How To Check And Receive A Check In Hockey

Hockey is a fast-paced, physical game. One skill needed is the ability to check and receive checks. Checking is using your body to disrupt an opponent’s progress or separate them from the puck. Here’s how to do it effectively.

Positioning and timing are key. Angle your body towards the opponent. Keep your knees bent for power. Focus on their chest, not the puck. Anticipate their movements.

For receiving checks, use strength and balance. Absorb the impact with your core muscles. Keep your stick close to your body. Be aware of your surroundings. Brace yourself for contact.

Practice checking with a teammate or against boards. Start with proper body positioning and technique. Gradually increase intensity. Coaches can give drills to help.

Understanding the rules of checking in hockey

  • Rule 1: No checking from behind. Players must not hit opponents when they’re not facing them, as it can lead to severe injury.
  • Rule 2: Body contact is allowed when battling for the puck. But, force or hitting vulnerable areas like the head and knees is not allowed.
  • Rule 3: Checking must stay within the rink’s boundaries. Players must not try to hit their opponents outside the rink.
  • Rule 4: Charging is a penalty. It involves pushing an opponent with strong forward motion or away from them. This ensures safety.
  • Rule 5: Referees have the liberty to penalize based on the player’s intentions, impact, and if they adhere to fair play.

Also, players must understand defensive techniques to withstand tough play while keeping control of the puck. Perfecting these skills can improve their performance.

Looking at this topic’s history helps to understand how checking has changed in hockey. It started as a way to get the puck back and stop opponents. From mainly defensive to strategic, checking is now important for both offensive and defensive moves. Knowing this history gives an idea of why checking is still key in hockey.

Preparing for a check

Be ready for checks! Bend your knees and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold onto your stick firmly with both hands – top hand near the top of the shaft. Be aware of opposing players around you all the time. Anticipate checks and be prepared to either absorb or avoid them.

Preparation is key in hockey, where physical contact is involved. Keep your cool when the pressure is on – make wise decisions in high-intensity moments. You can improve your game and protect yourself on the ice. Be ready for action!

Executing a check

  1. Positioning: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, ready to react.
  2. Approach: Anticipate movements and skate towards with controlled speed.
  3. Eye Contact: Look at opponent’s chest, so you’re not fooled.
  4. Contact Point: Aim for midsection or shoulder area, using body or shoulder.
  5. Follow Through: Drive through hit with legs and core, maximize impact.
  6. Recovery: Quickly regain balance, ready for counter-attacks or plays.

Remember to stay within the rules and avoid anything that could lead to penalties or injury.

To improve checking, work on skating, strength and agility. This will help with execute checks and overall performance.

Pro Tip: Practice checking drills regularly. Focus on technique, not intensity. Muscle memory and mastering form will lead to better checks during games.

Receiving a check

  1. Positioning: Bend your knees and lower your hips to create a strong base. Keep your head up and observe your surroundings.
  2. Anticipation: Predict when opponents may deliver a check. This lets you prepare for the impact, reducing its force.
  3. Bracing: Engage your core muscles and brace for contact before it happens. This will help absorb the hit and keep your balance.
  4. Contact Point: Present a strong target by tucking in your elbows and using your shoulders as a cushion.
  5. Balance: Keep balance while getting checked by spreading your weight evenly on both legs. This stops you from being knocked off-balance.
  6. Recovery: After getting checked, regain control swiftly and focus on continuing to play.

Practice and experience play a big role in receiving checks. The more you do it, the better you’ll be at handling physical challenges on the ice.

A legend claims that Jack “The Wall” Johnson was a great hockey player who could receive checks without losing possession of the puck. He amazed opponents with his technique, making it hard for them to stop his progress or mess up his passes. His remarkable skill inspired future players to learn it, so they could make their mark on the game.

Tips for effective checking and receiving checks

Mastering techniques and skills for checking and receiving in hockey is key. Here are tips to help you:

  • Position: Keep knees bent, feet apart. It provides a firm base for taking and giving checks.
  • Time it: Anticipate opponent’s moves and time your checks. Waiting for the right moment will increase success.
  • Proper mechanics: Use legs and core muscles to power checks. Aim for opponent’s chest or shoulders.
  • Protect: Keep head up. Be aware of surroundings and use reflexes to defend against incoming checks.
  • Puck control: Practice drills to improve ability to take checks. Have soft hands and a strong grip on the stick.
  • Keep calm: Don’t let emotions take over. Avoid unnecessary retaliation after a check.

