(Note 1) For the purpose of this rule, an illegal body check is defined as when a player makes a deliberate physical contact with the opponent using overt hip, shoulder, arm or torso action. This includes physically impeding the opponent's progress for the purpose of physically forcing the opponent off the puck and with no effort to legally play the puck.
(Note 2) For the purpose of this rule, USA Hockey has identified two different categories of play. They are Body Contact (where Body Checking is prohibited) and Body Checking (where a legal body check is permissable). Please refer to the Glossary for specific definitions of Body Contact and a Body Check.
(a) Body checking is prohibited in the 12 & under youth age classification and below and all Girls’/Women’s age classifications. These levels would be considered the Body Contact Category of play.
Body checking is also prohibited in all non-check Adult classifications.
A local governing body may prohibit body checking in any classification.
(b) Anytime a team from a Body Contact category (see sub-section (a) above) plays a team from a Body Checking category, checking shall be prohibited under this rule.
(c) A minor or major penalty shall be assessed to a player who body checks an opponent in a Body Contact category or non-check Adult classification.
(Note) Body Contact hockey does not mean “no contact.” There will be legal body contact (see Glossary) within the rules in Body Contact categories. Legal body contact shall not be penalized under this rule. However, deliberate physical contact with an opponent, with no effort to legally play the puck, shall be penalized.
(d) A major plus a game misconduct penalty shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent with a body check in a Body Contact category or non-check Adult classification.