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My Role as a Parent

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What Signals Am I Seeing From The Stands?

With the standard of play a parent may find they’re watching the official more than you did in the past to try to understand the different calls officials are making and why. Hockey Canada would like to provide parents with a description of the more common signals being illustrated by officials as you watch your son or daughter's game. To learn more about the standard of play, and different signals that officials use visit the Hockey Canada officiating website at

Hitting From Behind

This is the signal the official will make if calling a hitting from behind penalty. Hitting from behind can cause serious injury and it is important that you as a parent teach your son or daughter to never hit a player if the player has their back to them!

Checking To The Head

Concussion awareness continues to grow, we all play a role in preventing concussions and it starts with the reduction of checking to the head. If your son or daughter receives this penalty talk to them about why they got the penalty and then explain the importance of not checking another player to the head for any reason.


Cross Checking

Talk to your kids about their hockey stick emphasizing its use as being to play the puck, not to cross check another player. Remember to support your coaches as they teach this style of play.



Anytime a player uses a free arm or hand to clutch, grab, hold, hold the stick, pin or impede a player they will be called   for interference. It is important to note that interference will be penalized with strict enforcement.

All those involved with the game have a responsibility to learn as much as they can about changes that are occurring. This includes being familiar with the rules that are being emphasized and why these changes are so important to the game itself.

Communicate With Your Son Or Daughter!

As a parent one of the most important steps is to communicate with your son or daughter and explain to them why certain infractions are being emphasized. If you as a parent show frustration when a penalty is called so will your child. Be positive and avoid reacting negatively when a penalty is called.

Respect The Officials!

As a parent you are encouraged to visit the Hockey Canada web site to gain an understanding of the standard of play and rules emphasis initiative. Be patient with the officials as they refine their game management techniques in an effort to make the game safer and more exciting for the players. Also take the opportunity to visit the online rule book to learn about the different rules of the game. Next time you are at the rink, try watching the game from the official’s perspective.

Work With Your Son or Daughter's Coach!

As a parent on your child’s team you are an important component of the team’s structure. Work with your son’s or daughter’s coach to support the rule emphasis and work with your coaches to teach the players what is expected of them. A major key is to encourage respect for the officials, their teammates and other players around them.

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