Checking to the Head and Neck

A player who directs a hit of any sort, with any part of his body or equipment, to the head or neck of an opposing player or drives or forces the head of an opposing player into the protective glass or boards. The onus is on the player delivering the check, regardless of size differential, to not make contact in the head/neck area of the opponent.

This rule supersedes all similar penalties except those related to fighting.

Examples include:

  • A body check resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and/or
  • such contact to the head was avoidable and/or
  • deemed excessive in nature, that either drives or forces the opponents head into the protective glass or boards.
  • There is no such thing as a clean hit to the head. Whether accidental or intentional, every direct hit to the head or neck of an opponent will be penalized.
  • A player who injures or recklessly endangers an opponent as result of checking to the head or neck will be assessed a major and game misconduct penalty


Key references:

  • Head was main point of impact
  • Excessive contact to the head/neck area
  • Contact to head is avoidable

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