Clarification of High Sticking and Head Contact Penalties

This is to clarify two high stick and head contact penalty situations that have been raised around the Atlantic District.

I have asked Matt Leaf and BJ Ringrose at USA Hockey for clarification of these situations, and here is what the penalties should be:

  1. Player delivering a BODY CHECK contacts the opposing player with his stick, making contact with the opponents head/cage. The penalties are: High Sticking Head Contact, which is a 2 minute minor penalty, plus a 10 minute misconduct.
  2. Player attempts to lift an opponents stick either chasing or along the boards and misses resulting in his or her stick making contact with an opponents cage/helmet-- no body check being delivered. The penalty is: High Sticking, which is only a 2 minute minor.

The head contact penalty is not intended to replace minor penalties for careless high sticking, as they normally occur when players try to gain puck possession without delivering a body check.

Rule 621 Situations #1 and #2 on page 256 of the Casebook Section of the USA Hockey Official Rules and Casebook refers to the situations discussed above.

Please let me know of any questions or concerns.