penalty box at the same time, it becomes a 5 on 3 situation.

When a third player of the same team gets a penalty before either of the other two have expired, it remains 5 on 3 and it becomes a stacked penalties situation, as at least three skaters for each team must be on the ice at one time. This means the third penalty will start when one of the others expire, whether the time expires, or the opposing team scores on the power play.

Penalties no longer used

Gross misconduct penalty

Similar to a game misconduct, gross misconduct penalties have been deleted from the NHL rulebook; the penalty had last been assessed in 2000. It was imposed for an action of extreme unsportsmanlike conduct, such as abuse of officials and/or spectators, and could be assessed to any team official in addition to a player. Infractions which formerly earned a gross misconduct now earn a game misconduct.

List of infractions

In the NHL, infractions that result in penalties include:

Abuse of officials 
Arguing with, insulting, using obscene gestures or language directed at or in reference to, or deliberately making violent contact with any on or off-ice official. This generally is issued in addition to other penalties or as a bench penalty against a coach or off-ice player, and is grounds for ejection under a game misconduct or match penalty in most leagues including the NHL.
Aggressor penalty 
Assessed to the player involved in a fight who was the more aggressive during the fight. This is independent of the instigator penalty, but both are usually not assessed to the same player (in that case the player's penalty for fighting is usually escalated to deliberate injury of opponents, which carries a match penalty).
Attempt to injure
Deliberately trying to harm an opponent (successfully or not). This type of infraction carries an automatic match penalty.
Boarding
Pushing an opponent violently into the boards while the player is facing the boards.
Butt-ending
Jabbing an opponent with the end of the shaft of the stick. It carries an automatic major penalty and game misconduct.
Charging
Taking more than three strides or jumping before hitting an opponent.
Checking from behind
Hitting an opponent from behind is a penalty. It carries an automatic minor penalty and misconduct, or a major penalty and game misconduct if it results in injury. See checking. This is generally allowed in the NHL, as long as the player is not violently thrown into the boards.
Clipping
Delivering a check below the knees of an opponent. If injury results, a major penalty and a game misconduct will result.
Cross-checking
Hitting an opponent with the stick when it is held with two hands and no part of the stick is on the ice.
Delay of game
Stalling the game (for example, shooting the puck out of play, holding the puck in the hand, refusing to send players out for a faceoff, or even repeated deliberate offsides). As part of the rule changes following the 2004–05 NHL lockout, NHL officials also call an automatic delay of game penalty to goaltenders that go into the corners behind the goal line (outside a trapezoid-shaped area just behind the net) to play the puck, and also to players who shoot the puck from their own defensive zone over the boards without the puck deflecting off another player or the glass. Some delay of game offenses, such as taking too long to send players to take a faceoff, are not punished with a penalty: instead, the official may choose to eject the center of the offending team from the face-off circle and order him replaced with another player already on the ice.
Diving 
Falling to the ice in an attempt to draw a penalty.
Elbowing
Hitting an opponent with the elbow.
Fighting (Fisticuffs)
Engaging in a physical altercation with an opposing player, usually involving the throwing of punches with gloves removed or worse. Minor altercations such as simple pushing and shoving, and punching with gloves still in place, are generally called as Roughing.
Goaltender Interference
Physically impeding or checking the goalie. Visually impeding the goalie's view of the play with your body, called "screening", is legal.
Goaltender Leaving Crease
A goaltender may not leave the vicinity of his crease during an altercation. A minor penalty will be assessed if the goaltender does so. If the altercation is in the vicinity of his crease the referee should direct the goaltender to a neutral area and the goaltender will not receive a penalty for leaving the vicinity of his crease.[3]
Head-butting
Hitting an opponent with the head. A match penalty is called for doing so.
A referee signals a penalty for high sticking
High-sticking
Touching an opponent with the stick above shoulder level. A minor penalty is assessed to the player. If blood is drawn, a double-minor (4 minutes) is usually called. A common (yet false) belief is that blood drawn automatically warrants a double-minor. There is no such rule; this is, however, the precedent that has been in place for years. Referees may use their discretion to assess only a minor penalty even though blood was drawn. They may also assess a double-minor when blood is not drawn, but he believes that the player was sufficiently injured or that the offending player used excessively reckless action with his stick. If a player, while in the action of "following through" on a shot, strikes an opposing player in the head or face area with his stick, high sticking is not called unless the referee can determine that the player taking the shot was deliberately aiming to strike the opposing player. A penalty is also not called when the puck is hit by a high stick, but play will be stopped and the ensuing faceoff will take place at a spot which gives the non-offending team an advantage. Also, a goal that is scored by means of hitting the puck with a high stick will not be counted, except if the goaltender is credited with his own goal, but an opponent scored against his own team.
Holding
Grabbing an opponent's body, equipment or clothing with the hands or stick. Generally a minor; USA Hockey rules call for a major and a game misconduct for grabbing and holding a facemask or visor.
Holding the stick
Grabbing and holding an opponent's stick, also called when a player deliberately wrenches a stick from the hands of an opposing player or forces the opponent to drop it by any means that is not any other penalty such as Slashing.
Hooking
Using a stick as a hook to slow an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Illegal Equipment
