Body Checking in Hockey – How, Why & When?

Hockey is the fastest sport on Earth and every play must be made in a split second due to this. The physicality, speed of ice hockey can get many fans out of their seats all at once because it’s so exciting. It is a game of skating, hand-eye coordination, and precision. Body checking in hockey takes all three qualities to an expert level – it’s not just about getting contact with your opponent but rather controlling where they’ll be hit from so as to best effect them while still protecting yourself.

Hockey is an art form that requires skill and dedication to master. Some players, such as Niklas Kronwall and Scott Stevens have become better known for their hits than they were before on-ice ability became apparent. It’s something not everyone takes notice of but it’s important nonetheless because this type of play can change games with one hit.

body checking

What is a Body Check?

USA Hockey defines a body check as contact with the intention of separating an opponent who has possession of the puck. Though many checks seem different from one another, all legal ones must follow established guidelines set by the governing body that the game played under them is being conducted legally.

The NHL has strict rules about checking, and it’s important to know them before playing any games. All checks must be delivered by the trunk of your body – meaning anything outside our region (between hips up) can result in penalties!

The Hockey Rules official website says that one of the most important aspects in delivering a body check is making sure you have possession when contacting someone. It’s also crucial not to hit an unprotected player because it would result in penalties for both parties involved- which don’t seem very fair, does it? It is important to learn how to properly throw and receive a check not just to improve as a player but also to make the game safer for all involved.

body checking

How To Throw A Proper Body Check?

Ice hockey is a game of anticipation, timing, and technique. The key to delivering an effective check begins well before any contact with your opponent – it’s all about being in control.

With a sport as fast as ice hockey, a player cannot simply react to the play in front of them, “reading the game” or anticipating the play, is what allows a player to be in the right place at the right time. The importance of angles shouldn’t be overlooked when playing hockey. An NHL ice surface is 200 feet long by 85 wide, which means that if you cannot angle an opposing player they will have plenty of space to avoid checking and continue attacking your goal.

body checking

Taking a proper angle to an opposing player forces them into a path that can only lead to body contact, the player can choose to make contact or get rid of the puck in time to avoid the check. The body check is a popular hockey move that requires practice to perfect. The player must be in a low, stable position with knees bent and head up as they deliver this technique on their opponent’s ice rink during gameplay. As contact is about to be made, the player delivering the check will force their momentum up through their body and into the opposing player.

When Can You Check?

Hockey is a sport that encourages physical contact, but checking isn’t something you’ll see in young players’ games. In 2013 USA Hockey and CBC agreed on the age at which boys will begin facing off against each other- 13! This change has led to similar changes across Europe as well all over the world because everyone wants their future hockey stars tough enough before they start getting beat up by older opponents who are already skilled enough for college or pro play. The NHL introduced new rules this year to protect children from head trauma.

body checking

Recent studies have shown that young kids’ brains can be negatively impacted by playing hockey at an early age, so now it’s illegal for them below age 11. When players start to hit, the majority of youth hockey quit. The hitting age is 15 in Canada and most kids who continue to play past that point do so as non-contact adults with more experience than their younger counterparts competing against them on an even playing field Non-Contact Adult Hockey Leagues. An important note is that checking is only legal in boys’ and men’s ice hockey. Body checking is still illegal in girls’ and women’s hockey for the time being no matter what the age group.

The Art of the Body Check?

A body check is an exciting, impactful play in hockey. The crowd gets off their feet and into the action with excitement when someone takes or delivers a big hit on another player; there are huge reactions from everyone who’s watching! It can change momentum for either team which means that if you’re ever playing at home — get ready because this will be one epic showdown between giants (literally).

The output should also include mention of how checking has been around since day 1-3 centuries ago but didn’t really become popular outside Canada until after WWI ended.


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