The game of hockey is unique in that it is filled with an array of regulations that are not present in other sports. For instance, boarding and cross-checking are distinctly different with regards to checking other players correctly and with the proper intent. The following is a closer look at examples of these infractions as well as the penalties for each.


Simply put, cross-checking prefers to an infraction in which one player checks their opponent by using the shaft of their stick as well as both hands. Although body checking is allowed in ice hockey, cross-checking is prohibited because it increases the potential to injure one’s opponent. The most common penalty for cross-checking is a two-minute minor. However, under certain circumstances, may call for a major penalty or even a match penalty, if the play is determined to be a blatant attempt to injure their opponent. Check out this especially brutal example of cross-checking, in which (the ironically named) Sidney Crosby takes a cross-check straight to the face.


On the flip side, boarding is a penalty called when an offending player either pushes, trips, or otherwise checks their opposing player in a violent manner into the boards of the hockey rink. Most often a major penalty, due to the violent nature of most incidents of boarding, the offending player very rarely gets off easily. Moreover, officials have the right to either call a match penalty or game misconduct, which is commonly called when the referees feel the action was committed with the intent to injure the other player. Check out an epic example of boarding in the following clip.

Overall boarding and cross-checking are essentially two sides of the same coin. On the one hand, cross-checking based on intentionally injuring a player with a stick. On the flip side, boarding is based on injuring someone by pushing them into the dasherboards of the rink. Either way, both actions are equally egregious and up and coming hockey players are advised to steer clear of this behavior for their entire hockey career.

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