What Is Cross-Checking In Ice Hockey?

Cross Checking

What Is Cross-Checking?

Cross-checking in hockey is a technique used to stop or impede the progress of an opponent by using the stick to hit them in the back or other parts of their body. It is considered a dangerous play and can result in a minor or major penalty, depending on the severity of the infraction.

It’s a move that is often used to retaliate after a player has been checked themselves or to intimidate opponents. It can also be used as a way to slow down fast-moving players who are trying to skate past defenders.

While cross-checking is not necessarily intended to injure opponents, it can sometimes result in serious injuries such as concussions or broken bones. In recent years, the NHL has been cracking down on cross-checking, emphasizing penalizing players who target opponents’ heads. 

Penalty For Cross-Checking

Cross-checking in hockey is usually a two-minute minor. However, if the cross-check is deemed excessively forceful or causes injury, a five-minute major penalty and/or game misconduct may be assessed.

Can A Player Get Fined Or Suspended?

Yes, a hockey player can get fined for cross-checking. This is typically considered a major infraction, and the player may also be subject to a suspension. In the case of the NHL, the commissioner’s office hands out the fine and suspension.

Avoiding A Cross-Checking Penalty

To avoid being penalized for cross-checking, players must be careful not to use too much force when checking another player. They should also keep their sticks below shoulder level when checking. If a player raises their stick above shoulder level, they may be called for high sticking, which is a more serious penalty.

Players must be cautious when checking players near the boards, as they could be injured if checked too hard. Checking an opponent from behind is dangerous and will likely result in a penalty. Players should also be aware of where their opponents are on the ice.