All About Penalties In Hockey

A penalty in the game of hockey is a punishment enforced on the offending team or player for inappropriate behavior during play. When a penalty is enforced, the guilty player or players are detained in the penalty box for a set period of time during which they cannot play and their team has to go on playing without them. This situation puts the opposing team in a power play mode as they have one or two players more on the ice than the short-handed team.

Most penalties are called by the referee. Linesmen generally call for obvious technical faults or infractions like “too many players on the ice”. When the penalty is called, the referee or the linesman will raise his arm in the air and blow the whistle and will stop the play only once the offending team has the control of the puck. A delayed penalty occurs when the play does not stop even after the penalty has been called for because the non-offending team retains the puck. In such case the goaltender of the non-offending team goes to the player’s bench and allows the extra attacker on the ice until the play is stopped.

When the offending players are sent off to the penalty box they must remain there until the penalty period expires during which their team will not be allowed to replace the punished players and must go on with the game short-handed. The penalized players return to the game directly once the penalty period ends. There are different types of penalties that may be enforced during a game. These are the: minor penalty, major penalty, misconduct penalty, game misconduct penalty, match penalty, gross misconduct penalty, penalty shot and stacked penalties.

The most common form of penalty is the minor penalty. It is assessed for the most common infractions. During a minor penalty, the player who receives the penalty is sent off to the penalty box and remains off the ice for about two to four minutes. During this time its team remains short-handed. The penalty ends immediately if a goal is scored against a short-handed team.

A major penalty is enforced for more severe infractions of rules, such as fighting. When a player receives a major penalty he or she remains off the ice for five minutes. Unlike the minor penalty, a major penalty does not end if a goal is scored against a short-handed-team. Also if one player of each team receives a major penalty, mostly because of fighting, they may be substituted so that the teams will not be short by one player on the ice.

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