*

You don’t have to watch hockey for also long before you realize that things can gain pretty physical. Ten guys are flying about the ice cream on skates, periodically reaching speeds of 30 miles every hour, and crashing into each other and also the boards the surround the rink.

What adds come the confusion of the fastest game on planet is just what type of hitting is legal and also which is not. When a hip examine or a good body check on open ice or follow me the boards deserve to be a good play, something favor cross-checking is often referred to as for a penalty.

You are watching: What is a cross check in hockey

But just what is cross-checking?

Cross-checking is a type of hit where a player stop the shaft of your hockey stick through both hands horizontally and also uses it come forcefully struggle a player indigenous the the opposite team. Since the rod is the suggest of contact and because that is usually a fairly dangerous play, cross-checking is frequently easy come see and call together a penalty.

While spotting a cross-check and knowing the it is a no-no is pretty straightforward, over there is an ext to it than that. Not all cross-checks space equal and also some deserve to be much more severe 보다 others.

To learn an ext about why players cross-check, what the different penalties are for cross-checking and also what the NHL rulebook says around this major penalty, us encourage girlfriend to read on.

What Is Cross-Checking in Hockey?

As we can see from the an interpretation above, a cross-check is as soon as a player grabs their hockey stick in both hands and uses it as the point of call when hitting a player indigenous the opposing team.

If you have ever seen a turoulend cross-check you have actually probably realized that you don’t have to be a hockey expert to realize it is a major penalty and also can cause serious injury.

One interesting thing around cross-checking is the it isn’t a natural means to fight an opponent and also is regularly done not out of necessity, but out of frustration.

Players who have actually made a mistake or to be hit difficult by an opponent, in an attempt to get “revenge” (either for themselves or for a teammate) are an ext likely to commit cross-checking 보다 a player looking to do a clean hit.

While that is never acceptable to cross-check, and also if checked out by an main will nearly always an outcome in a penalty, there are numerous instances where holding on come the stick with both hands and also making contact with an opponent is frequently not called a penalty.

Often, defensemen, once in their own zone and in prior of the net, will host onto your stick v both hands and also push, support or nudge an foe (usually in the back) through their pole in a fashion comparable to cross-checking.

If excellent forcefully enough this can be called for cross-checking, but oftentimes referees will let this form of beat go together both players space jostling for position in former of the net.


What Is the Penalty because that Cross-Checking in Hockey?

If a cross-check is major enough and also seen through the public representative to it is in called, it frequently results in a two minute, boy penalty. Choose all penalties, this will put the player’s team at a guy disadvantage as they will have to only play with four players because that the expression of the two-minute penalty.

The point to watch for, however, is blood. If, while cross-checking an opponent, a player lifts his stick to the opponent’s face and draws blood, the offending player will most likely get a five-minute major penalty.

Major penalties are far an ext serious 보다 minor penalties. In enhancement to having to sit in the penalty crate for five minutes, a player the commits more than one major penalty in a game can gain ejected native the game.

In part cases, cross-checking could be severe sufficient to warrant an immediate ejection. If the offending player has drawn blood and/or caused bodily injury to his opponent, he might even need to miss succeeding games relying on the league.

In hockey, penalty are regularly unofficially broken down into several different categories.

There are different kinds the penalties: great penalties where you had actually to prevent a goal from gift scored or to help out a teammate, lazy penalties wherein you had actually to commit a penalty because you were too lazy to make the correct play and also dumb penalties where you commit out of “revenge” or to serve some kind of personal vendetta.

In many cases, the is typically agreed the cross-checking is a dumb penalty. One exemption to any type of cross-checking rules and penalties can take place is if the cross-check is indigenous behind follow me the boards.

If that is the case, the cross-checking punish is not as significant as the check from behind punish which is just one of the most dangerous penalty in hockey and most often more severe.

If check from behind is called, depending on the severity the the penalty and the league it occurs in, a player can acquire anything from a two-minute minor punish to an automatically ejection indigenous the game.

NHL Cross-Checking Rule

According to preeminence 59 in the NHL Rulebook, cross-checking is “The activity of making use of the obelisk of the stick between the two hands come forcefully check an opponent.”

Depending on the severity the the cross-check, public official in one NHL game can worry a selection of penalties, most of which we have already discussed.

The many basic form of cross-checking is a minor penalty. As the official rulebook place it, “A young penalty, at the discretion of the Referee based on the severity that the contact, shall be enforced on a player that ‘cross checks’ one opponent.”

If the hit is more severe, a significant penalty can be dubbed by a referee. If the cross-check is in an effort to deliberately pains an opponent (as it regularly is, unfortunately) the referee can concern a complement penalty or a game misconduct penalty.

Interestingly, in the NHL, if a player receives a significant penalty for their cross-check, it is one automatic video game misconduct penalty and also the player is ejected from the game.


Finally, follow to preeminence 59.6 “If understood appropriate, supplementary self-control can be applied by the Commissioner in ~ his discretion.” This supplementary self-control often takes the form of fines and also suspensions.

One of the longest suspensions in NHL background for cross-checking arisen in 1987 as soon as Philadelphia Flyer Dave Brown cross-checked Tomas Sandstrom—breaking Sandstrom’s jaw. Together a result, Brown to be suspended because that 15 games.

See more: Should You Burn A Ouija Board Do'S And Dont'S, Customer Review

More recently, in the NHL there have actually been 25 incidences since 2015 the a player cross-checking an opponent and also facing self-control at the organization level. In many cases, the an outcome has not been a suspension yet rather a fine.

One example of this occurred in February 2020 as soon as the Boston Bruins Zdeno Chara was offered $5,000 fine because that cross-checking Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadians.

Interestingly, at the moment of the infraction, Chara walk not obtain a significant penalty and also was permitted to continue playing in the game.