The 2008-09 Rules Emphasis has been approved by the Hockey
Canada Board of Directors, and mandates that all Hockey Canada participants are to adhere to these
The enforcement of this rules standard in our game will continue to allow for improved skill development and
positive hockey experiences.
The mission of Hockey Canada is clear; the game will be enhanced through the application of the standard of
enforcement and rules emphasis.
The Shared Respect Initiative calls for all participants of the game to respect one another.
The intent of Hockey Canada is to enforce a standard of play that promotes an exciting and fun game for all
All partners share an equal responsibility to ensure the integrity of the game is upheld. Through this
process of change, the onus is not only on our game officials but all its participants.
Checking To The Head
(contact physically or with a stick to another players’ head
Deliberate checks to the head remain to be a major problem in today's game. Concussions not only deprive
players of playing time, they end players' careers and can have long term effects.
Checks to the head demonstrate a lack of respect and fair play and must be penalized. Any moderate or severe
blow to the head must be penalized with a minor penalty and a misconduct or a major penalty and a game
misconduct for checking to the head. A match penalty could also be assessed under this rule. These are
aggressive fouls and must be called at ALL occurrences during the hockey game, including shorthanded
Whether it is elbowing, high sticking, roughing or cross-checking, hits to the head are an intentional act of
violence and must be treated with zero tolerance on the part of the official at all times.
We want to continue to work to eliminate any contact from behind, as the resulting injuries, especially to
the head and neck can be catastrophic. It is a dangerous and cowardly act. It is imperative that coaches
instruct their players to STOP and eliminate all checking from behind. Strict application of this rule is
needed to remove this foul from our game.
Standard Of Play
Continued enforcement of the standard of play with regards to the restraining (hooking and holding) and stick
fouls (slashing, high-sticking, cross-checking) at all levels will be maintained to allow for further
enhancement of the quality of our game.
We ALL play a role in supporting the improvement of our game.
All partners must demonstrate awareness and support for the application, spirit and the respect of the
If you have any questions regarding the standard of play or rules emphasis for this season, please contact
your branch referee-in-chief for further clarification.