Faceoff and penalties in ice hockey


Ice hockey starts with "face-off." When the play starts, or is set for a face-off, the referee drops the puck between opposing forwards. During face-off all players are positioned on the defensive side of puck. The face is used to start play after any stoppage. There are none designated face-off points painted on the ice. 

There are many occasions when penalty is awarded in the game. There are two types of penalties viz - minor penalty and major penalty. The distinction between a legal check and a penalty is subject to interpretation. 

  • Minor penalties - a player charged with a minor penalty is set off the Ring for two minutes. No substitution is allowed during this time. The penalty ends immediately if the opposing team scores a goal. 

Minor penalties are awarded if an opposing team player is obstructed. Such obstruction may include:

  1. Tripping with stick or knee
  2. Folding with stick or hands
  3. Hooking by stick 
  4. Interference - obstructing a player without the puck

Dangerous use of the stick also invites penalty. These include 

  • Slashing
  • Spearing
  • High sticking - hitting an opponent in head or face 
  • Cross checking 
  • Hitting the opponent with the shaft of the stick

Penalties are awarded for dangerous physical fouls like:

  • Checking a player from behind
  • Elbowing the opponent 
  • Kneeing 
  • Roughing - usually involves shoving

Major penalties

  • Most common major penalty is fighting 
  • At referees discretion a minor penalty can be increased to a major penalty
  • In case of major penalty involving serious injury, the player can be ejected out of the game




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