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Official's Signals In Ice Hockey


Boarding: Pounding the closed fist of the non-whistle hand once into the open palm of the other hand.

Butt-Ending: Moving the forearm, fist closed, under the forearm of the other hand held palm down.

Charging: Rotating clenched fists around one once another in front of chest.

Checking from Behind (USA Hockey and NCAA): Non-whistle arm placed behind the back, elbow bent, forearm parallel to the ice surface.

Checking from Behind (AHL and NHL): A forward pushing motion with both hands, palms open, extending from the chest.

Cross-Checking: A forward motion with both fists clenched extending from the chest.

Delayed Calling of a Penalty: The non-whistle hand is extended straight above the head.

Delayed Offsides: The non-whistle hand is extended straight above the head (NCAA: and the whistle hand is extended out in front of the chest, forming an "L" with the non-whistle hand). If play returns to the Neutral Zone without stoppage, the arm is drawn down the instant the puck crosses the line, or as soon as the offending team clears the zone.

Delaying the Game (USA Hockey and NCAA): The non-whistle hand, palm open, is placed across the chest and then fully extended directly in front of the body.

Elbowing: Tapping the elbow of the whistle hand with the opposite hand.

Fighting (Roughing): With the non-whistle hand, one punching motion to the side with the arm extending from the shoulder.

Goal Scored: A single point, with the non-whistle hand, directly at the goal in which the puck legally entered (USA Hockey and NCAA: while simultaneously blowing the whistle).

Hand Pass: The non-whistle hand (open hand) and arm are placed straight down alongside the body and swung forward and up once in an underhand motion.

High-Sticking: Holding both fists, clenched, one immediately above the other, at the side of the head.

Holding: Clasping the wrist of the whistle hand well in front of the chest.

Holding/Grabbing the Face Mask: Closed fist held in front of face, palm in, and pulled down in one straight motion.

Hooking: A tugging motion with both arms, as if pulling something toward the stomach.

Icing: Arms folded across the chest. When the puck is shot or deflected in such a manner as to produce a possible icing situation, the back linesman will signal to his partner by raising his non-whistle hand over his head (NCAA: official's arm raised at a 66 degree angle). The instant that the conditions required to establish "icing the puck" have occurred, the front linesman (NCAA: or referee) will blow his whistle to stop play, and raise his non-whistle hand over his head. The back official will move to the resulting face-off spot and give the icing signal.

Interference: Crossed arms stationary in front of chest with fists closed.

Kneeing: A single tap of the knee (non-whistle side) with the non-whistle hand, keeping both skates on the ice.

Match Penalty (USA Hockey): Pat flat of hand on the top of the head.

Misconduct: Placing of both hands on hips one time.

Penalty Shot: Arms crossed (fists clenched) above head.

Slashing: One chop with the non-whistle hand across the straightened forearm of the other hand.

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

Timeout and Unsportsmanlike Conduct (all except NCAA): Use both hands to form a "T" in front of the chest.

Tripping: Strike the side of the knee (non-whistle side) and follow through once, keeping the head up and both skates on the ice.

Wash-out: Both arms swung laterally across the body at shoulder level with palms down.

  1. When used by a referee, it means no goal or violation, so play shall continue.

  2. When used by a linesman, it means there is no icing, offside, hand pass, or high sticking violation.