Using equipment that does not meet regulations, either by size (length, width) or number (two sticks) or other guidelines (e.g. a goalie's facemask can no longer be the "Jason"-style form-fit mask, a skater may not have a stick with a curve exceeding 3/4", nor may they play with a goalie's stick. A goalie may play with a regular player's stick.). If a player (non-goalie) broke a stick, it is mandatory to drop the stick immediately and play without it until getting a replacement from the bench. Otherwise this penalty will be assessed to the offending player (some game summaries call this "playing with a broken stick"). In addition, in the NHL a player may not pick a broken stick up off the ground after it has been dropped (they can only receive a stick from another player or from the bench; goalkeepers may not go to the bench but must have a stick carried out to them). This rule is generally not enforced in amateur leagues except for broken sticks or egregiously out-of-spec equipment as the cost of acquiring gear that meets NHL specifications "post-lockout" is prohibitive, especially for goalies. However, from 2009 onwards USA Hockey will enforce the NHL goal equipment specs, as will IIHF. While allowing "big pads" until then, USA Hockey stated in their 2007 Official Rules and Casebook of Ice Hockey that they "strongly encourage" goaltenders to follow the new regulations before they take effect.
Instigator penalty
Being the obvious instigator in a fight. Called in addition to the five minute major for fighting.
Interference
Impeding an opponent who does not have the puck, or impeding any player from the bench.
Joining a fight
Also called the "3rd man in" rule, the first person who was not part of a fight when it broke out but participates in said fight once it has started for any reason (even to pull the players apart) is charged with an automatic game misconduct in addition to any other penalties they receive for fighting.
Kicking
Kicking an opponent with the skate or skate blade. Kicking carries a match penalty if done with intent to injure, but otherwise carries a major penalty and a game misconduct. (Under Hockey Canada rules, kicking or attempting to kick an opponent always carries a Match Penalty regardless of intent.)
Kneeing 
Hitting an opponent with the knee.
Playing with Too Many Sticks
When a player plays with more than one stick. For example, if a goalie were to lose his stick and a player from his team skates over to pick up the goalie stick and then, while skating back to the goalie with both sticks, attempts to touch a live puck with either stick, will be called for Playing with Too Many Sticks.
Roughing
Pushing and shoving after the whistle has been blown or when a player checks an opponent with his hands in his opponents face. Also called in non-checking leagues when an illegal body check is made.
Secondary Altercation 
This infraction is not listed in the NHL Rulebook, but it is prevalent in the Central Hockey League (USA) and other minor leagues. It is most commonly issued when players engage in or attempt to engage in fight after the original fight (between two separate players). This infraction carries an automatic game misconduct penalty.
Slashing 
Swinging a stick at an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Slew Footing 
Rarely called, as it is easily concealed. Tripping an opponent by using your feet. Most of the time simply called as "Tripping"; Slew footing as a penalty in fact does not exist in the USA Hockey rulebook as of 2005-2006.
Spearing 
Stabbing an opponent with the stick blade. It carries an automatic major penalty and game misconduct.
Starting the wrong lineup
This very rare bench minor penalty is called when the offending team fails to put the starting lineup on the ice at the beginning of each period, the exception being injuries. For this penalty to be called, the captain of the non-offending team must bring this breach of the rules to the referee's attention immediately at the first stoppage of play. Also the penalty may be given if a player is not put on the scoresheet at the beginning of the game and plays. The only way for this to be called is if the official scorer notifies the referee of this oversight.
Substitution infraction (Illegal Substitution) 
This rare bench minor penalty is called when a substitution or addition is attempted during a stoppage of play after the linesmen have signalled no more substitutions (once the face-off is set) or if a team pulls its goalie and then attempts to have the goalie re-enter play at any time other than during a stoppage of play. Too many men on the ice and/or starting the wrong lineup can also simply be called a substitution infraction.
Too many men on the ice 
Having more than six players (including the goalie) on the ice involved in the play at any given time. "Involved in the play" is key; players that are entering the ice as substitutes for players coming off (line changing) may enter the ice once the player returning to the bench is less than five (5) feet from his team's bench (Rule 74.1); at that point the returning player is considered out of the play, even if the play passes in front of the bench, unless he actively makes a move for the puck. Players entering the ice are part of the play as soon as their skates touch the ice.
Tripping
Using a stick or one's body to trip an opponent, no contact is required under new standards.
Unsportsmanlike conduct 
Arguing with a referee; using slurs against an opponent or teammate; playing with illegal equipment; making obscene gestures or abusing an official. Can carry either a minor, misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty, depending on the gravity of the infraction (for instance, using obscene language to a referee initially results in a minor, but making an obscene gesture to an opponent, fan or official carries a game misconduct.) Also, in some leagues the penalty progression is different for players and team officials (for example, in the USA Hockey rulebook players get a minor for their first infraction, a misconduct for their second and a game misconduct for their third, whereas the option of a misconduct is removed for coaches; in addition, after each penalty for a team official, the penalty count resets itself). Unsportsmanlike conduct may also be called if a player drops gloves and stick in preparation for a fight, but the non-offending player does not drop the corresponding equipment and has committed no action (verbal or physical harassment) to attempt to instigate a fight. As of April 14, 2008, following a Devils-Rangers playoff game, the NHL ruled that standing in front of an opposing goalie and engaging "in actions such as waving his arms or stick in front of the goaltender's face, for the purpose of improperly interfering with and/or distracting the goaltender" will draw a minor unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, a rule interpretation inspired by the play of Sean Avery against Martin Brodeur.

