The Offical Hockey Referee Signals for Penalties

Boarding “Minor 2 or 5 Minutes”

Strike the Clenched fist of one hand into the other hand directly in front of the chest.

A Boarding Penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenceless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit its impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee.

Butt- Ending ” Major 5 minutes”

A crossing motion of the forearms, one moving under the other.

Butt-Ending is the action whereby a player uses the shaft of the stick, above the upper hand, to hack an opposing player in any manner or jabs or attempts to jab an opposing player with this part of the stick.

Charging “Minor 2 minutes”

Rotating Clenched fists around one another in front of the chest.

Charging is the action where a player takes more than two strides or travels an excessive distance to accelerate through a body check for the purpose of punishing the opponent.

Checking (Women’s Only)

The nonwhistle hand is placed on the shoulder and then moved out and to the side.

Checking is when a player drives the shoulder, upper arm and hip and elbow, equally into the opponent to separate them from the puck, using the body to knock an opponent against the boards or to the ice. This is often referred to as simply checking or hitting and is only permitted against an opponent with possession of the puck. Body checking can be penalized when performed recklessly.

In women’s ice hockey, body checking is considered an “illegal hit” as well as in non-checking leagues and is punishable by a minor penalty, major penalty and automatic game misconduct, or match penalty.

Clipping “Minor 2 or 5 minutes”

Keep both skates on the ice when signaling, using right hand on the leg. 

Clipping is a penalty in the sport of ice hockey. It is generally recognized as hitting an opposing player at or below the other player’s knees. Clipping should not be confused with hip checking, where one player hits an opponent with his hips, although occasionally a hip check will result in a clipping call. A player has generally assessed a minor penalty for clipping unless an injury is caused, in which case a major penalty and a misconduct or game misconduct will result. It is one of the most rarely called penalties in the sport.

Contact to the Head “Minor 2 minutes”

Extend arm above head and tap head with open palm.

Head contact is the action of a player contacting an opponent in the head, face or neck with any part of the player’s body, equipment or a stick.

Cross Checking “Minor 2 or 5 minutes”

A single forward and back motion with both fists clenched in front of the chest.

Cross-checking is an infraction in the sport of ice hockey where a player checks an opponent by using the shaft of his or her stick with both hands.

Delayed Calling Of Penalty “Minor 2 minutes”

Extend arm to upright position.

Delayed Penalty would be If the referee has a penalty to call, whether minor or major or misconduct, he blows the whistle when the offending team takes possession of the puck, including waiting for a change of possession if the offending team doesn’t already have it. If he’s waiting for that change of possession, the raised arm signals a delayed penalty call.

Delayed Offsides “Minor 2 minutes”

Extend arm in the air and point to line with other arm.  

A delayed offside occurs if the puck is passed or shot into the offensive zone while an attacking player is offside but has not been touched by a member of the attacking team. In most leagues, the attacking team may “tag up” by having all players exit the offensive zone.

Delay of game “Minor 2 minutes”


The nonwhistle hand, palm open, is placed across the chest and then fully extended directly in front of the body.

Delay of the game is a penalty in ice hockey. It results in the offending player spending two minutes in the penalty box. In NHL, Delay of the game is usually called under eight circumstances.

Elbowing “minor 2 or 5 minutes”

Tapping either elbow with the opposite hand.

Elbowing is hitting an opponent with the elbow. If injury results, a major penalty and game misconduct will result.

Fighting/Punching “Major 5 minutes”

A Double "punching" motion with fist clenched, fully extented in front of the body.

Fighting/Punching is a Major penalty shall be imposed on any player who fights. A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation shall be assessed an instigating minor penalty, a major for fighting and a ten-minute misconduct.

Roughing “minor 2 minutes”

Fist clenched, fully extended arm from the side.

Roughing is an offense and penalty in ice hockey when two players are in a minor altercation. The incident would have to be minor for either player to be categorized as such an offense, for instance: A Player striking another opponent or A goalie using their equipment to punch an opponent.

Goal Scored

Point at the net with the nonwhistle hand, palm open.

In ice hockey, a goal is scored when the puck entirely crosses the goal line between the two goal posts and below the goal crossbar. A goal awards one point to the team attacking the goal scored upon, regardless of which team the player who actually deflected the puck into the goal belongs to. Typically, a player on the team attempting to score shoots the puck with their stick towards the goal net opening, and a player on the opposing team called a goaltender tries to block the shot to prevent a goal from being scored against their team.

Grasping the Face Mask “Major 5 minutes”

A single or double motion as if grasping a face mask and pulling it down

Grasping the face mask :Holding is the action of a player wrapping his arms around or using a free hand to clutch, grab or hold the stick, jersey or body of the opponent. This includes wrapping one or both arms around the opponent along with the board’s in a manner that pins them against the boards and prevents them from playing the puck or skating, grabbing the opponent’s body, stick or jersey with one or both hands, or using a free arm or hand to restrain or impede the opponent’s progress. (b)A Major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to a player who uses his hand to rub, grab or hold the facemask of an opponent.

Hand Pass


The nonwhistle hand (open hand)and arm are placed straight down alongside the body and swung forward and up once in an underhand motion.  

A pass made with the hand. It is legal when both passer and recipient are inside the defending zone, otherwise illegal. An illegal hand pass results in a stoppage of play and a faceoff at the position where the puck was passed from.