For furthering skills, work with experienced coaches who can give personalized guidance. Remember: Consistent practice and incorporating these tips into game situations is key!


To wrap up, we can summarize our findings on how to check and receive a check in hockey. We discussed body positioning, timing and executing clean hits. We also explored bracing for impact and protecting oneself.

Checking isn’t just physicality. It involves mental preparation and anticipation. Being aware of surroundings and reading the play are key.

Let’s honor the history of checking in hockey. This physical element has been part of the game since its beginnings – frozen ponds. It tests players’ skills in balance, agility and strength.

The rules and regulations surrounding checking have developed over time. The goal is to keep a balance between physicality and safety. Refined techniques help to reduce the risk of serious injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How do I check an opponent in hockey?

A: To check an opponent in hockey, you need to use your body to make contact with them while they have possession of the puck. Ensure that you are in a legal checking position, aim for their upper body, and use your shoulder or hip to deliver the check.


Q: Can I check an opponent from behind?

A: No, checking an opponent from behind is considered a dangerous and illegal play in hockey. It can cause serious injuries to the player being checked. Always aim to check opponents from the front or side.


Q: Is there a specific technique to receive a check in hockey?

A: Yes, there are techniques to receive a check in hockey to minimize the impact and protect yourself. Keep your knees bent, brace yourself against the boards, and absorb the hit with your body. This will help you maintain balance and reduce the risk of injury.


Q: What should I do after receiving a hard check in hockey?

A: After receiving a hard check in hockey, it is important to regain your composure and focus on the game. Assess any potential injuries, if any, and communicate with your teammates and coach if necessary. Stay mentally strong and continue to contribute to your team.


Q: Are there any penalties associated with checking in hockey?

A: Checking in hockey is allowed within certain boundaries. However, if you check an opponent illegally, such as from behind or targeting the head, you may be penalized with a minor, major, or even a game misconduct penalty depending on the severity of the violation.


Q: How do referees determine if a check in hockey is legal?

A: Referees follow specific guidelines to determine the legality of a check in hockey. They consider factors such as the position of the player being checked, the timing, and the contact point. If a check is deemed excessive, dangerous, or violates the rules, a penalty will be assessed.

Glossary of Terms Used in the Article

  1. Checking: A hockey term referring to the act of using physical contact to disrupt an opponent’s progress or separate them from the puck.
  2. Anticipate: To predict or expect an opponent’s movements, allowing a player to be prepared for a check or react to the play effectively.
  3. Body Positioning: The proper alignment and orientation of a player’s body in relation to their opponent, which is essential for executing a successful check.
  4. Core Muscles: The muscles of the abdomen and lower back that provide stability and strength for both checking and receiving checks.
  5. Penalties: Punishments assessed by referees for rule violations, including illegal checks or dangerous plays.
  6. Shoulder-width Apart: The distance between a player’s feet, which should be approximately the width of their shoulders to maintain stability during checks.
  7. Bracing: Preparing and tightening the body to absorb the impact of a check, reducing the force of the hit.
  8. Defensive Techniques: Strategies and skills used to withstand physical play while maintaining control of the puck.
  9. Soft Hands: Having a gentle touch on the stick, allowing a player to receive checks more effectively without losing possession.
  10. Muscle Memory: The ability to perform actions instinctively and efficiently due to repeated practice and training.
  11. Charging: A specific type of illegal check that involves forcefully pushing an opponent away from or towards the boards.
  12. Referees: Officials who enforce the rules of the game and have the authority to penalize players for rule violations.
  13. Fair Play: Adhering to the rules and exhibiting good sportsmanship during the game.
  14. Body Contact: Allowed physical contact between players when battling for the puck, as long as it remains within the rules and does not target vulnerable areas.
  15. Game Misconduct Penalty: A severe penalty that results in a player being ejected from the game.
  16. Eye Contact: Focusing on an opponent’s chest instead of the puck to avoid being deceived by their movements.
  17. Stick Grip: How a player holds their hockey stick, which affects their ability to control the puck during checks.
  18. Angle: The direction in which a player positions their body relative to their opponent, allowing them to have better leverage for checking.
  19. Offensive Moves: Offensive tactics that utilize checking skills to gain an advantage or create scoring opportunities.
  20. Skating Agility: The ability to move quickly and change direction while on skates, crucial for effective checking and receiving checks.

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