I. Body Checking
Hockey is a contact sport. Therefore it is important for players to understand how to body check properly and within the rules (Sticks and elbows down) and how to take a check and avoid injury.
II. Giving a Body Check
Proper body checking requires sound, well-developed skills, concentration, agility and anticipation. The player checking must concentrate on the puck carrier, not the puck. The checker should keep both hands on the stick, with the blade on or near the ice, using timing, steering and angling to limit the puck carrier’s space, and influence their direction and speed. The checker must avoid lunging at the puck carrier, placing his glove in the face of the puck carrier, or making excessive contact with the stick. All of these infractions must be discouraged or they will result in penalties during games.
Points to Remember for checking
§ 1. Angle players into boards
§ 2. Keep hands and sticks down
§ 3. Do not lunge at the puck carrier
III. Taking the check
As in most contact sports, when a player is hit, it is best to “curl up” as compactly as possible. It is especially important keep your head up. Shoulders and shoulder pads should absorb the impact of landing on the ice or colliding with the boards. Whenever possible, a player should try to cushion a collision with the boards, glass, or screen with the arms.
It is a good idea that if you know you are about to be body checked that you should reach out and place a hand on the player checking you. This often will cushion the blow and sometimes will allow you to slip off the check. The player being checked should also move one leg back to establish a wide, solid base, and lean into the check and keep your feet moving at all times!
Points to remember when being checked
§ 1. Keep your head up
§ 2. Keep your feet moving
§ 3. Cushion any collision with the boards with your arms
Checking is an important part of hockey, and if done well can be an important part of your game.
It is a skill you must practice and understand as you progress in the upper hockey levels
But remember, you should never use illegal or dangerous checking if you want to be an honorable hockey player.