High-Sticking “Minor 2 minutes”


Holding both fists,clenched, one a short space immediately above the other to the side of the head.

High-sticking is the name of two infractions in the sport of ice hockey that may occur when a player intentionally or inadvertently plays the puck with their stick above the height of the shoulders or above the cross bar of a hockey goal. This can result in a penalty or a stoppage of play. In the rules of the National Hockey League, high-sticking is defined as a penalty in Rule 60[1] and as a non-penalty foul in Rule 80.[2]

Hitting from Behind “Major 5 minutes”

Arm placed behind the back, elbow bent, forearm parallel to the ice surface.

Hitting from behind is when a hockey player body checks an opponent in the back when they are unaware of the hit coming, usually into the boards. This type of hit can be very dangerous to the opponent and on a rare occasion can leave them permanently injured.

Holding “Minor 2 minutes”

Clasp wrist of whistle hand with the other hand well in front of the chest.

Holding is Any action by a player that retards the progress of an opposing player whether or not he is in possession of the puck -NHL Rulebook, Rule 54.1

Holding the Stick “Minor 2 minutes”


Clasp wrist of whistle hand with the other hand well in front of the chest. Next, hold both fists, clenched, one a short space in front of the other at waist height.

In Ice hockey, Holding the stick is a penalty called when a player intentionally holds an opposing player’s stick in his hands and between any part of his body (i.e. underarms or between legs) to restrict the opposing player’s ability to play the puck. The referee will call a Minor Penalty for this infraction.

Intentional Offside


After blowing whistle for offside, point toward offending team's special spot with nonwhistle hand.

An intentional off-side is one that is made for the purpose of deliberately securing an immediate stoppage of play or when an off-side play is made under conditions where there is no effort made or the possibility of completing a legal play.

Interference “Minor 2 minutes”

Crossed arms with fists clenched stationary in front of chest.

Interference is defined as when a player uses his body (‘pick” or “block”) to impede the progress of an opponent (non-puck carrier) with no effort to play the puck, maintain normal foot speed or maintain an established skating lane.

Hooking “Minor 2 minutes”

A series of tugging motions with both arms, as if pulling something toward the stomach.

Hooking is the act of using a stick in a manner that enables a player or goalkeeper to restrain an opponent.

Icing “




The back official signals the icing situation by fully ectending his free arm (without whistle) at a 66 angle.
The front official shall indicate the icing is completed by extending his free arm over his head, up straight, and blowing his whistle.
The back official then will move to the faceoff spot and cross arms to indictate the icing. 

Icing is when a player on his team’s side of the red center line shoots the puck all the way down the ice and it crosses the red goal line at any point. (other than the goal). Icing is not permitted when teams are at equal strength or on the power play.

Timeout/ Unsportsmanlike Conduct “Minor 2 minutes”

Using both hands to form a "T" in front of the chest

Unsportsmanlike conduct (also called unsporting behaviour or ungentlemanly conduct or bad sportsmanship or poor sportsmanship or anti fair play) is a foul or offense in many sports snd it violates the sports generally accepted rules of sportsmanship. “Players, goalkeepers and non-playing Club personnel are responsible for their conduct at all times and must endeavour to prevent disorderly conduct before, during or after the game, on or off the ice and any place in the rink.

Tripping “Minor 2 minutes”

Keep both skates on the ice when signaling, using right hand on the leg. 

Tripping is the act of placing a stick, knee, foot, arm, hand, or elbow in such a manner that causes his opponent to lose balance or fall.

“Wash-out”

Both arms swung shoulder height, not waist height.

“Wash-Out” means no goal or violation so play shall continue when used by the Referee. When used by the linesmen, it means there is no icing, off-side, hand pass or high sticking violation.

Kneeing “Minor 2 minutes”

A single slapping of the right palm to the left knee, keeping both skate blades on the ice.

Kneeing happens when a player extends or pushes their knee outwards with the intention of making contact with an opposing player.

Misconduct “Major 10 minutes”


Hands should be moved once from sides down to hips. Thus, point to player first, hands to hips second.

Misconduct penalties are usually called to temporarily take a player off the ice and allow tempers to cool down. They are also sometimes accessed in conjunction with fighting majors, giving the offending player’s the opportunity to calm down as they sit out their 10 minutes.

Obstruction “Minor 2 minutes”


Hands in the middle of the body in the shape of an "O" Additional infraction following obstruction.

Obstruction, you can’t hit a player that doesn’t have puck possession.

Penalty Shot

Arms crossed (fists clenched) above the head.

A penalty shot is a type of awarded penalty when a team loses a clear scoring opportunity on a breakaway because of a foul committed by an opposing player. A player from the non-offending team is given an attempt to score a goal without opposition from any defending players except the goaltender. this is the same type of shot used in a shootout to decide games in some leagues.

Spearing “major 5 minutes”


A single jabbing motion with both hands together, thrust forward in front of the chest, then dropping hands to the side.

Spearing is the act of poking, stabbing or an attempt to poke or stab an opponent with the tip of the blade of the stick while holding the stick with one or both hands.

Slashing “Minor 2 or 5 minutes”

One shop with the nonwhistle hand across the straightened forearm of the other hand.

Slashing is a penalty called when an offending player swings their hockey stick at an opposing player, regardless of contact, or breaks an opposing player’s stick with their own. this type of penalty could range from a minor to a major depending on how serious the injury is to the opposing player.

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