2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship

Rookie Relections - February 8, 2013

Rookie Relections:
A 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Blog


Have you ever considered how many rules there are in hockey?

There are, of course, the rules of the game – and the penalties if you don’t abide by them. Those are the ones we see.

There are also the ones behind the scenes – those regulations, policies, procedures, articles and bylaws that govern how the International Ice Hockey Federation and Hockey Canada oversee the game.

As a shiny-eyed blogger new to hockey, I was eager to learn the ins and outs of the game. I jumped into my research with vigor, determined to learn everything there is to learn about hockey.

After hours of reading (and re-reading) page after page of “whereas this,” “therefore that,” “article this,” and “addendum that,” I concluded one thing: since I don’t foresee a law degree in my future, perhaps I won’t become an expert on hockey. Sigh.

Ironically, under the less-than-intriguing title of Hockey Canada’s 189-page “Articles, By-laws, Regulations, History,” there is a paragraph that begins, “This edition is prepared for easy and convenient reference only.” Wow, this is the easy document?!

In addition to the Hockey Canada tome, there’s also a casebook (another 81 pages). Just “in case,” I suppose, you need some clarification on one of the finer points of the game.

I know there has to be rules and regulations, but give a rookie a break! Isn’t there a “Coles Notes” version somewhere? Hmmm ……. I guess that’s my job. I’m the self-appointed cheat-sheet writer of hockey stuff! But how do I go about doing that? How can I make such tedium as painless as possible?

I know; pictures! That’s the easiest way to explain things to me. It’s like when my husband tries to explain how the plumbing in the bathroom works. He draws me a picture.

I remember during my other research for this blog, seeing pictures of the mysterious hand signals I see during hockey games at SBP Arena when I watch the Senators. That’s where I’ll start. I’ve always wondered what they all mean.

I just went back over the volumes of information I’ve collected and found a selection of the hand signals given for various penalties. There are probably more, but these are some of the most common ones.

Semi-circular motion by one arm at chest height made parallel to the ice surface, simulating the goal crease, and then extending the other arm horizontally with the hand pointing in the direction of the neutral zone.

BOARDING (Rule 520)
Striking the clenched fist of one hand into the open palm of the opposite hand in front of the chest.

CLIPPING (Rule 524)
Striking leg with either hand below the knee from behind, keeping both skates on the ice.

A forward and backward motion of the arms with both fists clenched, extending from the chest for a distance of about half a metre.

CHARGING  (Rule 522)
Rotating clenched fists around one another in front of the chest.

A forward motion of both arms, with the palms of the hands open and facing away from the body, fully extended from the chest at shoulder level.

ELBOWING (Rule 526)
Tapping either elbow with the opposite hand.

Holding both fists clenched, one immediately above the other at the height of the forehead.

HOLDING  (Rule 531)
Grasping either wrist with the other hand in front of the chest.

Two stage signal involving the holding signal followed by an indication you are holding onto a stick with two hands in a normal manner.

HOOKING (Rule 533)
A tugging motion with both arms as if pulling something from in front toward the stomach.

Crossed arms with closed fists stationary in front of the chest.

KNEEING (Rule 536)
Tapping either knee with the palm of the hand, while keeping both skates on the ice.

ROUGHING (Rule 528)
Fist clenched and arm extended out to the side of the body.

Patting the palm of the hand on top of the head.

SLASHING (Rule 537)
A chopping motion with the edge of one hand across the opposite forearm.

Both hands on the hips.

Jabbing motion with both hands thrusting out immediately in front of the body and then hands lowered to the side of the body.

TRIPPING (Rule 539)
Striking leg with a moving follow through motion with either hand below the knee keeping both skates on the ice.

The official shall first blow the whistle and then extend the arm horizontally pointing along the blue line with the non-whistle hand.

The palm of the non-whistle hand is brought across the body and placed on the opposite shoulder.


Phew, I’m exhausted! Are there really 600 rules? What do they all mean? I guess that’s a blog for another day. My next challenge? Watch a hockey game and test myself on the signals. I’ll let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I highly recommend the following Hockey Canada and IIHF resources for a little light bedtime reading:


Hockey Canada Officiating Downloads

Your Hockey Rookie,
P.S.  I was at the Buffalo-Ottawa game recently and was able to point out: icing, offside, holding and hooking penalties. Yay for me!


About Rookie Reflections: Tracy Gagnon is an Ottawa, Ont., resident and a media volunteer for the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship. A self-admitted hockey newbie, Tracy and her fellow volunteers, who are generously giving their energy and time to make this event a success, will take us behind the scenes at SBP Arena in Ottawa, Ont., the Nepean Sportsplex and everywhere in between for the inside scoop on what goes into hosting a major world championship in the nation’s capital – all from the eyes of a total rookie.

2013-14 NWT: CAN 2 - USA 3
Canada’s National Women’s Team fell 3-2 to the U.S. on Dec. 30 in Toronto, Ont.
2013-14 NWT: CAN 2 - USA 3 (SO)
Canada’s National Women’s Team fell 3-2 in a shootout to the U.S.
2013-14 NWT: CAN 1 - USA 4
Canada’s National Women’s Team fell 4-1 to the U.S. on Dec. 20 in Grand Forks, N.D.
2013 4NC: CAN 4 - SWE 3
Canada comes back to beat Sweden at the 2013 4 Nations Cup in Lake Placid.


Team Canada & Playoff Scoreboard
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
7:30 p.m. ET USA 2 - CAN 3 (SO)
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
7:30 p.m. ET CAN 13 - SUI 0
Friday, April 5, 2013
7:30 p.m. ET FIN 0 - CAN 8 Preliminary
Monday, April 8, 2013
3:30 p.m. ET USA 3 - FIN 0 Semifinal
7:30 p.m. ET CAN 8 - RUS 1 Semifinal
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
3:30 p.m. ET FIN 0 - RUS 2 Bronze
7:30 p.m. ET CAN 2 - USA 3 Gold
CLICK HERE for complete event schedule
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