Other leagues typically assess penalties for additional infractions. For example, most adult social leagues and women's hockey leagues ban all body checking (a penalty for roughing or illegal check is called), and in most amateur leagues, any head contact whatsoever results in a penalty. If a player pulls down another female's ponytail, they will be charged with a game misconduct penalty.

Penalty as strategy

Coaches or players may occasionally opt to commit an infraction on purpose. In some cases, it is hoped that the infraction can be concealed from the officials, avoiding a penalty. Gordie Howe was one player renowned for his ability to commit infractions without being called.[citation needed]

Hockey players that opt to commit an infraction despite the punishment do so in order to degrade the opposing team's morale or momentum, or boost their own. This is most common with fighting, because the likely coincidental penalties do not result in a hindrance for their team. Hockey players also sometimes commit infractions with the hope of drawing the other player into a committing a retaliatory infraction, and being penalized, while not being caught themselves. Hockey players known as "pests" specialize their game in the strategy of trying to draw opponents into taking a penalty.

Another common reason to commit an infraction is as last resort when an opposing player has a scoring opportunity, when a penalty kill is the preferable alternative to the scoring opportunity. These are referred to on most broadcasts as "Good Penalties".

NHL penalty records

The record for the most penalty minutes in one season is held by Dave Schultz of the Philadelphia Flyers with 472 in the 1974–75 NHL season.[4] The record for most penalty minutes in a career is held by Tiger Williams who had 3,966 over 14 years.[5] The active penalty minute leader is Donald Brashear from the New York Rangers, who has accumulated 2,571 PIM. Donald Brashear is now playing his 16th NHL season.[6]

The most penalties in a single game occurred in a fight-filled match between the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers on March 5, 2004 when 419 penalty minutes were handed out.[7] [8] Statistically, a game misconduct counts as 10 penalty minutes, in addition to other penalties handed out. In rare cases (as a result of multiple infractions, for instance the player participating in multiple fights), multiple game misconducts may be handed to a player.

Randy Holt holds the NHL record for the most penalty minutes assessed to a player in a single game, with 67. He set the record on March 11, 1979, as Holt's Los Angeles Kings were visiting the Philadelphia Flyers. After picking up a minor penalty early in the first period, Holt fought with Philadelphia enforcer Frank Bathe at 14:58 of the first period, picking up 20 minutes in penalties. However, Holt felt that he had been a victim of a cheapshot from Flyers' agitator Ken Linseman earlier in the game, and at the end of the first period instigated a bench-clearing brawl in an attempt to settle the score with Linseman. He was assessed a further 45 minutes in penalties for his actions during the brawl, including a triple game misconduct, bringing his game total to 67, shattering the previous NHL record of 52 set by Jim Dorey in 1968. He was also suspended for three games by the league for his actions.

References

External links


Simple English

A penalty in ice hockey is a punishment when people do bad things in ice hockey. Normally it is done by placing the person in a penalty box for an amount of time. After that they can go play again. There are several types of penalties. Some are more serious and some are less.


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